cheap, USB controlled, simple mechanical device (example: rotating gear)?
March 19, 2008 2:44 AM Subscribe
I've made a small mechanical device but need help to find a USB-connected, -powered and -controlled part that gives mechanical input. It should be slow, turned on/off from computer, and really cheap.
posted by nolnar to computers & internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The sought after part could come in many shapes and sizes, for example, a turning gear or wheel or a pistong. I can adapt the rest to work with almost anything that moves, as long as it satisfies these criteria:
- the movement is slow
- the movement can be turned on/off throught the computer (ideally it should run in both linux and windows)
- it is USB powered (i.e. no standalone power supply)
- it is really cheap (< 15$ , ideally around 5$)
The last criteria is important. Lego Mindstorms ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_Mindstorms ), for example, can easily do what I want but it is too expensive and too complex for my needs.
I'm fine with buying some cheap device and picking it apart to get what I want. I've thought about buying and dissecting a USB powered fan, but they all have high speed rotation (naturally) and I'm unsure if any of them can be turned on/off from inside the OS rather than by plugging them in/out.
Any suggestions welcome!