Sudharshan's profile

Sudharshan

~ In the entire universe, wood is certainly more precious than diamond ~ Operating at the intersection of 🛠️ 💻 🧠, solving problems by day, thinking of new ones at night.

The Hephaestus Project

Hephaestus is the Greek God of design and creativity. More commonly known as the partner of Aphrodite, he was also the god of the Forge and was well known for creating some of the finest jewellery in Greek mythology. Hephaestus was banished from Mount Olympus, simply because he walked with a limp, and when he joined the mortals on Earth he taught them how to make art and the importance of doing so. Analogous to that, the Hephaestus project aims to cultivate unique people with different perspectives, spark creativity and dares the participants to propose the ideas people might dismiss out of hand.

Edit: We take admissions on a rolling basis, so once we get the required number of innovators, admissions will close

What is Hephaestus?

Hephaestus is a week long innovation boot camp for the people who dare to dream 🧠. It aims to bring together a group of 10 people, for a program where they are able to debate, discuss, brainstorm solutions to anything they might be interested in. It provides th

Making a blender 🥤 feat. Zubin

As a kid, I wasn't actually all that into technology. When I was 7/8 years old, the only real things that mattered to me was going to chess club and studying. So I was really surprised when I was introduced to Zubin, a rather inquisitive kid who just wants to tinker.

I was approached to coach Zubin, and help him along with the projects that he would want to make, and I met him for the first time yesterday! The first thing that caught my eye was how his parents had encouraged his maker habit, he had a room with a 3D printer, cardboard boxes, LittleBits, literally anything a 7 year old with maker ambitions might want. On top of that, when I met him, he was working on a 3D printed boat which he was in the middle of designing using TinkerCAD.

My first task with him was to help him finish his boat which came along splendidly. Unfortunately, it took about 4 hours to print it out, and our session was only 2 hours long so we had to come up with a way to keep ourselves busy. I told him that brush

r8168 driver problems 😔

This morning was rather unpleasant, when I woke up to notifications that my server decided to randomly off itself in the middle of the night. Upon digging, it turns out that the network driver connecting my RealTek Ethernet Interface just up and vanished. Seems like someone has cursed me :/

I went about the diagnosis by first trying the following methods.

ifconfig -a     # Does not return eth0 or alternative representations
lspci -vv       # Returns the detection of the  Realtek Controller but does not have any kernel driver (suspicious?)
lshw -C network # Prints network UNCLAIMED

Then, I managed to identify that the driver I needed wasn’t even getting loaded onto the kernel. To reinstall the r8168 driver, you need to download these links to a hard drive/thumb drive.

  • Latest r86168 driver (As of 15 June 2020)
  • linux-headers-<your kernel version> where your kernel version can be found with uname -a (ie: linux-headers-5.3.0-1026-gke)

Then install these packages using dpkg. And loa

Using a Windows VM in Azure as a replacement for Dual Booting/Local VMs

As a electronics/design engineer cum software developer, I use a Macbook Pro running MacOS. For anyone familiar with MacOS and it’s never-ending battle to sparsely support all games and design productivity software, it would be needless to mention that running my suite of design/editing tools on MacOS was a pain.

Previously, I tried my best to switch to mostly Unix supporting open source variants of my design tools, such as KiCAD for PCB design and FreeCAD for 3D modelling. But some tools, are just no replacement for professional tools such as the Autodesk Suite. Not to mention, in many undergrad level EEE modules, board logic design IDEs (like Vivado for Xilinx FPGAs) only support Windows.

As such, it is the burden of students to either dual-boot, run a local VM, or get an additional Windows PC. Knowing the performance bottleneck for my 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD Macbook running VMs and professional productivity software, I wanted to find an alternative solution to this problem.

That’s when I

Designing a 5521-MG servo

Haven't touched Fusion 360 in a while, but it seems as easy and straightforward to use as it was ever. Designed a 5521-MG servo motor model to be used in the linkage design for the Droid Project.

Droid Project: Completed Simulation Body

Currently finished coupling 6 legs to a simulation body, with the leg inverse kinematics functional for all of the legs. The remaining elements to implement would be select-able individual joint controls for each leg and the body kinematics itself.

Then I completed the inverse kinematics that allows for the coupling between the body of the robot and its 6 corresponding legs (arranged with 60 degrees between each leg). I won’t bother explaining the mathematics going into these calculations in detail as they have been outlined in Oscar Liang’s blog post and the equations from TogleFritz’s Lair.

The resultant equations needed a bit of tweaking, especially with the orientation of the coordinate plane and the direction of certain rotations. Additionally, the equations from TogleFritz’s Lair are unnecessarily redundant when implemented in code. I added some optimizations and loop logic to help make the equations less cumbersome to use.

void Droid::ikCalculate() {
  const float increment = M_

Droid Project: Introduction

The Droid project, is a project where I am attempting to design and build a hexapod robot from scratch. Given, that I have no prior experience dealing with the forward and inverse kinematics problems (FK & IK) that need to be solved, I resolved to using Cinder and ImGUI to create a simulation of the hexapod first.

So far, I am still in the early stages of the project, but I have come up with a simulation for a single leg of the hexapod. With much help from Oscar Liang, and his informative blog series on the kinematics of hexapods, I managed to get the IK for a single leg to work.

Now, the next part would be to get the full body IK to work, and figure out how to implement basic movements. And then we can finally take a look at the hardware we have to work with :’)

The MakerForce Show #1

The MakerForce Show is a podcast recorded, produced and edited by MakerForce. We talk about ideas, hardware, software and occasionally interview friends.

Download: MP3 or OGG (RSS)

#1: The Beginning of the End

Trump just won. We go thorugh our experience at IDEA Hacks, and then mention Android's market share, last week's MacBook release, USB Type-C, touch, X, chips angled at not 45°, self-driving, electric cars and public transport.

Intro music: ZigZag by KevinMacLeod

The MakerForce Show #0

The MakerForce Show is a podcast recorded, produced and edited by MakerForce. We talk about ideas, hardware, software and occasionally interview friends.

Download: MP3 or OGG (RSS)

#0: try {} catch (e) {}

In this (less technical) episode, we start off the podcast with a quick overview on MakerForce and each of us, then talk about the Google announcement, Arduino merger and Note 7 recall.

Intro music: ZigZag by KevinMacLeod

Discovering PCB:NG

PCB production is the very backbone of the electronics hobby. To take a one-off design done on breadboards with Arduino or other dev boards to a all-in-one PCB is just an awesome experience that one can go through. At the heart of making PCBs are the PCB manufacturers. OSHPark, Seeedstudio or many other famous PCB manufacturers exist today and all of them provide high quality, low order quantity PCBs at an affordable price.

However, I realized that where the PCB industry was lacking was affordable PCB assembly especially when you are using pin-pitch components on the order of 0.5mm and BGA packages. That was of course until I found PCB:NG. PCB:NG is an awesome PCB producer based in USA much like OSHpark and Seeedstudio except it provides assembly services at a very competitive low price. The last time I was out in the market for assembled PCBs, I was tripped up by local PCB manufacturers having super high prices. Check this post out for more of that. However, when I went back searching

Intel Joule: The best IoT computer yet?

The Intel Joule has been released. Yesterday, Intel made a announcement that took the maker community by surprise. The Joule is a extremely feature dense board which really packs a punch. But does it stand up to the venerable Raspberry Pi which is seems to want to directly compete with? Is it even worth it's price tag? These are some really good questions I will be addressing in this post.

Specs

First things first. Before we even take a closer look at the new board, let's first analyze the specifications of the board.
The Intel Joule is available in two separate models, the 570x and the 550x and both of them have impressive specs which beats anything I've seen in that kind of a compact platform before.

The Intel Joule 570x module features:

  • High-performance, 64-bit, 1.7 GHz quad-core Intel® Atom™ T5700 processor with burst up to 2.4 GHz
  • 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and 16GB eMMC memory
  • Intel® HD Graphics with 4K video capture and display
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1
  • USB 3.0, MPI CSI a

AngelHack Singapore 2016

AngelHack is an annual hackathon organised on the international level with winners from each country competing with each other internationally. It attracts attention from all over the world and takes its place as one of the more well-known hackathons in Singapore. In addition, they have awesome prizes ranging from sponsor prizes to a free inclusion into their Hackcelerator program for startups.

This year AngelHack was held at the Hub which is a coworking space in Singapore. Although the chosen location was very well outiftted for the hackathon with all the necessary facilities requires and it provided the ideal environment for hacking and working, it was a bit too cramp for everyone and the size of the location could definitely have been bigger. However, that was not much of a problem as once we started working on our project we really couldn't be bothered with petty details like that. The Hub also provided cups and glass bottles of water.

For the first 3 hours, we spent our time think