2009 finalists > 17+ years > NANA
After seeing a video of a woman struggling away with her 'all mechanical' hand powered knitting machine, Liam was inspired to develop NANA - the ultimate knitting solution.
According to my mother, knitting machines are intricate, unreliable and frustrating devices that need to be thrown across the room on a regular basis. To me developing a new and improved model seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to apply my passion for industrial robotics and create an electrical/mechanical solution to a manufacturing issue.
The hardest part was getting the optical sensor to determine when exactly to stop the head moving so that the servo arm lined up perfectly with the needle it was pushing. Then the process had to repeat for all 26 needles and with the head going backwards as well as forwards. It was really satisfying seeing the machine knit flawlessly for the first time, though only for a short period. The hope of being able to run off 20 scarves as Christmas presents [at a total cost of $10] makes me want to develop this project further!
I enjoy slaving away in the workshop building robots and have been a Bright Sparks member since 2006. I think the amount of enthusiasm that all members of the club have for electronics and robotics is fantastic and the fact that there's always someone who can help you out with problems you've encountered is also really useful.