Building the Robo-Loom

The dream is a fully automatic loom.
The quality of the fabric won’t matter as long as I’ve got a machine that weaves – flying shuttle and all. This will probably require the use of a Lego Robot NXT kit.
The reality right now is a working hand loom, which uses a crank to both raise and lower the threads AND advance the fabric by rolling up the finished product.
Here I am in action. There’s no flying shuttle yet, it has to be passed back and forth by hand.
And here’s the finished product.
As you can see by the nicer looking weave on the left, the loom really works. As you can see by the loosely woven mess on the right the machine requires adjustment. The rolling up axle needs to be geared down, but I’ve used every gear that came with the kit.
So far I’ve spent $20-30, but to complete the dream I estimate a cost of about $300. (For the Lego Robot brain and motors.) I have not yet been authorized to make that expenditure, so the industrial revolution will have to wait.
In the meantime if you know any people with really tiny necks, I’ll be glad to make him a scarf.

7 Responses

  1. I am extremely impressed.

  2. No, don’t be impressed this was the easy part. It’s the flying shuttle that would have been a real challenge. It’s easy to pass it from hand to hand, but to build a machine to do it is another matter.

    That’s why John Kay who built the first flying shuttle in the 1700s is a rock star! And he didn’t even have k’nex!

  3. You are a Renaissance man, frightfully gifted in unimaginable & ridiculously unrelated fields and we all hate you for it. Why do you know who it was who built the first flying shuttle and when it was he built it? Stop knowing stuff like that! What exactly is a flying shuttle? What did they do before John Kay made them fly? How come you can make a working loom out of k’nex when I can’t even play with my Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop without accidently choking on a chunk of Play-Doh? What time do you get up in the morning to be able to do all this stuff? Is it earlier than 10:00? Is this what people who get up before 10:00 do with those extra hours? They write books and build looms and juggle diablos or whatever. Well, fie on you, sir! Fie!

  4. >>Why do you know who it was who built the first flying shuttle and when it was he built it?

    That was all wikipedia, dude.

    I do get up before 10, but not willingly or nicely.

    p.s. Diablo is a Oscar-winning writer; Diabolo is a juggling substratum akin to yo-yo-ing.

  5. Speaking of Diablo Cody … how long until she has her won Celebrity author kid’s book out?
    It better not be about a LLama in a hat, or I’ll be furious.

  6. I was of course refering to your red carpet pre-show where you juggled all the writers who were nominateed for Best Original Screenplay.

  7. […] Jacquard is the man who turned the loom into a robot — yes, I’m going to call it that – by using punchcards as ROM memory to send instructions to individual threads. And he did it all without K’Nex: […]

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