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Replicate FlowIO @noisebridge SF

In 2022 fall, I moved from Boston to San Francisco, and Noisebridge became my new Media Lab. FlowIO is of the souvenir I brought from Boston, and I know I want make something out of it. But first step though: replicate FlowIO.


The FlowIO package I got was semi-assembled. Most electronic boards are ready to use, so I just need to do some minor hardware assembly, such as: connecting valves, soldering valves to force sensing board, etc.


However, I still encountered some issue along the way.


Microcontroller can't bootload.

Thanks to the Noisebridge community, people who have encountered similar problem before suggested me to take following approaches:

1) Install driver to the machine

2)Detach Feather board and FlowIO board while boot loading

If you are a Mac M1 user, these could be some work around.


Failed to bootload:


Success to bootload:


3D printed enclosure with the Prusa printer.



One last step before the hardware gets done: valve

For air-related components (tubes, exoflex, etc), I had a hard time sourcing them in the maker space. Although they are available on Amazon, this process of collecting materials still slows down my workflow. Because I will start thinking that I need some sort of connectors that can well-connect to actuators (or end factor). From there, I need to think of some air-tight fabrication methods such as silicone, tubes, or heat-sealed bags before I can nail down which connector to purchase, so that it can fit on the other side of the FlowIO. Maybe I'm just not familiar with the air system as much, and it somehow hinders my flow.


--To Be Continued


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