Paul Gröneveld @ Fab Academy 2016 >>> Applications and implications

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This week the assignment is about creating an overview on the final project. It still is the Beesbot, the robotic beehive.

This final project should integrate a wide range of units covered in the previous weeks of the course. This will be explained below. First I start with introducing the different parts of the beehive.


The drawer as shown below in green, will bee the mobile housing of beehive frames. On these frames the bees will live and produce honey.


The red frame around the drawer will make it possible to slide open the drawer to work with the frames.


More frames will be necessary to make a complete hive.


Bees glue the drawers together. To solve this problem each drawer can slide down 10 mm.


The linear movement of the drawers will be made possible by drawer sliders as shown below.


The video below shows the movement of the drawers.


Position of the electronics in the beehive is shown below with a red circle.


The electronic design is modular. One shield with a fabkit is capable to drive four stepper motors. In total two of these sets are needed and optionally this could be more because there modules are connected by I2C. The first module is the master and the others are the slaves.


The fist fabkit and shield with drivers is the most import to start with. Theze will be used to operate the drawers. Later the next modules can be added.



In front of the cabinet with all the drawers there will be an H-bot platform. This will make it possible to take frames out of the hive and position them in front of the drawer in order to be able to work with the frames.


The H-bot has two long prismatic wooden stick for guiding rails on each side. On each corner there is a bicycle wheel axle with a gear. In total 5 bicycle chains will be connected to form the H-shape of the driving belt.


The horizontal axis is made out of two prismatic shaped round pieces of wood. The triangular shape can slide from the left to the right, because it has three wheels. On the triangular platform different modules can be attached, like a camera, the gripper and a router.




The yellow plates on the side will make the connection between the h-bot and the cabinet.


Complete hive

Video from complete hive


What will it do?

Who's done what beforehand?

The design will be based on the conventional way of frames in a beehive.

With regards to the electronics. I plan to use one of the latest versions of the Fabkit (version from Ismael at the Waag in Amsterdam). And my shield design is inspired by the design from Luis (our remote instructor).

what materials and components will be required?

The latest bill of materials is available in this document. In this document you will also find information about: - where will they come from? - how much will it cost? - what parts and systems will be made? - what processes will be used?


what tasks need to be completed?

Buying the components

Designing the Solidworks drawings Designing the PCB's Designing the code (Arduino)

Making the parts, cleaning the wood, assembling the wood Making the board

Assembling the components


what questions need to be answered?

How to program? How to use GRBL?

What is the schedule?

In this document you will find the latest schedule.


How will it be evaluated?

Well the project is a little too big. So it has to be separated in two projects for evaluation. First the Hive and later the H-bot.

How to evaluate the hive? Well all drawers should operate individually and automatically.