Penetrating Oil Review

Machinist’s Workshop magazine actually tested penetrants for break out torque on rusted nuts.
Significant results! They are below, as forwarded by an ex-student and professional machinist, Bud Baker.
Don’t forget the April 2007 “Machinist’s Workshop” magazine comparison test.
They arranged a subjective test of all the popular penetrants with the control being the torque required to remove the nut from a “scientifically rusted” environment.

  • Penetrating oil ….. Average load
  • None …………………. 516 pounds
  • WD-40 ……………….. 238 pounds
  • PB Blaster ………….. 214 pounds
  • Liquid Wrench …….. 127 pounds
  • Kano Kroil …………… 106 pounds
  • ATF-Acetone mix…….53 pounds

The ATF-Acetone mix was a “home brew” mix of 50 – 50 automatic transmission fluid and acetone.
Note the “home brew” was better than any commercial product in this one particular test.
Our local machinist group mixed up a batch and we all now use it with equally good results.
Note also that “Liquid Wrench” is about as good as “Kroil” for about 20% of the price.
(via Concours Tech)

Player/Stage Robotics Software

The Player Project creates Free Software that enables research in robot and sensor systems. The Player robot server is probably the most widely used robot control interface in the world. Its simulation backends, Stage and Gazebo, are also very widely used.

Stage simulates a population of mobile robots, sensors and objects in a two-dimensional bitmapped environment. Stage is designed to support research into multi-agent autonomous systems, so it provides fairly simple, computationally cheap models of lots of devices rather than attempting to emulate any device with great fidelity. We have found this to be a useful approach.

Gazebo is a multi-robot simulator for outdoor environments. Like Stage, it is capable of simulating a population of robots, sensors and objects, but does so in a three-dimensional world. It generates both realistic sensor feedback and physically plausible interactions between objects (it includes an accurate simulation of rigid-body physics).

This looks like a great way to get started with robotics without worrying too much about purchasing hardware.
(via PLT)