Making chainsaw robot, carving logs

Apr 4, 2021
3 081 827 Views

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The robot arm I used:
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When I was offered the opportunity to beta test an upcoming robotic arm from Tormach, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. CNC chainsaws baybeeeeee. Aside from being fundamentally awesome, it is a very interesting software problem. Since I didn't have to build the arm I was able to focus the project and the video on the software challenges of making something like this work. Thank goodness I didn't have to build the arm because the software almost killed me. I can imagine all kinds of next steps for this creation like machining textures with the chainsaw or cutting topiaries. I hope you like it!
* Low Polygon Labrador Model:
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* I use a glowforge pro for rapid prototyping and it's great. You can $500 off a Glowforge pro here:

  • Hope you enjoy this robot as much as I do 🙂. A big thanks to everyone who helps to make these projects possible through their patreon support. If you'd like to help me make more projects like this (and get more behind the scenes content, an AWESOME discord, livestreams, etc) check out

    Stuff Made HereStuff Made Here12 days ago
    • Hey, you should try an offset grinder with the chainsaw blade. You could probably do more intricate cuts. Just a thought. I could NEVER figure out how to do all that you did.

      Steve JSteve J14 hours ago


    • Your videos are awesome! Idea: Mirroring programming While the saw is attached to the arm, have a zero point. Have a professional carver carve something while the arm records the movements. Once they are done, save the the program. Now, every time you place the log and robot arm at zero, you can just run that program... would be awesome! Mass produce famous carvers works at a fraction of the price.

      Michael McGregorMichael McGregorDay ago
    • Your videos are awesome! Idea: Mirroring programming While the saw is attached to the arm, have a zero point. Have a professional carver carve something while the arm records the movements. Once they are done, save the the program. Now, every time you place the log and robot arm at zero, you can just run that program... would be awesome! Mass produce famous carvers works at a fraction of the price.

      Michael McGregorMichael McGregorDay ago
  • Can you give us a update on your lock for the lock picking lawyer 🥺

    EnergyWolffEnergyWolffHour ago
  • This dude right here makes science cool and nerds manly

    Real ChangeReal ChangeHour ago
  • could lose an arm.

    Fred ScottFred Scott2 hours ago
  • “They call a cheater, when you have a bolt that’s really stuck, you get way out here... and snap your wrench in half” 😆 wasn’t expecting you to say that but that is a possibility

    MichaelMichael3 hours ago
  • "if i tell it stab yourself in the face, it'll do it!" _processing request_ "what sto-"

    Gary GilbensonGary Gilbenson3 hours ago
  • My first video and am loving every minute of it

    Edwin ReyesEdwin Reyes3 hours ago
  • nice to know we won't be replaced by machines any time soon. additionally it's interesting to see the difference. i'm a software guy so seeing the hardware side of things is fun. the chainsaw was designed by Man for Man. i wonder what a chainsaw designed for a robotic arm would look like.

    Korey MKorey M4 hours ago
  • I saw you write TWERK when talking about guessing passwords, don’t think you got away with that😁

    Christopher MatteraChristopher Mattera5 hours ago
  • next time someone asks me about 3d printers and how they work i will tell them to watch this. great example of Gcode!

    Korey MKorey M5 hours ago
  • "mark rober on steroids"

    JaxJax5 hours ago
  • you should do a few more carvings with the saw and make the montages into youtube shorts. it would be a great way to quickly grow your channel even more

    Chris DouglasChris Douglas6 hours ago
  • Shane, did I understand you that you employed some sort of auto-optimization for your python? I have never heard of this and a popular internet search engine didn't bring up anything I prob. misunderstood.

    Richard PellegrinoRichard Pellegrino6 hours ago
  • 16:33 lol "Fortunately I know a guy with a tree"

    Explosion ImplosionExplosion Implosion6 hours ago
  • i mean, why *NOT* give a robot a chainsaw

    Dylan TurneyDylan Turney7 hours ago
  • That is amazing. Man, there ARE so many ways that must've gone wrong off camera.

    roboknightroboknight7 hours ago
  • I really want for you to make coding courses channel it would be amazing As I am very interested in the code behind and the algorithm that made these videos happen

    medopop2010medopop20108 hours ago
  • Which language do you use to write the code?

    Telmo PenaTelmo Pena8 hours ago
  • Does anybody know which iOS app he using for drawing and writing?

    Anon nomousAnon nomous8 hours ago
  • Spend more than 2000 bucks in equipments for saving 2000 bucks of a wood bear, brilliant !

    AldreiusAldreius8 hours ago
  • I thought I had a cool shop.

    Tony NotstatedTony Notstated8 hours ago
  • Use that robo arm to film some cool camera angles!

    Matthew HeiskellMatthew Heiskell9 hours ago
  • what monitor/device is he using at 11:27

    kyle zindelkyle zindel9 hours ago
  • "And that's when you get way out here, and break your wrench in half" Sounds like a solid Idea to me!

    Kyle JessopKyle Jessop10 hours ago
  • What if it were rather a circular saw in place the chainsaw?

    Raymond StrydomRaymond Strydom10 hours ago
  • Waiting a robot arm chainsaw haircut.

    nabanitusnabanitus12 hours ago
  • But can they make robots to make oxygen?

    Ishrat Begum ShaikhIshrat Begum Shaikh13 hours ago
  • I want a workshop like you so that I can spend all my time doing what I love.

    TanKTanK14 hours ago
  • How about the lock? You didn't do shit about it.

    Damazy WłodarczykDamazy Włodarczyk14 hours ago
  • I dont like how your chainsaw robot video suggests I watch your haircut machine video. Hahaha

    Manic141Manic14115 hours ago
  • We need a horror movie " called killer chainsaw robot "

    The BeyonderThe Beyonder15 hours ago
  • Make a drone that will always follow you around on your back so you can unlock third-person perspective

    36. Yazid Rizki Kurniawan36. Yazid Rizki Kurniawan16 hours ago
  • and the unpikeable lock?

    Federico MusciFederico Musci17 hours ago
  • when you sending the lock to lock picking lawyer ?

    Skullboy 066Skullboy 06618 hours ago
  • 6:14 Jackknife* sorry but it bothered me

    Francis BalfourFrancis Balfour18 hours ago
  • you cut foam with hot rod

    Edmund MichałEdmund Michał19 hours ago
  • what software do you use to program your robots? very Nice videos man!👍

    Gies AnthonissenGies Anthonissen19 hours ago
  • Looks like a pile Of shit

    Ace ShottAce Shott19 hours ago
  • Might I suggest an active suspension R/C truck for a future project? Maybe something like this

    Chris LawrenceChris Lawrence20 hours ago
  • what is teh app/tool he uses to draw on tablet?

    SkemoooSkemooo20 hours ago
  • Did you have chain oil that might be why it got hot

    Pitbull Gamer81Pitbull Gamer8121 hour ago
  • An E Stop button is never enough safety to go into an industrial kill zone.

    Jim MarriottJim Marriott23 hours ago
  • When talking about gradient ascent, you reminded me of basically everything I learned about in computational logic. There are *huge* swaths of documentation in the AI field about avoiding local minima (or in your case, local maxima). Dunno how much that would have helped you (or if you already knew) but that would be a great place to look in future endeavors.

    Jon FranceJon France23 hours ago
  • Your chainsaw needs oil... dont file down the rakers/depth gague's it wont help I promise

    Clean Cuts TreesClean Cuts Trees23 hours ago
  • with all this effort you might as well have learned how to carve it yourself. all the same this is really cool to see

    Stephen SouthardStephen Southard23 hours ago
  • im Jelly bout all yar toys at basement! 2020 man cave! ya do have a fridge whit beer in it? that tradition cant be dumped, Billiard table to Robo arm is a good swap!

    La CaiLa Cai23 hours ago
  • Just task Google AI to figure out the best way to do this

    ViroViro23 hours ago
  • How can I learn to make stuff like you do? This is incredible.

    Full NameFull NameDay ago
  • Awesome sponsorship! I got a 3 month sub for my cousin! Keep it up, excited for the next video

    CatharsisCatharsisDay ago
  • why not put your camera there for some serious broll shots.

    Emilio RomanEmilio RomanDay ago
  • If you would not port your python code to c++ and use multiple threads you could do it in 1 minute ro so

    skyracer2012skyracer2012Day ago
  • This was painful to watch. Take down your rakers and sharpen your saw. Chain was probably too tight too

    Evan NoyesEvan NoyesDay ago
  • Sounds so monotoned... even the wife rubs off on it lol

    Ryan Chenier-PoulinRyan Chenier-PoulinDay ago
  • use it as a sacrificial mold!

    Mark EvittsMark EvittsDay ago
  • This is a perfect example of how the robot's productivity gains get eaten up by the amount of programming time. Even manufacturing at factories tends to utilize more than one process to get to the end product.

    CarEnthusiastCarEnthusiastDay ago
  • In particolare, il costante supporto informativo e propagandistico delle nostre attivita risolve in modo inequivocabile la necessita di esperimenti che colpiscono per scala e grandezza. Prima di tutto, la teoria esistente rivela un'urgente necessita di rafforzare i valori morali. La teoria esistente, cosi come un nuovo sguardo alle cose familiari, apre certamente nuovi orizzonti per i compiti fissati dalla societa. Conclusioni banali ma inconfutabili, cosi come prototipi interattivi sono solo un metodo di partecipazione politica e sono stati oggetto di tutta una serie di studi indipendenti.. A experiencia rica e diversificada nos diz que o pensamento racional, diluido em uma boa dose de empatia, exige que analisemos o sistema participativo! O ponto de vista oposto implica que os defensores do totalitarismo na ciencia sejam descritos com o maximo de detalhes possivel. Por outro lado, elevar o nivel de consciencia civica oferece amplas oportunidades para decisoes conceituais autossuficientes e externamente dependentes. Os defensores do totalitarismo na ciencia, superando a dificil situacao economica atual, estao unidos em grupos inteiros de sua propria especie.

    Annette TexasAnnette TexasDay ago
  • Why use a chainsaw at all and not some other more maneuverable wood carving tool

    just_here to_napjust_here to_napDay ago
  • try a grinder with a wood file disk

    kalhoonkalhoonDay ago
  • You are great. I love your videos. I also want one of those arms.

    Keyaneth SolenKeyaneth SolenDay ago
  • shouldve made a robot arm for the log instead

    B WardB WardDay ago
  • Hey, the idea of gradient descent is good. Of cource you can reach some local maximums. But you can try to make many attempts of starting positions and look which will be better

    Филипп ЗдоровФилипп ЗдоровDay ago
  • Amazing truly job well done.

    Addison HuyAddison HuyDay ago
  • I'd love to see you tackle fishing. Maybe a self casting, bite detect, and auto real fishing rod. All auto.

    13loodyDove13loodyDoveDay ago
  • Your chain saw is overheating do to lack of lubrication. Also not professing to be an expert at robotics, but where j work he have huge fixtures mounted on robots and you just have to tell the robot where the new tool center point is wether it is 6 foot off the arm or 6 inches, the robot will move accordingly to that point.

    Matthew CecilMatthew CecilDay ago
  • What's the music around 1 minute?

    Poeder RuikerPoeder RuikerDay ago
  • Have you considered using an air motor for the saw? This should help offload weight from the saw. Also I don't know enough about your workflow here to say for sure, but I know most robot control software allows you to define tools, which could help prevent the "why are you hitting yourself" issue

    Efajigaloop The FirstEfajigaloop The FirstDay ago
  • My favorite and most unexpected of the problems was "it turns out that chainsaws can't cut wood."

    Thomas ShaddoxThomas ShaddoxDay ago
  • wow you sure pick some big hard projects! I admire you perseverance! Also I think you need to file down the anti kickback tooth a bit and maybe sharpen the chainsaw if it doesn't cut wood...

    simon stuckisimon stuckiDay ago
  • 17:17 ........Those parts in front of the cutting tooth are called rakers and they need to be progressively shortened as the cutter is filed since the cutter is angled and gets shorter as it is filed .......Time to sharpen the saw basically ................

    Past BlasterPast BlasterDay ago
  • This guys inspirational 🤞

    Sasha blackSasha blackDay ago
  • Make a CNC tattoo thing

    Beingshort101Beingshort101Day ago
  • He should have a bought a STIHL saw, nit that bullshit ;-)

    Kai WackerKai WackerDay ago
  • You should try to make a self stabilizing bike like that old google April fools video. Probably by using gyros and flywheels.

    Barron Cohen2Barron Cohen2Day ago
  • I know for a fact that time travelling is impossible. SMH would've made a video by now if it was!

    Knocks TeaKnocks TeaDay ago
  • I think you could waste less time with unit tests...

    Honza KašíkHonza KašíkDay ago
  • Amazing. 22:27 well spent.

    Ira ChandlerIra ChandlerDay ago
  • Great idea. Get a carving bar and chain for the chainsaw. Much smaller tip and shorter

    Hein Van GerveHein Van GerveDay ago
  • it's amazing how you approach problems from different points of view, until you find the best solution... :)

    superpole78superpole78Day ago
  • Awesome video! You need to lubricate and tighten that chain! Also consider removing a few thousandths from the rakers for a faster cut.

    Rob RotellaRob RotellaDay ago
  • why use a chainsaw tho? why not a big drill bit?

    GytisGytisDay ago
  • This was really impressive I have to say. Well done!

    Letsitele AGSgemeenteLetsitele AGSgemeenteDay ago
  • luv your channel... luv your style... got an idea for you, make an arm that can throw the worlds fastest and perfect dart game. Stipulations: its got to function like a human arm e.g. it pivots at an "elbow" and at the "wrist". A preloaded magazine is allowed to hold the proper number of darts. Trying to decide if full 360 degree rotational movement at the "elbow" is allowed or it is to move forward, release dart and then return to a start position ( < 180 degree arc)... The full 360 rotational movement would be the faster but setting up the electrical would be harsh unless the control signal was wifi or bluetooth. The main power could run off of a slip ring/contact brush, but as mentioned, the signal for the controls.... hmmmm ;) ...

    Bunny KillerBunny KillerDay ago
  • So if you ever find a $20000 robotic arm lying around your house, this is definitely something you can do with it.

    BrunoBrunoDay ago
  • shoe shiner robot?

    Alex FoxAlex FoxDay ago
  • Awesome job !

    diglory89diglory89Day ago
  • I need you to make a gun with a hair trigger, thanks.

    Mack BurnsMack BurnsDay ago
  • I work in 3D analysis and 'm really curious about how your code looks like. Did you release it anywhere? I haven't been able to find it 🤔

    0HK4N0HK4NDay ago
  • Ok, I got one for you, I want you to build a stained glass window making robot. They say that's some robotic barrier or something.☮️

    Toothless Blues Boy NormanToothless Blues Boy NormanDay ago
  • the effort he put into the coding got my up vote

    David EriksenDavid EriksenDay ago
  • The Robot with the googly-eyes reading the captcha really caught me off guard :D

    PhlosenPhlosenDay ago
  • As an engineering student, any time I watch one of this guys videos I'm absolutely shocked. Highest level of complexity of projects of any maker youtuber imo

    Josh HolderJosh HolderDay ago
  • 3:03 100% this is why I love this channel. Informative, interesting, and the driest deadpan humor imaginable.

    Bob GuyBob GuyDay ago
  • 🤦‍♂️That is a raker; not an anti kickback tooth🙄Tour robot is pushing the saw into the wood. You do not force the cut. You let the saw cut at the speed it wants to. It will not cut faster if you press harder. Normally that wood just kill the engine. If your motor is powerful enough to keep going you are just creating heat and eventually the chain will snap.

    Theflyingcandleguy MeTheflyingcandleguy MeDay ago
  • 😂I love your presentation. I have thousands of hours of Chainsaw time. The reason chainsaw art is so impressive is the amount of tip cutting involved which is a slightly dangerous and difficult to master endeavor especially if your upper body fitness is a disaster. You can carve up a piece of wood in reasonable amounts of time with a combination of slabbing and then tip cutting. Beware of fatigued stability muscles, loose chains, dull chains, dirty logs, hardwoods, and especially be very cautious of old chains, kickback, and flying chunks of wood which will surprise you with a whack to the face at some point.

    Theflyingcandleguy MeTheflyingcandleguy MeDay ago
  • It honestly gives me hope for the future knowing that there are people this brilliant that can hopefully help right the ship that we all seem to be sinking on.

    TMHFTMHFDay ago
  • *Everyone that took Calc 3 in college appreciated this video.*

    Florian KrentzelFlorian KrentzelDay ago
  • What iPad app do you use for all your drawings?

    Mathew UbachsMathew UbachsDay ago
  • Your videos are awesome! Idea: Mirroring programming While the saw is attached to the arm, have a zero point. Have a professional carver carve something while the arm records the movements. Once they are done, save the the program. Now, every time you place a log and robot arm at zero, you can just run that program... would be awesome! Mass produce famous carvers works at a fraction of the price.

    Michael McGregorMichael McGregorDay ago
  • Why not scan the wood on the turntable into a pointcloud?

    Sanjay KrishnanSanjay Krishnan2 days ago
  • do you think it's possible to make a machine or system of machines that will grow you the perfect plant? like look at it and determine what it needs and then give it to it? control sunlight, water, minerals, etc.

    mainframehackermainframehacker2 days ago