This robotic workbench is powered by an ATmega1280

Looking to channel your inner Bob Vila? Then, you will surely enjoy this fully-automated workbench created by “Dirk the Eingineer.” First brought to our attention by MAKE: Magazine, the project will make for a welcomed (robotic) addition to any garage or shed.


Let’s face it: The basic design of workbenches really haven’t changed much over the last hundred-somewhat years, so Dirk’s recent innovation certainly has some mainstream appeal. Comprised of baltic birch plywood, maple, and walnut, the beautifully-constructed bench consists of eight torsion boxes — four on the base, three on the “elevator car” and one under the maple skin of the table– — each of which were cut using his homemade CNC machine. As the Maker points out, the table is finished with linseed oil, making it super easy to clean and repair.

Unlike those of today (and yesterday), the bench is driven by an Arduino Mega (ATmega1280) which enables the workpiece to move up and down in Transformers-like fashion. The Maker also hopes to expand upon its current capabilities, ranging from measuring the distance of the bench to the floor and boasting an interactive display.

At the moment, the bench simply functions with a remote that he purchased from our friends at SparkFun, which interfaces with the Arduino. According to Dirk, the remote is a “simple one to one relay” that sets pins high when the button is pushed. The Arduino reads and transmits those direction signals to a stepper motor driver, which is linked to sprockets and a roller chain.

Think your workspace could use an AVR based bench like this? You can read all about Dirk’s build here. Meanwhile, watch it in action below!

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