Giant Robot Duel

August 20th, 2015

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Trossen Robotics’ own lead engineer, Andrew, has been hanging with the Megabots team (You know, the guys who are going to pilot America’s MK. II against Japan’s Kuratas in the first large scale robot duel that this planet has experienced in all of recorded history). If you want to see America become the first Mech battling champion of the world, you can back the kickstarter! While you’re waiting for the giant robot battle to happen, check out our gallery of Andrew’s miniature MK. II build!

Overly Dramatic Hexapod Video

August 14th, 2015

Overly Dramatic Hexapod

This video, posted by Ben Greer, is EXTREMELY DRAMATIC. Featuring a PhantomX AX Hexapod with a GoPro mounted to it (not to mention a sweet software stack), the video really captures some of the awesomeness of owning a Hexapod. This video was apparently made in Ben’s free time, which is really amazing, considering the high production value. Give it a watch!

Marquette University’s HEIR Lab Participates in RoboCup

August 5th, 2015

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HEIR Lab (Humanoid Engineering & Intelligent Robotics), at Marquette University took their robot to RoboCup 2015 in Hefei, China! The team is lead by Andrew B. Williams, Ph.D., who has written up a fantastic post on the subject.

This week, our students in the Marquette University Humanoid Engineering & Intelligent Robotics (HEIR) Lab are participating in perhaps the largest and the oldest robot hackathon in the world, RoboCup, in Hefei, China. RoboCup is sometimes referred to as the World Cup of robotics and artificial intelligence. This is the tenth anniversary since I founded and led the Spelman College SpelBots to our first RoboCup in Osaka, Japan and it is a privilege to lead our current, outstanding team from Marquette University College of Engineering: Matt, Adrianna, Ryan, and Sally.

For the rest of the post, check out his blog, and make sure to watch their Qualification video from RoboCup 2014 below!

New Products – 8/3/2015

August 3rd, 2015

New kits, parts, and upgrades!



Three new RobotGeek Geekduino Experimenter’s Kits are now available! Each kit gives you everything you need to start learning about an Arduino compatible technology, such as Touch Sensors, Displays, and Linear Actuators. Check out our whole line of Experimenter’s Kits!



The Artec Block Robo LINK sets are excellent entry level robotics kits for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education! The Artec Block system makes it easy to build robots without having to fuss with nuts and bolts. The Robotist series sets are a great step up from the Robo LINK series, using the same block system, introducing microcontroller programming.



The RobotGeek RFID Lock Box kit combines Arduino, RFID and a Project Box to make your very own personal safe! The lock box kit allows you to to program your arduino to lock and unlock the box with the swipe an RFID tag or card, it even stays locked if unplugged. Mildly secure your semi-valuables in this decorative conversation piece! The RFIDuino has been upgraded to Version 1.2. The old version is still available, but all kits will come with the new version.



New cables, both utilizing the 90 degree DC Barrel Plug, for easy plugging in tight spaces. The first terminates to bare wire tails, allowing you freedom to solder whatever you need to for your project onto the ends. The second terminates at a 9V battery connector, allowing you to quickly and easily power an Arduino, Geekduino, or AX/MX power hub.


That’s it for now!

Super Mega Microbot

July 27th, 2015

Balancing Hexapod

Forum User jpieper has made a 3DOF quadruped robot of his own design, using Dongbu DRS-0101 servos. It starts off slowly, but is surprisingly speedy and exceedingly steady. This robot has since been upgraded with a turret and a gimbal, making it Mech Warfare Ready. Check out the thread for more updates! jpieper has a new chassis in the works, and intends to use an integrated odroid daughterboard in the next version. Very cool!

PhantomX Hexapod has some Serious Balance

July 24th, 2015

Balancing Hexapod

User Dan Thilderkvist used a Trossen Robotics PhantomX AX Hexapod in his master thesis, “Motion Control of Hexapod using Model-Based Design”! This hexapod keeps itself level as a table beneath it is tilted, jostled, and generally jarred about. Short video, excellent work!

It’s Alive!

July 22nd, 2015

Balancing Hexapod

Forum User tigakub has made a hexapod of his own design, and there is a fairly active forum post to join in on. The legs remind me of prosthetic running blades, which is not only a cool form to take, but they add subtle functionality as well. This robot has been upgraded several times throughout the thread, and it is interesting to follow its evolution! This video is one of a few in the thread, showing off the Adaptive Load Balancing abilities of the robot.

HR-OS1 at WCTD Creating STEAM Conference!

July 20th, 2015

We love seeing our HR-OS1s out in the wild! We’ve been working with our friends over at We Connect the Dots, providing them with HR-OS1 platforms. Our initial work with them went to well that last month we shipped out another 12 HR-OS1s to them, and they’ve been doing great work ever since.

At the recent (July 2015) We Connect the Dots Creating STEAM conference, Team 1 programmed a Trossen Robotics HR-OS1 to stand itself up! This is an essential movement for a bided robot so that it can can back up on its way after a fall. It’s exciting to see students with an active interest in robotics achieve – Go Team 1! We Connect the Dots is a great organization, which focuses on getting students involved in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) careers. This video is just a small glimpse of the scope of their project, so make sure to check them out

We’re really excited to see what else the students can do with the HR-OS1s. We know we’ve got a wishlist of things we want to see the robots do – but what about you? Let us know in the comments what you’d like to see the HR-OS1 do.

Lidar-Lite 360 Mirror Scanner

July 13th, 2015

LIDAR-lite mirror

One of our favorite roboticists, r3n33, has been up to some magic with lite and mirrors. R3n33 has used a spinning mirror to get a 360 degree view with a LIDAR-lite sensor, without moving the sensor itself. The results speak for themselves, but here’s what r3n33 had to say about it:

This is my idea for using the LIDAR-lite sensor to produce readings in (as close to) a 360 degree view without spinning the sensor itself. I decided to start this project to give some life to my sensor which had never had a real purpose until now.

Thanks to my 3D printer I was able to quickly produce a “rig” to hold the sensor over a mirror. The mirror is attached to a 3D printed plate that is designed to hold the mirror at a 45 degree angle. This will allow me to bend the light 90 degrees from the sensor’s emitter. The mirror holder is attached to a stepper motor that will allow me to rotate the sensor’s light in a 360 degree view.

Before I go on I’ve presented a few issues.

Blocking the view. To hold the sensor over the mirror there will be an arm somewhere in the 360 degree view. I’ve already taken some action here and removed some of the arm material. In fact if I remove too much more the PLA plastic I’ve used won’t be rigid enough to hold the sensor still.

The mirror has to be quite large. This is something I discovered along the way. When it was just an idea in my head the mirror was really small but to ensure both the emitter and receiver are 100% in view I had to use the size you see.

Knowing the mirror position. Because I’m only using a stepper motor for this first design I get no positional feedback. I’ll have to assume the mirror position by starting the motor and firmware at a known point.

Reading accuracy. By bending the light alone there is going to be a small offset introduced. Then there is the ever changing distance of the mirror as it rotates. I chose to align the emitter of the sensor to the center of the mirror. This ensures the light will project in a parallel plane. When the light is received it might bounce off the high side of the mirror in one direction and the low side on the other. I may or may not concern myself with such slight offsets introduced in the readings.

Who Will Win, Cat or PhantomX Hexapod?

July 9th, 2015

 Trossen Robotics PhantomX running Phoenix code

Ok, Ok, this actually isn’t a battle between a cat and a Hexapod, but its a video with a cat and a hexapod, so that counts for something, right? This video, uploaded to user NOXGENUS RECORDINGS on YouTube, features a Trossen Robotics PhantomX AX Hexapod with Dynamixel AX-18 servos running Phoenix Code. The user mentions having blown a cell in the LiPo battery in the video description, and it is advisable to take caution when charging, storing, and using LiPo batteries. This PhantomX exhibits some interesting gaits, and is generally amusing to watch (look for the cat). Though we don’t officially support the Phoenix Code or Firmware (it is a community driven project), we offer a guide to get anyone interested started with it!