Boston Dynamics never ceases to amaze

June 24th, 2016

spotMini
The Team at Boston Dynamics has come out with a new robot in their line of quadrupeds named SpotMini!

SpotMini is a new smaller version of the Spot robot, weighing 55 lbs dripping wet (65 lbs if you include its arm.) SpotMini is all-electric (no hydraulics) and runs for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing. SpotMini is one of the quietest robots we have ever built. It has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs. These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation. SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously, but often uses a human for high-level guidance.

This little guy is adorable to watch, and truly a work of ingenuity. Some people find it creepy, but it certainly isn’t as terrifying as Thomas the War Engine, so I think we’re safe.

Spider Pig, the autonomous Hexapod!

June 6th, 2016

spiderPig
Instructables user and student at Linkoping University, FredrikG3 has made an incredibly clever autonomous hexapod named Spider Pig! Using the Trossen Robotics AX Hexapod as a base, Fredrik has added an array of sensors, a raspberry pi, and well conceived code to allow the hexapod to navigate high and low terrain while making its way through a series of corridors! Check out the video and learn more on the spider pig instructables page!

Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire was epic!

May 26th, 2016

Geekbot Challenge
We had a great time at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! As usual we brought the PhantomX Hexapod MK-III on a leash (always a crowd favorite), but everyone fell in love with the Geekbot V2 this year! We were there all day running an arena with kids piloting Geekbots to take as many balls as they could to the goal. We set up wireless first person view cameras on the Geekbots and control stations that utilized a combination of Wii Classic Controllers and Xbees at our booth, giving an awesome experience to anyone willing to step up to the challenge. With no prior experience with robotics, children were taking control of the arena with ease, and people came to watch, play, and learn about robotics all day! Seeing how the children interacted with the robots was heartwarming, to say the least. Check out the video that Kyle put together, and feel a little of what we felt that day!

makerFaire2016 from kamon mark on Vimeo.

Snapper arm on a Create 2 Base – Bricklayers Robot

April 28th, 2016

snapperRoomba
Carl H made this robot for his final in Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s RBE 501 class, and color us impressed! Using the iRobot Create2 as a base and a Snapper Arm to do the lifting, Carl has put together a robot that can build a wall, brick by brick. Since there was a limited window of time for completion of this project, there is still tuning necessary before this thing goes fully autonomous, but it’s super cool, and shows off the versatility of RobotGeek Parts! If you want to add a Snapper to your Create 2, check out the code on GitHub!

GummiArm keeps getting better

April 25th, 2016

laser distance with phone
We’ve covered the GummiArm before, but it’s an ongoing project, and it just keeps getting better! This time we have a video of the GummiArm taking a hit from a full 2 liter bottle and living to tell the tale! This is quite a feat, and well executed. As before, the project files are available here if you’re interested in building one for yourself.

Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire 2016!

April 18th, 2016




Trossen Robotics will be at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 7th! This will be our fourth time attending, and we’re pumped to show off what we’ve been up to in the last year. We love inspiring people young and old to pursue an interest in robotics. We hope to see you there!

Have you seen RobotGeek Instructables lately?

April 11th, 2016

We’re rolling out a RobotGeek Project / Guide on Instructables once a week! Check out our Profile to see what we’re up to now!

Low cost laser rangefinder that works outdoors

March 28th, 2016

laser distance with phone
Ever since the LidarLite went on indefinite backorder, we’ve been looking for a cheap and reliable alternative. Researchers from MIT and CSAIL are a couple months away from presenting this infrared depth sensing system using a cheap laser attached to a smartphone. They’re aiming big, with hopes to use this sensor for autonomous golf carts, wheelchairs, and drones.

“My group has been strongly pushing for a device-centric approach to smarter cities, versus today’s largely vehicle-centric or infrastructure-centric approach,” says Li-Shiuan Peh, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science whose group developed the system. “This is because phones have a more rapid upgrade-and-replacement cycle than vehicles. Cars are replaced in the timeframe of a decade, while phones are replaced every one or two years. This has led to drivers just using phone GPS today, as it works well, is pervasive, and stays up-to-date. I believe the device industry will increasingly drive the future of transportation.”

New Instructable – Controlling Arduino Robot Arm With Arm Link Software

March 24th, 2016

armlink
Take command of your RobotGeek Snapper Arm with Arm Link! Arm Link lets you pose and play back a sequence of movements on your robot arm easily. We put out an Instructable that covers set-up and usage, so you can get your robot arm ready to entertain!

We had one of our arms:

feed Kyle a tasty snack

hack the planet

open an RFID Lockbox

dish out the high fives

help clean up office clutter

and even drive a hexapod around.

We’d love to see your robot arm doing some crazy things!

You can find the Instructable here, or go to the RobotGeek Learning site here and here for the same instruction.

Ashton Kutcher will drop your phone from a RobotGeek Gripper

March 22nd, 2016

full size bb8
What a sick, twisted world it is when Ashton Kutcher will drop your phone over a lie of omission. What horror exists in this disturbed mind that would take a benign gripper for use in such destructive ends? Why, of all things, would they measure the purity of a human being against the scales of carnage against a phone, hopelessly clung to by a gripper that would send it crashing headlong into the ground by the true force of gravity? We may never know, but it sure is entertaining to watch. If you have one of the discontinued RobotGeek Grippers featured in this video, we advise you that it may or may not be possessed by the evil spirit of Ashton Kutcher, and may or may not decide to drop your phone if you don’t tell your parents about the loss of your virginity. We can assure you that the new RobotGeek Parallel Gripper is not evil, so upgrade today!