Archive for March, 2007

Rubber Grip Sheets for securing hardware

Thursday, March 29th, 2007
Rubber sheet

We wanted to let everyone know about something new we discovered recently. While trying to figure out a simple way to keep batteries and hardware in place on our robots we wanted a solution that was simple and flexible. We didn’t want to have to build complex harnesses or framework because we weren’t sure of where the final placement of everything would be. Through trial and error we discovered the wonderfully elegant solution of using soft rubber sheets.

We cut sheets to our desired size and put them under our batteries and other components. These sheets are so sticky that the weight of the battery alone would seal it to the base plate so well we could tilt the bot almost perpendicular to the ground and the batteries would stay in place. In fact, after the batteries had sat for a few days you could lift the base off the ground by just holding onto the batteries. Without any straps! Delighted we knew we had found a handy way for securing hardware without drilling a zillion holes.

rubber sheet

By adding Velcro straps you have a solution which keeps your hardware in place very securely, but without the permanence of bolts. It makes for quick adjustments and swap outs. Anyone who works with bots knows that it can be a pain to reach into tight corners to unscrew items that need adjusting or replacing.

Rubber Grip Sheets Link

Velcro Straps

SRV-1 Mobile Robotic Webcam

Thursday, March 29th, 2007
SRV-1

Designed for research, education, and exploration, Surveyor’s SRV-1 internet-controlled robot integrates a 60MIPS ARM7TDMI 32-bit processor, a digital video camera with resolution from 80×64 to 640×480 pixels, infrared sensors, and Zigbee 802.15.4 wireless communications on a dual-motor tracked mobile robotic base. Operating as a remotely-controlled webcam or a self-navigating autonomous robot, the SRV-1 can be managed from a Windows, Mac OS/X or Linux base station, and the Java-based console software includes a built-in web server to monitor and control the SRV-1 via a web browser from anywhere in the world, as well as archive video feeds on demand or on a scheduled basis.

SRV1Console

Decorative Robot Creations

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

It must be “fun stuff” day because that’s all we are posting :) Well, Happy Wednesday with fun stuff posts 😛

Check out this cool roboart !

roboart

roboart

link

Robots Return – Kaktus Film

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Touchscreen SmartMirror

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Personally I try to touch the mirrors in my house as little as possible. But the text floating in the mirror is so cool on this I want one anyway.

via TechEBlog & Gizmodo

Our Experience With Google

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

For those of you that did not know, our blog posts have not appeared in Google Blog Search results since about mid-January. We searched high and wide for the possible causes of this over these last few months and found nothing that would tell us exactly what had (or could have) caused it. We had some ideas of what could of happened, but all was merely a guessing game because we never had any solid facts to go on. We were given many leads, but simply put, no matter where we ended up looking, we always came up a few questions short of the answer we needed.

Until last week… During a technical related discussion we were having with an unrelated department, Google Adwords Tech Support Team Member (which btw, I was beyond impressed with their professionalism and willingness to help with any Google Adwords issue that we’ve had), I had brought up our situation with Google Blog Search. I had explained to her that we’ve exhausted our resources to try and resolve this matter, and (going out on a limb being it not their department) I had asked her if she knew anyone that could possibly help us out. A couple of days later, she replied back to assure me that she is looking into the issue and hopes to have an answer for us. Then, last Friday (3/23) she replied to me with the following email:

I am extremely pleased to tell you that I was able to get the blog issue resolved for you and according to my colleagues on our Engineering team, your new posts should appear sometime this weekend.

Apparently, this problem was caused by a minor technical error, but you should be all set now.

Good luck to you, Alex, and I look forward to assisting you in the future.

And she was right, I went onto Google Blog Search this past weekend, and searched for trossen, low and behold, our latest Figla post showed up as #1.

I have to say this is huge! Not us getting back on Google Blog Search (although it is pretty cool), but for a company the size of Google to go out of their way and help out the little guy, this is amazing! Kudos to you Google, and thank you for all of the help and hard work. We look forward to working with you in the future!

Figla – Talking Vacuum Robot

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Ok, I know the vacuum robot market is starting to get a little saturated lately, but that still doesn’t mean we shouldn’t announce a new one when it comes out! Especially one as cool as Figla

Figla

What makes this vacuum so cool and separates it from the rest? Well let’s see. If the built in web cam, and sensors including infrared, gyroscopic, ultrasonic doesn’t catch your eye, then how about this? It actually talks to you! I don’t really understand Japanese very well, but if you take a look at the video below, I’m willing to bet it’s asking you to move out of its way.

via (Plastic Bamboo)

Unbelievably cute dancing robot

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

This little guy won us over in about 8 seconds. If only we could take him home and plug him into our USB drives! You can’t decide if you want to squueze him or eat him like a little snowman peeps.

(click to watch him dance)

keepon-dancing

He’s called Keepon (pronounced, “key-pong”) and he is part of the Infanoid/Beatbots Project.

BeatBots is a project to develop technologies and methodologies for human-robot interaction that incorporate the rhythmic properties of human interactive behavior.

We are currently developing and studying dance-oriented nonverbal play with between children and the robot Keepon, designed and built by Hideki Kozima. Keepon is a small creature-like robot developed to perform emotional and attentional interaction with children. If has four degrees of freedom, a soft rubber skin, two cameras in its eyes, and a microphone in its nose.

I’ll tell you what, we must be kids here because we start bopping everytime we pull someone new into the office to watch  this guy.
link found via boingboing / New Scientist

Team Lux readies Volkswagen Passat TDI for DARPA Urban Challenge

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
Engadget Lux image

“Although a fair amount of entrants into DARPA‘s Urban Challenge flank their vehicles with hordes of less-than-attractive sensors, we’ve been quick to forgive such atrociousness due to the complexities involved in cruising around sans a driver. Ibeo-led Team LUX, however, is looking to add a dash of style to this year’s (now lucrative) competition, as its Volkswagen Passat TDI wagon touts a clean exterior, three “laser scanners” for complete 360-degree perception, and amazingly, not much else. Apparently, the trio of uber-capable modules are all that’s needed to keep the car under control, and while we’d typically doubt such bold claims, the 11-member team has quite an impressive resume in the autonomous vehicle department. Still, the minimalist approach will probably face some stiff competition, and although we’re certainly not experts on design, we still think the Wolfpack’s Lotus packs a bit more sexy.
via (Engadget)

Micromouse Madness – This video is NOT sped up

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Apparantly this is an old video, but my lord, look at these bots go!!

Want to build your own? We sell this similar micromouse chassis below.

mouse

video link via Invobot

video from RobotDreams