Archive for September, 2007

Tomy i-SOBOT humanoid available for preorder!

Monday, September 24th, 2007

 

Tomy’s hotly anticipated (and impressively diminutive) humanoid robot, "i-SOBOT," is available for presale!  This little guy can can be programmed via remote control, responds to voice commands, dances, speaks, does impersonations, and brews a damn fine cup of coffee.  Ok, fine.  It doesn’t make coffee, but it does all that other stuff, which is pretty cool.  i-SOBOT will be available at the end of October, but you can preorder to reserve yours today!

Here’s a sneak peek:

For more information, or to preorder i-SOBOT, follow this link.

Speecys SPC-101C First English App Written

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Chuck Durham had written the first mini-application for his Speecys SPC-101C. (Thread Link) Chuck is the first US tester for the new wireless humanoid robot aimed at programmers. He has been having fun learning the capabilities of the robot while working on the translations. Below you can see the first video of a quick C# test application that Chuck has written.

The full impact of what you are seeing might not be immediatly apparent. The difference with the SPC-101C is that Chuck was able to start controlling it right away without knowing all the things that your average robotics developer usually needs to know like understanding motors, controllers, kinematic algorithms, or microprocessor communications. Chuck was able to start writing applications for the robot right out of the box as a developer with the plumbing taken care of for him behind the scenes.

This. Is. Groundbreaking.

The SPC-101C is the first robot to truly deliver robotics development capability to computer programmers. In the same way a computer programmer can start writing applications for any computer without having to know what hardware is inside the SPC-101C also lets a programmer start right from a high level and not have to worry about managing the stuff under the hood.

Robotics development has been held back for decades due to the entry level bar being so high. We have been beating the ‘give computer programmers the tools to develop robotics‘ drum for years here at TR. Being able to program robotics from the common high level object oriented development languages of today will be a major leap forward in this space. Computer programming is one of the most widespread technical skills on the planet with tens of millions world wide. Companies who are building products that allow this massive talent pool to jump in on the robotics game are doing a huge service to the field and we applaud it loudly.

Take a peak at some of the things programmers can do with the SPC-101C

Control SPC-101C with your phone via Skype

Video Capture

Video/Audio Processing (face recognition and interactive behavior)

After seeing these videos I guarantee that the computer programmers in the crowd are instantly giddy with all kinds of ideas of things they could do with this robot. I say, let them play! :)

Speecys SPC-101C Unboxing!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Chuck Durham (a.k.a. "cdraptor") got his hands on an SPC-101C, the new humanoid robot made by Speecys.  The SPC-101C is quite a piece of work.  It’s just over a foot tall, and it sports 22 Futaba serial servos, a video camera, WiFi network connectivity, stereo audio output, and a whole slew of LED’s for.  Chuck was kind enough to post a quick unboxing report in our forums, and we figured we’d take it one step further and blog about it.  Here it is, from the man himself:

Well I got the SPC-101C today and spent a good amount of time trying to figure out enough from the manuals (in Japanese – which I don’t read). I actually figured out a good bit with the diagrams and such. The worst was getting it to connect to the wireless – I won’t go into details because they very likely may change some when it’s released here in the US. To start off here are some unboxing pics.

Now for some info. It’s fully assembled with full body casing, The SPC has a video camera and you can see in the above picture it has a video receiver – I hooked it up to the big screen for now, as soon as it was on the picture was coming up – it’s much clearer than the little swan camera I bought and the reception was a lot better. It has a battery (which is the same that is in my Futaba RBT-1 so that is nice) and it comes with AC Power Adapter. You don’t even need the battery in, you can just plug it into AC power and turn it on and it boots up – very cool feature if you want to set up the SPC-101C for some security with the vid cam or have it checking data from the web – right by the foot you can see a USB WiFi adapter which fits nicely into the back. One funny note on the AC Power is where you plug him in, which is his lower backside.

I installed and ran the MIRAI-VCE control application which you connect from the application through the web and you can send commands with the arrows on the app to move forward/backward/turn left/turn right – there were some pre-programmed demos which you can see on the existing video, including the very cool hysterical laughing routine.

Next day or so and I will be playing with the motion editor, I am getting some translation done on the buttons so I know what the heck I am setting, the servo control adjusting and 3D representation can be used for moving for poses – It actually is very similar to the Futaba RBT-1 motion editor, not overly surprising since the SPC-101C is using a Futaba RPU, Servos and Battery.

Well, there you have it!  Check out the thread for more info, and for any updates from Chuck.

You may also want to check out PlanetSpeecys.com.

RoboPhilo – A Humanoid for under $500

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Eric (aka Droid Works) has posted about an exciting new robot called RoboPhilo that is aiming to be under $500.

RoboPhilo was designed by RoboBrothers, Inc. USA and co-developed with the World Models Manufacturing Co. We talked with them and they said they are shooting to have the robot available by the holiday season. There is a gap of mispriced humanoids in the market and RoboPhilo may be the answer many entry level roboticists are looking for. We will get a sneak peak at the robot next month at the iHobby show. We will be sure to bring back some pics and videos for everyone.

RoboPhilo

Some Stats from the website
Name: RoboPhilo
Height: 13″ (330.2mm)
Weight: 1.2Kg (1200g) with battery
Included:
- PCB unit
- 36KHz controller
- 36KHz receiver
- 6V Ni-MH battery
- 7.2V 1000mA charger
- Graphical motion editor software
- Hanger Stand

Here is the official RoboPhilo website. Information is scarce as of now, so stay tuned for more info during the fall.

RoboPhilo

Thanks for the heads up Eric!

UPDATE: We now carry the RoboPhilo!

Bug Bot Scares Away the Bogie Man

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

"Droid Works" recently joined our forums, and he submitted this gem to our Project Showcase forum (which means he’s entered in this month’s Submit Your Project and WIN Contest!).

It’s a suped-up Parallax BOE-Bot designed to seek out dark places and illuminate them.  I’ll let him explain the project in his own words:

  "This is a boe-bot I made for my daughter. It is a standard boe-bot and homework board with the crawler kit and the ping))) kit. I also added a red wide spectrum laser light. Basically what it does is wander around and shine its red beam in the darkest areas of the room. My daughter is 6 years old and is going through the scared of the dark phase. So I made this bot to look like a cute bug and shine light in the dark areas of her room while it wanders, and make my daughter feel like she is not in the room alone. Needless to say she loves it…"

You’ll find a few more pictures of this critter (and its human master) in the forum thread:

http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=1139

If you’re interested in getting the BOE-Bot starter kit, click anywhere within this sentence.

To see the other Parallax products we carry, check out this blog post from last week.

 

First Look at Speecys SPC-101C Humanoid Robot

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Lem over at Robots Dreams spent some time over at Speecys lab to check out the new SPC-101C. This humanoid looks like it has some incredible potential! Geared toward software developers, this one’s right up our alley.

Words are cheap though, check out Lem’s excellent video:

UPDATE: Check out blog post #2 from Lem on the SPC-101C.

Shameless Plug: Keep an eye out in our humanoids section because ya never know what you might find;°)

August Contest Winners!

Monday, September 10th, 2007

We’ve been through a lot of sweat and blood here at Trossen Robotics, but nothing prepared us for a trial like this. Deciding on the winners of the Submit Your Project and WIN contest was a blast, but it wasn’t easy. Seriously, we wanted to give first prize to almost everyone who entered. We couldn’t though, so instead we employed our objective grading system; rating each entry on a scale of 0-5 in the categories of Wow-Factor, Ingenuity, Creativity & Documentation. Each TR employee graded the projects individually, then everything was totalled up and averaged. In the end, we had 3 prize winners, and 3 that were soo close to third place that we had to give them honorable mentions.

Without further ado, here they are:

First Prize: $100 Trossen Robotics gift certificate goes to…
Vaughn’sVirtual Crib home automation/security system

Average score: 4.34/5
Comments: Lots of in-depth work with both hardware and software, combining everything seamlessly into a very immersive project. You turned your house into a robot, dude. We like that.

Second Prize: $50 Trossen Robotics gift certificate goes to…
jonathanuwguy’sOfficebot

Average score: 4.25/5
Comments: It’s a flexible, feature-rich telepresence platform. Also, it has a nerf missile launcher. Fun stuff.

Third Prize: $25 Trossen Robotics gift certificate goes to…
JonHylands’Bioloid Gripper

Average score: 3.91/5
Comments: This one impressed us because it involved microcontroller programming, mechanical design and fabrication, integration with the Bioloid serial network, and it’s something we would be likely to sell if it were a commercial product.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)
bmouring’sLunar Rover Robot
streetpictures’Evil Babies
Brandon121233′Wall Avoiding Robot

Great work, guys. You three runners up will each receive a discount on your next order. We’ll email you the coupon codes shortly.

To everyone else: Thanks for participating! September’s contest is open for submissions, so go ahead and post more projects.

BIG NEWS HERE: For September’s contest, we’re doubling the prizes! That’s right; first place will get $200, $100 will go to second place, and third will get $50. That’s serious business, people!

This is a link to our Project Showcase forum.  Go there.  Brag about the cool stuff you’ve made.  Win fabulous prizes.

We’ve also updated the Submit Your Project and WIN Contest page, so please be sure to check it out.

New Additions: Parallax BOE-Bot and more

Friday, September 7th, 2007

We’ve recently added a bunch of Parallax products to our catalog, including the ever-popular BOE-Bot!  Check this stuff out:

BOE-BOT Full Kit – USB: Based around the Parallax BOE (Board of Education) development board, this flexible and educational robotics platform is intuitive enough for beginners, but has enough potential to keep seasoned hobbyists interested.

 

BASIC Stamp 2: The BASIC Stamp family of microcontrollers is one of the most popular in the educational and hobbyist robotics communities.  The Stamp can be programmed using the PBASIC language, which is very similar to good old fashioned BASIC.  This module can run on its own or in conjunction with a development board, such as the BOE.

 

Parallax RFID Card Reader: Simple, yet highly effective.  This reader, much like the Phidgets reader, is compatible with 125kHz EM4102 tags.  Unlike the Phidgets reader, this one features TTL serial communication, so it’s perfect for interfacing with microcontrollers, such as the BASIC Stamp.

 

Parallax Servo Controller (USB): Allows you to control 16 servos from your computer’s USB port.

 

Parallax Servo Controller (Serial): Control 16 servos via a TTL serial bus.  Goes perfectly with microcontrollers, such as the BASIC Stamp.

 

Parallax (Futaba) Continuous Rotation Servo: This is a Futaba servo manufactured for continuous rotation.  It gives you accurate and reliable speed control, and it can be controlled by any standard servo controller.  Great for small robots, like the BOE-Bot.

 

Hatachi HM55B Compass Module: Is your robot having trouble finding its bearings?  Then it needs one of these.

 

Memsic 2125 Accelerometer: Measures acceleration along two axes.  Extra-small DIP package conserves space on your breadboard or PCB.

 

Stay tuned for more exciting additions to our catalog!