Archive for December 10th, 2007

October-November Project Contest Winners!

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Another contest, another batch of cool projects!  Once again, the TR Community came through with some great ideas.  As per usual, the Trossen Robotics staff scored projects from our "Project Showcase" forum on a scale of 0-5 for documentation, coolness, ingenuity, and creativity.  This is only a sampling of what’s been posted in the Project forum, and there are still some great projects that unfortunately didn’t make the cut.  I wish we could give awards and salutations to all of them, but we can’t, so when you’re finished reading this, go check out the rest of the projects in the Project Showcase forum.  And now, here are the finalists of the "Submit Your Project And Win" contest!


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Runners Up:

Project: Wiimote Firefighting Robot
Creator: tempalte
Prize: 10% off next TR order

This bot detects fire using the IR camera in the Wiimote and talks to a computer via Bluetooth.  Very cool.


Project: Skype Controlled Roboquad with Spy Capability
Creator: roschler
Prize: 10% off next TR order

Roboquad + wireless cam + Robodance + USB UIRT + Skype = Awesome.


Project: Distributed Autonomous Swarm of Maxelbots
Creator: uwdrl
Prize: 10% off next TR order

Ultrasonic swarm localization and heavy metal.


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Third Place
Project: Halloween Hologram / Spirited Tree R/C Holiday Double Whammy
Creator: Rodger Cleye
Prize: $50 TR Gift Cirtificate

If you don’t know what the hell’s going on in the above picture, you’re not alone.  Rodger submitted the "Holographic Halloween Robot" in October, then repurposed the hardware and resubmitted it in November as the "Spirited Tree."  Both were highly entertaining and totally ridiculous.  The base is a modified electric wheelchair drive system.  The hologram illusion was created with an LCD and an angled piece of plexiglass.  The LCD can display video broadcast live from an IR camera or a DVD player. With Halloween receding into the past and Christmas looming on the horizon, Rodger replaced the hologram rig with a music playing light-up Christmas tree.  Rodger is a newcomer to our forums, but if you’ve been reading Hack a Day and other DIY news outlets for a while, you’ve probably already seen his self-balancing electric unicycle and electric skateboard.


Second Place
Project: Front Door RFID Security
Creator: fish123456
Prize: $100 TR Gift Cirtificate

This guy hacked into his electronic deadbolt, adding a Phidget RFID reader so he could unlock his front door with an RFID key fob.  This has been done a few times before, but we decided we needed to reward "fish123456" for going the extra mile, because in addition to RFID, he also created a web interface that he can access from his cell phone.  This has a lot of potential.  For instance, if somebody needs to get into your house when you’re not home, you can unlock it remotely for them.  Or if your RFID chip is implanted in your hand, and that hand gets bitten off by a shark; you don’t need to hunt down the shark and wave it in front of the door to open it!


First Place
Project: Otto
Creator: kdwyer
Prize: $200 TR Gift Cirtificate

Otto is a humanoid/track hybrid droid with an incredible range of capabilities.  Kdwyer's mission was to make an autonomous robot that could avoid obstacles, track motion, and interact with people through speech and gestures.  Otto's brain follows a distributed architecture, employing 2 Oopic R's (the "upper" and "lower" brains).  He boasts a boatload of sensors, such as IR rangefinders, Ultrasonic rangefinders, a digital compass, and a color video camera.  We like this project a lot, mostly because it was built from the ground up using a pile of hardware from numerous different sources.


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Thanks to everyone for your submissions.  The next contest is rolling as we speak.  As always, we’re looking forward to seeing what else you can come up with!  You can stay up to date on contest rules and regulations at the Submit Your Project and Win contest page, and start posting your projects in our Project Showcase Forum.

Need a huge robot arm?

Monday, December 10th, 2007


If you have ever dreamed of owning your own industrial robotic arm now is your chance. We were recently emailed by Bob who happens to have an extra one laying around:

“I Have a large industrial robot I am trying to find a good home for. It has retired from manufacturing in excellent condition. It is looking for a home with some garage scientist. If you are interested or may know some one pleases contact me. Robot is located in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. First $2500 takes it.”

Bob can be contacted at [email protected]

If I had an extra $2,500 I would totally buy this and put it in my living room to entertain guests or kill them depending on my mood.