Archive for September 3rd, 2008

The Shelter for Homeless Robots

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

We see a wide range of different projects showcased on our Community Forums, ranging from the simple and to the point (read: cheap) to the extravagant and over the top (read: how to anger your wife). One of our members, Darkback2, decided to simultaneously raise and lower the bar by creating the Junk Bot Challenge! Participants essentially try to build the best bot they can using any spare junk and salvage laying around the house and a $20 budget for additional parts.

Needless to say, this sparked some ‘interesting’ entries. The contest is being wrapped up and the entries are being voted upon, so make sure to drop by the Junk Bots Contest Thread and cast your vote. Here are the Junk Bots that were entered:

Junk Bot: Trash
Creator: Electricity


Plastic Forks. And Chopsticks. How awesome is that? This robot might go down in history as the most awesomely low-cost quadrapod ever made.

Junk Bot: Lisa
Creator: Darkback2


Is it a quadrapod or a tripod? We don’t know, we don’t care. It’s best not to ask too many questions when your robot has a gun.

Junk Bot: Putter Bot
Creator: Crabfu

Putter Bot!

Look out Tiger, this robot could probably beat you down at your own game. Or at least Mini-Golf. Bonus points for giving this robot a very cool personality.

Junk Bot: Beetlebot
Creator: metaform3d

Beetle Bot!

It’s a bug, it’s a frog, it’s a robot made out of cardboard! This bot gives “Trash Bot” a run for it’s lack of money in the cheapest robot department, and is actually quite mobile.

Junk Bot: LIDAR Bot
Creator: Adrenalynn

Lidar Bot!

Lidar Bot Image!

Many of you may not know what LIDAR is. Regardless of what wikipedia says, I know the real answer. LIDAR is what happens when someone with a serial-overachievement complex enters in the Junk Bot competition. Not satisfied with simply building a cheap robot, Adrenalynn (aka Hermoine) built a LIDAR vision system (which usually run in the several thousand dollar range) out of spare junk and pocket change. Shes sick I tell you. Sick.

Well that about wraps up the Junk Bots 08 contest. Make sure to cast your votes, poll closes on September 8th!

C# Tutorials for getting started in PC based robotics

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Adrenalynn from the TRC decided to be kind enough to write a few quicky tutorials showing some basics. There really is nothing like a simple example chunk of code for getting started in programming something new. A big thanks to Adrenalynn for writing these!

SSC-32 Servo Controller : Center a Servo with C#
At various times I’ve read here on the forums how difficult it appears to be to get “raw-ish” serial communications going in C#. I’ve oft debated that sentiment, so here’s my contribution to finally putting what I believe to be a misnomer to bed.

Reading and Writing TCP Sockets in C#
This VERY simple stand-alone console app will listen on a free port and echo one line sent from a client to the console, then wait for a newline to exit. Not production code, just the cheapest easiest way I know of to open a listening TCP socket and grabbing some data sent by the client.