Archive for October, 2008

Axon: A Microcontroller Built By Roboticists, For Roboticists

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

The Atmega chips really are fantastic for robotics, but sometimes the learning curve can be a bit steep. Society of Robots has taken this into consideration with their new Axon Microcontroller. Boasting the impressive Atmega 640, which has 55 total I/O pins and can control up to 29 servos, this open source microcontroller was built from the ground up with the Roboticist in mind. Visit our store for more information on the Axon Microcontroller.

Here’s a video showing just how easy it is to interface with the Axon:

Robot Fighting and Fun at iHobby 2008

Friday, October 24th, 2008

We had a blast at iHobby this year. Here are a few clips we threw together of some of the fun we had.

Starting off the video is a fight between Farrell Robotics Zog, and our own little Robobuilder. There is also some footage of the Chibotica area around the robotics section, and a peak at some of the robots on display.

Here’s a short video of Farrell Robotics’ Zog vs the Robophilo. This is what happens when you put a fully custom built, top of the line humanoid robot against a $400 budget humanoid! Hilarity ensues.

See you at iHobby next year!

Now Taking Pre-Orders on the Bioloid Boomerang ZigBee Controller!

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Bioloid users have been drooling over these controllers since they were first announced at Robogames 2008! Well, the time is nigh to get your robot a fix, the Bioloid Boomerang Zigbee Controllers are due on our next shipment! These controllers finally put wireless Bioloid control into user’s hands, enabling easier participation in humanoid kung-fu, soccer, and stairclimbing.

We are now accepting Pre-Orders, with an expected arrival date of November 15th, 2008. They come in two flavors, one with a set of Zig-100s, and one without (if you already had purchased a pair previously). Get em while they’re hot!

WowWee Rovio Wi-Fi Enabled Robot is Here!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

We’ve been waiting for this bot to arrive for quite a long time. It is SLICK looking to say the very least. We’re now proud to say that the Rovio Wi-Fi Enabled Telepresense Robot is now available in our store!

Loaded with features such as telepresence over wifi and the internet, self charging capabilities, autonomous navigation, and you can even control it with your smart phone! Its full color camera and microphone allow you to pilot the Rovio around your house and see and hear what it does from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. These stylish telepresence bots are sure to be a hot seller this holiday, pick your very own up today!

Check out the main site here “Meet Rovio” and an Unboxing that RoboCommunity did!

iHobby 2008 Pictures, Farrell Robotics Unveil New Robots

Monday, October 20th, 2008

We had a blast at iHobby 2008! We got to meet a lot of new people, old friends, and new robots!

We were super busy keeping up with visitors at our booth, but we tried to snap a few pictures before the show started each day. We created a gallery of some of the better pictures we took. Farrell Robotics was also there, showing off their amazing new robots Zyn and Kai, which are based on the EX-106, RX-28, and DX-117 servos. They are quite literally the most advanced competition humanoids in the US, completely custom built and a real marvel of engineering.

These bots are literally as big as toddlers, in fact they had Kai dressed the part. Seeing how quick and strong these robots are was truly a sight, I’m pretty sure they could at least take our software guy Alex (not me though, I know their weakspots!)

Here are a few pictures (click to enlarge) but be sure to check out our iHobby 2008 Gallery!

Zombie Robots!

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

You heard it here first! Rodger Cleye from our forums just posted his newest invention, Donna the Dead Bot. He built this using a motorized wheelchair base rigged with an R/C system, and adding some PVC pipe, a strobe light, and a glowing eye skull and some ghost-like apparel. Not only is this an awesome invention for scaring the candy out of kids trick-or-treating, it’s a solid example of ZombieTech™, which is the fusing of zombies and robots… which just so happens to be our only chance of survival if the Skynet and Zombie armageddons happen to occur simultaneously. Scaring kids and saving future lives, go Rodger!

More DIY Wall-E Madness!

Monday, October 13th, 2008

You can tell that Wall-E was a major hit with the roboticist community by the number of Wall-E hacks and DIY bots we’ve seen over the past few months. First of all, forum member 4mem8 posted his Homebrew Wall-E robot and won the last round of our competition. Then Bazmarc wow’d us with his Lego NXT Wall-E which put my self proclaimed Lego-Genius skills to shame. Keeping with the trend, DJSures has impressed us with his DIY Hacked Toy Wall-E.

He bought one of the cheap little toy Wall-E’s you find in toy stores now, but obviously was not impressed by its capabilities. He set out to make it his own, replacing the single motor with a handful of servos, hacking the voice chip, adding a custom PIC and sonar for autonomous navigation, and overall doing a fantastic job bringing this robot to life.

Here’s a video of the little guy in action. Make sure to check out his thread for some great photos of all of his work.

How to scare kids on halloween the ‘techy’ way!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Hiding behind bushes in a monster costume and jumping out to scare would be trick-or-treaters is sooo 1995. That and it can earn you a beat down from an unsuspecting parental guardian. Here’s a way to do it while you’re safely hiding within your house.

First, either purchase or build a scary pop-out halloween prop, screaming speaker, or flashing lights of your choice. Here’s a pretty fancy one made out of PVC and other various items:

Couple this with one of our simple Floor Mat Switches….

and you’ve got an automatic Halloween gag that is sure to make a few kids soil their costumes!

Announcement: Next Round of the TRC Project Contest

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

It’s that time again to officially announce the next round of the Trossen Robotics Community (TRC) Project Contest. With the success of last round, it was obvious many preferred the idea of offering Robots as prizes, so we’re doing it again:-)

The goal of the TRC Project Contest is to encourage technological creativity, innovation and ingenuity through these talented individual’s unique projects. We invite everyone to help spread the word about this contest announcement to help encourage others to show off their talent.

1st place

Pleo™ from UGOBE


  • 2 32-bit Microprocessors – central and image processing
  • 4 8-bit Subprocessors – motor control
  • 14 motors
  • Over 100 custom-designed gears
  • Camera-based vision system – light detection and navigation.
  • 2 Microphones – binaural hearing
  • 8 Skin sensors – head, chin, shoulders, back, legs
  • 4 Foot switches – surface detection
  • 14 Force-feedback sensors – one per joint
  • Orientation tilt sensor – body position
  • Infrared mouth sensor – object detection
  • SD card slot – Pleo add-ons

2nd place

WowWee RS-Media™


  • Chest Mounted LCD Screen
  • PC-Based Editing Suite
  • Head Mounted Camera
  • Sonic Sensors
  • 40MB Memory w/ SD upgrade slot
3rd place

Wowwee Roboquad™


  • IR Vision w/Scanning features
  • Head mounted LED’s
  • 72 Preprogrammed Functions
  • Multiple Modes
  • Advanced Motion Control
  • Personality Settings
  • Light Sensor
  • Sound Sensor

Please visit our Project Contest Page for further information and instructions on how and where to submit your project. Somebody is going to be a proud new owner of a WowWee Roboquad, RS-Media, or… wait for it…. a PLEO from UGOBE. Will it be you?

What’s that R2? Timmy’s stuck in the well?

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

That’s right, now you can own your very own little R2-D2 Interactive Astromech Droid!

We got to open one of these little bots up to roam around the office, and he is awesome! R2 responds to various voice commands, can patrol around autonomously using sonar sensors, and even has a built in drink holder. This is one of the most advanced toys we’ve seen yet, and will surely make a great holiday gift.