Archive for November, 2008

Want a free* trip to Japan?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Oh yes, there is always that pesky asterisk. However in this case, what the asterisk implies isn’t too bad.

David Calkins, Robogames founder and co-host of the Revision3 eShow: Systm, is offering a free* all expenses paid trip to Japan. What’s the catch? Well first of all, you have to have a 3kg Sumobot. David’s message below explains the whole deal:

So, The all-Japan 3kg sumo tournament is Dec 21st in Tokyo.

Fujisoft gave me 2 seats to go, all expenses, but Simone is pregnant and due about then, so I’m giving away the tix.

Want ‘em?

You gotta win ‘em.

MAIL me your 3kg sumo (not 500g), so it arrives by the morning of Dec 5th.
Include pre-paid return for the package.  On Dec 6th, I’ll compete them all in a normal sumo bracket.  Don’t have a 3kg sumo?  You can build one in 3 weeks…

The top two robots each get one ticket to Japan.  You will need a passport and time off work to go.  This is going to be totally merit based.  It’s not random.
Best two robots go.

Email me directly for more details: dcalkins@robotics-society.org

-David E. Calkins

SFSU Robotics Engineering and Robotics Outreach President,  RoboGames / Robotics Society of America

How cool is that? Here’s some mini-sumo action!

The Phoenix Hexapod Comprehensive Kit is here!

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

We’ve learned something over the past year: Roboticists from Norway can make some really awesome hexapods. We first met Phoenix Hexapod creator Kåre Halvorsen (who goes by Zenta on our forums) when he entered his amazing creation in our Project Contest. Needless to say, he won by a landslide vote. He went on to work with Lynxmotion and Jeroen Janssen (who goes by Xan on our forums) to develop a kit based version of his Phoenix with complete wireless PS2 control!

We are now proud to carry the Phoenix Hexapod Comprehensive Kit! This kit contains everything you need to build your very own wireless controlled Phoenix Hexapod. It even comes pre-programmed with Xan’s Wireless PS2 controller program. Words can’t describe how amazing this robot is, you really have to see it in action so check out the video below!

The World Will End in a Robotic-Feline Uprising!

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

You heard it here first folks. I always knew that robots would be involved in the end of the world, but I never suspected one of our own beloved pets would be the masterminds behind it. I have discovered undeniable evidence that our days are numbered.

I present to you the most terrifying video I have ever seen. In it you will see a cat with complete psionic control over a robot, commanding it to do its bidding. Or maybe its the other way around. Either way, what this spells for our future is not good.

The New MechRC Humanoid Robot is here!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Trossen Robotics is proud to be the first in the United States to offer the new MechRC Humanoid Robot! This new ready-to-walk robot is a breakthrough in price to performance at only $599.99 USD.

High torque metal gear servos, LiPo batteries for longer run times, a fluid 3D visual software programming interface for easy custom motions, and a remote control unit are included. Everything needed to have your very own walking robot is included in this ready-to-walk kit! With over a hundred pre-installed motions and sounds you can get this robot throwing some dance floor shapes or some killer fighting moves straight from the box.

Also check out the MechRC’s take on the Evolution of Dance!

Big Blue Saw: A Machine Shop for Roboticists!

Monday, November 17th, 2008

A challenge many roboticists and experimenters face is finding a way to get custom metal parts built for their projects. Not everyone can afford to invest thousands of dollars into tools, which is where Big Blue Saw can help. They specialize in custom laser cutting and waterjet machining, and allow builders to place small orders to avoid the high minimum order amounts that most local shops charge.

Big Blue Saw founder and fellow roboticist, Simon Arthur, has been kind enough to give our community the ‘heads up’ when Big Blue Saw is offering specials. We wanted to let all the ‘bot builders out there know about their current sale!

Announcing: Big Blue Saw’s pre-Thanksgiving Sale

From November 20 to November 25, 2008 Big Blue Saw will be having a pre-Thanksgiving sale. Customers will receive quantity discounts on parts made from select materials.

* Aluminum 5052 alloy, 0.08″ thickness
* Aluminum 6061 alloy, 0.125 inch (⅛”) thickness
* Cold roll 1018 carbon steel, 0.125 inch (⅛”) thickness

Any order of less than 10 parts will automatically be eligible for a quantity discount.

Many of you are visiting our website for the first time due to the buzz around the web about this sale. This is an excellent opportunity to try our services — you can order just one small part, and save on the setup charges.
About the materials
Aluminum 6061

One of the perennial favorite materials at Big Blue Saw, the 6061 alloy of aluminum features excellent strength and light weight. It is weldable and has good corrosion resistance. This alloy is a true “aircraft aluminum” and is often used in airplanes and spacecraft.
Aluminum 5052

We have recently added 5052 alloy aluminum as a new standard material here at Big Blue Saw in order to meet the needs of our customers who needed an aluminum alloy that is much easier to bend and form than 6061. It also has good weldability and excellent corrosion resistance.
Cold roll 1018 carbon steel

This carbon steel helps in situations where you need greater strength than aluminum can provide. It has good weldability and will wear better than aluminum.


Trossen Robotics at Robogames!

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

With Robogames 2009 coming up this summer, we wanted to remind everyone of what a great time we had at Robogames last year. If you’re looking to get into Robotics or simply want to drink beer and watch giant robots duke it out, Robogames is the place to be. Here’s a quick video we threw together talking with a few Roboticists on how they got started and why!

We hope to see you at this years Robogames 2009 in San Fransisco!

Accelerometers 101

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

You probably have heard the term thrown around, but many out there might not know what an Accelerometer does exactly.  They are used in a variety of modern machines and gadgets, and a necessity for dynamic balancing in walking robots. Here is a quick tutorial video that we put together, explaining the basics and application of Accelerometers.

RFID Beer Cooler Lock!

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

David Calkins, founder of Robogames and cohost of the Revision3 show Systm, just finished wrapping up an entire episode dedicated towards RFID technology and a practical (impractical?) application of it. In this episode they cover RFID 101, how to lock your friends out of your beer cooler using RFID technology, and perplex us all as to what the heck ‘ARFED’ is. Silly Minnesotans!