Archive for April, 2009

RX-64: Just one more weapon in Skynet’s arsenal

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

I remember being blown away at how strong my first hobby servos were when I built my Hexapod 2 from Lynxmotion about 12 years ago. In comparison, they were literally just a fraction of the strength of modern digital servos, and the gap widens even further when put up against a robotic actuator such as the RX-64 Smart Actuator.

I was working on my mech Hagetaka the other night and made the mistake of grabbing at the robot to stabilize it while it was moving, and managed to graze my finger in one of the joints. It drew blood and immediately reminded me that working with these types of servos was an entirely different ballgame than your standard hobby servo. With that in mind, we put together a little demonstration video of just how powerful these servos can be! Enjoy!

Robotis Ollo Bug Kit

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

OLLO is a reconfigurable robot construction kit for beginners of any age. Using an easy to build plates and rivets system you’ll be on your way to making your own robot in no time! The OLLO Bug Kit has very detailed and well illustrated instructions to build 4 different types of robotic bugs that can trace lines, detect objects, or be controlled via wireless remote. The modular and simple building system allows you to build custom robots very quickly; your imagination is the limit!

Banebots Hub & Wheel System

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

While most participating in the robotic educational and combat competitions know the Banebots name rather well, we wanted to make sure that other roboticists out there knew how awesome their line of wheels are.

Finding the right wheels for a robot is often a difficult ordeal. Matching wheel size to hubs and motor shafts can take a lot of searching, custom machining, trial and error. Banebots has solved the problem with their modular hub and wheel system. With hubs fitting motor shafts from 2mm up to 1/2 inch and wheel diameters from 1-3/8” to 4-7/8 people can mix and match to get the perfect fit for their needs. The Banebots line also offers 3 levels of rubber hardness for each wheel.

Hagetaka: A Bipedal Combat Robot

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Remember when we teased you with a stack of RX-64 servos? Well its time to unveil a bit more of what we’re working on for the upcoming Mech Warfare competition at Robogames 2009. Meet Hagetaka; a 7DOF per leg biped built around the powerful RX-64 servo from Robotis. This robot boasts 14 RX-64s, 2 RX-28s, a custom aluminum chassis machined by sponsor Big Blue Saw, an onboard linux based Gumstix computer with a PS3 Sixaxis controller , a WiFi video server using a Headplay Personal Cinema System for remote piloting, and of course dual automatic airsoft guns. Video and more info will be available in the near future, and be sure to check out the June issue of SERVO magazine for the first in a series of articles detailing the build process of this Mech.

Click for larger image.

Wait, did you say “Flamethrower”?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Wait, did you say “Flamethrower”? – The Robogames Combat Robots

Our friends over at Geeks are Sexy posted up a great video which examines the builders and their robots in modern Combat Robotics. Footage was taken at last year’s Maker Faire in Austin Texas. It showcases some of the fight highlights as well as talking a bit of shop with some of the builders. This raises our excitement for the upcoming Robogames 2009, and we hope to see you there!

What’s interesting, however, is how 11 years of robot evolution have affected the sport. Back in 2002, the spinners ruled the day. But today’s robots are meaner than ever; and the sport’s fans just as obsessed. Why do they do it? Because for three glorious minutes, the world melts away.


New parts are in the house!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
We have more goodies in and cannot wait to share! We’re serious, it’s like Christmas morning each day we get new stuff in, just ask our extremely annoyed shipping/receiving department about it. New product shows up and our techs swarm in like vultures!
First up we have the Propeller Education Kit which is an absolute steal at $99.99. Included is everything you need to get started using Parallax’s very capable Propeller microcontroller technology. Why use a normal microcontroller when you can get 8 of them in a single chip? Included in the kit is a Propstick USB, a Propeller Fundamentals Lab/Project book, various components needed for said projects, and some neat interconnecting breadboards for rapid prototyping.
We’re also proud to introduce our new Mosquit-IO Pan/Tilt kit! The Mosquit-IO is a board we had custom designed specifically to answer the call of a low cost pan/tilt controller, bringing the price down $20 from our previous Pan/Tilt Kit. The Mosquit-IO can control two servos and a 6v DC motor, and is also available separately. A USB interface, simple command syntax, and provided .NET example code make this very easy to get up and running.
mosquit IO
Drooling over the insane torque and features of the DX-117, RX-28, RX-64 Robot servos from Robotis? We are too, and we’re making it even easier to implement them into your next project by offering a High Quality Aluminum bracket system for these. Hinge brackets, side brackets, bearing hubs, and thrust bearings! Everything you need to get started in building the ultimate high torque robot!

A-Pod will make your jaw drop

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

We posted a few weeks ago about TRC member Zenta’s new creation, the A-Pod Hexapod. Zenta, who created the infamous Phoenix Hexapod, is seriously one of the most talented roboticists we have seen and we’re glad to call him a much valued member of our Community!

He has made some serious progress with his latest A-Pod, and rather than gab away at how awesome it is, check out the video and prepare to be amazed.

Announcing the Dancebot USB!

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
You’ve all seen and heard the robotic dancing sensation known as Keepon, and now you can own one!
When Keepon first debuted, bouncing along to Spoon’s “I Turn My Camera On”, the tech community went nuts! The simple, cute external appearance of this robot and it’s natural ability to bop along with music was an instant hit on Youtube. Unfortunately, beneath that elastic yellow skin was well over $20,000 worth of cutting edge robotic technology, putting this awesome robot out of reach of its fans. We saw this as a problem and answered the call to unite Keepon and it’s millions of fans globally!
After many months of painstaking R&D, Trossen Robotics is proud to announce the Low Cost Dancebot! Once only available to universities as a high end social development research robot, we are now offering the affordable yet equally groovy Low Cost Dancebot! This easy to build kit only takes minutes to put together, another minute to put on the Spoon song of your choice, and within seconds your Low Cost Dancebot! will be dancing along to the beat. Be the envy of your coworkers with this ultimate desktop gadget! Show off to your friends, amaze your family, and impress your employer!