Archive for February, 2010

Giger: Humanoid Robot Overview

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I’ve been busy at work with Giger installing some upgrades before Robogames (in the tune of 10x EX-106+ actuators, as well as brand new machined brackets from Rapid Sheet Metal). That said, we decided to use some of the random footage we had taken of Giger to give an overview of the robot in it’s first revision, when it only had RX-64s powering its legs. We’ll have a lot more information, pictures, and video on Giger v2.0 in the near future!

BTW- If anyone is looking for a solid place to get some sheet metal cut/bent or some parts machined, check out Rapid Sheet Metal and their sister company Rapid Machining. I’ll give a bit more in-depth review of them in the followup post where we’ll talk more about Giger 2.0, but I was absolutely blown away by their quality and customer service, so I’ll say it here as well. Check em out! Tell em we sent ya! =)

iHexi – The iPhone Controlled Hexapod Robot

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Okay, not only is this little custom hexapod outstanding looking, it’s control solution is beyond cool! Controlled via a custom iPhone app that utilizes the touchscreen and onboard accelerometer, the iHexi’s IK driven movements are controlled precisely and wirelessly. Check out the forum thread for more info and videos (definitely check out the last video, the quad-variant walking gait is equally awesome)!

Brainbot Gets Bigger and Badder

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Some of you may remember Brainbot, a project directed and funded by the Brain Engineering Laboratory and Neukom Institute at Dartmouth College, designed in collaboration with Jon Hylands and HUV Inc. The purpose of which is to enable the study and practice of brain engineering.
Well, Brainbot is getting a brain transplant into a 1/5 scale top of the line rock crawler chassis, for the purpose of creating a navigation variant. Onboard smarts? A Core 2 Quad, 2.83 GHz, 2 GB RAM, and a 32 GB Solid State HDD, 802.11n wifi, GlobalSat USB GPS, Prosilica gigabit ethernet camera (640 x 480, 60 fps) which plugs into Roborealm, and a Hokuyo UTM-30LX scanner laser rangefinder.

Brainbot-Crawler-01

In Jon’s new Project Thread, he says:

I went out and bought a 1/5 scale RC rock crawler chassis. Just for scale, those tires are 8″ in diameter, and the whole thing is 30″ long. We chose this chassis because it would have no issues going long distances at speed, and it would be able to handle curbs and grass and such with no issues. Being a rock crawler, it also goes slow enough that the sensors can keep up…

Right now, it has the quad core mini-itx mounted, and is being driven around with my Logitech wireless joystick. The motor driver (a Sabertooth 2×25) is controlled from one of my Bioloid I/O boards, which is connected to the bus. A program (written in Squeak Smalltalk) takes the joystick input, and sends speed and steering commands over the bus to the I/O board and the steering servos (AX-12′s).

Here is a short video of it under remote control:

Edit: Another Video just posted!

Arbotix Commander Now Available: Xbee Wireless Robot Gamepad

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Introducing the newest addition to the ArbotiX Robocontroller line from Vanadium Labs!

The ArbotiX Commander is an Arduino Software compatible, open-source XBEE-wireless hand-held controller built specifically for controlling ArbotiX/NUKE powered walking robots (but it can be used to control just about any Arduino powered robot). This gamepad style controller comes ready to be setup with the ArbotiX Robocontroller. The ArbotiX Commander was meant to be hacked, modified, upgraded, and otherwise tinkered with. Add additional sensors, customize it with your own handle grips, or rewrite the firmware sketch in any way you see fit!

C-400-Commanderv1-Front-250

Brackets and Dynamixels and Bioloids Oh My!

Friday, February 12th, 2010

We’ve been a bit quiet around here lately, mostly because we have our heads buried and are hard at work at bringing you guys some awesome new robotics products and kits! Wanted to take some time to showcase a new reworked section of our site that helps builders like you build your robots easier. Our Robot Servos & Brackets section has been completely revamped, pairing up the servos with compatible brackets and frames (tons of new varieties have been added, as well as more to come).

The Robotis Dynamixel Servos section should be of particular intrest, as we now stock individual Bioloid Frames as well as every type of DX/RX/EX Series Brackets and Frames.

Even our Hobby Servos section got a revamp, now offering Micro, Standard, and Giant Scale PWM Hobby Servos and compatible brackets!

We also started rounding up some cool user projects to demonstrate what can be done with these awesome actuators, which can be found on various related product pages. Here are a few examples!

Trossen Robotics Announces the Grand Opening of New Sister Store RoboticsToys.com

Monday, February 1st, 2010

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Assimilate them early! Corrupt their minds before they have a chance to live a life free from fascination with robots. Yes, we are talking about our youth. We must teach them to master the machines to avoid enslavement in the future!

Trossen Robotics has been filling the professional hobby robotics niche for half a decade now. We’ve all seen the crazy projects mentally unstable adults have been creating over there, but now it’s time to help pass the torch. The droids at Trossen Robotics are happy to announce the Grand Opening of their new sister store for the youngins, Roboticstoys.com.

To celebrate the opening of the store sure to be the favorite of baby John (and Sarah) Conners everywhere we are giving away a free robot to the first 50 orders! In reality these are spybots that we plan to put into every home as part of a secret government program, but for now you can have one free. Isn’t that exciting!?

Roboticstoys.com aims to be the number one place to find all your robotics kits, toys, and decor for that budding roboticist in your family. Robotics is a great way to spark an early interest with children in mathematics, engineering, and the sciences. There is nothing quite like building your first interactive creation and watching it come to life to kickoff a lifelong fascination of discovery and invention. Just be careful with how much time they spend behind closed doors or you just might come home to find this thing “negotiating” allowance increases with you.

As always, Thank you for being a customer and blog reader!

- The Trossen Robotics Team