Archive for August, 2012

Take a Sneak Peak at the PhantomX Quadruped

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

The PhantomX Quadruped just crawled into the store and we wanted to share a quick sneak peak of what it’s capable of. Check out this video of our Quad strafing around the warehouse like it owns the place. Stay tuned for more videos and information about this awesome robot.

PhantomX Hexapod Running Phoenix Code

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

phantomX hexapod running phoenix code

Well Zenta and Kurt Eckhardt are at it again, this time porting the Lynxmotion Phoenix code to our very own PhantomX Hexapod! Running the Phoenix code, our Hexapod’s movements are smooth as silk while it scuttles across the floor in an incredible life-like fashion. Just check out these videos to see it in action.

The code for putting the Phoenix code on your Hexapod is available here. Keep in mind that this is a work in progress and may require some hardware modification of your Hexapod, so proceed at your own risk.

Laser Dazer!

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

As you may know, our Desktop RoboTurret is incredibly versatile and can perform a huge number of tasks. Latest on that list is : entertaining your pets! Just load up our Laser Dazer code onto the RoboTurret’s Arduino Compatible controller and you can turn your RoboTurret into an autonomous pet toy. The RoboTurret will fire up its built in laser, then pick random points to aim the laser at Your pet will be chasing the laser around in no time flat.

The code is ready to use out of the box, but we’ve also made it very easy to modify the variables that control the Laser Dazer’s behavior. You can change the speed, range and more on the RoboTurret to suit your pet’s personality. The Laser Dazer Code is available in the standard Desktop RoboTurret code download

TRTV Episode 2: Matt Burns Himself

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

We design a ton of parts for our kits, and we make quite a few of them using our Laser CNC. For some parts however, we contract outside companies to turn our designs into reality. Working with different companies can have pitfalls – including not getting the material that you were promised.

So what’s a team to do when they suspect they’re getting shafted by a manufacturer? Test! In this case we used Boedeker.com’s Burn Test Chart to help us figure out what kind of plastic we had on our hands. Between the burn chart and some known plastics, we were able to figure out the that we were in fact getting the wrong plastic for our grippers.

And as a friendly reminder: be smarter than us and take safety precautions when playing testing with fire: you don’t want to end up like Matt in the video below.

Desktop RoboTurret Face Tracking Project

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Desktop RoboTurret Face Tracking

Christian Penaloza just posted a great demo video with one of our Desktop RoboTurrets running his custom face tracking code. He’s using OpenCV and C++ to do the facetracking, and C# for a user interface. This is a great example of the kind of thing you can do with the RoboTurret.

We’re really excited to see the code for the project, as well as what else Christian has in store for the RoboTurret.

RFID Implants

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Friend of Trossen, Amal Graafstra recently attended Toorcamp and set up an unassuming little station. At this station, for $30 and a liability waiver, Amal would implant an RFID tag into your hand! You can read more at The Forbes Article on Amal or Amal’s write-ups on Toorcon

The tags, much like our Glass Ampoule Tags, will allow their bearers to activate RFID enabled devices with a mere wave of the hand. No more loosing their keys for these implantees!

New Robot Gearhead Motors

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Robot DC Gearhead Motor - 6v 180rpm w/ Encoder

The Trossen Engineering team goes through a lot of motors, so we have pretty high expectations of any motors we want to put in a robot. Well our new Robot DC Gearhead Motors w/ Encoder meet and blow past those expectations!

These motors are perfect for robots weighing 2-5 lbs, and the RPM allows them to pair perfectly with 3-4″ Wheels. Each of our motors have an integrated encoder to help calculate odometry data so these motors will help get your robotic rover up and running in no time!

Check out the video to see one of our test ‘bots zipping around the warehouse.

Weekend at Trossen – Episode 1

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Life is busy here at Trossen Robotics. Between filling orders, sourcing/posting new products and customer service calls, we’re constantly working on something. This flurry of activity often leaves us with no time to do our favorite thing – engineer new kits and products. But have no fear, that won’t stop us from designing, building and testing new kits – we just have to wait for the weekend.

In this new series you’ll get a chance to see the process behind the products and get some insight to how we work here at Trossen Robotics. This week we’ll take a look at the soon to be released Motor & Wheel Starter Kit.

New RobotGeek Voltage Dividers are in the Store!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

RobotGeek Voltage Divider

Developed in-house, the RobotGeek Voltage Divider is a great little board that will make it easy to connect analog sensors up to our Arduino. Just about any analog sensor, like out Force, pressure, and flex sensors can be used with the Voltage Divider.

The three pin voltage divider can easily connect directly to the arduino, or attached to a breakout shield. Your sensor can connect to the voltage divider using the 2-pin male header, or the screw terminals. Finally, the built in potentiometer will let you adjust the circuit’s sensitivity.

Check out the product page for a wiring diagram and PCB files.

They Did It!

Monday, August 6th, 2012


Early this morning, over 8 years of hard work paid off as the Curiosity Mars Rover succesfully landed on Mars. Shown here is the NASA team celebrating after the rover’s successful landing. The rover, weighing in at 900 kg, is the largest rover ever sent to the red planet. Because of it’s large size, engineers at NASA needed a new way to safely land the rover on the surface of mars. The method they devised was the Sky Crane, a rocket propelled platform that could safely lower the rover to the martian surface. You can see an interactive rendering of the landing here

Here’s one of the first image transmitted back from the rover – a beautiful black and white still of the rover’s landing site. And while we want to wish the Curiositya and NASA congratulations on a job well done, we know this mission is still only getting started. Over the next few weeks NASA engineers will test the rover’s systems and start the final preparations for its mission to explore mars and pave the way for a manned mission to mars. Projects like this really showcase the amazing feats that science, math and engineering can pull off.