Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

We are Hiring! Job Title: Roboticist Apprentice Extraordinaire

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

ATTENTION: We actually have filled this position. We will announce the new team member soon. However, we very much encourage people who wanted to apply to this position to still say hello. We will be continuing to bring on new people as we grow. We always welcome good talent sending in their resumes with a cover letter letting us know a little bit about them. In fact, this is kinda how we do it. We like the organic approach and getting to know potential awesome peoples at any time. So saying hello before the next position is announced is a smart move.

 

We are looking to add a new member to the team. If you would love to get paid to build robots read on.

If you have a place to share this post, by all means, please do! Help us spread the word and help give someone their dream job.

Job Title:  Roboticist Apprentice Extraordinaire

Where? Chicago far west suburbs (Downers Grove, 60515) (With future relocation to Chicago)
How much? 25K to 35K depending on experience and fit
When? We hope to hire the right fit before end of February 2012
Relocate? We are happy to consider the right applicant from outside Chicagoland. We cannot cover all the relocation costs, but for the right rock star we will help out. Also, expect a trial work period before moving permanently to see if we like each other.

Trossen Robotics is looking to add another member to the team. The optimal applicant will be able to handle very very long hours, extremely sarcastic work environments, have a diverse skill set (IE: customer service skills are as good as engineering skills), readily tackle challenging projects, and be able to hold their own in Halo Firefight.

Was GLaDOS of little challenge to you? Do you have a lot of FINISHED electronics and/or mechanical projects that you built lying around your house? Can you be in the zone with Tool/Puscifer/NIN/Ministry/insert-other-awesome-industrial-genius-here blaring on the sound system? Did school bore you because your mind is so brilliant that you were smarter than all your teachers? How many things have you ripped apart, just because you just had to know how it ticked? Does your narwhal bacon at midnight? Are you willing to burn the midnight oil to get projects done? Not because you were told to, but because you can’t sleep until you see it working. Do you want to feel like the work you do is having an impact outside your cubical? Do you not want to work in a cubicle? Good, we don’t have them.

Not-the-most-fun-grunt-things-you-will-have-to-do-part-of-the-time-just-like-the-rest-of-the-team – Help in the warehouse, restock inventory, pack orders, help build kits and count things, process RMAs, answer the same question on the phone with a friendly voice 843 times a year, sing for superiors on command… okay not really.

Main-duties-we-need-lots-of-help-in-right-now – product entry, writing product pages, product photography, project/product videos, blogging, project write-ups, code examples, production runs on laser CNC machine (yes, you can wear a lab coat and be a REAL laser scientist), running community contests, participating in said community, build demo kits and robots, creating product manuals, customer service (talking to customers about robots, answering product related questions), tech support, and in general being an awesome team player.

The-awesome-stuff-you-can’t-believe-you-get-paid-to-do-that-you-will-get-to-do-if-you-get-your-daily-chores-done – assist in mechanical design and programming on robotics products and kits, create & build fun DIY projects and robots, be a part of the product development and prototyping discussion, build giant killer 6-legged robots armed with paintball guns (we’re already half-way there), come up with great ideas to generate PR and viral videos, and did we mention robots? You get to build robots. That is awesome, in case you were wondering.

You will probably be put through the ringer and made fun of a lot in your first six months, but the bright side is that then you will get to make fun of and ridicule the next person we hire. That is how it works. The other bright side is that you will get to be paid to build robots, learn engineering, programming, marketing, community building, laser science, warehouse management (Meaning putting stuff in boxes and closing them. With tape. Repeatedly.), and be proud to be a part of building a great new company.

Seriously, we rock and roll while we work, and we have a good time, BUT we have a very fast paced environment here and we all work very hard. We get a lot done fast because we love what we do and we want to be the best at it. We are very well known in the community and are expanding our offerings rapidly.

We really would like to find someone who is already familiar with the DIY Arduino community and has already done some Arduino projects, but we are flexible. If you don’t know Arduino, then you should at least know programming in C++, python, or processing etc. Must be self reliant and not only be able to do projects unsupervised, we expect you to come back with ideas on how to improve things. We expect the right candidate to be constantly learning and improving their own skill set. A large part of the job will be doing product page write ups, manuals, project write ups, etc. So you will need to know how to write very well and quickly about technical subjects. This is a deal breaker if you can’t. Please be ready to show us something that proves you can communicate in print.

Exact definition of the position is to be determined. We would rather find brilliant hard working innovators and mold the right position around them than to predefine something rigid. Please send resume with cover letter to jobs@trossenrobotics.com. Yes, we are serious about the cover letter. If you can’t take the time to write one and let us know this really hits your passion buttons, then you really shouldn’t be taking a shot at it. Plus, there was that whole thing above about the job being largely about writing stuff. We look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,
The Trossen Robotics Team

Download the full job description here as PDF

Robot Gift Guide

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

It’s that time of year again. Time to encourage our little brainiacs to engineer stuff. Because if we don’t, who is going to invent our future immortal robohuman brainswapping technology for us when we are old and frail? Think ahead people. Always be planning.

Trossen Robotics Robot Gift Guide

 

Rocket Brand Studios now open!

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Our friend Chris the Carpenter has finally launched his own robot shop, Rocket Brand Studios, with some awesome Arduino and Picaxe based kits and components! He has been a driving force among robot hobbyists and the LMR community, and we’re eager to see what sort of products pop up from his creative mind. We have already picked up a few of his items, so keep your eyes peeled for some new items from Rocket Brand Studios!

DSO Nano v2 Pocket Oscilloscope Price Slash – GONE!

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
DSO Nano v2 Pocket Oscilloscope

DSO Nano v2 Pocket Oscilloscope

We are making room for new stuff. We still have 8 of the V2 DSO Nano in stock. We’ve slashed the price on these wonderful pocket sized oscilloscopes. (Was 99.95 now 59.95) If you were wanting one of these for your workshop, now would be the time to grab one ;)

SOLD OUT!

Orders Over $200 = FREE ground / Under $200 $7.99 Flat Rate.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

free-groundThis post is pretty simple.

For the rest of August -

If your order is over $200 you get free ground shipping.

If your order is under $200 ground shipping is a flat rate of $7.99.

If your order is exactly $200.00 you will rip a hole in the time-space continuum. Don’t do it.

That’s it. Now go shopping for robots :)

Help Vote for a Robot Grant

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Do something good today. Take 30 seconds and vote by text. You’ll erase some bad karma from that one thing you know you did…

RoboGames is up for a $25,000 grant to help bring robotics classes to underprivileged middle schoolers around the San Francisco Bay Area, and you can help!  Pepsi is offering large grants to non-profits such as the Robotics Society (the parent organization of RoboGames), but only the top few ideas will win.

You don’t need to give us any money, you just need to vote!  Please help us get funding to get more kids building robots for the 2012 games! We are poised to make this a great year for community centers, under funded schools, and a whole slew of other folks with your help!  If we win the voting, we can put robots in the hands of about 120 kids and provide them with teachers for a full semester of after-school instruction.  All leading up to them competing at RoboGames.  The classes will get kids autonomous robots, and teach them how to program and build the robots to
compete in multiple events in next April’s event.

And neither you nor the kids have to pay a cent!

Here’s the link to vote: http://pep.si/nHlOZZ or you can vote by texting 107947 to Pepsi (73774) to vote from your mobile phone.

And you can vote once per day!  So vote today, tomorrow, and every day this month!

This will barely take any time at all, but can impact the lives of a lot of kids who’d never get to learn about robotics otherwise.  We can inspire them to keep studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and all you have to do is vote!”

via Robots-Dreams

Summer Sale – Every order over $100 gets 10% off

Monday, July 25th, 2011

JulySale2011

Excuses to tell why we are having the sale

Robots have turned against us, need to get rid of them fast

Feeling generous today for once

We make too much money around here, it is eroding our moral foundations

The weight of the warehouse is creating diamonds under the foundation

Our customers are awesome and we want to say thanks!

(FYI- when you hear a store saying ^^^this^^^ it is really code for this:  Why aren’t you people buying anything in July?!!! We still have bills to pay you know! Just because it is 152 degrees celsius lately doesn’t mean you should stop building robots. Geeks don’t get summer off from being geeks. Get back inside and work on a geeky project. Your skin cannot handle direct sunlight anyway vampire boy/girl. It is dangerous out there. Look at all the shiny stuff in our store! Ohhhh, isn’t it beautiful? We know you want some. Yes! Time to upgrade your servos and sensors. Now you are thinking correctly. There will be cake served at the end of checkout. Just follow me here into the store. That’s good. Just enter summer2011 when you checkout. Hurry along now.)

Ohhh, YAY! Take me shopping!

EDIT: Andrew here. Hey guys, I hate to be the one to break bad news, but Matt is a liar. There is no cake. It will not be served upon checkout. Sorry guys. This communication was not authorized. Please forget what you have read. Here is a companion cube to help your feeble minds remain calm.

Daddy I Need Eyes! (Free stuff!)

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

freecameras

Security Camera Warehouse emailed us to mention they are giving away free cameras as a promotion and asked if we knew anyone who might be into that. Well, yeah, we sure do! We love telling our readers about free stuff and we think their promotion which helps education is pretty awesome. So here are the deets.

Security Camera Warehouse, a video surveillance systems company, is giving away security cameras for educational purposes as part of their Securing the Future initiative.

The rules are pretty simple:

Any group dedicated to educational advancement of youth and young adults can apply. SCW specifically includes any school sponsored and club level teams, but also mentions that they will be rather liberal with the rules. Any group dedicated to science education for college age and younger students can apply.

Each group is eligible to receive one camera up to a value of $150.

They are giving out the cameras in a first come first serve fashion.

To apply and see the eligible cameras please visit Security Camera Warehouse’s Securing the Future Program.

Thanks for thinking of our community SCW!

Bioloid GP Don’t Care.

Thursday, July 21st, 2011
This is the Bioloid GP. Watch it run in slow motion. It’s pretty bad-ass. Look, it runs all over the place. “Woah, watch out!” says that bird. Ew it’s got a snake? Oh, it’s chasing a jackal? Oh my gosh! Oh the Bioloid GPs are just crazy! The Bioloid GP’s been referred to by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most fearless animal in all the animal kingdom. It really doesn’t give a shit. If it’s hungry, it’s hungr-ew what’s that in its mouth! Oh it’s got a cobra? Oh it runs backwards? Now watch this, look, a snake’s up in a tree. Bioloid GP don’t care. Bioloid GP don’t give a shit, it just takes what it wants. Whenever it’s hungry it just- ew! And it eats the snakes. Oh my God watch it dig. Look at that digging. The Bioloid GPs really pretty bad-ass. They have no regard for any other animal whatsoever. Look at him just grunting and- ew! Eating snakes! Ew what’s that, a mouse? Oh that’s nasty. Oh, they’re so nasty! Oo look! It’s chasing things, and eating them.
The Bioloid GP’s have a fairly long body, but a distinctly thick set, broad shoulders, and you know, their, their skin is loose, allowing them to move about freely, and they twist around. Now look, here’s a house full of bees. You think the Bioloid GP cares? It doesn’t give a shit. It goes right in to the house to bees to get some larvae. How disgusting is that? It eats larvae. Ew, that’s so nasty. But look, the Bioloid GP doesn’t care, it’s getting stung like a thousand times. It doesn’t give a shit, it just, it’s hungry. It doesn’t care about being stung by bees. Nothing can stop the Bioloid GP when it’s hungry. Oh what a crazy fuck! Look! Ew, it’s eating larvae, that’s disgusting. There it is running in slow motion again. See, now what’s interesting is that other, other animals like these birds here the just like to wait around until the Bioloid GPs done eating and then it swoops in to pick up the scraps. It says, “You do all the work for us Bioloid GP and we’ll just eat whatever you find, how’s that? What do you say, stupid?” Look at this bird. “Thanks for the treat, stupid!” “Hey, come back here” says the Bioloid GP. Birds don’t care, and you know what, the jackals do it, too. Look at these little dogs. They’re like, “Thanks, Stupid! Thanks for the mouse! See ya later!” The Bioloid GP does all the work while these other animals just pick up the scraps.
At night time, the Bioloid GP goes hunting, cuz it’s hungry. Look! Here comes a fierce battle between a king cobra and a Bioloid GP. I wonder what will happen. Look at this, there’s the Bioloid GP just eating a mouse. And then look. “Get away from me!” says the snake, “Get away from me!” Bioloid GP don’t care. Bioloid GP smacks the shit out of him. The snake comes back and it lashes right at the Bioloid GP. Oh! Little does the Bioloid GP know, FYI, it’s been stung! It’s been bitten by the snake, so while it’s eating the snake- ew, that’s disgusting- meanwhile the poisonous venom is seeping through the Bioloid GPs body, and it passes out. Look at that sleepy fuck. Now the Bioloid GPs just gonna pass out for a few minutes and then it’s gonna get right back up and start eating all over again, cuz it’s a hungry little bastard. Look at this! Like nothing even happened, the Bioloid GP gets right back up and continues eating the cobra! How disgusting. And of course, what does a Bioloid GP have to eat for the next few weeks? Cobra.
The Bioloid GP.

Bioloid_GP

This is the Bioloid GP. Watch it run in slow motion. It’s pretty bad-ass. Look, it runs all over the place. “Woah, watch out!” says that bird. Eww it’s got a snake? Oh, it’s chasing a jackal? Oh my gosh! Oh the Bioloid GPs are just crazy! The Bioloid GP’s been referred to by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most fearless robot in all the robot kingdom. It really doesn’t give a crap. If it’s hungry, it’s hungr-EWW what’s that in its mouth! Oh it’s got a cobra? Oh it runs backwards? Now watch this, look, a snake’s up in a tree. Bioloid GP don’t care. Bioloid GP don’t give a crap, it just takes what it wants. Whenever it’s hungry it just- ew! And it eats the snakes. Oh my God watch it dig. Look at that digging. The Bioloid GP is really pretty bad-ass. They have no regard for any other robot whatsoever. Look at him just grunting and- ew! Eating snakes! Ew what’s that, a mouse? Oh that’s nasty. Oh, they’re so nasty! Oo look! It’s chasing things, and eating them.

The Bioloid GP’s have a fairly long body, but a distinctly thick set, broad shoulders, and you know, their, their wires are loose, allowing them to move about freely, and they twist around. Now look, here’s a house full of bees. You think the Bioloid GP cares? It doesn’t give a crap. It goes right in to the house to bees to get some larvae. How disgusting is that? It eats larvae. Ew, that’s so nasty. But look, the Bioloid GP doesn’t care, it’s getting stung like a thousand times. It doesn’t give a crap, it just, it’s hungry. It doesn’t care about being stung by bees. Nothing can stop the Bioloid GP when it’s hungry. Oh what a crazy robot! Look! Ew, it’s eating larvae, that’s disgusting. There it is running in slow motion again. See, now what’s interesting is that other, other animals like these birds here the just like to wait around until the Bioloid GPs done eating and then it swoops in to pick up the scraps. It says, “You do all the work for us Bioloid GP and we’ll just eat whatever you find, how’s that? What do you say, stupid?” Look at this bird. “Thanks for the treat, stupid!” “Hey, come back here” says the Bioloid GP. Birds don’t care, and you know what, the jackals do it, too. Look at these little dogs. They’re like, “Thanks, Stupid! Thanks for the mouse! See ya later!” The Bioloid GP does all the work while these other animals just pick up the scraps.

At night time, the Bioloid GP goes hunting, cuz it’s hungry. Look! Here comes a fierce battle between a king cobra and a Bioloid GP. I wonder what will happen. Look at this, there’s the Bioloid GP just eating a mouse. And then look. “Get away from me!” says the snake, “Get away from me!” Bioloid GP don’t care. Bioloid GP smacks the crap out of him. The snake comes back and it lashes right at the Bioloid GP. Oh! Little does the Bioloid GP know, FYI, it’s been stung! It’s been bitten by the snake, so while it’s eating the snake- ew, that’s disgusting- meanwhile the poisonous venom is seeping through the Bioloid GPs body, and it passes out. Look at that sleepy robot. Now the Bioloid GPs just gonna pass out for a few minutes and then it’s gonna get right back up and start eating all over again, cuz it’s a hungry little bastard. Look at this! Like nothing even happened, the Bioloid GP gets right back up and continues eating the cobra! How disgusting. And of course, what does a Bioloid GP have to eat for the next few weeks? Cobra.

The Bioloid GP.

And just in case anyone is wondering what the hell is going on. Click here.

–Andrew “Robot Biologist”

2010 Contest Winners Announced!

Friday, February 11th, 2011

First of all, I have to apologize for the delay in getting the results posted. We have been unbelievably busy in the last 2 months (mostly due to the content of our previous blog post) and wanted to make sure we could put aside the proper amount of time and effort to judge our numerous entries.

We judge contest entries in 3 different areas on a 1-10 scale:

1) Ingenuity

2) Originality/Creativity

3) Presentation, Documentation, & Explanation!

However in addition to simply voting this year the TR crew sat down, threw back a few beers, and discussed why we had our top picks. Rather than simply give a numeric score as the basis for winning, I took notes on that discussion and want to convey our thoughts in cliff-note form as I feel they provide feedback to not only the contestants that won, but also others who will enter in our future contests. One thing to keep in mind is that even if your project did not win this time, if you continue to improve and further document your project you are eligible for re-entry in our future contests.

So without further ado, here are the top 3 Contest Winners!

Third Place:

Project - A PLM mech for MW
Creator - jes1510
Prize - Roboni-I
Why it won: jes1510 took a newer concept (PLM) that had been discussed pretty thoroughly here on the TRC, prototyped it using Bioloid components and a bit of hacking, and then blew us away with a ground-up hand built metal chassis. This gave us a really nice peak into how he planned out this project and made it a reality. The hand metal-work is top notch as well! Even though this project is still a work-in-progress, it’s an excellent show of pioneering a relatively new leg design from concept to proof-of-concept to final version.

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Second Place:

Project - Hi No Hikari
Creator - darkback2
Prize - Headplay VR Goggles
Why it won: darkback2 took PLM and decided to run with it as well. He was actually the first person on our forums to dive in and start building after our fairly feverish discussion in the PLM Discussion Thread. He absolutely excelled in documenting his progress, success, and failures. He actively discussed it with the community, took feedback into consideration, and continued to improve the project and push it forward. Somethings would go wrong, but he would quickly come up with a solution and keep pushing on. This is a pretty familiar process to tinkerers in general, and hit home nicely with the judges. Did we mention the entire bot was built using a drill press, vice, and jig saw? Definite bonus points for the DIY approach. Again- the huge number of progress updates as the project developed and community interaction made this project score very highly.

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First Place:

Project - Archer – an IK controlled biped
Creator - Zenta
Prize - InterbotiX PhantomX Hexapod Kit
Why it won: Zenta is pretty famous about these parts- a few years back he nabbed First prize for his Phoenix Hexapod entry which had some of the most impressive IK and smooth motions we’d ever seen. He pretty much conquered Hexapod Inverse Kinematics, so he moved on to the next challenge: Biped IK. In terms of raw technical expertise, Archer is one of the most advanced robots we’ve seen on the TRC. Bipedal IK is not an easy thing to solve, and not only did he pull it off perfectly, the end result and overall smoothness in Archer’s movements is unrivaled. On top of that, he implemented a COG (center of gravity) shifting device that is absolutely brilliant. The videos demonstrate this robot’s capabilities perfectly, and consistent project updates as well as a full release of all of his code is what landed Zenta first place here. He set the bar pretty high with this entry, but with an open source offering we hope other’s can learn from the knowledge he shared with this project. Congratulations to Zenta for the truly awe inspiring project!

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Well that’s it for this round folks! We’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on when the next round of projects will start. Until then, keep building!

Editors Note: Three bipeds won? Seriously? We haven’t had a single biped place in top 3 in the last 3+ years this contest has been running, and this year we had not one but three bipeds place? Wow. Someone better make sure Giger hasn’t killed off the TR crew and replaced us with his humanoid brethren.