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!
Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category
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
This 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
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!”
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
And just in case anyone is wondering what the hell is going on. Click here.
–Andrew “Robot Biologist”
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:
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Code Project had so much fun the first time around that they are doing it again. Up for grabs are more cool robot prizes. This time they decided to concentrate on Beginner Tutorials to help introduce people who are new to the basics of Physical Computing. This is a great chance for the robotics and physical computing community to show computer programmers what they are missing. Anyone can go join the community over there and post articles. Just please read the guidlines they have carefully first. Good luck to all who enter!
The contest begins on December 6, 2010 and will end February 6, 2011 at 11:59:59 PM US Eastern Standard Time.
Contest Page (Beginners Hardware and Device Programming Competition)
The Hardware Zone (Where the articles are posted)
Celebrate the holidays by spending money on the only things that matters… Robots! Buy them for your kids, for your geeky parents, for your pets, even people you don’t like. (Set those ones to kill.) This is America and we only know how to express our emotions through wild unfettered spending of cash and credit. Don’t be left behind.
Seriously though, robots are fun and give many hours of entertainment and education. When skynet comes to your door in 20 years you can show them your vintage collection and instead of shooting you they will fall to their knees, cry, and call you Daddy or Mommy.
The sale is valid while supplies last, but we will also honor it on most back ordered items as well and be sure to get it to you before Xmas. If you have any questions just give us a call at 877-898-1005. Real live humans answer the phones here. (But not until Monday, because we are stuffing our faces with turkeys for the next few days. Yes, multiple turkeys.) Call to order stuff, call to say hi, call to tell us about your awesome Turkey Day dinner (ask for Andrew please).
We hope everyone is enjoying the start to the holidays and isn’t having a nervous breakdown over the weather turning cold. This is normal, it happens every year. It will get warmer again. Unless you live in a really cold place that is cold year round. In which case, you should probably move, because that is really depressing. If you do, don’t expect your dogs to understand it however.
Here are some dancing Christmas lights. You’ll have to think of a different winter project. It has been done. To Death.
Here is the sale link if you didn’t find it in the FOUR spots above Trossen Robotics Black Friday to Cyber Monday Robot Sale!!!