Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

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

MINI Robocontroller now available!

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Yet another great microcontroller from our friends over at Vanadium Labs; the MINI Robocontroller is now available for sale!

This is an extremely versatile Arduino-software compatible microcontroller that packs a lot of features in a very small footprint. It is also the board used for the target/scoring system in the Mech Warfare robotics competition. Read more below:

The MINI robocontroller is designed for small robots. It incorporates a powerful AVR microcontroller, XBEE wireless radio, dual motor drivers, and 3-pin servo-style headers for IO.

The board includes all circuitry needed to control a small differential drive robot. It can also easily control up to 4 servos.

See the user manual here.

RoboController Specifications

  • 16MHz AVR microcontroller (ATMEGA168).
  • 20 I/O, 6 of which can function as analog inputs
  • Servo style 3-pin headers (gnd, vcc, signal) on all 6 analog inputs, and 4 of the digital IO
  • Dual 1A motor drivers, with combined motor/encoder header.
  • XBEE radio sold separately. A typical setup will require 2 XBEE radios and an XBEE explorer to be able to wirelessly control your robot from your computer.
  • This board requires either an FTDI cable or ISP. We recommend the Sparkfun FTDI breakout.
  • 2.4”x2.4” with mounting holes in each corner.

Bioloid Premium Kit In-Stock and Shipping Today!

Monday, December 14th, 2009

The long awaited Bioloid Premium Kit has arrived! Thanks to all of those who pre-ordered, your orders are being shipped today with Free 2nd Day Air shipping!

We managed to pick up a handful of extra kits for those who missed the Pre-Order. Quantities are extremely limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Order now while there is still time before Christmas!

For those of you wondering about the availability and release date of the Bioloid Premium Upgrade Kit, which will allow Bioloid Comprehensive Kit owners to take advantage of all the awesome new features, these kits are estimated to be available in February. We will keep you updated!

Pre-Order the Bioloid Premium Kit! Free 2nd Day Shipping!

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Bioloid Premium Kit

We are now accepting pre-orders for the long anticipated Bioloid Premium Kit!

Initial quantities are limited, the cut off date for this pre-order is December 7th! Act now to reserve your Bioloid Premium Kit.

This kit is expected to be ready to ship December 14th-18th, and due to the holidays rapidly approaching, we are offering FREE 2nd Day Air shipping to all pre-orders within the United States!

BioloidPremiumKit3

Phoenix 2.0 Software Released

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

I’ll let Xan, the author of the code and fellow Phoenix collaborator, explain away:

The major changes in 2.0 are fixed point calculations to lower the cycle time.

Separate files to easy change remotes or hexapod settings. This will allow the user to simply add the correct remote file and hexapod file to adapt the code for different hardware without having to hack in to the core.

Single leg control to directly control one of the legs. This can be used with or withouth balance mode.

GP Player support. This allows the user to play sequences that are stored inside the SSC. This will need the current GP firmware for the SSC and a bi-directional connection between the BAP and SSC.

Here’s a full list of the new features:

;NEW IN V2.0
; - Moved to fixed point calculations
; - Inverted BodyRotX and BodyRotZ direction
; - Added deadzone for switching gaits
; - Added GP Player
; - SSC version check to enable/disable GP player
; - Controls changed, Check contol file for more information
; - Added separate files for control and configuration functions
; - Solved bug at turn-off sequence
; - Solved bug about legs beeing lift at small travelvalues in 4 steps tripod gait
; - Solved bug about body translate results in rotate when balance is on (Kåre)
; - Sequence for wave gait changed (Kåre)
; - Improved ATan2 function for IK (Kåre)
; - Added option to turn on/off eyes (leds)
; - Moving legs to init position improved
; - Using Indexed values for legs
; - Added single leg control

The software will be uploaded to my Project page.

Lynxmotion will also update the phoenix tutorial. This will include a link to the software as well. I’m sure they will notify us when the work is done.

Xan

And here’s a rather lengthy video demonstrating the new Phoenix code in action!

arbotiX Robocontroller Now Available!

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

We’re officially launching this much anticipated new Robocontroller today! Thanks to all of those who pre-ordered, your board should be on it’s way! Our initial stock of these is limited, so get em while they’re hot!


The arbotiX Robocontroller, an advanced 3rd party Bioloid controller, is now in stock and ready to be sold! It incorporates a powerful AVR microcontroller, XBEE wireless radio, dual motor drivers, and 3-pin servo-style headers for IO.

The arbotiX robocontroller is specifically designed to control robots built using the Bioloid System and AX-12+ servos, although it is also a very high-end solution for powerful rovers. It is not intended to be a drop-in replacement for a CM-5, rather it is intended as a high level development tool for building more sophisticated robots.

For full information and product manual, check the manufacturer’s page.

arbotiX Robocontroller Specifications

  • 16MHz AVR microcontroller (ATMEGA644p).
  • 2 serial ports, 1 dedicated to Bioloid servo controller, the other to the XBEE radio
  • 3 Bioloid AX-12+ style ports onboard, plug your AX-12+ Servos directly in!
  • 32 I/O, 8 of which can function as analog inputs
  • Servo style 3-pin headers (gnd, vcc, signal) on all 8 analog inputs, and 8 of the digital IO

We have also put together the arbotiX Robocontroller Starter Kit that includes everything you need to get started, including a pair of Xbee radios, an Xbee USB Explorer, and a USB AVR Programmer!

arbotiX Robocontroller Now Available for Pre-Order!

Monday, October 5th, 2009

We’re officially launching this much anticipated new Robocontroller tomorrow, but we figured we would give our faithful blog readers a chance at one before we do a main page announcement.

The arbotiX Robocontroller, an advanced 3rd party Bioloid controller, is now in stock and ready to be sold! We still have some additional information to add to the page, as well as a new ISP programmer we picked up… but for those of you wanting to get the ball rolling, check it out and pick one up while supplies last! Our initial stock of these is limited, so get em while they’re hot!

PhidgetSBC – Phidgets Linux Based Single Board Computer

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Phidgets have long been a favorite for computer software developers due to their ease of use, wide selection of sensors and I/O boards, and solid API offering for a variety of programming languages. The one thing that has always been a requirement however, is a physical connection to a computer via USB cable.

All of that is a thing of the past now with the introduction of the PhidgetSBC; an Arm9 based embedded Linux computer (it runs a custom Linux Distro built using Buildroot) combined with the tried and true Phidgets 8/8/8 IO Board.P1070

So what does that mean to you? In its simplest form and function, it effectively cuts the cable of your Phidgets projects and allows you to access your Phidgets devices over ethernet or the included Wifi dongle. The onboard computer acts as a server for the variety of APIs that Phidgets offers, and this enhanced ‘mobility’ opens the doors to a much wider variety of applications. The PhidgetSBC can function as a wireless extension of your PC, a Wifi enabled Robot Controller, or even a standalone Robot Controller. That’s right, the PhidgetSBC is fully programmable; there is an easy to use interface that allows you to load custom C or Java code directly to the board and have it run autonomously, without the previously required PC link. If that wasn’t enough, more advanced users can modify the Linux build to their hearts content, host other USB based Phidgets devices by simply plugging them into the PhidgetSBC, and has integrated support for streaming a web cam feed back to your PC. I’m really just skimming the surface here, for more details check out the (as always) very well documented product manual.

The PhidgetSBC will run you $243.90 USD and we are currently accepting pre-orders for this as we anticipate it to be a very high demand product. Given that the development kits for the onboard computer used here usually run in the ~$150-200 range, this price is a VERY good deal to anyone looking to take their Phidgets projects to the next level. Initial quantities will be limited and orders are filled on a first come first serve basis, so get your pre-order in ASAP to snag one up!

arbotiX – Advanced Robocontroller for the Bioloid System

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

We’re good friends with the folks over at Vanadium Labs; some very talented people who have been in the robotics game for quite awhile but have just now established their official company. This is great news for the robotics community however, as they have some pretty amazing products on the horizon. One product in particular is the new arbotiX Robocontroller, an advanced Open Source microcontroller tailored for the Bioloid system and AX-12+ servos.
arbotix

The arbotiX robocontroller is an advanced control solution for small-to-medium size robots. It incorporates a powerful AVR microcontroller, XBEE wireless radio, dual motor drivers, and 3-pin servo-style headers for IO.

The arbotiX robocontroller is specifically designed to control robots built using Bioloid servos, although it is also a very high-end solution for powerful rovers. It is not intended to be a drop-in replacement for a CM-5, rather it is intended as a high level development tool for building more sophisticated robots.

So what we have here is an Arduino IDE compatible microcontroller with a plethora of I/O, plug and play capable with AX-12 servos, and an Xbee Wireless Link to your PC. It’s also worth mentioning that this was the controller used in the robot that won Year 1 of Mech Warfare, Issydunyet. For more information on the controller check out the Vanadium Labs website.

Trossen Robotics will be exclusively distributing this exciting and powerful new Robocontroller with an estimated release date of Mid-October 2009. We’ll have more details in the near future, stay tuned!

Want to see the arbotiX in action? Here is a quick video showing a basic Inverse Kinematics demonstration on Issydunyet!