Archive for the ‘Featured Projects / Robots’ Category

5 Legged Hexapod Learns to Walk Again

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

hexapod damaged

IEEE Spectrum has a great article on researchers with ISIR, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris running experiments with out PhantomX Hexapod.

In these experiments the researchers are examining algorithms for robots to ‘recover’ from damage. In this case, they shortned a leg of the hexapod, and use a T-Resilience Algorithm to calculate a new walking pattern/gait.

Their initial gait was able to acheive a top speed of 26cm/s. When they shortened one leg to half it’s original length, the performance dropped to 8cm/s. At this point the robot begins to calculate a new gait. It runs 40 simulations, then trys the best of these simulations in real life. The hexapod will run this experiment 25 times to determine the best new gait. In only 20 minutes the hexapod is able to use a new gait that gets 18cm/s – three times the performance of the original gait under damaged conditions!

Now this is no normal PhantomX Hexapod. This model has a custom chassis, an IR camera, MX-28s, an on on-board computer, and a custom built ‘damaged’ leg.

Researchers Sylvain Koos, Antoine Cully and Jean-Baptiste Mouret have done a great job with this experiement as well as documenting it. More information about the paper can be found here and here. A PDF of the paper can be found here.

New Edge Kits and an Octopod

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Interbotix Octopod

Interbotix Labs is proud to announce our first entry into our line of Edge Kits!

Edge Kits are robotics kits that we are releasing from our R&D labs early. In an effort to make more kits available to the community and to accelerate the innovation cycle we have decided to start releasing “Edge Kits” for advanced builders. The name comes from the term “cutting edge” to denote that these kits are on the front edge of development. The kits are intended as hardware kits and may or may not come with certain levels of code that we and the community is working on, though code will often be available in unsupported beta formats which people are sharing and banging away on to improve.

We made the choice to release kits in this format due to the demand we have seen over the years from the community wanting to get their hands on advanced kits faster than the normal cycle. We as roboticists are notoriously impatient people and when we want to build, we want to build now. So the Edge Kit was born. The kits do NOT come with the same level of documentation, code, and/or assembly instructions that our fully support Interbotix Kits do. As a result, these kits are best suited for individuals with previous experience with our kits or other similar applications.

Our first Edge Kit is the Interbotix Octopod. As the name suggests, the kit is an eight legged crawler. Community member KevinO has already gotten his kit up and running with some seriously advanced features and sensing capabilities. His robot Charlotte started life as a PhantomX Hexapod running an Arbotix and from there he modified the legs several times to his liking (a great feature of the modular AX-12 bracket system). Soon a Raspberry Pi and Kinect 3d Camera sensor were added, and he ported over the Phoenix-Phoenix code (another community project for our crawlers lead by KurtE) to run natively on the Raspberry Pi. As he experimented with face tracking, obstacle avoidance and gesture tracking, KevinO expressed a desire to make Charlotte a bit closer to a real spider by adding an additional pair of legs and bringing the total up to 8. And thus, the Octopod project was born.

This is a perfect example of how the synergy of small companies and online communities are ever increasing the speed of innovation in technology. A big thanks goes out to Kevin for his VERY impressive project, we can’t wait to see where he takes it next! Check out his video of Charlotte taking some of her early steps:

Awesome 3D Printed Arm Uses a PhantomX Gripper

Friday, July 19th, 2013

3darm

Maker n8zach has built himself an amazing 3D printed arm. The arm is powered by 1 MX-106, 3 MX-64s, 1 MX-28 and 2 AX-18As (one of which is used with our PhantomX Gripper The arm is contorlled via a PC using a USB2DYNAMIXEL and the DYNAMIXEL SDK.

This arm on its own is pretty amazing, but on top of everything else, n8zach can control his arm via a Kinect. He can control the arm manually, or he can set it to automatically perform certain tasks.

pyPincher, an IKGUI tool for the PhantomX Pincher

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

pypincher

Phil Williammee has created an application that can communicate with the the PhantomX Pincher through PyPose. pyPincher will allow you to control the Pincher via rotation, extension, and height, along with gripper angle and the gripper itself. The program will then also give you a 3D representation of the arm’s current position. You can even load different coordinates and toggle between them! This is just another great example of how users can leverage the open software and firmware of the InterbotiX robots to create custom setups.

You can grab a copy of the code at his GitHub page

RK-1, a wifi Arduino mobile robot for iOS & Android devices

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Today’s Kickstarter shout out is for RK-1, an adorable wifi arduino bot to be controlled by smart phones and tablet devices.

From the project page:

The RK-1 is a fun mobile robot, that uses an ad hoc wifi connection, which is controlled using your iOS or Android device.

The control board on the robot is built on the Arduino hardware/software architecture, which is open source, and the controller software and hardware will also be available open source. The idea is to give the community the ability to make Arduino projects mobile. There is no end to what you can do- you can add sensors and actuators to this fun little device and control it remotely.

I have implemented a new and amazing way of controlling the robot using swipe gestures.

RK-1, a wifi Arduino mobile robot for iOS & Android devices

New Build Pictures of Envy, Andrew’s Newest Quad: UPDATED

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Update: Even more pictures are available here

Mech Warfare is quickly approaching and the entrants are finalizing their bots before game day. Our own Andrew Alter is turning up the heat this year with his newest Quadruped, Envy! Envy uses 16 MX-64T and 2 MX-28T DYNAMIXEL robot actuators to produce its silky smooth movement.

You can see a gallery of Andrew’s newest build here and some earlier pictures of his quad here

Envy’s body is based on Ryan Lowerr’s QKQ1 design, an Open Source Quadruped. The head and guns are modified version’s of Andrew’s own Insanity Wolf mech.

Leave a comment if you’d like to see your Mech Warfare entry up on the blog!

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.

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.

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.

Robots + Vision Tracking = Keeping Your Room Clean Forever

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Robots really shine when you give them great sensors to read in data about their world – and what better sensor to give a robot than sight? Well minokur built an amazing little bot, the TrashBox and remotley tethered it to a Microsoft Kinect. The Kinect is capable of sensing 3d environments, and pinpointing moving objects in space. When you combine this power with the mobile little TrashBox, you get a trash bin that will race to catch every bit of trash you throw.

There aren’t a ton of details on the program running the show or what kind of range this robot is accurate to, but just the TrashBox’s design and performance are enough to make this an awesome project.

Via [Oh Gizmo!]