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.
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 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.
By looking at the video, we’d say that the dream is a reality.
In hexapod mode, the MorpHex elegantly traverses terrain – then, very subtly, it begins to constrict its size until it’s ready to transform. In sphere mode the MorpHex can roll, stop and even dance around. And while there are a million things to love about the MorpHex, the fact that the body was constructed out of a earth globe is the cherry on top.
It’s just another day at the office here at Trossen Robotics. You know, the usual paperwork, service calls, order packing, and Awesome Quadcopter Demonstrations.
Don and Jason of Mad Lab Industries came by to show off their amazing Quadcopter. They gave us a great demo, and shared some of their stories about the ups and downs of working with aerial vehicles. One small glitch, and suddenly your vehcicle can drop out of the air, or fly head first into the nearest building, the duo told us.
Their Hoverfly based monster of a Quadcopter is a amazing piece of machinery. This beast can quickly zip to an fro or it can hover in a stationary spot, compensating and resisting for wind. In addition, this machine also has a servo positioned/controlled camera. Here’s a shot of our team marvelling in awe at the Quadcopter.
Flying robots might not actually be a part of daily life here (though someday, they will be) so it’s great to see what people like Jason and Don have built. We love to see these kinds of projects, so if you’ve got a great project, show off in the Project Showcase in the forums!
Thanks again to Don and Jason for bringing in their quadcopter.
Our friend Will Lyon from over at thebestcasescenario.com is a master Computer Mod Designer. If you don’t believe me you can check out his latest project called Maximum Security. This badboy looks like he was yanked off the Nebuchadnezzar from the Matrix.
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!
Fon Davis and his production company Fonco Creative are good friends of Trossen Robotics; they’re our neighbors at Robogames and they even were kind enough to lend their superb modeling skills in designing and building the arena for Mech Warfare!
MORAV has been a pet project of Fon’s for a number of years now, and he’s finally reached a point where it needs some extra help to get off the ground. Up to now, it has been exclusively self-funded and built from volunteered time. This is the true definition of a grass roots project, and something that is truly a labor of love for all of those involved.
They’re in the process of building a set to shoot a pilot for “MORAV: Missions” and need your help! They started a Kickstarter with a goal of $39,782 and they’re almost there! Every dollar counts, and there are less than 72 hours left for the donation deadline and they must meet the goal amount to receive even a single penny. If you’re a fan of giant robots blowing things up, awesome sci-fi stories, and grassroots efforts pursuing dreams, stand up and help out!
And check out this plug with Mythbuster’s Grant Imahara!
Keepon bopped into our hearts in 2007 dancing to Spoon’s “I Keep My Camera On.” It was an instant love affair and everyone wanted him. Problem was, Keepon is a research bot and cost a wee bit too much. On April 1st 2009 we came out with what we thought was a much better and affordable version. (Video here.) But we must have missed the mark somehow because we didn’t sell any…
But now you can finally own an official Keepon called MyKeepon and preorders are already available. The price has dropped a little from 30K to $50. So he might fit into a few more Christmas budgets this year.
Another great bonus is that sales of MyKeepon help to fund Autism research. For those of us who have a loved one with Autism that is great news. Read more about the original research here.