Archive for the ‘Featured Projects / Robots’ Category

My Keepon says take me home!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

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.

TRC Member Spotlight: Gertlex

Friday, August 26th, 2011

We actually get a good number of our forum members from the TRC dropping by to chat and hang out, so figured we’d better start sharing the awesome robots they bring in! This week we had Gertlex drop by and show off his first walking robot project, Numa, which he is building for Mech Warfare. Check it out!

AX-12 Robot Arm & Arbotix Demo

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Banter, robots, video. Go!

Cross Dressing Robots!

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Our old friend Che is a bit special. He has pet ducks, snakes, really ugly dogs, and a really hot wife. He wears his mom’s leather pants. He’s also into robo-masochism: meaning he lets his paintball-equipped robots shoot the crap out of him, all the while filming it for the internet’s enjoyment. We have weird friends.

He also has a great custom humanoid project that he has shared with the TRC, Hi No Hikari. This rather large humanoid robot is a kung-fu competitor and Mech-Warfare veteran. “It” also wears dresses, kimonos, and sometimes has flowers tucked into it’s mechanics. I don’t know, don’t ask me. We’re fully supportive of alternative robot lifestyles, but sometimes it’s better that we just not ask. Giger did not appreciate the dress at last year’s Mech-Warfare. He muttered something about “damn hippies” and proceeded to shoot Hi No Hikari in his/her flowery face.

With all that said, it’s been a great learning experience for Che, and one that he has shared with us every step of the way. This was his first attempt at a PLM design and he started off using AX-12+’s, eventually upgrading to the more powerful RX-28s.

Seeing this project progress from Hi No Hikari’s first steps to what he’s achieved now has been great! Check out his latest progress in the video below, we can’t wait to see even more come from this project!

Community Member Jdoleki’s “Poor Man’s PR2″

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Occasionally we have our TRC members that are either locals or happen to be passing through town drop by to pay us a visit. The first thing they usually comment on is what a pretty man I am. Then they notice how bald Matt is. And how hairy Alex is. Then they notice our awesome collection of robots. Sometimes though, they bring their own robots.

Jdolecki is a long-time forum member who just  recently revealed himself to be a Chicagoan, so I threw him an invite to come hang out for a bit and check out our shop.  He mentioned bringing his robot, but mentioned that it’d only be worth it if we were on the first floor. I didn’t really think much of it, until I walked outside and saw the behemoth he had in his truck.

I present to you the “Poor Man’s PR2″ WIP project that Jdolecki brought by our office. It’s an old-school, and rather awesome Cybermotion K2A from the 80′s. According to Jdolecki, he scored it at a thrift store for a cool $500; considering the average price of these platforms still is in the several thousand dollar range, that’s a steal! This thing was beyond sturdy, made from cast-iron steel and sporting an advanced omni-directional drive system that looked like it could take a bullet and keep rolling. Check out the video below, and Jdolecki’s blog for more info!

–Andrew – “Robot Scientist”

DARwin-OP Robot prefers Tecate?

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

With every new family member it starts with excitement and love. They bring joy and laughter into the home. There are cards and gifts and parties to celebrate. But then the reality begins to settle in and you discover that every personality has a dark side. Something deep and hidden in their past…

Darwin-OP Humanoid Research Robot

CHARLI-L2 First Walking Test

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

I had the pleasure of meeting up with the Virginia Tech RoMeLa crew at Robocup 2011 earlier this month, where they were showing off not only a Kid-Size team full of Darwin-OP robots, but also their new CHARLI-L2 humanoid. Popular Science already did a nice write-up of CHARLI’s performance in the Adult-size league, but I found this video of CHARLI-L2 taking his first steps (in the nude) to be equally interesting.

We’ll have a bunch of content on my trip to Robocup 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey in the very near future! Stay tuned!

– Andrew “Robot Sexpert”

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”

Project Spotlight: Immortal, Quad Mech

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Cire came to our forums with a background in mechanical engineering and an insatiable urge to get involved with Mech Warfare. Inspired by Starcraft 2, he wanted to build a Mech that was based on the Protoss ranged support unit, the Immortal. He did his research, started with rough 3D CAD drawings, and ultimately decided to use AX-12+ Dynamixels & the Arbotix Robocontroller with it’s NUKE engine as a basis for his platform.

His project thread documents the progress he made, from someone with minimal previous electronics and programming knowledge, to someone with a highly competitive and fully functional Mech Warfare platform. Aesthetically this quad Mech hits the mark perfectly with its custom machined aluminum frame; Immortal is only very polished project that is sure to prove a fierce competitor at Robogames this April. Cire also went the extra mile and integrated a 4th degree of freedom in each leg; the position of the tip of each leg uses the angle values of the rest of the leg to maintain a perpendicular orientation to the ground. Be sure to check in with the competition results to see how he fares at Mech Warfare 2011!

Pet Laser Dazer

Monday, December 13th, 2010

omgreddotz

Screwing with pets is fun. They are furry and cute but despite what your ex-girlfriend used to go on and on and on about, they really aren’t that smart.  Case in point is the laser game where any seemingly sane cat or dog can be sent into a frenzy over a quickly moving dot of light. Endless fun can be had watching their minds break as they hopelessly chase something they cannot physically grab. This is why humans rule the earth. We should stop showing our children movies where animals talk and are smart, because we are just setting them up for disappointment.

The pet Laser Dazer is a fun project that can be done with the Vision Tracking Starter Kit or the Desktop RoboTurret (need to pick up the laser separate.) The concept is simple, take the age old game of “catch the laser dot” and add robots to the mix! It even works with kids. Watch the end of the video to see Andrew’s daughter throw herself against the wall in excitement. See, robots ARE fun people.

Laser Dazer Demo App can be found here.

ScreenShot:

laserdazerscreenshot