Archive for the ‘Featured Projects / Robots’ Category

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

DIY Project Contest Deadline Extended until Jan 1st, 2011

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
We have received multiple requests from students and hobbyists alike to extend the Trossen Robotics DIY Project Contest so that winter break will grant some extra time to finish up projects.

Ask and you shall receive! The deadline for the contest has been extended until Jan 1st, 2011!

We’ve had a ton of incredible entries in past contests. Because it’s been so long since our last contest, we’ve decided it was time to start showing off some of the work that has kept us so quite by giving away one of our very own Interbotix Hexapods! The goal of our contests have always been to inspire technological creativity, innovation and ingenuity through these talented individual’s unique projects. We invite everyone to help spread the word about this contest announcement to help encourage others to show off their talent.
1st place

Retail: $1,299.00

InterbotiX PhantomX Hexapod

2nd place

headplay

Retail: $399.00

Headplay VR Goggles

3rd place

Roboni

Retail: $150.00

Roboni-I

Please visit our Project Contest Page to learn more about the contest, how to enter and for the official rules and guidelines.

Questions? Contact Us!

AIST’s Latest Humanoid “HRP-4″ is AMAZING!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I’m nearly at a complete loss of words at this humanoid robot. WOW. Absolutely brilliant show of progress for humanoids across the globe. It’s not just the movement, it’s how compact the entire robot is. No bulky joints, backpack, etc. Very slim, aesthetically pleasing humanoid robot!

More info found here!

DIY Vacuum Forming!

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Need a plastic shell for your robot!? Do it yourself and make your own vacuum former like some of the people in our forum. Some of these people have decided to take vacuum forming into their own hands. They have created custom vacuum forming machines, some seem to be a little over engineered and some aren’t too pretty, but they still get the job done.

Fun fact: Vacuum forming was used in the creation of the very first storm trooper armor in Star Wars.

Click on the pictures for more info!

DIY Vacuum Forming

DIY Vacuum Forming

DIY Vacuum Forming

Acroban Humanoid Robot Project

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Meet Acroban, a compliant humanoid project being developed by the Inria Flowers Research team in France. This humanoid robot, made mostly from RX-64 Dynamixels from the look of it, is impressive in that it uses a semi-passive dynamic locomotion and reliance on natural backlash compliance (along with structural flex & elastics) to portray some very lifelike movements.

Acroban is a lightweight compliant humanoid robot capable of robust semi-passive dynamic locomotion, life-like movements, and offers the possibility of a new kind of playful physical human-robot interaction. We developped this platform to explore how morphological constraints can simplify the developmental acquisition of complex sensorimotor skills, as well as to explore novel kinds of human-robot interaction.

The video demonstrates this very well, bringing a rather mechanical and utilitarian looking robot to life. Inria Flowers calls this the ‘Luxo Jr. Effect’ named after the pint size companion of Pixar’s lovable Desk Lamp mascot. It really is true though; something about the way this robot moves reaches out to our primal emotional response, making our brain think it’s something actually alive. In doing this, the robot effectively leaps over Uncanny Valley by coming across as very human-like without the increasingly creepy aesthetics that many humanoids fall victim to.

The Luxo Jr. Effect

Furthermore, Acroban provokes spontaneous highly positive emotional reactions, especially in children. Yet, as opposed to many other robots, its morphology is neither roundish nor cute. He has no big eyes. He is just made of metal, and its appearance shows it explicitly. At first glance, its visual appearance creates low expectation of intelligence and life-likeness. But when it begins to move and one can touch it, its natural dynamics, much more life-like than most other robots, triggers a high contrast and positive surprise. Life unexpectedly appears out of a neutral metallic object, much as Pixar’s Luxo Jr. This is the Luxo Jr. effect.

Enough talk, check out the demonstration video (especially the interaction with kids later on). If you’re looking for more info, the Acroban Page has a wealth of videos and writing on the project.