We had a great time at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! As usual we brought the PhantomX Hexapod MK-III on a leash (always a crowd favorite), but everyone fell in love with the Geekbot V2 this year! We were there all day running an arena with kids piloting Geekbots to take as many balls as they could to the goal. We set up wireless first person view cameras on the Geekbots and control stations that utilized a combination of Wii Classic Controllers and Xbees at our booth, giving an awesome experience to anyone willing to step up to the challenge. With no prior experience with robotics, children were taking control of the arena with ease, and people came to watch, play, and learn about robotics all day! Seeing how the children interacted with the robots was heartwarming, to say the least. Check out the video that Kyle put together, and feel a little of what we felt that day!
Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category
What a sick, twisted world it is when Ashton Kutcher will drop your phone over a lie of omission. What horror exists in this disturbed mind that would take a benign gripper for use in such destructive ends? Why, of all things, would they measure the purity of a human being against the scales of carnage against a phone, hopelessly clung to by a gripper that would send it crashing headlong into the ground by the true force of gravity? We may never know, but it sure is entertaining to watch. If you have one of the discontinued RobotGeek Grippers featured in this video, we advise you that it may or may not be possessed by the evil spirit of Ashton Kutcher, and may or may not decide to drop your phone if you don’t tell your parents about the loss of your virginity. We can assure you that the new RobotGeek Parallel Gripper is not evil, so upgrade today!
Star Wars fans, you’ve got to check this out. Instructable user ASCAS (Angelo) has made a full-size, app controlled BB-8 Droid. That in and of itself is cool, but Angelo has been kind enough to make an instructable so that you can build one too! This has gotten some discussion going around the office as to how we’re likely to make one. This is just awesome, and here’s to hoping this inspires many people to get involved with robotics!
Roboticist Y. Nakajima has produced one of the most creative, yet nightmare inducing incarnations of Thomas the Tank Engine quite possibly to have ever existed. As noted in the blog post announcing the existence of this robot, the name of this creation roughly translates to “Multi-legged Agency Tank Thomas”, and it has a mythology drawing from the Thomas the Tank Engine children’s show involving Sir Topham suffering from madness and obsession after a great war, and modifying the gentle Locomotive, adding legs and a radioactive death ray to be an agent of destruction. In reality, the robot stands about a foot tall, and is outfitted with a 300mw laser, which can do some pretty serious damage to human eyes, balloons, and matches. Watch the video if you would like to ruin your childhood and potentially never sleep again.
A group comprised of members of Carnegie Mellon University, The Robotics Institute, and the Advanced Robotics lab at IIT, have been kicking around a full size million dollar humanoid robot. Don’t worry, this robot is fully equipped to brace itself for the fall, much in the same way a human would. Upon having a force acting upon the robot, leading it into what would be a catastrophic fall, it will hold out its hands to brace itself against a wall. It even accurately pushes itself back into proper standing position! Check out the video. It’s impressive work, but you might feel bad for the robot.
Hot on the heels of the announcement of the US series BattleBots getting a reboot, BBC has announced that Robot Wars is coming back to BBC2! After a decade of real robot battling blackout, 2016 is apparently a great year for robotic battle entertainment. If you want to enter your robotic creation into BattleBots fighting roster, check out the Rules and Entry page for all the details. Having just gotten the greenlight, details on entry to Robot Wars has yet to be announced. In the meantime, you can check out some savage battle footage from the original Robot Wars series.
This project is so cool. Next Project Awesome has been working on a drink serving project known as Drinkinator. Utilizing a load of RobotGeek Pumping Stations, a Geekduino, and operated by a Raspberry Pi touch screen interface made in Kivy, this beautiful project makes for a fantastic automated party bartender. This project is well documented on Next Project Awesome’s GitHub, so if you’re looking for a project to follow, it doesn’t get much better than this. Next Project Awesome is an ambitious new youtube series that covers the use of Raspberry Pi and Arduino to make projects. They’re pretty amazing so far, and if you like what you see, you should subscribe to their channel!
Team ProbatioNerds stopped by Trossen Robotics to build the HR-OS1 They won from Matrix at TADHack! We captured a time-lapse video of the build party you can check out on our instagram. They’re a lovely group of people, and we hope to see them again soon (and we’re really interested to see what they do with their robot)!
RobotGeek has rolled out two Floor Switch Mat kits to make your Halloween SUPER SPOOKY. The first is the RobotGeek Floor Switch Tail Kit, a simple kit that turns on any AC powered device when someone steps on a Floor mat switch. The more advanced (but super simple to set up with our How to Guide) RobotGeek Floor Mat Experimenter’s Kit Gives you extensive control over tons of things, such as sounds, lights, and external devices (such as a halloween prop) when the floor mat switch is activated.