We had a great time for the third year in a row at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! So many bright young stars came to our booth to learn about robotics, some of which were involved in arduino programming, many of which left with an interest in robotics. We rolled out the HR-OS1 for his first public event, and everyone loved him! Congrats to the volunteers on a successful Maker Faire, and many more to come!
These soft robots, developed by Otherlab, are one of the results of research into lighter, softer robotics. As a point, these biologically inspired robots are soft, but strong as their hard bodied cousins. Due to the less precise nature of building with soft materials, these robots have more sensors than a traditionally hard robot would need to hold or return to a position. With the cost of sensors dropping, these fellas came about at the right time.
Disney’s Beachbot, designed at ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab, is a seemingly simple robot turtle that combs impressively large images into damp sand. They claim to want to make large scale images on the earth at the scale of the Nazca lines! Imagine what you could create with a RobotGeek Rover!
After a short break and a successful Kickstarter campaign, RoboGames, the world’s largest robotics competition, is back! Trossen Robotics participated in Mech Warfare at RoboGames multiple times, winning awards and inspiring the next generation of roboticists alongside friends in the robotics community. We’re glad to see them return. If you can’t make it out to the event in San Mateo, California, don’t worry. RoboGames will be producing professional, high quality video of the event to be released online, on DVD and Blu-Ray Disc, so you won’t miss out on the action!
Production value on the videos taken at this year’s event will be of higher quality, but here’s a bit of video from the 2012 Mech Warfare at RoboGames.
We will be at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, Saturday, May 2, 2015. This will be our third time attending, and we’re pumped to show off all that we’ve been up to in the last year. We love inspiring people young and old to pursue an interest in robotics. It’s also pretty sweet that we were featured in a Meet the Maker post on front page of the Mini Maker Faire website. We hope to see you there!
Simple modular development kits have been somewhat of a unicorn in the safari of hobby electronics offerings. Many have tried, but to date there have been no break away success story yet. B-Squares is a new contender in the running and they are adding solar power to the mix along with an Ipod dock and an attractive form factor.
Previously we had Buglabs take a shot at this genre of product and it appears that they are still around, but it is unclear how long they will stay with $699 to $1,500 (!!!) price tags. It is hard to imagine anyone who wants to tinker with blocks having that kind of cash to burn to do so.
Modular Robotics has their cute little cubelets which shrink everything down and add robotics into the mix with options for drive cubes and range sensing. Also, a far more reasonable price. These look like great educational kits for teachers that want to get young kids excited about engineering.
B-squares with roughly a $25 price tag per square right now hits a nice price point and are being very smart by leveraging arduino compatibility. (You can pre-order on kickstarter and help these become reality) These stand a good chance of being popular at places like thinkgeek.com.
I’m sure many readers have already run across this, but for those who haven’t, we thought it worth sharing. Being geeks during lunch we often find geeky stuff to watch. I personally checkout what the latest TED talks are, catch up on Jon Stewart, or cruise Reddit. Today I stumbled across the Richard Feynman: Fun to Imagine documentary on Youtube. Feynman is famous for his ability to explain complex physics to the everyday person as well as infuse the subjects with fun and enthusiasm. I learned something today that I had always wondered; I had no idea that the bulk of plants came from pulling the atoms literally out of the air. I always wondered how it was that more of the dirt didn’t disappear every year when the leaves fell and were taken away. So now I don’t know whether to feel dumb or smarter 😛
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…