Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

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

A Teacher and Some Robots Walk into a Bar…

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

We aren’t dead! We have just been very, very busy and very, very bad bloggers. We do have some great content coming soon however, we promise. Until then, here is a guest post from one of our awesome community members  (darkback2) who came to hang out with us for a few weeks. Che, a teacher in Washington state, is an active pro-hobby robot builder who participates in Mech Warfare and is known for shooting himself to entertain others. We were delighted that Che came to hang out with us and he was a huge help in moving some projects forward that we needed to get done. Expect some new products soon that we can all thank Che for helping make a reality before 2098.

Che  Visits Trossen Robotics

Che Visits Trossen Robotics

Teacher seeks real world experience and finds it at Trossen Robotics.

I am a high school science and robotics teacher.  A few months ago a friend of mine asserted that teachers couldn’t last two weeks in the real world.  I took that as a challenge and set out to prove him wrong.  I called, emailed, and wrote a number of robotics companies around the world.  Matt Trossen answered the call, offering me an internship at his Chicago-based robotics business.

As a result, I got to spend two weeks working at Trossen Robotics.  To be honest, I got to do the fun stuff while Matt Trossen, Andrew Alter, and Alex Ward were stuck doing the hard day-to-day stuff.  I quickly learned how hard it is for the Trossen team to get things done because of how much they have to multitask.  Every time they tried to work on a project, they were interrupted by phone calls, product orders, and the constant stream of people delivering parts, or picking up orders.

In addition to the normal intern duties, I got to do my favorite thing which is, of course, building robots.  During my two-week stay I built an army of robots including an Interbotix Hexapod, a Bioloid Premium, and a Bioloid GP, and shot product videos of each.

Most importantly, this was a wonderful experience that will have a profound effect on my classroom.  As a teacher, it is easy to get bogged down in the how and what of our curriculum.  I am always focusing on teaching the students how to do things and what they should know.  The most important thing I am taking away from this experience is that I need to focus much more on why.  Why things are done the way they are.  I am also much more keenly aware of how meticulous documentation is key to working collaboratively with others.  Because we recorded everything that we did through photographs, notes, and discussions, we were all on the same page and capable of addressing issues that arose as we went along.

The Trossen team made me feel more than welcome.  The hardest part was leaving at the end of my two-week stay.


We missed Che after he left too! We did consider locking him in… Thank you Che for all the awesome hard work you did during your visit!

Pet Laser Dazer

Monday, December 13th, 2010


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.



Robot World 2010 – Robot eye candy galore

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

As many know, we were recently at IRC 2010 in Korea. What even we ourselves didn’t know is that Robot World was going to be in Hall 2 right next to us. Robot World was packed full of amazing robots. Almost no one spoke English so we can”t tell you what they do, but we did run around taking lots of pictures and video to bring back for everyone. Enjoy, and try not to drool on your keyboard. One thing is clear, Korea knows how to make some cool robots.

IRC2010 in Korea- Too Much Robotic Awesome For One Show.

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

We’re still reeling from our trip to Korea; jet-lag, last minute flu bugs, and a tad too much Soju really did a number on us. One thing is for sure- Asia has the US beat handily on robotic presence. What we didn’t know when heading to the competition was that IRC2010 also was attached to Robotworld 2010, the single largest Robotics Convention we’ve ever seen. Literally hundreds of booths and double or even triple that number of robots ran wild in a convention hall bigger than an aircraft hanger. It’s going to take us a few weeks to sort through all the video, but we’ll give you a sneak peak at the hundreds of pictures we took. There is some SERIOUS robot-eye-candy in these galleries, be sure to check it out.

Hall 1 Gallery – This is mostly the competition pictures.

Hall 2 Gallery – This is the convention hall. They had robots we didn’t even know existed.

And here’s a few choice pics for those of you too lazy to check out the above linked galleries!

Ever Wanted To Design Your Own Giant Robot!?

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

NorHACKton is offering a very interesting design competition. Design your own robot! If your robot design is selected it will be made into a 10ft tall sculpture! Plus your design will be built during January through February 2011 with a regularly updated blog on its progress to boot. However, you must visit NorHACKton for all the details and rules. Here are some examples to help get your ideas rolling. Good luck to everyone!

Example 1Example 2Example 3


Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Technically there is only one GIANT ROBOT. I have nothing to say that can top the title, so here is a video of a GIANT ROBOT, aka Japan’s 1:1 scale Gundam, with some awesome time-lapse footage of the sky behind it (though I suggest you check it out in HD directly on youtube for full effect).


Arduino: The Documentary (trailer)

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

If you’ve read the internet at all in the last 2 years, you’re probably well familiar with the Arduino Microcontroller movement. This simple micro has brought together industries from every stretch of the world, bringing physical computing to the mainstream. Robots, 3D Printers, CNCs, data-loggers, LED Blinking, Clocks, UAVs, you name it- the Arduino can do it. Coming this summer, you’ll get to see how the grassroots movement all started, and how the Arduino become the DIY world’s most popular microcontroller!

TRAILER Arduino: The Documentary (available on HD) from gnd on Vimeo.

JJ Abrams Bringing “Boilerplate” to Big Screen

Friday, July 30th, 2010


It’s like Forest Gump Meets Short Circuit or something. We assume many of our readers are also JJ Abrams fans, so it looks like these two world meet in one of his new projects. Heat Vision reports:

“Boilerplate” purports to tell the story of the world’s first robot, who, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fought alongside Teddy Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia, journeyed to the South Pole and was involved in the silent movie business before disappearing on the battlefields of World War I.

Via I Watch Stuff

Low Cost Headset Reads Thoughts for Brain HID

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010



File this under “WOW this technology is advancing nicely”

Tan Le gives a product demo at TED of their EPOC Headset. Jump to about five and half minutes in for the good stuff.

Nice job Emotiv!

TED talk Link

Product Link