We had a blast at Robogames 2009 and had quite a few of our Community members show up and hang out in our lounge. Robots were battled, discussed, and otherwise shared! We cannot wait until next year, and we hope to see more of you there. Here is a quick highlight video showing some of the lounge and the attending members, as well as some of our member’s robots interacting with the crowd.
Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category
Do you ever find yourself in need of exactly 101 awesome Robot T-Shirts? Your long search is over thanks to the T-Shirt Blog, HIDEYOURARMS. This is quite possibly the single most comprehensive list of robot related torso wear the internets has ever seen, so I won’t bore you with the many reasons on why it is awesome. Instead, click the picture below and enjoy!
We want to apologize for being so quiet, but Robogames and the subsequent chaos of getting caught up has taken us all by a storm. We’ll be making up for it by posting a ton of content in the next few days.
Year 1 of Mech Warfare turned out great, better than expected for a first year competition. We came, we conquered, and more than anything we learned a LOT. Seven robots total showed up, though Murphy’s Law was in full effect and we only had 4 running consistently. That said, everyone involved still had a ton of fun, and Botjunkie and Society of Robots were there covering the action. Here are two quick highlight videos they put together, stay tuned for the official Mech Warfare coverage video from multiple in-arena cameras in the near future!
Video coverage from Botjunkie:
And video coverage from Society of Robots:
And as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’re at least in the million “word” range with our TRC Gallery. Over the past year our Community has grown considerably, and with it a really awesome collection of pictures from our various members’ projects! We highly recommend a look through if you’re the robot savvy type. Here are just a few choice pics to share:
Everyone loves a good conspiracy theorist, right? Well, at least they’re good for a laugh from time to time. Take a gander at the new blog Resist Or Be Terminated, this nutcase has some insane conspiracy cooked up that our friends over at Skynet Research are up to something bad. What a joke! Skynet Research has been completely transparent in their intentions, they’re simply trying to foster along robotics development and have even been so kind as to share some of their technology with the robotics community. If you’re looking for a laugh, check out the video below showing some alleged ‘glitches’ in their system. People these days, ha!
|Our friends over at Lynxmotion are hosting their first ever Project Contest! Do you have an awesomely customized Johnny 5 kit you want to show off? How about a suped-up Phoenix? Head over to the Lynxmotion forums and submit a detailed write-up of your project, complete with pictures and videos for a chance to win some very generous gift cards. Here is the official posting:
Our own custom Pico-ITX based Johnny 5 will be cheering from the sidelines! Go get em guys!
Funny I found this, because I was just thinking that if (when) the Zombie Armageddon hits, I’d need to fortify my Costco fortress (find your own) with some automatic turrets capable of firing zombie repellent, and what better project to detail building exactly that?
InventGeek.com has painstakingly detailed all of their most excellent work that went into building this beauty, and while we have seen a paintball turret pop up over the years, none have even come close to such an elegant execution. Complete parts lists and even the ability to purchase the acrylic parts are available, so you too can build your very own “Zombie Repellent Paintball Turret” to fortify your “Post-Zombie Armageddon Costco Fortress” (dibs on the one by my office!).
Editor’s note: Sorry folks, all sold out! Stay tuned for our next Grab Bag and/or limited time special!
We’re offering a limited time only Grab Bag of random parts, which is sure to make the geek and packrat in all of us cry out in glee.
We estimate the retail value on the parts included in this Grab Bag at over $100!
We’ve been cleaning house around here, moving out older products bringing in new… and during this spring cleaning we realized we were ending up with a large supply of very cool little gizmos and random parts. Rather than try and sell it piece by piece, we figured it would be fun to divide it all up evenly (based on value) into 30 Random Grab Bags!
Now these Grab Bags are a dream come true for tinkerers and experimenters alike. Since these parts were just going to gather dust, we figured we would mark them down to an insanely low price to get rid of them ASAP. We’re going to keep the contents a mystery as that’s half the fun of a Random Grab Gag… but I will say that all of them have at least $20 worth of aluminum parts alone.
The last time we did something like this these Grab Bags flew off the shelves, so get them while they last. You don’t find deals like this very often! We only have 30 Grab Bags available and that is it.
Click for a larger view:
The time of reckoning is nigh! The contest winners for this round of the TRC Project Contest have been decided and we’ve got some awesome prizes to give away!
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This bot went back to the basics. Base board? Check. Super Glue? Check. Zip ties? Check. Ingenious scratch built onboard controller? Check! Throw all of these items together and you have a great wheeled platform with a fully functioning arm. complete with a .NET interface over Bluetooth. The craftsmanship on this bot is superb, so much so that when we first saw it we thought it had been cut from a 3D printer. Pinter75 has taken the project a step further and will be offering it in kit form in the near future, something we are very excited to see come to life.
Quadrapods have been around long enough that it usually takes something really special to perk our eyebrows, which is exactly what Charlie the Quadrapod did. Was it the onboard PC that impressed us? The rugged raw metal look? Perhaps the fact that Charlie wields a fully automatic airsoft gun on its back? While all of that is very cool, what amazed us most of all was the fact that Charlie was built by hand, using only simple power tools. No CNC machine, no computer CAD drawings; the brackets and frame were literally cut and bent by guide of hand alone. Anybody who has built parts by hand knows how much patience and skill goes into making identical parts without the guidance of a computer controlled blade. Look for this bot competing in the upcoming Mech Warfare competition at Robogames 2009!
Building a Wall-E robot? Awesome. Building it out of LEGOs? Even more awesome! LEGOs sure have come a long way in their lifetime, evolving into the amazing robotics prototyping tool they are today and invoking nostalgia in tinkerers abroad (I mean, who didn’t play with Legos growing up?) Forum member Bazmarc blew us all away when he debuted his LEGO NXT Autonomous Wall-E project, sparking “LEGO-skill” envy unanimously across the forums. Not only did he perfectly capture the look and feel of everyone’s favorite trash bot, he brought it to life with an autonomous navigation system. We can’t to see what Bizmarc comes up with next!
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Project: My Animatronic Project
What happens when a professional dental tech with a knack for animatronics is mentored by Hollywood special effects legend Dick Smith? A very creepy and very realistic animatronic robot is born. Gary Willett (aka Willettfx) has a true passion for his work, spending hundreds of hours adding the finest details to truly bring his monstrous inventions to life. He shared with us hours of video showing the fine artwork and dedication that goes into building Hollywood quality animatronics, and we ate up every minute! If you’re looking to get into animatronics yourself, he also offers a 3 disc DVD set showcasing every step on how he built his outstanding project!
The Robotic Marionette project literally reads out like a story. Forum member “Sunithaya” joined us after he had already completed his Marionette project of two years, however he started from the beginning in chronicling the lengthy steps made during the design, building, and final performances. Each post is titled appropriately – as if a chapter in a book, and detailed thoroughly with the thought process that went into each artistic design decision. Tons of photos were taken throughout the life of the project, and it all pays off with a performance video of the Robotic Marionette autonomously dancing. This project thread is a true gem that we’re lucky to have on our forums. We highly recommend a complete read-through to everyone interested in learning more.
DJSures pulled down some serious ‘geek cred’ by creating his own K-9 robotic dog. I mean, what self respecting geek doesn’t want their own robotic pet to do their evil bidding? Sure it doesn’t have “omniflexible hyperlink facilities” or the ability to teleport, but this loveable Dr. Who tribute still boasts some impressive features. Onboard 3D mapping capabilities, real time occupancy grids, speech synthesis, adaptable personality levels depending upon the amount of human interaction, obstacle avoidance, an LCD screen for diagnostics, and even the ability to follow people around! Now get this: the entire robot was scratch built. This project is a perfect example of how it doesn’t take four dozen servos, onboard PCs, or complex vision processing to win our contests. Ingenuity, creativity, and the overall presentation of your project are a huge factor in our judging decisions. Watching this little bot go from pieces of plastic and circuitry to a seemingly free willed artificial being is what won DJSures the first place prize in the latest round of our contest!
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The Trossen Robotics crew would like to personally thank everyone who has participated in our contests as well as those who have helped other projects along. What started out as a great way to encourage grassroots engineering and the sharing of knowledge has evolved into a community of hobbyists and professionals who exhibit a passion for their work unlike any we have ever seen. Innovation is viral, and watching builders literally feed off of the excitement fueling these projects is a great thing to experience on a daily basis. We invite anyone looking to get started in robotics, as well as the veterans who have many of bots under their belt, to join the Trossen Robotics Community. We encourage you to jump in head first, if you’ve got an idea- discuss it, if you have a question- ask it, and if you’ve got a project- enter it in our contest. We look forward to seeing you and your projects in the next round of the Trossen Robotics Community Project Contest!.
But we’re preparing for when she shows up to blow us away, because this might very well be the start of Skynet.
Robot pr0n warning. (Click for a larger picture)
Well, at least nobody can accuse us of under-engineering. Yup, that’s a pyramid of RX-64s. This is a teaser photo of a new project brewing in the Trossen Robotics Lab for the upcoming Mech Warfare competition. A fully custom aluminum frame and bracket system is being machined courtesy of Big Blue Saw, our sponsor on the project. Did we mention we’re giving it weapons? /snicker