Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Low cost laser rangefinder that works outdoors

Monday, March 28th, 2016

laser distance with phone
Ever since the LidarLite went on indefinite backorder, we’ve been looking for a cheap and reliable alternative. Researchers from MIT and CSAIL are a couple months away from presenting this infrared depth sensing system using a cheap laser attached to a smartphone. They’re aiming big, with hopes to use this sensor for autonomous golf carts, wheelchairs, and drones.

“My group has been strongly pushing for a device-centric approach to smarter cities, versus today’s largely vehicle-centric or infrastructure-centric approach,” says Li-Shiuan Peh, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science whose group developed the system. “This is because phones have a more rapid upgrade-and-replacement cycle than vehicles. Cars are replaced in the timeframe of a decade, while phones are replaced every one or two years. This has led to drivers just using phone GPS today, as it works well, is pervasive, and stays up-to-date. I believe the device industry will increasingly drive the future of transportation.”

New Instructable – Controlling Arduino Robot Arm With Arm Link Software

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

Take command of your RobotGeek Snapper Arm with Arm Link! Arm Link lets you pose and play back a sequence of movements on your robot arm easily. We put out an Instructable that covers set-up and usage, so you can get your robot arm ready to entertain!

We had one of our arms:

feed Kyle a tasty snack

hack the planet

open an RFID Lockbox

dish out the high fives

help clean up office clutter

and even drive a hexapod around.

We’d love to see your robot arm doing some crazy things!

You can find the Instructable here, or go to the RobotGeek Learning site here and here for the same instruction.

High School Robotics Club 3D Prints Prosthetic Arm

Monday, September 28th, 2015


The HR-OS1 Makes a short cameo in this touching News Report about a High School Robotics Club that 3D printed a prosthetic arm for a young girl. These students are awesome!

Giant Robot Duel

Thursday, August 20th, 2015


Trossen Robotics’ own lead engineer, Andrew, has been hanging with the Megabots team (You know, the guys who are going to pilot America’s MK. II against Japan’s Kuratas in the first large scale robot duel that this planet has experienced in all of recorded history). If you want to see America become the first Mech battling champion of the world, you can back the kickstarter! While you’re waiting for the giant robot battle to happen, check out our gallery of Andrew’s miniature MK. II build!

Overly Dramatic Hexapod Video

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Overly Dramatic Hexapod

This video, posted by Ben Greer, is EXTREMELY DRAMATIC. Featuring a PhantomX AX Hexapod with a GoPro mounted to it (not to mention a sweet software stack), the video really captures some of the awesomeness of owning a Hexapod. This video was apparently made in Ben’s free time, which is really amazing, considering the high production value. Give it a watch!

PhantomX Hexapod has some Serious Balance

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Balancing Hexapod

User Dan Thilderkvist used a Trossen Robotics PhantomX AX Hexapod in his master thesis, “Motion Control of Hexapod using Model-Based Design”! This hexapod keeps itself level as a table beneath it is tilted, jostled, and generally jarred about. Short video, excellent work!

It’s Alive!

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Balancing Hexapod

Forum User tigakub has made a hexapod of his own design, and there is a fairly active forum post to join in on. The legs remind me of prosthetic running blades, which is not only a cool form to take, but they add subtle functionality as well. This robot has been upgraded several times throughout the thread, and it is interesting to follow its evolution! This video is one of a few in the thread, showing off the Adaptive Load Balancing abilities of the robot.

HR-OS1 at WCTD Creating STEAM Conference!

Monday, July 20th, 2015

We love seeing our HR-OS1s out in the wild! We’ve been working with our friends over at We Connect the Dots, providing them with HR-OS1 platforms. Our initial work with them went to well that last month we shipped out another 12 HR-OS1s to them, and they’ve been doing great work ever since.

At the recent (July 2015) We Connect the Dots Creating STEAM conference, Team 1 programmed a Trossen Robotics HR-OS1 to stand itself up! This is an essential movement for a bided robot so that it can can back up on its way after a fall. It’s exciting to see students with an active interest in robotics achieve – Go Team 1! We Connect the Dots is a great organization, which focuses on getting students involved in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) careers. This video is just a small glimpse of the scope of their project, so make sure to check them out

We’re really excited to see what else the students can do with the HR-OS1s. We know we’ve got a wishlist of things we want to see the robots do – but what about you? Let us know in the comments what you’d like to see the HR-OS1 do.

Lidar-Lite 360 Mirror Scanner

Monday, July 13th, 2015

LIDAR-lite mirror

One of our favorite roboticists, r3n33, has been up to some magic with lite and mirrors. R3n33 has used a spinning mirror to get a 360 degree view with a LIDAR-lite sensor, without moving the sensor itself. The results speak for themselves, but here’s what r3n33 had to say about it:

This is my idea for using the LIDAR-lite sensor to produce readings in (as close to) a 360 degree view without spinning the sensor itself. I decided to start this project to give some life to my sensor which had never had a real purpose until now.

Thanks to my 3D printer I was able to quickly produce a “rig” to hold the sensor over a mirror. The mirror is attached to a 3D printed plate that is designed to hold the mirror at a 45 degree angle. This will allow me to bend the light 90 degrees from the sensor’s emitter. The mirror holder is attached to a stepper motor that will allow me to rotate the sensor’s light in a 360 degree view.

Before I go on I’ve presented a few issues.

Blocking the view. To hold the sensor over the mirror there will be an arm somewhere in the 360 degree view. I’ve already taken some action here and removed some of the arm material. In fact if I remove too much more the PLA plastic I’ve used won’t be rigid enough to hold the sensor still.

The mirror has to be quite large. This is something I discovered along the way. When it was just an idea in my head the mirror was really small but to ensure both the emitter and receiver are 100% in view I had to use the size you see.

Knowing the mirror position. Because I’m only using a stepper motor for this first design I get no positional feedback. I’ll have to assume the mirror position by starting the motor and firmware at a known point.

Reading accuracy. By bending the light alone there is going to be a small offset introduced. Then there is the ever changing distance of the mirror as it rotates. I chose to align the emitter of the sensor to the center of the mirror. This ensures the light will project in a parallel plane. When the light is received it might bounce off the high side of the mirror in one direction and the low side on the other. I may or may not concern myself with such slight offsets introduced in the readings.

Who Will Win, Cat or PhantomX Hexapod?

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

 Trossen Robotics PhantomX running Phoenix code

Ok, Ok, this actually isn’t a battle between a cat and a Hexapod, but its a video with a cat and a hexapod, so that counts for something, right? This video, uploaded to user NOXGENUS RECORDINGS on YouTube, features a Trossen Robotics PhantomX AX Hexapod with Dynamixel AX-18 servos running Phoenix Code. The user mentions having blown a cell in the LiPo battery in the video description, and it is advisable to take caution when charging, storing, and using LiPo batteries. This PhantomX exhibits some interesting gaits, and is generally amusing to watch (look for the cat). Though we don’t officially support the Phoenix Code or Firmware (it is a community driven project), we offer a guide to get anyone interested started with it!