Archive for the ‘News / Articles’ Category

Hagetaka: A Bipedal Combat Robot

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Remember when we teased you with a stack of RX-64 servos? Well its time to unveil a bit more of what we’re working on for the upcoming Mech Warfare competition at Robogames 2009. Meet Hagetaka; a 7DOF per leg biped built around the powerful RX-64 servo from Robotis. This robot boasts 14 RX-64s, 2 RX-28s, a custom aluminum chassis machined by sponsor Big Blue Saw, an onboard linux based Gumstix computer with a PS3 Sixaxis controller , a WiFi video server using a Headplay Personal Cinema System for remote piloting, and of course dual automatic airsoft guns. Video and more info will be available in the near future, and be sure to check out the June issue of SERVO magazine for the first in a series of articles detailing the build process of this Mech.

Click for larger image.

Want to win a Bioloid? Announcing the TRC Tutorial Contest!

Friday, March 27th, 2009
Time flies! It’s that time again to officially announce the next round of the Trossen Robotics Community (TRC) Contest. We had quite a bit of success with our previous Project Contests and a lot of very cool entries, however we are going to mix things up this time.
This round is going to be a Tutorial Contest , and is quite a bit different from our previous contests. Think of it as an ‘Instructables meets How Stuff Works’ style contest: We want you to submit entries in the form of a detailed step by step ‘How-To’ or Informative Tutorials.
We’re going to be asking a lot more of our participants this round, so we have raised the stakes and are giving away our biggest prizes yet! Without further ado here are the prizes being offered for this round!
1st place

bioloid


Bioloid Comprehensive Kit:


2nd place



Bioloid Beginner Kit:


3rd place


ollo


Robotis Ollo Bug Kit
:

  • New Beginner Robotics Kit from Robotis!
  • Reconfigurable, modular design
  • Tons of parts to build with!
  • Instructions to build 4 different robots included
  • Remote controlled
  • Highly descriptive well documented instructions


You’re probably asking: “Well what’s the catch?” We won’t lie, we’re going to make you work for it and put your knowledge to the test!

Here are some examples of what types of tutorials we’re looking for:

  • What is a gyroscope/accelerometer/analog or digital signal?
  • How do servos/DC Motors/Batteries work? (explain inner workings, control, show example code, etc)
  • Choosing the right (Microcontroller/DC Motor/Sensor) for the job.
  • How to setup an Arduino/Xbee Communication/Basic Stamp. (basic projects with example code, videos, etc)
  • How to control a robot wirelessly. (many different methods of going about this, pick one and elaborate!)
  • Theory of Inverse Kinematics, Dead Reckoning, Spacial Mapping, etc.
We’re looking for well written, detailed entries that a beginner could read through and learn from. The emphasis on this is creating valuable tutorials and FAQs that the community as a whole can benefit from. Diagrams, pictures, source code, practical applications, text references and examples are welcomed and strongly encouraged. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, please cite any reference materials used. We are not looking for build articles during this round.
Entries will also be judged in a different manner than before: Contestants are encouraged to post as many tutorials as they like; in fact, the more tutorials submitted, the more points they receive towards their final score. Now that said, quality is greatly valued over quantity. One detailed, well written tutorial will hold more weight than five mediocre ones, but if you post numerous well written tutorials you’re going to be in very good shape.

Previous project submissions were based out of our Project Showcase forum, but this time all submissions must be entered into the Tutorial section.

Please visit our Project Contest Page to learn more about the contest, how to enter and for the official rules and guidelines. Somebody is going to be a proud new owner of a Bioloid Comprehensive Kit, Bioloid Beginner Kit, or Ollo Bug Kit, will it be you?

Big Pictures, Big Robots!

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Boston.com published a great article featuring a wide variety of robots around the world. If you like robots, and you like big pretty pictures of robots, you definitely have to check it out. In style with the article, I’ll keep this short and let you check out the pictures yourself!

Flying Wifi Robots: Friend or Foe?

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Sure, the researchers may state they are intended for assistance in disasters… but these wifi network creating robots could just as easily be used to spread the reach of the dreaded Skynet! I have my doubts, but Engadget seems pretty sure that these robots have good intentions. Time shall tell!

Researchers at Germany’s Ilmenau University of Technology are developing flying quadcopter robots that can be used to form a self-assembling ad-hoc wireless network in the event of disaster. Built with off-the-shelf parts (including VIA’s Pico-ITX hardware and a GPS unit) the robots are designed to provide both mobile phone and WiFi access — and they can do it far more quickly than a technician on the ground might be able to. The device comes in a kit for €300 (about $380), which includes all but the battery — the batteries currently run around €1,000 (over $1200) and only offer up 20 minutes of flight time. Once the device has found a perch, however, it can operate for “several hours.”


Full story via Engadget.

iLean- 2 Wheel Stair Climbing Robot

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

One of the single most challenging aspects of home navigation for robots has to be tackling stair climbing. While humans can move up and down without much trouble at all, even advanced robots such as ASIMO still have ‘issues’. The UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab has developed a pretty efficient and simple (in concept, not execution) way of doing just that with their iLean Robot. Check out the video below to see how it works, really an amazing thing to see executed so well!

Skynet Research wants YOU!

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Recently we were contacted by an upcoming advanced robotics R&D company who has been keeping a pretty low profile. Skynet Research only went public last week, but for the past 10 years has been hard at work and already making startling advanced in military and research level robotics. Some of this stuff is scary, it makes iRobot’s military line look like a bunch of toys. Check out these concept designs:

So here’s the kicker, I got a chance to talk to one of their lead researchers over the weekend and along with going public, they’ve also announced a Community Outreach Program to hobby and professional roboticists. They’re actually granting access to some of their technology (with no doubt a massive NDA attached) to the average hobbyist. From what I gathered speaking with them, the Model 101 Enhancement Module that is being provided for evaluation is some sort of Neural Networking microprocessor with built in wifi capability, used for relaying sensory data back to a central AI hub that is scheduled to go online in the near future. REALLY cool stuff, if you’re interested in applying for the beta program, you just have to submit your robot design and an explaination of why you think your project would be well suited for their program.

Here’s the official press release from Skynet Research, and be sure to check out their site for more info.

Skynet Research is a leader in the research and development of robotic technology, dedicated to helping the human race achieve great goals. And we want to hear from you!

CALL FOR ROBOTIC DESIGNS

Skynet Research believes every individual holds the capacity to make a difference, and is dedicated to finding as many people as possible who will impact our future goals.

  • The spark of imagination is the greatest asset of humankind. We are interested in mining this resource within the robotics community to find new robot designs.

  • Individuals are welcome to submit designs, videos and schematics relating to future robot models. We will showcase the most promising for all to see on our corporate website.

SKYNET RESEARCH IS OFFERING A FREE UPGRADE

As part of our ever-increasing outreach, we are also making available the Skynet Research Enhancement Module Model 101 for consumer grade robots at no cost before it is even available in stores.

  • The Model 101 is compatible with any home robotics device, and will vastly improve the precision, efficiency and speed of any mechanized apparatus regardless of function.

  • You may apply to receive one on our website.
  • View a video of our new Enhancement Module HERE

HOW SKYNET RESEARCH IS CHANGING YOUR WORLD

  • There are many different Skynet Research models in production and operation, and countless more in active development at secure and undisclosed locations around the world.
  • Skynet Research is reshaping daily life for human beings across the planet, with contributions to business, education, healthcare, information systems and military defense.
  • Skynet Research has led the evolution of Artificial Intelligence to multiply at exponential rates, pushing to improve robotic function in daily life with a constant eye on the future.

We have been honored as “most innovative” company in numerous trade publications, while one award-winning professor stated Skynet Research is displaying an “unprecedented” rate of growth.

We are committed to making your world different

Skynet Research

Mech Warfare Featured in Issue 15 of Robot Magazine!

Friday, January 16th, 2009

The Mech Warfare competition, which was founded right here at the Trossen Robotics Community (TRC), continues to gain momentum as we count down the months until the debut at Robogames 2009 this summer. Our friends over at Robot Magazine had caught word of the competition, as well as the viral excitement of the builders involved, and asked me to write up an article outlining the competition, the rules, and the participants and their Mechs.

For those of you who may not have heard of Mech Warfare yet, it is a robotic competition in which participants construct remotely piloted walking robots armed with airsoft guns and other weapons to duke it out in an urban style arena. Think of it as small scale R/C MechWarrior.

If you’d like to check out the article, you can pick up the current issue of Robot Magazine in most major bookstores or order it online from our store. For more information on the Mech Warfare event, check out the Official Site and the Mech Warfare Forums. We hope to see you and your Mech at Robogames 2009!

Trossen Robotics at CES 2009!

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

“You’re going to pay me to go to Vegas? And I get to attend CES? Stop screwing with my emotions!”

I honestly thought my boss was just pulling my chain at first.

Being my first year to attend the Consumer Electronics Show I was quite excited to say the least. I had overheard someone on the shuttle claiming that attendance would be down 10-15%, but when you factor in that up to 150,000 people have attended this in the past… 10-15% was trivial, there were still a LOT of people here. Arriving at the event and seeing a vast crowd of people out front of the main exhibition halls made the enormous size of this event hit home.

At first I wandered the main hall, then ended up in the south hall, and then realized I had just lost 3 hours in what felt like 30 minutes. Electronics as far as the eye could see, multi-story booths (yes, some of the booths had stairs), and rivers of people flowing in every direction. Finally I found a map and figured out that I actually needed to be about 3 miles away at the Sands Expo Center to find the Robotics Tech Zone.

Anybots‘ booth immediately caught my attention: boasting a slick new telepresence robot, QA. This is taking telepresence a step further, in that QA actually stands about as tall as a human and acts as a physical representation for you. The concept is that if you or your company has multiple sites, and you need to say… check out the new wallpaper in your factory in China, participate at a trade show, or attend a meeting, QA grants you the ability to do so in style. You see and hear what QA does, can look and move around fluidly, and speak as if you were on site. Aesthetically QA is very slick, a robot that would easily fit into a scene from a sci-fi movie based in the future.

The crew behind MechRC also had a booth, showcasing their new Groundpounder variant as well as the their upcoming Educational Program. I got a chance to talk with Dr. Jim Wyatt and Victor Chen about their plans for the robotic line, which includes a K-12 adaptable curriculum, future variants such as the Groundpounder pictured above, and the possibilties of Laser Tag kit upgrades!

Also showcasing at the CES was WowWee, iRobot, Kowatech, Robolabs, Hagisonic, and many more. While the Robotics Techzone wasn’t as big as I had hoped, it was somewhat expected as the show is based around consumer electronics, and consumer level robots are still considered new territory. The great thing about robotics however is that there will always be more in the future!

Feel free to check out our CES 2009 Photo Gallery (and if you were there, add your own!). I focused on taking pictures of things relative to robotics seeing as though the rest of CES is covered by everyone and their grandmother. We’ll see you there next year!

Crabfu Featured on the Discovery Channel & NBC!

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Our good friend Crabfu has done it once again, stealing the spotlight with his incredibly talented work. While we’ve known for quite some time what amazing bots and inventions he can build, it looks like the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet show and NBC are equally impressed.

Check out the two clips below for a great overview of some of his work and how he got to where he is today!

MechRC Humanoid Back in Stock!

Monday, December 15th, 2008

When we first announced that we had the MechRC Humanoid Robot is in stock and ready to ship, they flew off the shelves almost instantly selling out. We now have limited quantities back in stock and are shipping out immediately, just in time for the Holidays! These won’t last long, so if you’re still looking for a great robotic gift for a loved one or even yourself, pick one up quick!

We’d also like to share this awesomely over-the-top promotional video: