Archive for the ‘Product Spotlight’ Category

arbotiX – Advanced Robocontroller for the Bioloid System

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

We’re good friends with the folks over at Vanadium Labs; some very talented people who have been in the robotics game for quite awhile but have just now established their official company. This is great news for the robotics community however, as they have some pretty amazing products on the horizon. One product in particular is the new arbotiX Robocontroller, an advanced Open Source microcontroller tailored for the Bioloid system and AX-12+ servos.

The arbotiX robocontroller is an advanced control solution for small-to-medium size robots. It incorporates a powerful AVR microcontroller, XBEE wireless radio, dual motor drivers, and 3-pin servo-style headers for IO.

The arbotiX robocontroller is specifically designed to control robots built using Bioloid servos, although it is also a very high-end solution for powerful rovers. It is not intended to be a drop-in replacement for a CM-5, rather it is intended as a high level development tool for building more sophisticated robots.

So what we have here is an Arduino IDE compatible microcontroller with a plethora of I/O, plug and play capable with AX-12 servos, and an Xbee Wireless Link to your PC. It’s also worth mentioning that this was the controller used in the robot that won Year 1 of Mech Warfare, Issydunyet. For more information on the controller check out the Vanadium Labs website.

Trossen Robotics will be exclusively distributing this exciting and powerful new Robocontroller with an estimated release date of Mid-October 2009. We’ll have more details in the near future, stay tuned!

Want to see the arbotiX in action? Here is a quick video showing a basic Inverse Kinematics demonstration on Issydunyet!

This Thing Twinges My Geek-DAR Something Fierce

Monday, August 24th, 2009


The creator doesn’t have a name for it past “Little Walking Robot”, but I could think of a few words to describe it: Awesome, sexy, and umm, Awesome.

No but really, thing thing is a marvel of aesthetic design and function. Has a Steampunk meets “Dragoon from Starcraft” look to it. The inventor of this beauty has a well written blog detailing his progress and some of the problems he ran into along the way, as well as a Flickr photo set. This bot is all custom built from a mix of hand-built parts, as well as some waterjet steel frame components from our friends at Big Blue Saw.

Check the video below for the bot in action, big thanks to Big Blue Saw for the scoop.

Summer Fire Sale!

Monday, August 3rd, 2009


Our annual Summer Fire Sale is in full swing! We’ve slashed the prices on our Robobuilder kits and select other robots and robot accessories! These sales are for a limited time only, and while supplies last, so jump on them quick. Click the link above for the full sale listing.

This Fire Sale was announced last Friday to those signed up for our newsletter giving them first dibs on these hot items. If you would like to be the first to know about this and future sales, be sure to sign up. It’s as simple as entering your email address on our Mailing List menu on the left side of our front page!

This sale has ended!

New Phoenix Demonstration Videos!

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

We’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front as we are getting ready for Robogames 2009 in a little over a week and are furiously working away to finish up projects for demonstration. Our video production crew has been keeping busy also, and just finished up some new demonstration videos for the Phoenix Hexapod, showcasing its numerous features. This Hexapod continues to be one of our most popular sellers, definitely check it out!

Walking Gait Demo

Remote Control Demo

Body Control Demo

All Metal Construction Demo

The Roboard is Back in Stock!

Monday, May 18th, 2009

This has to be one of our hottest selling Robotics controllers yet. Our initial stock sold out almost immediately, the 2nd shipment sold out before we even received it in, and the third shipment received today  is already half way gone! Get ‘em while they’re hot!

The Roboard RB-100 is a new breed of robotics controller: a fusion of a traditional microcontroller and a full function computer. Think of it as an OS capable microcontroller on steroids, boasting a 32bit x86 CPU running at 1000MHz and 256MB DRAM. The ability to load an operating system of your choice and have direct access to I/O, Comm ports, USB, and networking opens this controller up to a wide range of robotics based applications. Our Roboard Starter Kit comes with just about everything you need to implement this feature rich controller in your next robotics project! All you need to supply is a 1-2gb Micro-SD card to load an OS onto, 6-24v, and a robot!


Robotis Ollo Bug Kit

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

OLLO is a reconfigurable robot construction kit for beginners of any age. Using an easy to build plates and rivets system you’ll be on your way to making your own robot in no time! The OLLO Bug Kit has very detailed and well illustrated instructions to build 4 different types of robotic bugs that can trace lines, detect objects, or be controlled via wireless remote. The modular and simple building system allows you to build custom robots very quickly; your imagination is the limit!

Announcing the Dancebot USB!

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009
You’ve all seen and heard the robotic dancing sensation known as Keepon, and now you can own one!
When Keepon first debuted, bouncing along to Spoon’s “I Turn My Camera On”, the tech community went nuts! The simple, cute external appearance of this robot and it’s natural ability to bop along with music was an instant hit on Youtube. Unfortunately, beneath that elastic yellow skin was well over $20,000 worth of cutting edge robotic technology, putting this awesome robot out of reach of its fans. We saw this as a problem and answered the call to unite Keepon and it’s millions of fans globally!
After many months of painstaking R&D, Trossen Robotics is proud to announce the Low Cost Dancebot! Once only available to universities as a high end social development research robot, we are now offering the affordable yet equally groovy Low Cost Dancebot! This easy to build kit only takes minutes to put together, another minute to put on the Spoon song of your choice, and within seconds your Low Cost Dancebot! will be dancing along to the beat. Be the envy of your coworkers with this ultimate desktop gadget! Show off to your friends, amaze your family, and impress your employer!

New Robot Parts Roundup!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
We’ve been working feverishly away to add even more robot parts and upgrades for your greater building pleasure. Here are some highlights of the cool new products that have just been added to the Trossen Robotics catalog!

PICBEE- Finally an easy method to use the Maxstream XBEE module coupled with the power of the Microchip PIC 18F series micro-controller. As a stand alone board, it can be a development platform or target device for nearly any application. This is perfect for creating a wireless sensory aquisistion network!

Maxbotix WR-1 – Sonar Low-Voltage Weather-Resistant Ultrasonic Range Finder (IP67 Rated) With 3V – 5.5V power the LV-MaxSonar®-WR1™ provides very short to long-range detection and ranging, in a compact, robust PVC housing, designed to meet IP67 water intrusion, and matches standard electrical ¾” PCV pipe fittings.


The Roboduino is a Freeduino (Arduino software compatible) microcontroller board designed for robotics. All of its connections have neighboring power buses into which servos and sensors can easily be plugged. Additional headers for power and serial communication are also provided. The kits come fully assembled and with a USB cable for programming and debugging.


The IOWizard is used when additional I/O capabilities are required. The IOWizard features an I2C interface that allows users to query 5 analog inputs and 10 digital I/O lines. The default I2C slave address is 100d (0x64h), and it can be changed to a value between 100d and 110d (0x6Eh).


Looking to make your Robobuilder Humanoid more durable? This Metal Bracket Upgrade Kit is the way to go! These high-quality aluminum brackets reinforce the legs and servo joints to fortify your robot to take a beating during competitions or rough play.


The Robobuilder 3-Axis Accelerometer sensor module measures the acceleration in all three axis (X, Y and Z). Read measurements range from -7 to +7. Integral number 1 can be translated into 1/4g (here g stands for gravity acceleration). By analyzing the return value on each axis you can determine the actual position/orientation of the robot at any time.

Bucket O’ Sprockets!

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

More Grab Bag Goodies!

Looking for sprockets? We had a surplus of various steel sprockets and lock collars from McMaster Carr and decided to put them into Grab Bags at a deep discount to clear them out. Perfect for your next big bot! These are not ‘random’ grab bags in that we are guaranteeing that you will receive a specific quantity of each type of sprocket, check out the product page for details. Now aside from the guaranteed sprockets and parts, we’re also throwing in an additional 9-10 random parts as a bonus! These Grab Bags would retail for about $150, and we’re selling them for a third of that. Get ‘em while they last!


MAKE: Getting started with the 3pi

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Make came up with a very easy to read “Getting Started” guide for the Pololu 3pi, which we carry as a complete starter kit. If you’re looking for an inexpensive platform to start programming in C with, you won’t find a better value than the 3pi Robot.

This week I am going to show you how to get up and running with the 3pi by Pololu. I will be going through all the steps needed to upload the line following program that is included from Pololu. Getting started with the 3pi isn’t too difficult, but there are a few applications and drivers that need to be installed.

Note: In this tutorial I will be using a PC running Vista. You can program the 3pi on a Mac running OSX or Linux, but it’s a different procedure. You can even program the 3pi through the Arduino IDE!