Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

InventGeek’s Paintball Turret = Awesome

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

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? 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!).

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!

Give your Bioloid a new paint job!

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Okay, technically it isn’t ‘paint’. Dye would be more appropriate.

I decided that my plain old white Bioloid was boring, so I started looking around for the best way to change his color scheme. The Bioloid brackets are pretty sturdy, and thus resistant to paint and markers. I found mixed results searching through on various experimenters success in dying their brackets, but I figured I would give it a shot.  After playing around with individual brackets I figured out the correct dye-water mixture, length of time, and heat, and it turned out even better than expected!

Here is a step by step tutorial detailing what it takes to get your Bioloid dyed a different color. I used black, but since the brackets are white I would assume that just about any color would work.

Note: Dye your brackets at your own risk! While I’m quite detailed in my instructions, I nor Trossen Robotics hold any responsibility if your brackets end up pink, or otherwise destroyed.

Roborealm Vision Based Obstacle Avoidance Tutorial

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Roborealm is hands down one of the most incredible tools available to roboticists today and amazingly it’s completely free, as in free beer! Roborealm is a vision processing platform for Windows that allows experimenters to harness basic webcams and wifi cameras for use in robotics. We’re not just talking about telepresence here, Roborealm allows you to filter and manipulate video, as well as get output variables for use in various programming languages and even built-in hardware interface modules (SSC-32 servo controllers, joysticks, etc).

Many roboticists are well aware of Roborealm and all of its awesomeness, so why am I preaching to the choir here? Because they recently published a tutorial on using vision for obstacle avoidance, and one look at it had my jaw dropping. Some very useful stuff here, as well as downloadable example files and code showing how to use it in a real world application. Anyone interested in machine vision and PC based robotics should definitely check this out! While Roborealm is available for free the cost associated with its development is by no means cheap, so if you enjoy the product please consider donating! Information on donating to Roborealm can be found on their site.

Accelerometers 101

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

You probably have heard the term thrown around, but many out there might not know what an Accelerometer does exactly.  They are used in a variety of modern machines and gadgets, and a necessity for dynamic balancing in walking robots. Here is a quick tutorial video that we put together, explaining the basics and application of Accelerometers.

C# Tutorials for getting started in PC based robotics

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Adrenalynn from the TRC decided to be kind enough to write a few quicky tutorials showing some basics. There really is nothing like a simple example chunk of code for getting started in programming something new. A big thanks to Adrenalynn for writing these!

SSC-32 Servo Controller : Center a Servo with C#
At various times I’ve read here on the forums how difficult it appears to be to get “raw-ish” serial communications going in C#. I’ve oft debated that sentiment, so here’s my contribution to finally putting what I believe to be a misnomer to bed.

Reading and Writing TCP Sockets in C#
This VERY simple stand-alone console app will listen on a free port and echo one line sent from a client to the console, then wait for a newline to exit. Not production code, just the cheapest easiest way I know of to open a listening TCP socket and grabbing some data sent by the client.

Announcement: Robot Tutorials Section in the TRC

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Another day, yet another exciting new feature added to the Trossen Robotics Community (TRC)!

We’ve had many requests from members to add a tutorials section to the TRC. The problem was that we could never find anything out there that we liked…. until now!

Introducing the Trossen Robotics Community Tutorials:

TRC Tutorials

Check out some of the awesome tutorials that have been added already:

Adding a Serial Port to the Make Controller” by Adrenalynn

How to Make a Swashbot” by the legendary Crabfu

Starting out with Hammer” by RobotGuy

How to Make a Generic Robot Platform” by 4mem8

How to Fabricate Humanoid Hands” by Droid Works

Programming in MAX/MSP” by Darkback2

How to Make Twisted Wire” by Sienna

plus many more

So, visit the TRC Tutorials section (register if you haven’t already), comment on member’s tutorials and start creating your own! No matter how large or small a tutorial, it’s sure to help out fellow roboticists. With everyone’s help building tutorials here in the TRC, we can create an invaluable resource for roboticists everywhere!

Thank you to all of the beta testers to help get the TRC Tutorials Section running!

Robot Tip: A Quick and Easy way to Mount Batteries

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Mounting all the electronics and batteries onto your robot can often be a pain in the ass. Drilling dozens of holes, measuring them all out to line up perfect, spacers, nuts, bolts, ack! Then taking it all apart when you have to work on something… we discovered a better way to secure things down on our bots which is much faster. Using a Sorbothane sheet and some Velcro you can fasten down just about anything very securely. Then, when you need to take it off to work on it’s super easy. No need to try to get in there with screw drivers and wrenches.

You can find our Velcro and Rubber sheets here.

Tutorial: Controlling DC Motors from your Computer

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Controlling a DC motor from your computer using bridgeware is easier than you think.  The purpose of this tutorial is to explain the basic concepts behind creating a motor control system with encoder feedback.

Using a few widely available modular components, you can create a flexible system that can be used to control a DC motor.  Start by selecting a DC motor that will meet the demands of your project, then a motor controller that can provide sufficient power to the motor.  Add an appropriate servo controller to generate the R/C control signals, and software to issue commands to the servo controller, and you’re ready to roll!  If you need to monitor the motor speed, feedback is easily achieved by adding an optical encoder.

This control method has a wide range of applications, from battlebots, to industrial processes, to kinetic art installations.

You can also find more computer based robotics tutorials here.

Crabfu reviews Genex suit for KHR-2HV

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007
This KHR-2HV beats up KHR-1’s on the playground and steals their lunch money.

I-Wei, the mechanical guru responsible for the many fascinating creations of Crabfu Steamworks, has recently jumped headlong into the world of humanoid robotics.  Ever since he purchased his KHR-2HV, he has been keeping the world updated on his progress by releasing a steady stream of impressive videos.  His latest contribution is a tell-all review of Kondo’s A-621 Genex suit for the KHR-2HV humanoid.  He goes into detail regarding everything he likes and dislikes about the kit, and also provides valuable tips and pointers.  Go check out the A-621 Genex suit review over at Robots-Dreams!