Forum user and roboticist madhatter101 has just introduced his newly ROS enabled hexapod, Rhoeby! Built on a Robotis Bioloid kit, it uses a TeraRanger 2D LiDAR (from Rhoeby Dynamics, hence the name) to scan its surroundings. It supports SLAM, Navigation, and Dynamic Obstacle Avoidance. Rhoeby is pretty slick, more details on the forums.
Roboticist KevinO has been up to some really amazing stuff with his ROS Hexapod “Golem”. We’ve highlighted this robot before, but it just keeps getting better. The leap he’s made using mathematical odometry via Rviz in ROS is worth noting. Point cloud data (registered as a fake laser scan at robot height), IMU, and visual odometry from the Depth Sensor data are compiled and used by the mapping and navigation stack, then subsequently passed to a Kalman filter (a linear quadratic equation used to observe measurements over time). That’s a pretty comprehensive stack, giving the robot a good sense of its place in the world (as in its position in space, not in the annals of history).
Here’s what the point cloud scan looks like in rviz.
And here’s what an odometry plot looks like.
This project has been pretty impressive every step of the way. Golem has many abilities, including a smooth walking gait, body leveling via the IMU, text-to-speech ability, and now a much improved mode of navigation. This project was originally noted to be a ROS learning project, and I can’t wait to see what Kevin learns next!
We’re happy to let you know that we’ve shipped out the first 15 HR-OS1 kits! If you’re one of the people who we’ve shipped to you should receive an e-mail with your tracking number shortly. We are on track to have the next 20 kits shipped out by the end of the week. The last 15 kits will be shipped out early / mid next week.
These soft robots, developed by Otherlab, are one of the results of research into lighter, softer robotics. As a point, these biologically inspired robots are soft, but strong as their hard bodied cousins. Due to the less precise nature of building with soft materials, these robots have more sensors than a traditionally hard robot would need to hold or return to a position. With the cost of sensors dropping, these fellas came about at the right time.
Disney’s Beachbot, designed at ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab, is a seemingly simple robot turtle that combs impressively large images into damp sand. They claim to want to make large scale images on the earth at the scale of the Nazca lines! Imagine what you could create with a RobotGeek Rover!
After a short break and a successful Kickstarter campaign, RoboGames, the world’s largest robotics competition, is back! Trossen Robotics participated in Mech Warfare at RoboGames multiple times, winning awards and inspiring the next generation of roboticists alongside friends in the robotics community. We’re glad to see them return. If you can’t make it out to the event in San Mateo, California, don’t worry. RoboGames will be producing professional, high quality video of the event to be released online, on DVD and Blu-Ray Disc, so you won’t miss out on the action!
Production value on the videos taken at this year’s event will be of higher quality, but here’s a bit of video from the 2012 Mech Warfare at RoboGames.
We will be at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, Saturday, May 2, 2015. This will be our third time attending, and we’re pumped to show off all that we’ve been up to in the last year. We love inspiring people young and old to pursue an interest in robotics. It’s also pretty sweet that we were featured in a Meet the Maker post on front page of the Mini Maker Faire website. We hope to see you there!
Check out roboticist Christopher’s Hexapod navigation through environment with 33% hole coverage (slow)! Though the gait is slow, this looks like a very intelligent terrain mapping addition to the PhantomX AX Hexapod. We suggest watching this at 2x speed, but it’s worthwhile to see what can be done with a bit of ingenuity!