Ashton Kutcher will drop your phone from a RobotGeek Gripper

March 22nd, 2016

full size bb8
What a sick, twisted world it is when Ashton Kutcher will drop your phone over a lie of omission. What horror exists in this disturbed mind that would take a benign gripper for use in such destructive ends? Why, of all things, would they measure the purity of a human being against the scales of carnage against a phone, hopelessly clung to by a gripper that would send it crashing headlong into the ground by the true force of gravity? We may never know, but it sure is entertaining to watch. If you have one of the discontinued RobotGeek Grippers featured in this video, we advise you that it may or may not be possessed by the evil spirit of Ashton Kutcher, and may or may not decide to drop your phone if you don’t tell your parents about the loss of your virginity. We can assure you that the new RobotGeek Parallel Gripper is not evil, so upgrade today!

New Product – More RobotGeek Workbenches

March 16th, 2016
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RobotGeek Workbenches have been a staple of the RobotGeek system since the beginning, so we’ve given them some love and attention. Listening to the will of the people, we’ve made workbenches in more sizes and colors than ever before! You can get a patriotic set of Red, White, and Blue workbenches, or keep it classy with a black satin finish bench. Let’s talk about the new bench sizing:

RobotGeek Small Workbench
  • The smallest workbench we offer. Great for small projects, awesome for stacking.
  • 16 X 15 CM
RobotGeek Large Workbench
RobotGeek Double Wide Workbench
  • This workbench is twice as wide as the Large Workbench, giving a good amount of room for a project with displays and sliders.
  • 44 X 21 CM
RobotGeek Mega Workbench
  • This workbench is a kit of two Double Wide Workbenches with Joiner Brackets. If you have a project that can fill a table, this bench is for you.
  • 44 X 42 CM
RobotGeek Workbench Joiner Brackets
  • If you already have a bunch of RobotGeek Workbenches and you’d like to make them into one giant bench, these Joiner Brackets make it a breeze.
  • 2 per pack, with bolts
RobotGeek Geekbot V2 Deck
  • The Geekbot got an upgrade, so we are now offering the top deck for rad customization, or if you just prefer circles to rectangular benches.
  • 265mm Diameter

That’s all for now!

New Product – GeekBot V2!

March 15th, 2016
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The GeekBot has evolved! Introducing the RobotGeek Geekbot V2 Basic Kit. The Basic Kit has everything you need to build a fully programmable rover robot, while the Core Kit gives you the battery, the chassis, and the servos to build a geekbot with your own Arduino board.

The GeekBot Rover is a highly flexible wheeled rover created from the ground up to be completely modular and easy to customize. Powered by two high speed continuous turn robot servos, GeekBot has a strong payload capability of 1kg/2.2lbs and moves fast at up to 0.4Mps / 1.3fps. Each Geekbot comes with a 4400mah 7.4V rechargeable Lithium Ion battery, allowing your Geekbot to run for hours! Integrated protection circuitry protects the battery from under/over voltage. Each kit comes with a wall-charger so you can recharge your battery when it runs low.

Full size BB-8 Build!

February 5th, 2016

full size bb8
Star Wars fans, you’ve got to check this out. Instructable user ASCAS (Angelo) has made a full-size, app controlled BB-8 Droid. That in and of itself is cool, but Angelo has been kind enough to make an instructable so that you can build one too! This has gotten some discussion going around the office as to how we’re likely to make one. This is just awesome, and here’s to hoping this inspires many people to get involved with robotics!

HR-OS1 with Jasper Installed

February 3rd, 2016

Jasper Installed

Youtube User panthallion has installed Jasper on his HR-OS1 (with Raspberry Pi), and it’s pretty cool. The age of robotic personal assistance is upon us. Jasper is an open source platform for developing voice-controlled applications, similar to Siri, OK Google, Cortana, and so on. In this case, Jasper is being used in conjunction with an HR-OS1 to make a robot that can assist you with daily tasks, answer questions, tell a joke, and generally be responsive and helpful when given a voice command. It’s interesting to see the HR-OS1 physically reacting to the content it is delivering (it genuinely seems frustrated with one of the questions asked of it). Very clever!

New Product – Lithium Ion Battery and Charger

February 1st, 2016
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In the process of making robots more accessible, sometimes a technology that has been around for a while presents itself to us in a new light. For many years, all of the Trossen Robotics mobile robot kits have come with Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries. LiPo batteries are fantastic for their energy density, meaning that they give you the most run time for your robot for the weight of the battery. They are admittedly not the easiest battery to work with, having to make sure that the voltage isn’t too low, but they are fantastic for experienced users. To help remove the experience barrier for those new to robotics, and to offer those that are experienced an option that is easy to manage but still powerful, we now carry a Lithium Ion Battery! This battery operates at 7.4V, which works very well with RobotGeek Servos, and has a capacity of 4400mAh. It comes with a charger that features over-voltage protection, and the battery itself has built in under-voltage protection, making sure that the battery is safe and easy to use. This battery is a perfect pairing for a Geekbot, or if you would like to take a RobotGeek Snapper Arm on the go!

New Product – Xevelabs USB2AX v3.2a

January 27th, 2016
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We have a new product, and it’s pretty gosh darn exciting for anyone using AX and MX series Dynamixel Servos for a single board computer robot! The Xevelabs USB2AX v3.2a USB to TTL Dynamixel Servo Interface is diminutive in size, but talks a big game with any device utilizing a half-duplex TTL interface 3-pin connector using the Dynamixel Protocol! The USB2AX works as a serial device, receiving messages from your PC via USB, and transmitting the data over to the DYNAMIXEL chain. You can send and read data to/from DYNAMIXEL servos just like you would with a microcontroller.

Often a USB2DYNAMIXEL adapter would be used to connect a PC to a DYNAMIXEL chain, but at just under 4cm in length, the USB2AX is a much more compact solution. The USB2AX also offers lower latency and more software features than the USB2DYNAMIXEL. If you want to use a small single board computer like the Raspberry Pi to control your DYNAMIXEL based robot, the USB2AX is the board for you.

Xevelabs has a plethora of documentation to get you started with the USB2AX in no time at all. The USB2AX is an Open Source project, allowing you to reprogram, hack, and configure the hardware and software as you deem fit!

New Instructable – Auto Turret with Pixy and Nerf Gun

January 20th, 2016

Autoturret with pixy and nerf gun
We have a new project that we’re excited for you to try! With the Auto-Turret Project, you can automatically track down and fire upon your enemies! This project utilizes a Pixy camera module, a RobotGeek pan/tilt base, a foam dart gun, and a Geekduino to coordinate the components. The Pixy can be ‘taught’ to recognize different colors, and when it ‘sees’ an object with the matched color, it will send data to the Geekduino. The Geekduino will then move the pan and tilt servos so that the object is in the center of the Pixy’s field of view. If the object stays still for too long, the foam dart gun will engage, firing a dart at the object!

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

Thomas the War Engine will Haunt Your Nightmares

January 18th, 2016

Kick the baby

Roboticist Y. Nakajima has produced one of the most creative, yet nightmare inducing incarnations of Thomas the Tank Engine quite possibly to have ever existed. As noted in the blog post announcing the existence of this robot, the name of this creation roughly translates to “Multi-legged Agency Tank Thomas”, and it has a mythology drawing from the Thomas the Tank Engine children’s show involving Sir Topham suffering from madness and obsession after a great war, and modifying the gentle Locomotive, adding legs and a radioactive death ray to be an agent of destruction. In reality, the robot stands about a foot tall, and is outfitted with a 300mw laser, which can do some pretty serious damage to human eyes, balloons, and matches. Watch the video if you would like to ruin your childhood and potentially never sleep again.

Full Size Humanoid Braces for Falls Using Its Hands

January 15th, 2016

Kick the baby

A group comprised of members of Carnegie Mellon University, The Robotics Institute, and the Advanced Robotics lab at IIT, have been kicking around a full size million dollar humanoid robot. Don’t worry, this robot is fully equipped to brace itself for the fall, much in the same way a human would. Upon having a force acting upon the robot, leading it into what would be a catastrophic fall, it will hold out its hands to brace itself against a wall. It even accurately pushes itself back into proper standing position! Check out the video. It’s impressive work, but you might feel bad for the robot.