Our outrageously popular PhantomX Hexapod and PhantomX Quadruped have gotten a make-over! We’ve re-designed the crawlers in matte black Plexiglas, as well as updated the leg design for a larger range of movements. Check out our sneak peak videos below to see them in action.
These two crawlers are still powered by ROBOTIS’s DYNAMIXEL AX servos, giving them great speed, torque, and control. And just like the previous version, the new crawlers are controlled with our own ArbotiX Robocontroller, making them compatible with the Arduino environment.
The PhantomX Hexapod and Quadruped are two great ways to get into robotics. Whether you need a research grade robotic platform, or or robot to to build on for mech warfare, pick up one of our crawlers today.
We’ve been busy the last few months perfecting our new line of RobotGeek I/O boards, and they’re finally ready for the debut! We do a lot of rapid prototyping, and we’ve seen our fair share of I/O boards and shields – but none of them have been exactly what we needed. So we finally decided to make our own!
2012 has come and gone, and its finally time to announce the winners for the Ninth Trossen Robotics Community Contest! There were a lot of amazing entries, but six of them battled to the top to win our contest. Check out the end of this post for videos of all of our winners in action.
The Obstacle Avoiding & Remote Controlled Rover (or the OARC Rover) is a great little project by Yosheli. It has everything you need for a roving robot – a drive system (4 DC motors with encoders controlling 2 treads), a distance sensor (an ultrasonic range sensor), wireless communication(XBees) and a main processing unit (an Arduino Mega).
This robot has a two modes of operation – the first is direct remote control via a custom wireless controller. The second mode is a purely autonomous one. The OARC Rover will go forward until it detects an obstacle – at which point it will move to avoid the obstacle. To help overcome the limits of the ultrasonic sensor, Yosheli mounted the sensor on a pan servo, enabling the robot to get better readings on curved surfaces. This panning motion also gives this little robot a lot of character.
The idea of an obstacle avoiding robot certainly isn’t anything new, but its a great example of how many problems you need to solve when building a basic robot. Yosheli gets points for overcoming these obstacles on his first fully fledged Arduino Project
Maxwell is lnxfergy’s Mobile Manipulator Robot. This robot can map a room and traverse the room based on that map. Then it can use its custom arm and manipulator to pick up objects and interact with the room. The latest version of Maxwell even has a linear actuator to move the arm up and down, allowing it to pick up things from the floor as well as table-height objects.
Maxwell’s arm is comprised of 2 EX-106s, 2 RX-64s and 3 AX-12s. Lnxfergy’s did a lot of work in ROS to get his custom manipulator running properly, which is a great thing for the robot community. Lnxfergy’s is commited to open source projects and his work in open source robotics has been the basis for robot after robot in the comunity. We absolutely love that Lnxfergy has made all of Maxwell’s code available. Check out this thread post for mor information about Maxwell.
We know you’ve been waiting for more video of the PhantomX Reactor Robot Arm in action, so here it is! You can our AX-12A DYNAMIXEL based Robot Arms moving in unison, performing a variety of tasks. This demo video shows the reach, speed, and smoothness of the PhantomX Reactor Arms.
This robot arm can lift 200 grams at 30cm, 400 grams at 20cm, and 600 grams at 10cm! With a 80cm Work area and a 300 degree reach, this arm is great for a variety of applications. And add an additional servo to give your arm wrist-rotation for even more flexibility.
In this episode of Shop Talk Matt shares some of his experience on the business side of developing and launching a product. There are a lot of lessons he’s learned about the pitfalls that stand in the way between a project and a successful commercial product.
0:25-Soliciting Peer Review
Recently Ken McClain of Biomimetix came in to show us his Biomimetix Open Source Servos(BOSS). Ken wanted to get our feedback on his project, and we were able to give him advice based on our experience in the smart servo market. When you have other people reviewing your project you can get a fresh perspective that will catch problems and opportunities that you might have missed. Peer review can also establish relationships that can lead to awesome collaborations.
5:10-Ideas Are Cheap
Matt also talked about how many different people try to pitch products and ideas to Trossen Robotics. More often then not, these pitches are ideas, not finished products. There are a million ideas out there, but only a small percentage have actual products behind them. Real value comes from execution of an idea. Having a finished, tested and documented product is what really matters.
7:38-What is the Trade Off?
Matt talks about the trade offs that occur when you start selling your products through resellers. In exchange for exposure to your product and marketing, you need to give your resellers good margin. Without a healthy margin, resellers can’t operate. Resellers need to document products, learn about them, answer tech support questions and more. Matt also talks about other hidden costs for resellers in stocking products.
12:20-What suggestions and tips would you give to people who want to show their products to retailers?
If you’re serious about showing your project to a reseller, you need to be ready! You should have a finished product (and if you don’t, be very clear that you are just soliciting feedback). You also should have pricing, both MSRP and wholesale. You need to do your own research your competition and similar products to figure out what you will sell your product for. Documentation is a must, including tech specs, dimensions and instructions. If you’re not ready for prime-time and you’re soliciting feedback, make sure to keep your questions short and direct.
17:56-Embracing Open Source
Another consideration when launching a product is how open you want to be with it. The Open Source movement has taken the tech world by storm, and there can be a lot of benefits to launching products openly. One great example of companies is Adafruit industries.
Being overly protectionist in the current market can have a negative impact on your product before you can even get it to market.
Our newest creation, the WidowX Robotic Arm is our smoothest, most powerful arm to date! The MX series actuators provide a full 360 degree freedom of movement in the base, ultra-high resolution of up to 0.088° , user-definable PID parameters, and extremely smooth interpolation. The hefty MX-64 shoulder servo gives the WidowX very strong lifting strength in a slim frame. If you are looking for medium lifting strength and desire smooth control, high accuracy and repeatability the WidowX is a great mid-level arm choice.
Learn more about the arm here, and stay tuned for videos of this arm in action!
We’ve just updated our WidowX and ScorpionX Robot Turret from the DYNAMIXEL RX line to the new MX line. These new servos have almost 4 times the resolution of their predecessors! That’s .088° resolution! These turrets have silky smooth movement and still sport impressive torque. And because the new MX servos have a full 360 rotation you get more pan coverage than ever before!
Since all our turrets are built with the Arduino compatible Arbotix Robocontroller, you can leverage the power of the Arduino environment to customize your turret. You can control the turret using a PC, a XBee device (like the Arbotix Commander), or even make it fully autonomous! And because these servos run at 12v and use a 3-pin TTL connection, they’re fully compatible with AX-12 and AX-18, making expanding your turret even easier.
These turrets are perfect for projects ranging from photography to Paintball Turrets and more! With our open source software, the sky is the limit!
The latest episode of TRTV we take a look at Andrew’s new designer eyeware, and our newest line of robotic accessories. We’ve also got some footage of Erik reviving of our popular Scorpion Turret based Paintball Gun Sentry.
Ever wonder what world class robotisists eat to keep them going? Check out Matt and Andrews new diet, as well as the office’s new juicing habit.
We’re constantly talking about new technologies, products and media that relate to robotics. Now, we’ve decided to let you in on the conversation, and to take a peek at the things that are piquing our interest.
(0:47)First Andrew talked about the MX DYNAMIXEL robot actuators, including their history, features and why he loves them so much.
(7:44) Andrew went on to talk about the amazing new DYNAMIXEL PRO Robot Actuators. These new powerful and precise actuators are are designed for full-scale robots. With up to 4x the torque of the current most powerful DYNAMIXEL, these servos have everyone at Trossen Robotics very excited. These actuators will be available in 2013, and you can get more information here
(16:27) Matt and Andrew went on to talk about ROBOTIS and why they’re so successful. They also shared some stories of their trip to South Korea (19:35) and some rarely seen footage of the trip.
(23:10) In the Sneak Peak section, they showed off some of our products that are currently in the pipeline. Matt showed off a new mobile robotics platform based on the Budget Bot. However, this platform uses the Arbotix RoboController and will have a built in robotic arm, making it an amazing mobile research platform. Andrew showed off the two new MX based Robotic Arms that Trossen Robotics will be releasing. These arms use the MX-28 and MX-64 DYNAMIXEL servos, making them our most powerful and smooth arms to date. They also gave us a look at a new joystick control panel for controlling our robotic arms.
(31:31)For this week’s Tips and Tricks, Matt shared tips about weights, both for testing load capacities on our robots, and for weighing down arms and cameras. Andrew showed us how to make a quick experimenter’s power supply with a computer power supply, and where to go once you need even more amperage.
People use the things they buy from us to a lot of different tasks. From lifting gates to building robots, we see a lot. One of those things is implanting RFID tags in the human body. We carry Glass Ampoule Tags, but we’re pretty clear that we do not advise or encourage users to implant the RFID tags we sell into humans.
However those interested in implants can look no further than Amal Graafstra’s new store, Dangerous Things. Amal is a long time friend of Trossen Robotics and has undergone multiple implantations of RFID tags. Amal has written a book on RFID and done work on our own RedBee RFID reader! His experience and expertise in the field make it especially well suited to head this new store.