Researchers at Georgia Tech have identified a way to teach robots how to fall with grace and without serious injury. In the video, the top robot uses a novel algorithm to minimize impact when the robot falls. The algorithm is not used for the robot on the bottom of the screen.
The work is important as costly robots become more common in manufacturing. The skill becomes especially important, too, as robots are sought for healthcare or domestic tasks – working near the elderly, injured, children or pets.
Our friend at NeuroRobotic Technologies has been developing an Arduino Due Shield that plays nice with everything in the InterbotiX and RobotGeek product lines (and subsequently, his PhantomX Hexapod is playing nicely with the kids)! This is a comprehensive shield that lets you connect AX, MX, and XL Dynamixel Servos! The DynamixShield is an electronics board that fits onto an Arduino Due microcontroller to give you the ability to control Dynamixel smart servos and regular servos, while also providing numerous Grove and RobotGeek connectors. Grove and RobotGeek are hardware frameworks for modular sensors and actuators. There are tons of off-the-shelf modules for these two frameworks that can be plugged into the shield with a single cable. This includes everything from GPS sensors, RFID scanners, and LCD displays that are plug-and-play ready for use with the shield. This makes it very easy to build your robots by combining modules and servos. Check out his Kickstarter, and if you want to see it happen, you can make it happen!
This project is so cool. Next Project Awesome has been working on a drink serving project known as Drinkinator. Utilizing a load of RobotGeek Pumping Stations, a Geekduino, and operated by a Raspberry Pi touch screen interface made in Kivy, this beautiful project makes for a fantastic automated party bartender. This project is well documented on Next Project Awesome’s GitHub, so if you’re looking for a project to follow, it doesn’t get much better than this. Next Project Awesome is an ambitious new youtube series that covers the use of Raspberry Pi and Arduino to make projects. They’re pretty amazing so far, and if you like what you see, you should subscribe to their channel!
Kyle shows off the RobotGeek RFID Lock Box Kit in this informative video! The RobotGeek RFID Lock Box kit combines Arduino, RFID and a Project Box to make your very own personal safe! The lock box kit allows you to to program your arduino to lock and unlock the box with the swipe an RFID tag or card, it even stays locked if unplugged. Mildly secure your semi-valuables in this decorative conversation piece!
We’ve got a gripper with some new moves at RobotGeek. Snapper Arms now come with our new Parallel Gripper, which is a major improvement over the old 9G Gripper. With a more powerful RGS-13 Servo and smooth parallel action, this gripper takes the cake (or whatever you want it to take, really). We also carry a new Wide Gripper, for larger cakes. Wider cakes. Cake would probably make a terrible mess of these, you should probably not try to lift cake with them. If you do lift cake with them, we’re not responsible for any damage the cake does to your gripper. Even though cake is really tasty, the gripper won’t appreciate it as much as you do. Fair warning.
Team ProbatioNerds stopped by Trossen Robotics to build the HR-OS1 They won from Matrix at TADHack! We captured a time-lapse video of the build party you can check out on our instagram. They’re a lovely group of people, and we hope to see them again soon (and we’re really interested to see what they do with their robot)!
RobotGeek has rolled out two Floor Switch Mat kits to make your Halloween SUPER SPOOKY. The first is the RobotGeek Floor Switch Tail Kit, a simple kit that turns on any AC powered device when someone steps on a Floor mat switch. The more advanced (but super simple to set up with our How to Guide) RobotGeek Floor Mat Experimenter’s Kit Gives you extensive control over tons of things, such as sounds, lights, and external devices (such as a halloween prop) when the floor mat switch is activated.
Team ProbatioNerds from IIT worked with Matrix to control an HR-OS1, sending commands through a chatroom (in the presentation, from a phone) to move the robot from anywhere in the world! They subsequently won an HR-OS1 from Matrix, which we’re sure is being put to good use. Check out their presentation! They explain the architecture a bit, and programmed the HR-OS1 to do the macarena, which is endlessly entertaining. Congratulations, ProbatioNerds! We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!