Oregon State University’s Bipedal Robot: ATRIAS

May 11th, 2015


ATRIAS, built by the Oregon State University’s Dynamic Robotics Laboratory, directed by Dr. Jonathan Hurst, is an awesome bipedal robot. ATRIAS is capable of balancing itself on changing terrain, rolling hills, and even while being pelted by dodgeballs! This robot is clever, and we wish the team lots of luck at the DARPA Robotics Challenge in Pomona, CA on June 5-6, 2015.

HR-OS1 and RME

May 8th, 2015


The HR-OS1 is alive and kicking. Well, more likely punching right now. We might have accidentally exposed him to Smash Brothers, and he might idolize Little Mac a bit. Using Robot Motion Editor to teach the HR-OS1 new moves is easy and fun! This is all early movement editing, without the use of sensors to correct for balance. It does take a little bit of time to get used to balancing the little fella, but as you can see from the video, the HR-OS1 is very capable of holding his own through a wide variety of movement. We get a kick out of watching him dance!

Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire was Awesome!

May 6th, 2015


We had a great time for the third year in a row at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! So many bright young stars came to our booth to learn about robotics, some of which were involved in arduino programming, many of which left with an interest in robotics. We rolled out the HR-OS1 for his first public event, and everyone loved him! Congrats to the volunteers on a successful Maker Faire, and many more to come!


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ROS enabled PhantomX Hexapod

May 4th, 2015

phantomx hex w kevino ros

User r3n33 has deployed KevinO’s ROS development onto a PhantomX Hexapod with a Raspberry Pi 2! This is an involved process, and it is awesome to see an already solid ROS package get some well deserved attention. It’s awesome seeing what happens when the robotics community comes together to focus on something spectacular.

RTEAM’s new Mech Warfare Robots!

May 1st, 2015


RTEAM Robotics Club from Tuscon, Arizona has been expanding their army of Mech Warfare combatants! Currently, they are testing out the use of Piezoelectric Speaker Scoring Panels instead of the FSR panels that have become a standard lately. This came about due to the expansion in number of mechs, and a lack of materials for half of them. User giantflaw offered some insight as to the continued use of Piezoelectric Speaker Scoring Panels:

RTEAM piezoelectric target plates are fully compatible with the existing target plate system and I think offer 6 advantages over the FSR plates. 1.) They are much more sensitive than the FSRs 2.) They register target plate hits reliably every time and never resgister any robot vibration or shock to the robot. The target plates are oblivious to walking gait. 3.) They are much cheaper than FSR target plates and easliy made with analog components. 4.) They can be de-tuned to be less sensitive and mimic an FSR low sensitivity target plate. 5.) There are no dead zones in the target panel like there are on FSR target panels. 6.) The target panel can be any shape or size unlike the FSR target panels. 7.) The target panels are tougher than the FSR plates and are not easily damaged.

If you’d like to see what the buzz is all about, hop in on this thread!

Come See Us At the Chicago Mini Maker Faire This Weekend!

April 28th, 2015

This Saturday, May 2nd we’ll be at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! The faire runs from 10am-4pm and will be filled with amazing and creative projects from the Chicagoland area, and beyond!

We’ll be demoing some of our crawlers like the PhantomX Quadruped and Hexapod. As well as some of our other robots, including the new HR-OS1. So whether you want to try out our crawlers or just chat about robotics, stop on by for a great time.

Project Rhoeby is navigation capable.

April 24th, 2015


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.

KevinO’s ROS Hexapod Golem

April 22nd, 2015

robot publisher test

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!

HR-OS1 Humanoid Endoskeleton Shipping Has Begun!

April 20th, 2015

HROS-1 Staging

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.

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Bop ‘em Pop ‘em Robots

April 15th, 2015


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.