REV3 Innovation Center Launching in DuPage County

October 3rd, 2013

REV3

 

 

Something exciting is coming to DuPage! (That is where we, Trossen Robotics, are. DuPage is a western suburb county to Chicago.) Choose DuPage is founding a unique center called REV3. Think of an incubator, hacker space, and Tech Shop all rolled together and that is what REV3 is. For local engineers who want to turn ideas into reality here is the juicy bit:

Participating businesses will have the ability to prototype, build and assemble small and moderate scale volumes of physical products at Rev3. The center’s amenities will include a machine shop, wood shop, 3D printers, laser cutters, electronics equipment, hand tools, and more. By developing partnerships with local manufacturers, businesses will also be able to move on to higher-volume production including printed circuit board assembly, casting, injection molding, and product assembly while building their businesses in DuPage County.

The center will also host lectures aimed at informing people how to get started in business, prototyping, 3D printing, engineering, electronics, and much more. It sounds like a dream place that I would never leave if I were fresh out of college again. Rev3 is currently taking applications for tenants (individuals & startups) as well as calling out for businesses and individuals in the community that can lend a hand as lectures, mentors, partners, resources… anything and everything. Creative entrepreneurial minds are needed.

To learn more or get involved visit their website: rev3dupage.com

 

Here is the full official Press release:

REV3 INNOVATION CENTER LAUNCHING IN DUPAGE COUNTY
Rev3 will be a center focused on encouraging entrepreneurial growth within DuPage County by providing a space and support network for companies to design, build and launch products

LISLE, IL, October 1, 2013 — Choose DuPage, an economic development agency dedicated to the attraction and retention of businesses to DuPage County, today announced plans for a new innovation center, Rev3. Named for the third revolution of digital technology, Rev3 provides a space for emerging companies and entrepreneurs to manufacture products, software and technology. The center will also act as a host for networking opportunities, including seminars and training sessions, in order to stimulate the local economy and allow business leaders to connect with other like-minded individuals.
“Rev3 will tap into the diverse business community located in DuPage County, with major companies residing in the technology, manufacturing, retail, logistics, and healthcare space,” said Greg Bedalov, President and CEO of Choose DuPage. “Our vision is to allow entrepreneurs and business leaders to connect with like-minded individuals while manufacturing their products and developing software locally, thus stimulating the economy.”

The center, to be located in DuPage County, just 20 miles west of Chicago, will provide affordable access to a range of equipment and expertise that does not exist anywhere else in Illinois. With innovations like 3D printing, cloud computing and the open source movement, technology continues to evolve rapidly and Rev3 will help today’s technology pioneers find new ways to innovate in these and many other areas.

“The development of a center like Rev3 has been a long time coming in an area where there are already so many unique startups and innovators,” said Nic Zito, Business Services Director for Choose DuPage. “We are thrilled to highlight DuPage County’s talent and provide them with an environment to take their products from dream to reality.”

Participating businesses will have the ability to prototype, build and assemble small and moderate scale volumes of physical products at Rev3. The center’s amenities will include a machine shop, wood shop, 3D printers, laser cutters, electronics equipment, hand tools, and more. By developing partnerships with local manufacturers, businesses will also be able to move on to higher-volume production including printed circuit board assembly, casting, injection molding, and product assembly while building their businesses in DuPage County.

Rev3 will also host ongoing events and programs, providing both introductory and advanced lectures and seminars on topics relevant to starting and growing a technology business. The facility will coalesce around passionate entrepreneurs, whether they are developing businesses on their own or commercializing technology invented at one of the area’s many universities, federal laboratories, or established companies.

“The success of Rev3 will have a lasting impact on DuPage County and will serve to further the growth of local businesses, create jobs, increase exports and generate wealth. Our focus is on building and retaining financially viable businesses,” added Bedalov.

Rev3 is currently seeking prospective tenants for Rev3’s planning team. The team will help select the incubator’s location, develop the overall vision of the center and review design, equipment purchases and services offered. The center will be organized as a not-for-profit and encourages volunteerism and community support.

For more information, visit www.rev3dupage.com.

About Rev3
Rev3 is an innovation center that will be located in DuPage County, Illinois, and is focused on helping people and companies manufacture products, develop software and build technology to drive the third industrial revolution. Rev3 will have a full complement of resources to allow companies to prototype, build and assemble small and moderate scale volumes of physical products.

About Choose DuPage
Founded in 2005, Choose DuPage is dedicated to supporting municipal economic development initiatives, retaining and attracting businesses, marketing DuPage County as a premier global business location and addressing policy issues critical to the needs of business. Geographically desirable, with a highly skilled labor force, DuPage County has experienced unprecedented growth over the past two decades. Choose DuPage was created to leverage this growth and continue its momentum for the benefit of County businesses and residents. Choose DuPage offers a variety of resources to help expand or relocate your business and is a reliable, accountable and professional economic development partner.

 

Laser Hexapod?!

September 6th, 2013

laserhexapod

User Plasma We’s has some fun mod’s to the PhantomX Hexapod – each leg gets a laser and the main chassis gets two super bright RGB LEDs. Just add music and this crawler is a one-bot dance party!

Check out
Plasma We’s youtube Channel for more laser hexapod goodness.

The PhantomX Hexapod is ‘Insanely Futuristic’

September 5th, 2013

hexapod

The folks over at io9 recently put the PhantomX Hexapod on their 10 Real Technologies That Look Insanely Futuristic list. Everything on their list is a real, working product or prototype, and there are some awesome projects included. We’re humbled that io9 saw fit to include us on the list.

Stay tuned, we’ve got some new code for the MK-II hexapods in the pipeline and we’ll have some new video to show off.

5 Legged Hexapod Learns to Walk Again

September 4th, 2013

hexapod damaged

IEEE Spectrum has a great article on researchers with ISIR, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris running experiments with out PhantomX Hexapod.

In these experiments the researchers are examining algorithms for robots to ‘recover’ from damage. In this case, they shortned a leg of the hexapod, and use a T-Resilience Algorithm to calculate a new walking pattern/gait.

Their initial gait was able to acheive a top speed of 26cm/s. When they shortened one leg to half it’s original length, the performance dropped to 8cm/s. At this point the robot begins to calculate a new gait. It runs 40 simulations, then trys the best of these simulations in real life. The hexapod will run this experiment 25 times to determine the best new gait. In only 20 minutes the hexapod is able to use a new gait that gets 18cm/s – three times the performance of the original gait under damaged conditions!

Now this is no normal PhantomX Hexapod. This model has a custom chassis, an IR camera, MX-28s, an on on-board computer, and a custom built ‘damaged’ leg.

Researchers Sylvain Koos, Antoine Cully and Jean-Baptiste Mouret have done a great job with this experiement as well as documenting it. More information about the paper can be found here and here. A PDF of the paper can be found here.

Our First DYNAMIXEL PRO is here!

August 12th, 2013

dynamixel pro

Our first test unit from the DYNAMIXEL PRO line just came in! The DYNAMIXEL PRO Robot Actuator is a thing of engineering beauty, and we’re excited to start working with the DYNAMIXEL PRO line. We’ll be sure to keep you posted with videos and information about this awesome new actuator in the coming weeks.

New Edge Kits and an Octopod

July 25th, 2013

Interbotix Octopod

Interbotix Labs is proud to announce our first entry into our line of Edge Kits!

Edge Kits are robotics kits that we are releasing from our R&D labs early. In an effort to make more kits available to the community and to accelerate the innovation cycle we have decided to start releasing “Edge Kits” for advanced builders. The name comes from the term “cutting edge” to denote that these kits are on the front edge of development. The kits are intended as hardware kits and may or may not come with certain levels of code that we and the community is working on, though code will often be available in unsupported beta formats which people are sharing and banging away on to improve.

We made the choice to release kits in this format due to the demand we have seen over the years from the community wanting to get their hands on advanced kits faster than the normal cycle. We as roboticists are notoriously impatient people and when we want to build, we want to build now. So the Edge Kit was born. The kits do NOT come with the same level of documentation, code, and/or assembly instructions that our fully support Interbotix Kits do. As a result, these kits are best suited for individuals with previous experience with our kits or other similar applications.

Our first Edge Kit is the Interbotix Octopod. As the name suggests, the kit is an eight legged crawler. Community member KevinO has already gotten his kit up and running with some seriously advanced features and sensing capabilities. His robot Charlotte started life as a PhantomX Hexapod running an Arbotix and from there he modified the legs several times to his liking (a great feature of the modular AX-12 bracket system). Soon a Raspberry Pi and Kinect 3d Camera sensor were added, and he ported over the Phoenix-Phoenix code (another community project for our crawlers lead by KurtE) to run natively on the Raspberry Pi. As he experimented with face tracking, obstacle avoidance and gesture tracking, KevinO expressed a desire to make Charlotte a bit closer to a real spider by adding an additional pair of legs and bringing the total up to 8. And thus, the Octopod project was born.

This is a perfect example of how the synergy of small companies and online communities are ever increasing the speed of innovation in technology. A big thanks goes out to Kevin for his VERY impressive project, we can’t wait to see where he takes it next! Check out his video of Charlotte taking some of her early steps:

Fermilab’s Electromagnet Passes by Trossen Robotics HQ Tonight!

July 24th, 2013

Fermilab ring

For the last month, the Trossen Team has been following the journey of Fermilab’s 50-foot-wide electromagnet. The electromagnet boarded a barge in Brookhaven new York on June 22nd, then slowly made it’s way down the coast, into the gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, and finally landed in Lemont Illinois. This entire week the Fermilab Team/Authorities have been closing down roadways at night to let the massive magnet pass. Well tonight, the magnet will pass right next to our offices! We’re getting ready to have a roof party and greet the ring in style.

The ring is currently residing at a parking lot about 6 miles away from our office. They’re planning on moving the ring at about 11:30, so we’re hoping to catch a glimpse of it sometime around midnight. We’ll keep you posted with video and photos as it passes by.

T8 the Bio Inspired 3D Printed Spider Octopod Robot

July 22nd, 2013

We always get a lot of comments about how life-like our crawlers can be, but Robugtix has taken it to a whole new level. The T8 Octopod has 26 motors (3 per leg, and 2 in the abdomen) and produces some amazingly arachnid-like movements. The robot’s hardware has been 3D printed to complete the illusion. The movements are so smooth that there was even a debate in the youtube comments as to whether or not the robot was real or an animation!

The T8 should be ready for order in September, so keep an eye out for it!

Awesome 3D Printed Arm Uses a PhantomX Gripper

July 19th, 2013

3darm

Maker n8zach has built himself an amazing 3D printed arm. The arm is powered by 1 MX-106, 3 MX-64s, 1 MX-28 and 2 AX-18As (one of which is used with our PhantomX Gripper The arm is contorlled via a PC using a USB2DYNAMIXEL and the DYNAMIXEL SDK.

This arm on its own is pretty amazing, but on top of everything else, n8zach can control his arm via a Kinect. He can control the arm manually, or he can set it to automatically perform certain tasks.

pyPincher, an IKGUI tool for the PhantomX Pincher

July 18th, 2013

pypincher

Phil Williammee has created an application that can communicate with the the PhantomX Pincher through PyPose. pyPincher will allow you to control the Pincher via rotation, extension, and height, along with gripper angle and the gripper itself. The program will then also give you a 3D representation of the arm’s current position. You can even load different coordinates and toggle between them! This is just another great example of how users can leverage the open software and firmware of the InterbotiX robots to create custom setups.

You can grab a copy of the code at his GitHub page