Posts Tagged ‘contest’

Win a Box of Robot Refuse!

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Update: And they’re all gone! Keep an eye out for our next give-away next week!

Trossen Robotics Robot Refuse

Woot has their Bag of Crap and Sparkfun has their Dumpster Dive – well we want in too!

We’re introducing the Trossen Robotics Robot Refuse Box. This package is chocked full of all sorts of odds and ends from our office. So what all might be inside these mystery boxes?

  • -Robot Prototypes and Chassis
  • -Stickers
  • -Product Samples
  • -Retired boards and plastic plates
  • -Did I mention Stickers?
  • -Assorted Junk

There might have even been a product or two from the photo-room that snuck into the mix. Keep in mind that these boxes are a completely random assortment of parts, none of which are explicitly designed to work with each other. Each box is different, no two are the same. These boxes come with no warranty, support, instructions or documentation.

We have 10 boxes to give away, and each person who gets one will have the added opportunity to win a $50 gift certificate. Just build something using parts out of the Robot Refuse Box, and send us a picture or video. Our favorite entry gets the gift certificate!

So how do you get your hands on one of these amazing parcels? Keep an eye on our Facebook Page over the next couple of hours and find out!

Note: We will only be shipping Robot Refuse Boxes to addresses in the U.S.A.

Trossen Robotics DIY Contest Returns!

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

We know you’ve missed the TRC contest, so we’re bringing it back! And this time you can win one of our new Reactor or Pincher arms! Just submit a project to get entered into the contest! Entries will be judged on Ingenuity, Originality, and Presentation, so be sure to make those project pages shine! Check out all of the rules here.

Get in on the 10 Dollar Robot Design Challenge

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Bringing technology and science to the masses isn’t always easy. Even if you forget about the complexities of curriculum, just having the basic tools tools to teach technology can be cost prohibitive. The African Robotics Network (AFRON) is hoping to put a dent in that problem with the“10 Dollar Robot” Design Challenge.

The goal of the challenge is to create an inexpensive robotics platform that can be use used in science and technology education. The robot must be programmable, and have some way to interact with it’s environment. Robots that cost under $100 are eligible, though the closer you get to $10, the better your score will be.

The winners of this competition will get prizes including cash, Raspberry Pis and having your design distributed via the AFRON. Just imagine your design in the hands of students worldwide!

We absolutely love initiatives like this one – simple ways to bring technology and science to even more people. So thank you to the founders of this project, Ken Goldberg and Ayorkor Korsah . And good luck to all the contestants – we’re really excited to see what you come up with!

Lynxmotion Robot Project Contest!

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
Our friends over at Lynxmotion are hosting their first ever Project Contest! Do you have an awesomely customized Johnny 5 kit you want to show off? How about a suped-up Phoenix? Head over to the Lynxmotion forums and submit a detailed write-up of your project, complete with pictures and videos for a chance to win some very generous gift cards. Here is the official posting:

We are happy to announce our first Robot Project Contest. People have been building awesome robots from our kits and parts for 15 years. We want to do a better job of recognizing and rewarding these efforts. The contest will have two categories.

The first category can be any project that is based on a Lynxmotion robot kit. This can be anything from a Robotic Arm or Rover to a Johnny 5 or 3DOF Hexapod. We’re looking for anything that has been added or modified to improve the aesthetics or the functionality of the robot. Your take on your favorite movie robot, or your version of a Mars Rover would be cool. Submitting a stock build is not likely to draw much attention.

The second category can be anything created with our Servo Erector Set series of brackets and components. For this category we are looking for something unique, interesting and different. It must use the SES components as the primary construction material.

The entries must be posted here in this section of the forum. Even if the robot has been posted in other sections of the website. The first post is the submission, so you should edit it to keep it up to date. The entry must have quality higher resolution images and clear video as a minimum. We will also require a full write up of the parts used, the problems solved, or the inspiration for the project, etc. We need details. At the time of this writing we do not have the ability to host the images or video. You will need to find a place to host them for now. You are encouraged to post what you have as soon as possible. You will have time to edit your post to fulfill the contest requirements as you require.

The contest time frame is three months, ending on May 31st. The awards are as follows:

Kit Robot Contest
1st Place = $350.00 gift certificate
2nd Place = $200.00 gift certificate
3rd Place = $100.00 gift certificate

SES Robot Contest
1st Place = $350.00 gift certificate
2nd Place = $200.00 gift certificate
3rd Place = $100.00 gift certificate

Our own custom Pico-ITX based Johnny 5 will be cheering from the sidelines! Go get em guys!

February ’09 Contest Winners Announced!

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

The time of reckoning is nigh! The contest winners for this round of the TRC Project Contest have been decided and we’ve got some awesome prizes to give away!

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Plinter Roving Servobot

Project: Roving Servo Bot
Creator: Pinter75
Prize: $25 Gift Card to the Trossen Robotics Store

This bot went back to the basics. Base board? Check. Super Glue? Check. Zip ties? Check. Ingenious scratch built onboard controller? Check! Throw all of these items together and you have a great wheeled platform with a fully functioning arm. complete with a .NET interface over Bluetooth. The craftsmanship on this bot is superb, so much so that when we first saw it we thought it had been cut from a 3D printer. Pinter75 has taken the project a step further and will be offering it in kit form in the near future, something we are very excited to see come to life.


Project: Charlie
Creator: Darkback2
Prize: $25 Gift Card to the Trossen Robotics Store

Quadrapods have been around long enough that it usually takes something really special to perk our eyebrows, which is exactly what Charlie the Quadrapod did. Was it the onboard PC that impressed us? The rugged raw metal look? Perhaps the fact that Charlie wields a fully automatic airsoft gun on its back? While all of that is very cool, what amazed us most of all was the fact that Charlie was built by hand, using only simple power tools. No CNC machine, no computer CAD drawings; the brackets and frame were literally cut and bent by guide of hand alone. Anybody who has built parts by hand knows how much patience and skill goes into making identical parts without the guidance of a computer controlled blade. Look for this bot competing in the upcoming Mech Warfare competition at Robogames 2009!

Lego WALL-E by Bizmarc

Project: Autonomous LEGO Wall-E
Creator: Bazmarc
Prize: $25 Gift Card to the Trossen Robotics Store

Building a Wall-E robot? Awesome. Building it out of LEGOs? Even more awesome! LEGOs sure have come a long way in their lifetime, evolving into the amazing robotics prototyping tool they are today and invoking nostalgia in tinkerers abroad (I mean, who didn’t play with Legos growing up?) Forum member Bazmarc blew us all away when he debuted his LEGO NXT Autonomous Wall-E project, sparking “LEGO-skill” envy unanimously across the forums. Not only did he perfectly capture the look and feel of everyone’s favorite trash bot, he brought it to life with an autonomous navigation system. We can’t to see what Bizmarc comes up with next!

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Third Place:

animatronic Head from Willettfx

Project: My Animatronic Project

What happens when a professional dental tech with a knack for animatronics is mentored by Hollywood special effects legend Dick Smith? A very creepy and very realistic animatronic robot is born. Gary Willett (aka Willettfx) has a true passion for his work, spending hundreds of hours adding the finest details to truly bring his monstrous inventions to life. He shared with us hours of video showing the fine artwork and dedication that goes into building Hollywood quality animatronics, and we ate up every minute! If you’re looking to get into animatronics yourself, he also offers a 3 disc DVD set showcasing every step on how he built his outstanding project!

Second Place:

Robotic Marionette by Sunithaya

The Robotic Marionette project literally reads out like a story. Forum member “Sunithaya” joined us after he had already completed his Marionette project of two years, however he started from the beginning in chronicling the lengthy steps made during the design, building, and final performances. Each post is titled appropriately – as if a chapter in a book, and detailed thoroughly with the thought process that went into each artistic design decision. Tons of photos were taken throughout the life of the project, and it all pays off with a performance video of the Robotic Marionette autonomously dancing. This project thread is a true gem that we’re lucky to have on our forums. We highly recommend a complete read-through to everyone interested in learning more.

First Place:

k9 by DJsures

DJSures pulled down some serious ‘geek cred’ by creating his own K-9 robotic dog. I mean, what self respecting geek doesn’t want their own robotic pet to do their evil bidding? Sure it doesn’t have “omniflexible hyperlink facilities” or the ability to teleport, but this loveable Dr. Who tribute still boasts some impressive features. Onboard 3D mapping capabilities, real time occupancy grids, speech synthesis, adaptable personality levels depending upon the amount of human interaction, obstacle avoidance, an LCD screen for diagnostics, and even the ability to follow people around! Now get this: the entire robot was scratch built. This project is a perfect example of how it doesn’t take four dozen servos, onboard PCs, or complex vision processing to win our contests. Ingenuity, creativity, and the overall presentation of your project are a huge factor in our judging decisions. Watching this little bot go from pieces of plastic and circuitry to a seemingly free willed artificial being is what won DJSures the first place prize in the latest round of our contest!

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The Trossen Robotics crew would like to personally thank everyone who has participated in our contests as well as those who have helped other projects along. What started out as a great way to encourage grassroots engineering and the sharing of knowledge has evolved into a community of hobbyists and professionals who exhibit a passion for their work unlike any we have ever seen. Innovation is viral, and watching builders literally feed off of the excitement fueling these projects is a great thing to experience on a daily basis. We invite anyone looking to get started in robotics, as well as the veterans who have many of bots under their belt, to join the Trossen Robotics Community. We encourage you to jump in head first, if you’ve got an idea- discuss it, if you have a question- ask it, and if you’ve got a project- enter it in our contest. We look forward to seeing you and your projects in the next round of the Trossen Robotics Community Project Contest!.

February TRC Project Contest Winners!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

In case you’re new to the Trossen Robotics Community, here’s a quick refresher on how this contest works:  First, all kinds of fantastically talented and dedicated people come to our Project Showcase forum to tell us all about the projects they’ve been working on.  Periodically, we (the Trossen Robotics team) sort through these projects, and score them very scientifically in the following categories: "Wow" factor, Ingenuity, creativity, and presentation (this includes graphics, videos, documentation, explanation, etc.).  This is the fourth contest we’ve run here at Trossen Robotics, and the projects just keep getting cooler!  This time around, we extended the deadline and upped the stakes.  Since the last contest, the community has grown and expanded well beyond our expectations, and this has resulted in some of the best work we’ve seen yet.  If you showed off your project in our Project Showcase forum, give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back.  Now, let’s get to the meat and potatoes.  Here are the runners-up and winners, in suspense-building ascending order!

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Honorable Mention

Project: "Johnny 5.3"

Creator: Andrew Alter (Tyberius)

We’ve been working a little too closely with Andrew to let him enter the contest, but we can’t totally leave him hanging.  He’s been building a "Johnny 5"-inspired humanoid/trackbot hybrid, and it’s really coming together.  His brain (Johnny’s, not Andrew’s) is a Pico-ITX running Windows XP Pro.  It has a vocal synthesizer, great big grippers, a reinforced suspension system, a snarky personality, and I’ve heard that it drives around harassing Andrew’s baby.  It’s the embodiment of robotic awesomeness, in other words.  Check out his thread, picture gallery, and his blog.


Project: "Leviskate"

Creator: Rodger Cleye
Average Score: 7.63 / 10
Prize: $20 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

The Leviskate is a "self-balancing motorboard."  Kind of like a Segway for people who really like head injuries.  Seriously though, this contraption is truly awesome.  There are some cool videos in Rodger’s thread, too.  Our favorite thing about the videos is that Rodger sounds genuinely amazed that it actually works.

Project: "The Bratinator Project"

Creator: SN96
Average Score: 7.67 / 10
Prize: $20 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

It walks, it talks, it scares the kids.  It’s… the Bratinator.  Built around the Lynxmotion Brat biped, this monstrosity features speech, binaural hearing, a custom-machined aluminum head.

Project: "Gepetto"

Creator: darkback2
Average Score: 8.25 / 10
Prize: $20 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

It really pains us to see Gepetto in the runners up, instead of placing in a cash-winning position, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes.  This was a very close race.  This bot is beautifully made from wood and metal, has a really cool suspension system, carries its laptop brain around with it, and is programmed with some really interesting behavior/mood software.  That’s really just the tip of the iceberg, so you’ll have to read through the thread to see Gepetto’s full story.

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Third Place

Project: "eyeRobot"
Creator: Nathaniel Barshay
Average Score: 8.38 / 10
Prize: $100 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

The eyeRobot is a robotic guide for people with vision impairments.  It has a whole slew of IR and ultrasonic range sensors for collision avoidance, and pathfinding software to keep it moving through the clearest area.  This was a proof-of-concept prototype meant to "marry the simplicity of the traditional white cane with the instincts of a seeing-eye dog."  This project is going places, and hopefully one day it will help other people go places.


Second Place

Project: "Frameless Laser Harp"
Creator: Stephen Hobley
Average Score: 8.88 / 10
Prize: $250 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

Twenty-two years ago, he saw Jean-Michel Jarre play a laser harp at a concert, and from that day he’s been on a mission.  This mission finally came to fruition last month, when he completed his own laser harp, and let me tell you, it’s a pretty stunning piece of equipment.  Using a galvanometer to very rapidly and precisely aim a pulsing laser, light sensors to detect where a beam has been interrupted, and an Arduino brain; the harp sends MIDI control signals to a synthesizer.


First Place

Project: "Phoenix"
Creator: KÃ¥re Halvorsen
Average Score: 9.63 / 10
Prize: $500 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

Phoenix is a six legged walking robot.  Wait, we know some of you out there may be thinking that hexapod robots are old hat.  Well, you’re wrong.  So very wrong.  Wait until you see it move.  Phoenix’s real beauty lies in her graceful motion, which is some of the most convincing and eerily lifelike that we’ve seen in a robot that uses standard hobby servos and a common off-the-shelf servo controller.  The kinematics are computed by an intricately programmed spreadsheet, which we highly recommend you check out if you’re a fan of trigonometry.

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We want to thank everyone for their great submissions.  If all goes as planned, the next contest (which is already underway) will conclude at the end of May 2008.  You can stay up to date on contest rules and regulations at the Trossen Robotics Project Contest page, and start posting your projects in our Project Showcase Forum.