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’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.
Something new is brewing at ROBOTIS and we’re really excited! The new DYNAMIXEL PRO actuators will be the strongest, most precise DYNAMIXELs to date, and have been designed with full scaled robots in mind. Some of the things we’ve learned about them include -
-10x Higher Torque/Precision over the DXL series -Uses a Novel Gear Reduction System -Current Based Torque Control -Supports multiple communication protocols including CAN-Bus and RS-485
We’ll keep you posted as we learn more details about these amazing actuators. And once these actuators are available, look out for some awesome new Interbotix Labs products based around them.
Robot Dreams has been covering the Robo-One competition in Japan and just posted this video of one of our PhantomX Hexapods in a qualifying round for the 4.5 meter dash. It’s always awesome to see our crawlers traversing the globe, and soon enough there will be a PhantomX Hexapod in every city, in every country. Not that we’re planning a hexapod uprising or anything. Definitely not.
Robotis wowed the robotics community with the MX-28T, and recently they’ve expanded the MX line to include the TTL MX-64T and the MX-106T, as well as the RS-485 variants, the MX-28R, the MX-64R and the MX-106R.
These new servos have a contactless magnetic encoder, which offers 4x the resolution of the RX series. This makes them more accurate and even smoother than the old servos. Also upgraded, is the processor in each of these servos – a 32bit 72mhz Cortex M3! This beefy processor handles the newly implemented PID control algorithm. It can be used to maintain shaft position and can be adjusted individually for each servo, allowing you to control the speed and strength of the motor’s response. The new setup also offerers a 3Mbps bus. The ‘T’ variants use TTL communication and are compatible with other TTL servos like the AX-12 and the AX-18. Meanwhile the ‘R’ variants use RS-485, just like the RX series.
Our old friend Che is a bit special. He has pet ducks, snakes, really ugly dogs, and a really hot wife. He wears his mom’s leather pants. He’s also into robo-masochism: meaning he lets his paintball-equipped robots shoot the crap out of him, all the while filming it for the internet’s enjoyment. We have weird friends.
He also has a great custom humanoid project that he has shared with the TRC, Hi No Hikari. This rather large humanoid robot is a kung-fu competitor and Mech-Warfare veteran. “It” also wears dresses, kimonos, and sometimes has flowers tucked into it’s mechanics. I don’t know, don’t ask me. We’re fully supportive of alternative robot lifestyles, but sometimes it’s better that we just not ask. Giger did not appreciate the dress at last year’s Mech-Warfare. He muttered something about “damn hippies” and proceeded to shoot Hi No Hikari in his/her flowery face.
With all that said, it’s been a great learning experience for Che, and one that he has shared with us every step of the way. This was his first attempt at a PLM design and he started off using AX-12+’s, eventually upgrading to the more powerful RX-28s.
Seeing this project progress from Hi No Hikari’s first steps to what he’s achieved now has been great! Check out his latest progress in the video below, we can’t wait to see even more come from this project!
The ArbotiX RX-Bridge expands the capabilities of the ArbotiX Robotcontroller by enabling the use of DX-117, RX-28, RX-64, and EX-106+ Dynamixel Servos. This add-on board converts your existing ArbotiX Robocontroller TTL serial ports into an RS-485 serial protocol compliant port.
The RX-Bridge answers the call for a high end, fully programmable controller for the higher end range of Dynamixels at a much lower pricepoint than other less-capable controllers on the market.
Giger’s upgrades got finalized late Sunday night and I had a bit of time to sit down and start to work on the walking gaits (from scratch). The EX-106+ is roughly 4x more precise than all previous Dynamixels, so the positional values do not translate over well when upgrading from a previous model. What does that mean? It was far simpler to just start over rather than try to scale the values step by step. All new custom brackets used in the legs and feet, as well as new elbow/shoulder brackets and arm extensions. Brackets were designed in Autodesk Inventor 2008 and machined by Rapid Sheet Metal. It’s worth mentioning that all of the custom, as well as the stock, brackets and frames that are used in Giger’s arms and legs are available in our store on our Dynamixel Servo & Bracket page! Even his ankles/hip joints or his entire legs!
A lot of projects tend to only show updates after many dozens and/or hundreds of hours of progress, but I like to show the little steps as I feel it gives one a better view of the evolution of a project and what goes into making a robot work. Keep in mind; I have this gait tuned to a very slow rate so that I can work on the balance and COG shifting correctly, it can then be sped up to a more realistic, useful speed. Here’s a short video of my initial walking gait progress (about 2 hours of programming work so far) on Giger 2.0: