Posts Tagged ‘project’

Want to win a Bioloid? Announcing the TRC Tutorial Contest!

Friday, March 27th, 2009
Time flies! It’s that time again to officially announce the next round of the Trossen Robotics Community (TRC) Contest. We had quite a bit of success with our previous Project Contests and a lot of very cool entries, however we are going to mix things up this time.
This round is going to be a Tutorial Contest , and is quite a bit different from our previous contests. Think of it as an ‘Instructables meets How Stuff Works’ style contest: We want you to submit entries in the form of a detailed step by step ‘How-To’ or Informative Tutorials.
We’re going to be asking a lot more of our participants this round, so we have raised the stakes and are giving away our biggest prizes yet! Without further ado here are the prizes being offered for this round!
1st place


Bioloid Comprehensive Kit:

2nd place

Bioloid Beginner Kit:

3rd place


Robotis Ollo Bug Kit

  • New Beginner Robotics Kit from Robotis!
  • Reconfigurable, modular design
  • Tons of parts to build with!
  • Instructions to build 4 different robots included
  • Remote controlled
  • Highly descriptive well documented instructions

You’re probably asking: “Well what’s the catch?” We won’t lie, we’re going to make you work for it and put your knowledge to the test!

Here are some examples of what types of tutorials we’re looking for:

  • What is a gyroscope/accelerometer/analog or digital signal?
  • How do servos/DC Motors/Batteries work? (explain inner workings, control, show example code, etc)
  • Choosing the right (Microcontroller/DC Motor/Sensor) for the job.
  • How to setup an Arduino/Xbee Communication/Basic Stamp. (basic projects with example code, videos, etc)
  • How to control a robot wirelessly. (many different methods of going about this, pick one and elaborate!)
  • Theory of Inverse Kinematics, Dead Reckoning, Spacial Mapping, etc.
We’re looking for well written, detailed entries that a beginner could read through and learn from. The emphasis on this is creating valuable tutorials and FAQs that the community as a whole can benefit from. Diagrams, pictures, source code, practical applications, text references and examples are welcomed and strongly encouraged. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, please cite any reference materials used. We are not looking for build articles during this round.
Entries will also be judged in a different manner than before: Contestants are encouraged to post as many tutorials as they like; in fact, the more tutorials submitted, the more points they receive towards their final score. Now that said, quality is greatly valued over quantity. One detailed, well written tutorial will hold more weight than five mediocre ones, but if you post numerous well written tutorials you’re going to be in very good shape.

Previous project submissions were based out of our Project Showcase forum, but this time all submissions must be entered into the Tutorial section.

Please visit our Project Contest Page to learn more about the contest, how to enter and for the official rules and guidelines. Somebody is going to be a proud new owner of a Bioloid Comprehensive Kit, Bioloid Beginner Kit, or Ollo Bug Kit, will it be you?

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 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.