Some weekend robot goodness in link form

PBS Newshour did a piece on robots. They talked about NASA’s bot pictured above, Asimo, Big Dog, PR2, Robbie the robot and a few others. We didn’t see anything new, but we really do like the coverage getting out there. We also never need an excuse to watch that guy kick big dog around for a while. We know it’ll only be a matter of time before the tables are turned.

Willow Garage, the folks behind PR2, are conducting a survey to see what your favorite robot is. Their list is pretty short, but they did leave a spot for you to add a name. The picture above, is not from willow garage though. This is the picture I got from BotJunkie (we love this site) where I found this story. They didn’t attribute the artist, but I feel they need credit, it is an awesome shirt.

It turns out that it is a t-shirt design available at the chopshopstore. You can see that their eyes are done in glow-in-the-dark material. On a side note, the hackaday store just got glow in the dark material yesterday(as well as a re-design) and will be announcing several new designs in the near future.

I personally inherited several huge boxes full of sci-fi pulp. The robots I’ve seen in these are amazing, ranging from amazingly ridiculous to amazingly awesome. I’ve only just begun scanning in the covers, and plan to post at least one a day. You know what would be awesome though? If I had one of these.

Fully customized robots

i.materialise, a custom 3D printing fabrication house are looking for talented robotics enthusiasts with the skills to design custom robotics parts such as functional frames, decorative shells, as well as unique parts required by robots to look and perform their best. The best part? They are offering free 3D printing of parts to the people they select with the most interesting or useful ideas. Make sure you check out their blog for details on what they are looking for and how to enter, as well as checking out some of the other cool things they do, such as a fully customizable 3D printed frisbee. Let us know what you design, we would love to show it off!

[via Robots-Dreams]

Robot boxing with wrist watches

The classic injection molded plastic Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots has been upgraded to use motion control. The project uses four TI Chronos watches, one on each wrist of both players. In the video after the break we get a good look at the guts of the base unit. We’re quite impressed with the quality craftsmanship that went into retrofitting the plastic bots with four servos each. The electronics include some bells and whistles such as an SD card that records scores and can replay a match via saved inputs. If you’ve got a couple of these watches on hand we’d love to see you port this project and make it a Punchout controller.

RobotsEverywhere

[Spiritplumber] has been sending us updates on a promising project he’s working on called RobotsEverywhere. We’re not completely sure if that name covers the project itself, or just the name of his group that is selling robots (and giving us schematics and source code). Either way, they have some really cool stuff. The really cool part about many of the bots is that they are using Android phones as their brains and they use the same system on land, air, and water. There’s tons of information sprinkled around the site and the Wiki, take a few minutes and look around.

BAMF2010: Look sir, droids!

Ask any engineer what originally sparked their interest in technology, and almost universally the response will be a Hollywood film or TV robot — Star Wars’ R2-D2, the B9 robot from Lost in Space, or Short Circuit’s Johnny 5, to name a few. Engineers need a creative outlet too, and some pay homage to their inspirations by building elaborate reproductions. At this year’s Maker Faire, droid-builders had their own corner in the center hall, their work ranging from humble craft materials to ’bots surpassing their film counterparts in detail and workmanship.

[Read more...]

S.P.A.R.K. beginer robotics resources

spark

We love to see educational resources appear. iRobot has put together Starter Programs for Advancement of Robotics Knowledge or S.P.A.R.K to serve as not only education, but amusement with the purpose of getting people interested in robotics. With sections divided into different grade levels, it is obvious that this is mainly meant for school aged kids. There are some games as well to keep them amused when they need a break. We looked around a little bit and it seems that they are still fleshing it out. We hope to see some structured content specifically created for education of youngsters. Right now it is mainly links to other resources.

[via botjunkie]

I-Swarm robot update

I-Swarm_Micro_Robot_On_Thumb

Back in October we reported on the I-Swarm robotics project. [Travis] sent us some more information. These tiny robots are programmed optically and are able to respond to programming commands via an infrared signal. Locomotion is facilitated with piezoelectric actuators and the power to the units provided through a solar cell. It is not clear that this project is still ongoing as the I-Swarm web page lists a project termination date of 6/31/2008. That being said, the video embedded after the break was posted two days ago showing swarm movement and detailing the programming, testing, and hardware specifics. [Read more...]