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The bot mill
Written by Jay   
Monday, 27 December 2010 00:00

Authors: Jay

A Mendel RepRap.

For any one who wants to get into 3d printing, they should visit the  BotMill. Where they can buy parts, plastics for printing. Or a fulling built ready to run Reprap.

why not own a machine that gives you the option to make anything you can dream up? and in just about any color of abs plastic you could want.


Last Updated on Monday, 27 December 2010 01:47
Aldebaran Robotics Taking Romeo Humanoid From Concept To Reality By March
Written by Evan Ackerman   
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 00:00

Authors: Evan Ackerman

Aldebaran Robotics, best known for their rather expensive hobby and research humanoid Nao, has announced that they’ve been developing a much larger humanoid robot called Romeo, and that they’ll have the first prototype ready to go in March.

Romeo will have a 37 degrees of freedom, a backbone, a partially soft torso, and the ability communicate using natural language and gestures. It’ll be able to walk around and carry and fetch things, which is good, since Aldebaran envisions Romeo helping out the elderly and disabled in their homes.

Looks pretty sweet, as a rendering at least.

I have to say, though, at this stage the project seems a bit optimistic to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with optimistic, mind you… But a humanoid that’s so far just a rendering walking around and taking out the trash by next March? At this point, the only piece Aldebaran seems to have is the head, although all of the rest of the mechanics have had their designs finalized. Maybe they’re just talking about having the physical robot completed, but to some extent, that’s the easy part. It’s one thing to design a robotic leg, it’s another thing to get a 5 foot tall, 90 pound robot to walk around, not to mention doing it while carrying stuff.

The other reservation I have about Romeo is that Aldebaran doesn’t sound like they’re going to make the robot open source. I’m not blindly advocating ROS or anything (or at least, I’m trying not to), but there’s a lot to be said for open source, and I feel like taking a different direction is going to be a substantial setback for Aldebaran… Why would you buy a robot that you have to program from scratch when open source languages like ROS have all kinds of code out there, just begging for you to use it and improve upon it?

Again, optimism is great, and I love that Aldebaran is going in this direction. I’m definitely hoping that all of my reservations will prove to be unfounded, and that this little robot kid will be taking out my trash by April.

As long as he gets some eyelids, that is.

Read more:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 December 2010 01:03
Radio-Controlled Vehicle made from Cordless Screwdrivers
Written by Jay   
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 00:00

Authors: Jay

cordless robot

Two 10$ cordless screwdrivers are the basis of this radio-controlled car with piles of torque.

It uses no motor driver electronics of any kind – just some switches taken from the screwdrivers.

Simple and cheap robot. Great way to get started in home robotics.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 December 2010 02:19
Quadrotor + Kinect = One Weird Looking Robot
Written by Evan Ackerman   
Saturday, 11 December 2010 00:00

Authors: Evan Ackerman

{embedva}<object width="640" height="390"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></embed></object>{/embedva}

Kinect’s 3D sensor is so cheap and effective that it’s getting bolted onto any robot that moves, and quadrotors are just the latest victims. UC Berkeley’s quadrotor is using the Kinect for autonomous flight and dynamic obstacle avoidance, and as long as you don’t come at it from behind, it works great. The nice thing about using Kinect like this is that it translates into a SLAM system, where the robot can fly around and make a 3D map of a space using the same data that it’s relying on to keep from crashing in to stuff.

Read more:

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 December 2010 00:27
Simple instant platform leveler by peacefrog
Written by MakerBlock   
Friday, 10 December 2010 00:00

Peacefrog's instant platform leveler

Peacefrog's instant platform leveler

Thingiverse user peacefrog posted a super simple and elegant method for leveling  the build platform.

You can try to shim or shave the build platform or the XY stages that support it.  One problem with this method (besides the shaving/sanding being permanent) is that you can’t have the platform on the XY carrage while you’re working.  The result is you spend your time shimming/shaving/sanding, placing the platform back on, checking to see if it is level, and repeating.

Peacefrog’s method is devestatingly simple.  Put the bolts holding the platform on upside down and add 3 nuts.  One between the XY stage to hold the bolt tight, one above that to level the platform, and one on top to hold the platform tight.  To level the platform, just remove the top nuts, adjust the middle nuts on the four corners until the platform is level, then replace the top nuts.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 December 2010 01:25
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