BOT PROJECTS: VEX IQ Super Kit Project

VexIQClawbot

From: Vex Robotics This is the fully functional, sensored-up for the younger crowd. Out of the box it comes with complete RC control via the Vex IQ Microcontroller/Brain and wireless controller. The fully appointed kit build yields the Vex IQ version of the Clawbot but is laden with sensors right out of the box. Sensors include: Bumper Switches, Gyro Sensor, ... Read More »

LERN: Robot Takes a Walk in a Lumpy Garden, Endures Barrage of Balls

Researchers lob balls at ATRIAS to test its balance. (Photo credit: Oregon State University.)

Researchers at Oregon State University took their two-legged robot out for a field test last week, in an actual field. The ground selected was intentionally uneven, to see if the robot, named ATRIAS, would be able to keep its balance while walking about 3 miles per hour and being hit with a ball. It did. ATRIAS moved across changing terrain ... Read More »

LERN: Stanford’s Small But Powerful Microtugs

Stanford's super strong MicroTugs were inspired by geckos and ants. (Photo credit: Karen Ladenheim)

Imagine a human capable of pulling a whale. Tiny robots called Microtugs now exist with similar superpowers. Researchers at Stanford have created small robots than can apply orders of magnitude more force than they weigh. The team plans to present its work next month at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle, Washington. A few different variations of ... Read More »

BOT PROJECTS: Tetrix Prime Project

TetrixPrime

From: Pitsco Education This kit is one of the robot building platforms where few tools are needed. Aluminum construction beam components combined with composite joints and plastic rivets, brass axle bearing bushings, fully RC ready with a Textrix 4-Channel transmitter and matching receiver and Servo Motors. The kit also comes complete with a builder’s guide which contains plans for building ... Read More »

Makeblock’s New, Inexpensive Robot for Kids

The mBot the perfect choice for kids who need an fun, easy to assemble robot and want to learn basic programming skills. (Photo credit: Makeblock.)

Makeblock’s mBot is perfect for STEM educators with a limited budget. It has a multitude of inputs on board, including a light sensor, ultrasonic sensor, line following sensors, a button, and an infrared receiver. The robot also includes an RGB LED, a buzzer, and two motor ports. That’s a lot of robot for just $49. The Scratch-programmable robot is designed ... Read More »

BOT PROJECTS: Tetrix Max Project

TextixMax

From: Pitsco Education This is one of the Heavy Duty robot building platforms. Aluminum construction components, brass axle bearing bushings, fully RC ready with a Futaba 4-Channel transmitter and matching receiver, motor controller and 12V – 152 RPM motors. The kit also comes complete with a builder’s guide which contains lesson plans for teaching robotics. I am looking forward to ... Read More »

Make Your Own Custom Potentiometer

Create a custom potentiometer with Sparkfun's Rotary Switch Potentiometer Breakout. (Photo credit: Sparkfun.)

Lots of projects require resistors of specific values or particular tapers. With SparkFun’s Rotary Switch Potentiometer Breakout it’s easy to create a rotary switch that enables whatever resistance values you need. When you’re done building your board, you’ll have a 10-step potentiometer. Each Rotary Switch Potentiometer Breakout has nine spots on the board for resistors, which should be bent so ... Read More »

LERN: Strain Sensor Could Help Robots Read Facial Expressions

A new facial expression sensor reported in the journal ACS Nano could help robots decipher our feelings. Developed by researchers in Korea, the stretchable, transparent sensor is worn on a person’s face, near the side of the lip. The sensor, which can detect small strains on human skin, was made by layering a carbon nanotube film on two kinds of ... Read More »

NEWS: NCTC Robotics Team Wins Minnesota’s First VEX Robotics World Award

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – Northland Community and Technical College’s Robotics Team, XNOR, won the Amaze Award at the VEX Robotics World Championship Tournament held at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville Kentucky on April 15-18th. This is the largest robotics competition in the world with over 800 teams and 15,000 participants.  In fact with nearly 100 VEX robotics teams ... Read More »

BOT PROJECTS: ROBOTIS MINI Project

ROBOTIS

From: ROBOTIS What can I say about the ROBOTIS MINI? Easily one of the most enjoyable projects I have had to-date. The completed build, along with the varied control toolbox and pre-programmed movement files make this kit a must have for anyone interested in venturing into humanoid robotics. Project Plan: Some basic customization… perhaps the addition of sensors and telemetry? ... Read More »

BOT SUPPLIES: Duratrax ONYX 7.2V NiMH Batteries and ONYX 210 Battery Charger

DuratraxOnyx210

From: Great Planes Model Distributors Many robotic project applications require the use of 7.2V NiMH Batteries and having batteries around for testing and continuous operation are essential, our friends at Great Planes sent us some great batteries and a battery charger for use in our robot endeavors. Thanks Great Planes! Read More »

BOT PROJECTS: Actobotics Nomad Project

Nomad

From: ServoCity I received my Actobotics Nomad kit some time ago and built it right away. This is “The Beast On My Bench”. Since this platform is well suited for outdoor mobility I intend to make this one fully RC capable but with this one I am shooting for Unmanned Rover controlled remotely from the desktop. Let’s see where this ... Read More »

LERN: Team of Robots Designed to Move Suspect Vehicles

These recovery robots slide under a car and gently glide it away. (Photo credit: AVERT.)

European researchers have demonstrated a prototype robotic system that can move a car from a parked position. The system, called the Autonomous Vehicle Emergency Recovery Tool (AVERT), is designed to remove vehicles that are blocking entry or positioned suspiciously close to vulnerable positions such as tunnels, low bridges, or critical infrastructure. If there’s concerns a vehicle might have a bomb ... Read More »