PLUG & PLAY: Animatronics Made Easy with the SparkFun Servo Trigger

Control servos with ease by adjusting the three potentiometers. (Photo credit: SparkFun.)

The SparkFun Servo Trigger is perfect for those applications where you’d like a hobby servo to move from one position to another — at exactly the same speed each time — but you don’t want to program the behavior. Instead of controlling the movement with code, you simply adjust three potentiometers: one for the start position, one for the stop ... Read More »

PLUG & PLAY: Make Your Robot More Interactive with the MUX Shield II

The Mux Shield II from Mayhew Labs lets you hook up 48 more inputs or outputs to your Arduino project. (Photo credit: Arduino.)

Expand your robot’s ability to interact with the world with the MUX Shield II by Mayhew Labs. The shield, which will work with an Arduino or Arduino Mega, adds capacity for 48 inputs or outputs. To get the job done, the board uses three Texas Instruments CD74HC4067 Analog Multiplexers. It’s a nice step up from the original MUX Shield, because ... Read More »

LERN: BionicANTs Show off Festo’s Robotics Prowess

Festo's BionicANTs use piezo technology to walk. (Photo credit: Festo.)

A new swarm of robots created by Festo aims to combine autonomous behavior and teamwork, using cutting-edge engineering processes. The BionicANTs use radio signals to communicate with each other, so that they can carry objects together. From a programming perspective, Festo’s multi-agent system is interesting because there’s no designated leader or followers. According to Festo, “all the BionicANTs contribute to ... Read More »

EVENT: RoboUniverse Conference & Expo Global Tradeshow Series

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RoboUniverse is a three-day conference and expo that explores the incredible field of robotics, including their development, application, and use. Through a series of seminars, tutorials, and exhibits, attendees will gain insight into robotics and learn about the educational, business, and technical opportunities within this growing industry. During conference sessions, thought leaders and experts will examine topics including robots’ impact ... Read More »

EVENT: Get Ready For The IMA Conference on the Mathematics of Robotics – September 9 – 11

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The IMA Conference on the Mathematics of Robotics aims to bring together researchers working on all areas of robotics which have a signi?cant Mathematical content. The idea is to highlight the Mathematical depth and sophistication of techniques applicable to Robotics and to foster cooperation between researchers working in different areas of Robotics. Areas of interest include, but are not limited ... Read More »

15th Annual Central Illinois Bot Brawl on April 11th – Will You Be Ready?

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Come see one of the United States’ longest-running robotic combat competitions, now in its 15th year! See the metallic carnage of the RC Combat Arena or the displays of brute strength in the Sumo Ring! Watch some of the fastest robots in Illinois fly around the line following track! Or see if the more intelligent autonomous robots can outsmart the labyrinth ... Read More »

EVENT: It’s Coming – National Robotics Week April 4-12

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Are you ready for National Robotics Week 2015? The sixth annual National Robotics Week event will be held April 4-12, 2015. RoboWeek 2014 was amazing and 2015 promises to be even better! Activities can be small, large, and everything in between. The Purpose of National Robotics Week is to: Celebrate the US as a leader in robotics technology development Educate ... Read More »

LERN: Can a Robot Guide Fire Fighters with Vibrating Reigns?

The robot, which leads a human using vibrations sent along reigns, has already been tested in a smoke filled cave. (Photo credit: Sheffield Hallam University.)

Researchers at King’s College London and Sheffield Hallam University are working on a guidance robot for firefighters in dense smoke. The fire fighter would hold reigns attached to the robot, while walking about a meter behind the bot. Vibrations in the reigns would impart data on the size, shape and stiffness of anything the robot finds. Over the last four ... Read More »

PLUG & PLAY: Build Your Own Lizard Robot

The Kingii Dragon Robot from OWI is modeled after the chalamydosaurus kingii lizard. (Photo credit: Robotikits Direct.)

The Kingii Dragon Robot from OWI is modeled after the frilled lizards of Australia, with colorful neck frills and a long, green tail. The robot features a two-mode, infrared sensor. Set to the escape mode, Kingii will act shocked when it detects something in its path, by opening its mouth, displaying its frill, and lighting up its eyes before scurrying ... Read More »

LERN: Robots Used to Test Theory of Snake Movement

This snake robot, which measures two inches in diameter, was used to test theories on how real snakes move. (Photo credit: Carnegie Mellon University.)

In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers report that they successfully tested their hypothesis on snake movement using robots made at Carnegie Mellon University. The researchers hypothesized that sidewinding snakes move using vertical and horizontal body waves that change in phase and amplitude to achieve exceptional maneuverability. When the researchers tested their ... Read More »

LERN: Nao Co-Writer Teaches Handwriting by Feigning Ignorance

A new research project seeks to help students struggling with handwriting by empowering them to teach a Nao robot. (Photo credit: EPFL.)

Children struggling with handwriting might one day benefit from a research project involving the Nao robot. The Nao Co-Writer interacts with the child using a tablet. First the child makes the word using magnetic letters. Next, the robot writes the word on the tablet — but somewhat badly. Then the child writes the word on the tablet, while pointing out the robot’s ... Read More »

PLUG & PLAY: Build Upons LEDs will Light Up Your Lego

Brighten up your Lego creations with compatible LEDs. (Photo courtesy of Sparkfun.)

These little LEDs are more than just brick-ish. They are perfectly compatible with Lego! So take that Lego vehicle and add some working headlights or make your robot’s baby blues really shine! Each LED is precisely the same size as a Lego 1 x 1 brick. The top of the blocks are also stackable. (The bottoms have those pesky LED ... Read More »

PLUG & PLAY: Make Bredboarding Easier with 5eBoards

Build a better circuit with a 5eBoard. (Photo credit: 5eTek)

A little color can go a long way, even when bread boarding! The 5eBoardTM system uses different colors of electrically connected blocks so that you can functionally label the parts of your circuit. This makes prototyping, debuging, and testing circuits faster and easier. Create digital and analogue circuits, and grow your project by linking base boards together. The system is ... Read More »