Archive for the ‘robot’ Category

XBee-controlled 4WD wireless robot

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

In his blog, Michael describes a nice 4WD robot he realized by means of an arduino-compatible board, a motor shield and a couple of XBee radios, which have been used to implement a simple and effective remote control.

Actually, the remote is made up of a standard breadboard equipped with a joystick, a couple of buttons (that can turn the robot in a Kitt-like vehicle!) and the XBee radio. One interesting feature of this project is that the remote controller is fairly simple and has been designed to work with just the XBee radio board, instead of requiring an additional MCU.

More details can be found here.

[Via: Project Lab - Nootropic design]

Weird Eye Robot with the Arduino Starter Kit

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

[Robotgrrl] made a nice project with the Arduino Starter Kit: The Eye Robot.

It reacts differently when you ‘pet’ it and ‘poke’ it. Beware when it ruffles its brow! It enjoys singing short jingles. Rumour has it that the light up googely eye can peer into your soul.

source [Robotgrrl]

Mathematica, Arduino and quadricopters at Maker Faire

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

On his blog, Stephen Wolfram, worldwide known as the creator of Mathematica (a widespread computational software) and Wolfram Alpha (a knowledge engine), describes his experience at last NY Maker Faire, where he was supposed to give a public talk.

One of his sons, Christopher (13 years old) suggested him a very cool way to improve his talk, by making it much more dynamic with some practical demos. Indeed, after his father’s talk, he reached the stage and started his personal presentation, which involved the use of both Mathematica and Arduino.

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After showing how to graphically and interactively present analog readings from an Arduino board, he moved on to show how to control a quadricopter drone just by indicating the path to follow directly from Mathematica. As if it wasn’t enough for a 13-years old boy, several questions arose from the audience, which allowed him to show also how to directly process real-time video coming from the quadricopter with the computational software.

More information can be found here.

As a final remark, it’s always very nice to see what very young boys can do with the availability of right tools that can help their creativity and their imagination.

[Via: Stephen Wolfram's blog]

An open robot shield for Arduino

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Open Electronics‘ staff were looking for a common and standard hardware platform usable on different robots they were working on. Their goal was to find a single platform that had to provide power supply to the microcontroller, it had to provide stabilized voltage for the servos, and, finally, it had to be equipped with an obstacle detector and with an IR receiver.

Having chosen Arduino as the target core board, they developed an ad-hoc shield meeting all these requirements, whose detailed description can be found here, together with the BOM and a lot of source code.

[Via: Open Electronics]

How many robots?

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

How many robots run on Arduino? I really don’t know. The guys from Complubot keep on sending pictures from the robots they are finding at the Robo Cup in Mexico DF. Want to see some pictures? Look at the following:

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, Japanese Team on Soccer B

The Japanese Team on Soccer B have been working with Arduino for 3 years now. The robots on the picture are only using our IDE, as they made their own PCBs to host 8 InfraRed sensors, a compass, and the motor drivers. Take a closer look at it on the next picture.

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, Japanese Soccer B team at RCJ Mexico DF

On the other hand, the German team, running on an Arduino Mega, are controlling 60 InfraRed sensors to detect the ball on the field. They got the 1st price on Soccer A Open and have been using Arduino for just one year.

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, German Soccer A Open team (winner)

I bet you want to see that robot closer, 60 IR sensors are quite many. It also controls 4 UltraSound sensors and 1 Compass. Quite an achievement. Look at this:

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, German Soccer A Open robot

Well, the picture isn’t very sharp, but you can clearly see the amount of sensors on that machine. I have to make some more research to understand what is the black plastic thingy on the top board of the robot. It feels like some sort of exhaust pipe. The black dots on the red PCB are the IR sensors.

If there is a team that beats all about the amount of time they have been working with Arduino, is the Mexican coming from UNAM. On the Soccer B category, these guys have been running their robot on Arduino for only 2 months!! They are however controlling 8 IR sensors and one Compass over I2C.

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, Mexican (UNAM) Soccer B team

Also from Mexico, this time participating on the Rescue competition, we find a team with a really broad age range. The team from Monterrey ranges between 10 and 19 and made a robot controlled by Arduino Uno.

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, Moterrey Rescue Team

The Swiss team has been using Arduino during 2 years and are the only one in my list that have started using a camera. They run their bots on Arduino Mega and control 12 IR and 4 US sensors.

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, Swiss Soccer B team

If there is a country that is well know for soccer that is Brazil. Their Rescue A team at the RCJ looks like this:

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, Brazil Rescue A team

And their robots are pretty easy to spot, pitch black with an Arduino Mega in the stomach:

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, Brazil Rescue A robot

To close the post, I want to show you an image of my favorite robot so far. It is the one made by one of the Mexican teams again in the Soccer B category. It’s platforms are made in wood and it is a masterpiece of a combination of glue-gun and breadboard. Sometimes we think we need so much to build things, and others come to remind us how easy it is to make things happen with whatever you have in hand. If there was a price to the most low-tech solution at this competition, this team would win or be among the finalists.

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, Mexican Low-Tech team ;-)

Oh, yes … and a photo of the team:

(c) 2012 Complubot, Mexican Low-Tech Champions

Soon: some more images and thoughts about The Arduino Robot, after one week of beta testing in Mexico, stay tuned!

Arduino at RoboCup Mexico 2012

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

You might have heard the news via other media, but we are building a robot. For almost two years now we have been collaborating with the Complubot Educational Robotics Association from Madrid, Spain. We have gone through several iterations of prototypes, we have been 3D printing wheels, we have looked into color screens, screws, sound speakers …

 

(c) 2012 Complubot, Nerea revising the robots for RC-Mexico 2012

Things are coming along and we are close to the release our first robot. The experience of building this is being amazing and I am sure there will be more bots following this first one.

When we started this process, I knew a lot about digital electronics, but little about robotics. During the last two years I burnt some transistor chips, and made some motors move, I read the books, talked to the people, traveled back and forth to Complubot’s headquarters at a school in Alcala de Henares to check ideas, revise the hardware, and talk about software.

Six months ago, we -Ivan, Nerea, Eduardo and me- passed over the eagle files to Arduino’s hardware guru for him to evaluate the best way to manufacture the robot. We tested battery charging systems, DC-DC converters to improve the response from the motors,  tried better display technologies, and now we have our alpha robot running. The project we have been calling “Lottie Lemon” is about to become The Arduino Robot.

 

(c) 2012 Compubot, Ivan (left) and Nerea talking to some of the RCJ volunteers before opening to the public

We are presenting The Arduino Robot at the RoboCup Mexico 2012 at Complubot’s booth. Nerea, Ivan, and Eduardo are representing Arduino, showing the robots, running a workshop for the attendants to the RCJ event, demoing all the official Arduino boards, and reporting back for the rest of us.

Follow their adventures (in Spanish) at their blog, and come back to ours for more information soon.

Some advances in aerial vehicles: bat-inspired smart wings

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Researchers from Centro de Automática y Robótica (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) and from Brown University carried out a very deep research about the specific behavior of bat flight, whose ultimate goal is to replicate the capabilities of bat’s wings by means of an ad-hoc designed micro aerial vehicle (MAV).

From the home page of the project:

[...] this research is oriented towards the development of a biological inspired bat robot platform, that allows to reproduce the amazing maneuverability of these flying mammals. The highly maneuverability is achieved by reproducing the flapping and morphing capabilities of their wing-skeleton structure. This structure is composed by several joints and a membrane that generates the required lift forces to fly.

To mimmic the muscular system that moves the joints of the wing-bones, Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) NiTi wires are used as artificial-muscles. Several challenges in controlling this SMA-based actuation system are regarded in this research.

(more…)

Indoor air quality mapping

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

PLOTS guys propose an interesting way to measure the quality of the air for indoor environments, by hacking a second-hand Roomba robot (an autonomous vacuum cleaner).

These robots are programmed to randomly move inside rooms to clean up the floor, so by adding a simple air quality sensor on top of one of them, it is possible to easily implement a sort of “random walker” that will sense for us the presence of gases (volatile organic chemicals, VOCs), such as NH3, alcohol, CO2 and so forth.

To keep track of the air quality measurements, the authors equipped the so hacked Roomba with an RGB led, whose color can be changed according to the air sample. By taking a long exposure picture of the room where the robot was roaming in, they could determine the areas where a high concentration of VOCs was present.

The complete description of the project can be found on the PLOTS’ website, while here you may find a short video about it:

PLOTS guys are also working on a different approach to air sensing, which does not make use of a Roomba robot but uses a hamster ball, instead. Further details can be found here.

[Via: Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science]

Arduino based four legged DIY Robot

Friday, May 11th, 2012

An instructable by Andrew Wright would make this pseudo-pet come alive.

Via:[Treehugger]

Arduino users are getting younger: Davis Fortenberry, 10

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Arduino users are getting younger! Davis Fortenberry, Age 10 designed his own robot and won The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, South eastern competition, in Orlando. He competed with a lot of college level teams and had a robot that was equally competent.

Davis, who has tinkered with robots since he was 5, built his “davibot” in a week, starting with an m3pi (“a robot in itself, really”) as the base.

He added an Arduino (Italian microcomputer that tells the base unit whether to go left, right, straight ahead), then designed components for measuring contest specifics: voltage, capacitance, temperature and waveform.

He attends the Tennessee Virtual Academy an online approved school.

[Via: Commercial appeal]