Let's Make Robots!

The commercial forces driving robotic development

I'm sure you've heard the news.  Or seen the video.

The future of robotics is the mailman.

Wired had this article on the subject, and Amazon trolled Charlie Rose into presenting their delivery drone as the real thing.

For all you guys with "Iron Man" Projects

I'm just posting this to disturb the young'ens.  I found this video today.  I've always liked George Michael's music (but I don't think I'd want to see him at the urinal next to me.)  Anyway, this is proof that he was Iron Man (or something) a full six years before RDJ.  That probably means that some of you were conceived while your mums and dads were listening to this tune!  This is just slightly risqué but very sci-fi.  

Personal Libraries

As I work with K-9 the code gets longer and longer and more and more compartmentalized.  It occurs to me that a lot of the functions could be hidden in a library that would only ever be used for one project.  For example, his audio cues reside on an ISD 1760 chip and are controlled via 132 lines of code broken out of 5 functions (Arduino.)  That's a long sketch to scroll through on its own, and could easily be hidden functionally from view by creating a library and including it.

Navigate around via ultrasound, freak the hell out of real dogs
Using a
Edit: 2 Dec. 2013-New photo of external USB access added. Read more
Detects humans and fires a laser at them
Using a
Most geeks will be aware of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who this weekend.  For that occasion, I wanted to have my version of K-9 up and running.  I hope to … Read more

Stupid robot trick I've never seen...

We recently had a spate of doodle bots entered as projects for various reasons, and we never have a shortage of line followers in the queue. I have never seen anyone attempt to make one follow the other. It would be amusing to me for about 39 seconds I think. Especially if the doodle to were programmed to draw its line in a random way and if there were multiple line followers-kind of like a row of ducklings. Video would be great with an electronica version of the "Bridge Over the River Kwai" march.

(This is a 2 am post. I bet I regret it when I wake up tomorrow.)
Navigates via ultrasound/bumper switches, locates (hopefully human) motion via PIR Sensors, navigates to that motion and offers the source a drink
Using a
Sorry about the bump-all I've done is move him out of WIP status in accordance with FritsL's new rule ;-) He's getting a serious upgrade in functionality and a … Read more

Soft Robots:FinGripper (3D printable project?)

Found this video on Dailymotion while watching old episodes of Dr. Who.  There are some interesting ideas about the safety jacket for example, but what really got my attention was the bio-mimicry and soft-gripper design (at about 3:50-4:30)  I"m not sure I see quite how the internal hinges on the finger are connected-they may be fixed and they may be moving along the walls somehow.  It's a fascinating motion to watch.