I wanted a simple way to play a WAV format file on my Raspberry Pi. Some basic searches didn’t seem to show me anything useful. But after some searching I found this site which showed me that the solution is built in already.
Trossen Robotics is offering a great way to easily and cheaply build a combat robot. This really is an amazing deal that for under 200 bucks you can have a fully funtional RC robot with spare channels for your own weapons. This ought to open up the field to a lot more combat robots. I’m excited to see the next battle after these robots have been available for awhile!
The Viper kit comes with everything you need to get started in combat robotics. The custom-formed aluminum chassis has plenty of strength and space for additional components and upgrades. A 6-Channel radio transmitter and receiver pair leaves four channels free to add any active weapons or devices you desire. 50:1 ratio gearmotors with 2″ Lite Flite wheels provide both speed and pushing power. Two FingerTech ‘tinyESC’ speed controllers translate the radio receiver commands into motor movement and provide 5V power to the radio. A sporty vacuum-formed lid keeps all the guts inside during a match. The Viper kit is fully intended to be sawed, drilled, modified, and upgraded. Its base weight is only 325grams (11.46oz) leaving 129grams (4.55oz) for additional parts if entering the Antweight (1lb) weight class, or 675g (23.81oz) free if entering the Kilobot (1kg) weight class. (Weighed with 2x 9V batteries.)
Difficulty: Unassembled version requires soldering of a dozen wires (to motors and switch, no circuit boards), plugging in connectors, and screwing wheels and lid in place (hex keys included). Recommended for ages 10+ (6+ with a parent).
“Unassembled” comes as parts. Everything is drilled and tapped for screws but needs to be soldered and connected (includes instructions).
More technical information and details can be found on their website here.
If you create a cool robot project with this kit, please considering adding your project details and a photo at our Robot Gallery.
Robotiq is a new Canadian startup which came out of the Laval University Robotics Lab. The video above shows an amazing demonstration of the adaptability of this hand. Watch it pick up just about every weird shape imaginable without any problems.
Their first product is this amazing three-fingered robot hand called the “Adaptive Gripper.” It is comprised of three under-actuated fingers, two of which can change their position and orientation to support a variety of grasp configurations — very similar in principle to the Barrett Hand and Schunk SDH Hand. The mechanical linkages which this uses would offer additional robustness compared to cable-driven machine hands. It would also be cheaper to produce than fully-actuated armatures.
I doubt this will be in the consumer market anytime soon, the price will likely be high at first. Let’s hope some smart manufacturer can copy this into the mass-market, so the hobbyist can get their hands on it soon (pun intended).
This video is an amazing display of robotics technology in the competition arena. Much more sophisticated than the remote controlled BattleBots (in my opinion). The telepresence is a cool factor that really puts you in the driver’s seat (literally!).
I definitely am going to be building a competitor for next year’s games.
Most of these are based on popular kits, like the Bioloid robot and airsoft rifles for combat so anyone should be able to build one readily. Next year it looks like they are adding a new class of robots with serious weaponry: flamethrowers and missiles. Yikes! That should be interesting, if not deadly, for the robots and especially the spectators. I’m not sure I’m ready to put my beautiful robot in front of a flamethrower.
The Mech Warfare site gives the following description of the event:
Our goal is to create a real-life robotic combat competition that mirrors the scenarios found in Sci-Fi universes such as Battletech, Warhammer 40k and Armored Core.
This competition will pit participants against each other, piloting custom designed 1/24th scale robots- armed with Airsoft weapon systems and higher end weapons such as micro rockets, flame throwers and CO2 projectile weapon systems.
We work to pioneer a new era of robotic competition where strategy, skill, and engineering play a major role in each participant’s success.
The rules and for the upcoming games can be found here.
Have you built your own mech or do you plan on creating one? Will you be participating in the 2011 Robogames? If so, let us know with a comment so we can keep in touch!
Pretty much everyone knows Stephen Hawking is a smart dude. He writes books, simplifies complicated stuff and makes it popular and digestible, a rare art. So when he tells people to avoid contacting alien life, it might be a good idea to listen?
We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.
If any of the alien creatures in his soon to be aired documentary exist, then I would tend to agree.
People endlessly debate about whether life exists outside of the earth. Stephen tends to be pretty certain that it does and, just based on the numbers alone, it makes sense enough to me that some life must exist somewhere. (Take a look at the night sky and tell me we are alone!) As comforting as it might feel that we are the only ones in existence, it just doesn’t make sense. But who knows, even Stephen Hawking can’t tell you yes for sure, yet.
If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.
The depiction of living oddities and predators envisioned by the scientist definitely keeps me from hoping for contact any time soon. Unless we want to become living specimens in a petri dish or a dinner-time delicacy for a hungry creature, he says we should try and minimize our attempts at contacting the aliens who live “out there”. Okay, Stephen, I get it. Good idea. Now let’s go get all our exploratory space junk back and hide in our basements!
You can read more of the details here. Hint: Don’t make it your child’s bedtime story!