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Archive for the ‘Robots’ Category

If your robotic vehicle will only work on smooth surfaces, the choice of a wheel is obvious. For more rugged bots, the same applies with knobby wheels. For those that need to operate in both environments, however, the Adaptive Field Robot presents a new solution in the form of wheels that actually change dynamically depending on the terrain.

This Arduino-powered robot is able to transform its two driving wheels from a nearly circular shape into a claw-like arrangement using secondary motors that rotate along with the wheel assembly.

When the bot detects an obstacle in its path via an ultrasonic sensor, the motors springs into action, activating a rack-and-pinion system that expands the two halves of the wheel into “claw mode.” 

Be sure to check out this innovative robot in the video below, including some trial-and-error during the development process.

Robot-sumo bouts can be a great way to pit your automation skills against others. Participating normally means a lot of hard work to get your bot functioning properly, and likely a fair amount of travel to meet your opponents. SurrogateTV, however, has a new alternative with their SumoBots Battle Royale arena that allows you to control actual sumo-bots over the Internet 24/7.

Their customized “pushers” from JSumo are made out of steel sheets, powered by an Arduino, a motor shield and a lithium-ion battery — all housed inside a 3D-printed enclosure — and tracked by a computer vision system. Four motors are used for movement and a servo on the top flips them right side up as needed.

The arena isn’t just a traditional circular ring either, but an area that is always dynamically changing. SurrogateTV decided on an interactive floor that drops as the game goes on, voted upon by the chat/viewers. A quick overview of the build process and how it works can be seen in the video below.

YouTuber MrTeslonian was asked if he could create an automatic fishing pole for someone with a serious disability. While this would seem like a daunting task, he was able to build one using a spring-loaded mechanism, a number of motors, and an Arduino board.

His portable device takes commands over WiFi, allowing control from a smartphone or computer. When it receives the signal, the pole is automatically pulled back and tension is added to a large spring via a winch. This tension is then released with a servo-actuated system, and a small gearmotor reels the bait back in… hopefully with a fish attached!

Maker Jeremy S. Cook has been building Theo Jansen-style walkers for literally years, and after several iterations has come up with what he calls the “ClearCrawler.” 

This little guy stands at just over 15 inches tall — including its comparatively large clear cylindrical head — and travels around via a pair of motors that move four legs on either side like tank treads.

For control, Cook is using an Arduino Nano onboard, along with a motor driver, plus an Uno and joystick shield as the remote unit. Communication between the two is accomplished by a pair of nRF24L01+ radio modules. 

Code for the project is available on GitHub, and the build is split up into an electronics and mechanical section in the videos below.

If you’d like to build your own vaguely humanoid robot, but don’t care about it getting around, then look no farther than Aster

The 3D-printed bot is controlled by an Arduino Uno, with a servo shield to actuate its 16 servo motors. This enables it to move its arms quite dramatically as seen in the video below, along with its head. The legs also appear to be capable of movement, though not meant to walk, and is supported with a column in the middle of its structure.

Aster’s head display is made out of an old smartphone, and in the demo it shows its eyes as green geometric objects, an animated sketch, and then, somewhat shockingly, as different humans. Print files for the project are available here and the design is actually based on the more expensive Poppy Humanoid.

As robotics advance, the future could certainly involve humans and automated elements working together as a team. The question then becomes, how do you design such an interaction? A team of researchers from Purdue University attempt to provide a solution with their GhostAR system.

The setup records human movements for playback later in augmented reality, while a robotic partner is programmed to work around this “ghost.” This enables a user to then plan out how to collaborate with the robot and work out kinks before actually performing a task.

GhostAR’s hardware includes an Oculus Rift headset and IR LED tracking, along with actual robots used in development. Simulation hardware consists of a six-axis Tinkerkit Braccio robot, as well as an Arduino-controlled omni-wheel base that can mount either a robot an arm or a camera as needed.

More information on the project can be found in the team’s research paper here.

We present GhostAR, a time-space editor for authoring and acting Human-Robot-Collaborative (HRC) tasks in-situ. Our system adopts an embodied authoring approach in Augmented Reality (AR), for spatially editing the actions and programming the robots through demonstrative role-playing. We propose a novel HRC workflow that externalizes user’s authoring as demonstrative and editable AR ghost, allowing for spatially situated visual referencing, realistic animated simulation, and collaborative action guidance. We develop a dynamic time warping (DTW) based collaboration model which takes the real-time captured motion as inputs, maps it to the previously authored human actions, and outputs the corresponding robot actions to achieve adaptive collaboration. We emphasize an in-situ authoring and rapid iterations of joint plans without an offline training process. Further, we demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of our workflow through HRC use cases and a three-session user study.

While it’s yet to make its premiere, Matt Denton has already built the D-O droid from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker using a MKR WiFi 1010 for control, along with a MKR IMU Shield and a MKR Motor Carrier

The droid scoots around on what appears to be one large wheel, which conceals the Arduino boards as well as other electronics, batteries, and mechanical components. Denton’s wheel design is a bit more complicated mechanically than it first appears, as its split into a center section, with thin drive wheels on the side that enable differential steering.

On top, a cone-shaped head provides sounds and movement, giving the little RC D-O a ton of personality. The droid isn’t quite finished as of the video below, but given how well it works there, the end product should be amazing!

MOREbot is an Arduino-powered educational robotic platform that’s currently available for pre-order. While the base kit is geared (literally and figuratively) towards building a small two-motor robot, MORE Technologies CEO Canon Reeves shows off how it can be reconfigured into an RC zip lining device in the video below.

The project uses the kit’s DC motors for traversing the cable, with O-rings that normally form the tires taken off in order to grip the top of a paracord. Everything is controlled by an Arduino Uno and a motor shield, while a Bluetooth module provides wireless connectivity. Control is via an iPad app, which simply rotates both motors at the same time as needed.

Since the parts are all modular, Reeves is planning on adding a few other attachments including a GoPro camera mount and perhaps even a servo that lets him drop a payload like a water balloon from it.

For the Warman Design and Build Competition in Sydney last month, Redditor ‘Travman_16 and team created an excellent Arduino-powered entry. The contest involved picking up 20 payloads (AKA balls) from a trough, and delivering them to a target trough several feet away in under 60 seconds.

Their autonomous project uses Mecanum wheels to move in any direction, plus a four-servo arm to collect balls in a box-like scoop made out of aluminum sheet. 

An Arduino Mega controls four DC gear motors via four IBT-4 drivers, while a Nano handles the servos. As seen in the video, it pops out of the starting area, sweeps up the balls and places them in the correct area at an impressive ~15 seconds. 

It manages to secure all but one ball on this run, and although that small omission was frustrating, the robot was still able to take fifth out of 19 teams. 

For the Warman Design and Build Competition in Sydney last month, Redditor ‘Travman_16 and team created an excellent Arduino-powered entry. The contest involved picking up 20 payloads (AKA balls) from a trough, and delivering them to a target trough several feet away in under 60 seconds.

Their autonomous project uses Mecanum wheels to move in any direction, plus a four-servo arm to collect balls in a box-like scoop made out of aluminum sheet. 

An Arduino Mega controls four DC gear motors via four IBT-4 drivers, while a Nano handles the servos. As seen in the video, it pops out of the starting area, sweeps up the balls and places them in the correct area at an impressive ~15 seconds. 

It manages to secure all but one ball on this run, and although that small omission was frustrating, the robot was still able to take fifth out of 19 teams. 



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