Talk about awesome! The team at bit-tech came up with their own Wall-E to celebrate his coming out. They used an old Gamecube, added a movable platform, acrylic, and plexiglass, then airbrushed their mod for the complete effect. Both his arms and legs are movable. We understand that even some of the folks at Pixar got to see their creation. Props to the clever designers.
VEX Robotics is an excellent source for students who want to learn more about the science. Not only do they offer instructional tools and materials, they also host a yearly competition. Teams can take part in the next one which is being held the end of the summer. These events take place in many different cities, states and countries, and the fee is only $75.00 to register a team. The next time your science teacher suggests that it's time to dissect a frog, tell him/her that you would rather win accolades by taking part in the 2008/2009 Challenge.
And yet another kewl gadget devised by someone using Lego's NXT Mindstorm has been introduced. Mike D'Amour had the original idea, and Will Gorman built and kindly provided instructions so that you can build your own toilet flushing robot. The RoboFlush gives you the option of a manual flush as well. If the duo could figure out how to get it to clean the thing, now that would be worth the investment.
We know that every time you see a robotics competition taking place you would rather participate than watch. So here's the thing. Stop being a Monday Night Football couch potato and hit the Zagros Robotics site. For a mere $139.95, you can create your own RFL (Robotic Football League) wireless player. Check out these features:
Built-in Wireless 2.4GHz
Speaker and voice synth chip
Four high speed, high torque motors
Think of it this way. You can feel the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat personally rather than living vicariously through the boob tube.
If you always wanted to build your own bot, but won't admit you are geeky enough, a good place to start is the Society of Robots. The site has step-by-step tutorials, articles from other members, links to journals and conferences, and sources to help you find materials to create your new best friend. The SoR also helps you to incorporate hardware such as batteries, sensors, microcontrollers, and other materials. Their forum can help you ask real people real questions, unless you can get your bot to do it for you.
We know that there are just as many adults as kids that dig Lego's Mindstorm NXT, so we applaud the efforts of Anders Søborg's NXT Image Scanner. Utilizing a HiTechnic color sensor, the scanner saves in 24-bit true color, 8-bit color, or gray scale. The design also has a small LCD menu to set up properties. Best of all, Anders shares his knowledge with the world, so the very least we could do is pass on his instructional DIY video.
We have found a DIY Kit that will surely ace you through your science fair, or make a charming companion when no one else is interested. The BotBrain Animatronic Head turns right and left and has a mouth that changes expressions. It can move its eyes and eyelids and features sensors for environmental reactions. At a whopping $449.00, the BotBrain is temporarily out of stock, but pre-order to get your own kit in time for the next geekfest. If that's a bit pricey, check out the Discovery Channel's Kit, although we have to admit their bot doesn't have the same charm.
What do you get when you cross an iPhone with a Lego Mindstorm NXT Robot? You get a Legophone or perhaps it is an iNXT programmed with NXJ and a Safari Web application. Whatever you call it, we think it is too cool. As soon as we can afford all the necessary ingredients, we just may make one for ourselves. Our props to "willgorman" and his cleverness. You can find the DIY instructions at BattleBricks.
One can never have enough Star Wars bots. Who knew that R2-D2 is available in paper form? These plans come full size on the Japanese site for downloading, and we got the idea from the translation that there is both a 3 and 4 inch version available. This may take some skill with the scissors and previous origami projects to get the instructions down. We figure it will make an awesome companion to our Pez C3-Po.
KumoTek is shipping it's latest robot kit, and it looks to be a winner. The “KumoTek-X” (KT-X) robot was designed to offer an entertaining, low-cost alternative to high-end robotics, while combining the latest in sleek design and cutting-edge robotics engineering.
The KT-X is the first low-cost bi-pedal robot platform of its kind to be offered in the U.S. that (a) can be controlled using a standard wireless PS2 gamepad controller, (b) is easy to use and (c) offers endless hours of entertainment.
The robot is capable walking, running, somersaulting and standing up from a face-up or face-down lying position. It can even be programmed to pull itself up autonomously after it has fallen over. It stands 13” tall, has 17 servo actuated joints (i.e., 17 degrees of freedom), a powerful 60MHz HV processor with 512kB ROM / 64kB RAM and comes fully loaded with over 75 preprogrammed acrobatic motions.
Best of all, the “KumoTek-X” (KT-X) robot can be purchased as a kit or fully assembled. Prices range from $990 to $1,490