Twin Tweaks


Articles from this Column

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Defending the Holiday Cheer With Robots
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
December 2014, Page 70
It’s littleBits to the rescue again as the need for a present protector from a pesky pug comes into play.

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littleBits Planet
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
November 2014, Page 68
littleBits is an electronics prototyping kit that consists of different modules that demystify circuit design for beginners and promise excitement for more advanced hackers.

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10 Years of Star Stuff
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
October 2014, Page 70
Once a Cluster Assistant himself, Evan had the opportunity recently to check back with the University of California, San Diego’s COSMOS program to see what all has changed with the innovative curriculum.

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Oedipus RHex
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
August 2014, Page 69
Turning run-of-the-mill rolling robots into jolly jaunting walking versions is just a hop, SLIP, and a jump away.

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How Troublemaker Got Its Weapon Back
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
June 2014, Page 69
As our favorite Tweakers continue to prepare their back-from-retirement bot for combat, they put a new spinning weapon design to the test.

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Weapons of Bot Destruction
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
April 2014, Page 12
Our favorite hackers continue the revival of their combat bot by reinventing the spinning weapon.

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Immortal Combat
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
February 2014, Page 68
Getting back into the world of combat robotics.

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To Infinity and Beyond
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
December 2013, Page 68
Few things capture the imagination like robotics ... except maybe space elevators.

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Material Bot
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
October 2013, Page 69
You can build a robot out of pretty much anything, but if you find yourself debating between general categories like wood or plastic or metal, this is the article for you.

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Tinker, Printer, Solder, Die
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
August 2013, Page 70
These “printer wars” show how even newbies can get started into the fascinating and terrifying world of robotics with junk.

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Second Breakfast
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
May 2013, Page 69
Exploring the full potential of 4D Systems smart display modules, with an “Eye” towards coordinating expressions with sensor input.

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Robots in 4D
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
March 2013, Page 67
4D Systems is offering some new smart OLED and LCD display modules that will play well with your robots.

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Nice STEMs!
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
January 2013, Page 68
One of the things we love about robots is that they are such perfect teaching tools.

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Rock and Rover
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
November 2012, Page 68
Along with everyone else that cares about science, human progress, and things that are just plain cool, we have been awestruck and inspired by the incredible success of the Curiosity Rover and the entire Mars Space Laboratory mission thus far.

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The Cobra Strikes Again
By Evan Woolley Bryce Woolley
September 2012, Page 68
The process of optimization is often just as important as the initial design, and we knew that the Cobra chassis deserved more effort on our behalf to unlock the kit’s true competitive potential.

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Big Trouble in the Little Dohyo
By Evan Woolley Bryce Woolley
July 2012, Page 68
This time, we thought it would be a great idea to take a look at one of the most time-honored robotic events of all time: the mini Sumo competition.

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Twin Tweaks
By Evan Woolley Bryce Woolley
May 2012, Page 67
The Sensor Olympics 2 — Going the Distance.

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Twin Tweaks
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
March 2012, Page 70
The Sensor Olympics

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Twin Tweaks
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
January 2012, Page 67
Looking Backward: 2012-1989

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Twin Tweaks
By Evan Woolley Bryce Woolley
July 2011, Page 60
Savöx Rocks

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Twin Tweaks
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
June 2011, Page 70
Why Did The Robot Cross The Road?

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Twin Tweaks
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
May 2011, Page 70
Mars Needs Motherships: Meet the MINDS-i Lunar Rover

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Twin Tweaks
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
March 2011, Page 70
Little Robot Shop of Adventure

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Cirque Du Robot
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
January 2011, Page 70
This month, we have the opportunity to demonstrate both – an expandable platform with the LEGO NXT kit, and a multitalented sensor with the SmartSensor Lite from CATCAN Creative, Inc.

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So You Think You Can Dance?
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
November 2010, Page 68
his month, we have the pleasure of presenting the KT-X Bipedal Humanoid Robot from KumoTek. KumoTek is a Texas-based robotics company with products ranging from building inspection robots to hobbyist kits.

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13 Years Under the Sea
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
September 2010, Page 67
In 2010, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Office for Naval Research (ONR) held their 13th annual International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Competition (now rebranded as the RoboSub Competition).

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I Am Encoding
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
July 2010, Page 71
This month, we have the pleasure of presenting the Position Controller Kit from Parallax.

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Robonova – Come Here – I Want to See You
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
May 2010, Page 72
This month, we have the privilege to present the VeeAR VRbot voice recognition module which comes to us courtesy of Tigal. Tigal is a high-tech electronics distributor from Austria, and the VRbot module is designed for use with the Robonova-1 from Hitec (and with its Japanese cousin, the Robozak).

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Pavlov’s Bots
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
March 2010, Page 70
The Roboni-i aims to revolutionize the electronics entertainment industry with its unique blend of a personality filled robot, structured game play, and an online world.

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The New Roboni-i Robotic Gamer
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
November 2009, Page 58
A company called Robonica has now created this new genre of gaming with the introduction of the Roboni-i — a highly intelligent, programmable gaming robot.

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Are You Ready To iARoC?
By Evan Woolley Bryce Woolley
September 2009, Page 58
This year, we were once again brought back to the Del Mar Fairgrounds by the incomparable allure of a robotics competition, though this time we were only spectators. Yes, 2009 witnessed the second annual iARoC event — the International Autonomous Robotics Competition.

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Universal Serial Bust
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
July 2009, Page 62
Just about every robotics kit that we’ve reviewed for SERVO uses a serial connection for programming, so we’ve been forced to invest in a serial-to-USB adapter.

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More Than Meets the Eye | The Mighty Morphing V-Bot
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
January 2008, Page 61
Last time, we had the honor to present two robots — the Roboquad and Robopanda — that approached the line between toy and robot from the robot side of the equation. This month, the V-Bot shows that a toy can also approach that fine line between electronic plaything and seemingly sentient automaton.

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Back to Basics
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
March 2008, Page 14
As a mechanical engineering student, Evan has been learning about things like how Bessel functions are the eigenfunctions of the Sturm-Liouville Equations that can be used to describe heat conduction in nonrectangular geometries, and how computational methods like the Newton-Raphson method can be used to find the solution to large nonlinear systems. Such highbrow concepts in engineering — however interesting they might sound — can only be mastered with a firm grasp on the fundamentals of ...

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Geeking From France
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
May 2008, Page 73
This month, we have the privilege of introducing an intrepid robotic envoy all the way from France, courtesy of POB Technology. We were lucky enough to receive the POB Golden Kit, which includes a fully assembled robot, a software CD with an electronic manual, and a serial cable for programming. The robot is equipped with tank treads, a camera, and a claw for manipulating objects. The easily accessible circuit board boasts plenty of open terminals for the addition of sensors and mechanisms...

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There’s a New Humanoid on the Block
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
July 2008, Page 58
Humanoid shaped servo robots are some of the coolest robot kits around. They are generally simple to build, and the finished product is agile and undeniably entertaining. Robots this cool, however, often come with a hefty price tag. We’ve been lucky enough to review two such kits for SERVO so far. The surprising nimble Robonova-1 from Hitec will run you over $1,000, and the versatile Bioloid kit from Robotis comes with a price tag of about $900. These prices likely put these bots out of the...

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Rhyme of the Modern Submariner | Part 1 | Special Edition
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
August 2008, Page 14
This month, we have the honor of presenting the ROV-In-A-Box Kit from !nventivity. ROV stands for Remotely Operated Vehicle, and while this can refer to a tethered vehicle that tackles any sort of terrain, it very often refers to an underwater vehicle, as was the case with this kit. After covering the AUVSI underwater robotics competition in 2006, we knew that there were competitions out there that catered to these aquatic bots, and we thought a competition would be a much more exciting way...

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Rhyme of the Modern Submariner | Part 2
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
September 2008, Page 14
Last time, we detailed the build of our basic ROV (remotely operated vehicle) for the MATE 2008 ROV Competition using the ROV-in-a-box kit from !nventivity and the help of UCSD’s Tau Beta Pi chapter, CA Psi. After building a very basic working ROV from the kit and proving its functionality at the Southern California regional competition, it was now time to add onto the kit bot with our own mechanisms to allow it to complete three missions based on a scenario of mid-ocean ridge research...

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Surveyor’s Travels
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
November 2008, Page 21
The folks at Inertia Labs may have forever earned a celebrated place in the memory of combat robotics fans with their formidable and uplifting creations like Toro, but Alexander Rose and Reason Bradley have also put their energies into other, less destructive projects. One of their new endeavors at Inertia Labs is as a designer and distributor for the new quad motor Surveyor SRV-1Q from Surveyor Labs — a nifty little treaded robot outfitted with a high quality camera. Perhaps the most...

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The San Diego Job
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
January 2009, Page 68
We’ve all been there — you’ve outsmarted the alarm system, outmaneuvered the guards, and outmatched the inevitable laser security devices to finally arrive at the safe. You’ve smartly brought a robot along to do your dirty work, and just as your mechanical minion is twisting in the combination the police arrive because your robot was too slow! We’re talking about optimization, of course. You have an initial design, but things can always be improved through analysis and iteration...

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Living Off The Land
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
March 2009, Page 18
This month, we have the pleasure of presenting the Surveyor Drive Base kit from Inertia Labs. Readers may recall our adventure with an already assembled Surveyor robot from a few months ago, which sported a unique method of teleoperation over a wireless network. The drive base, on the other hand, is a tabula rasa as clean and pristine as Descartes could have imagined. A kit with such potential is both exciting and intimidating, with the only limit to the possibilities being your imagination...

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Bug Sport
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
April 2009, Page 58
This month, we have the pleasure of presenting another robot kit from esteemed Korean company Robotis, who brought us the incredible Dynamixel and Bioloid. The kit is the Ollo Bug — a kit targeted at that elusive demographic of young budding roboticists. Inspiring youngsters to become interested in science and technology is an admirable goal, but it is a competitive niche already dominated by the LEGO Mindstorms and NXT kits. Does the bug have what it takes to carve out a segment in this...

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Who’s Vex?
By Bryce Woolley Evan Woolley
May 2009, Page 67
A few months ago we dismantled our beloved Vex robot, the Hungry Hungry Hippo (see the July 2005 issue for the exploits of this talented robot) to provide parts for the Surveyor Drive Base. Actually, Vex parts have made it onto a number of our robotics projects, including our ROV for the 2008 MATE Competition, our multimedia Scribbler artist, and several others. Now our once proud Vex robot has been reduced to an immobile pile of parts, and it certainly deserves better than that. ..