Twin Tweaks


Articles from this Column

All I Want for Christmas is a High Pressure Nitrogen Cannon

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December 2016, Page 54 [Digital Edition ]
Before you say, “Oh, no! Not another chunker!” take a look at the special challenges of an extreme project that were conquered during the 12 days of Bot-mas.

The Robotic Chunker Redemption

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October 2016, Page 54 [Digital Edition ]
Designing something for a high pressure application has a unique set of challenges.

Do Androids Dream of Being Connected to the Internet?

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August 2016, Page 54 [Digital Edition ]
Connecting your robot to the Internet of Things.

The Road to RoboGames

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June 2016, Page 54 [Digital Edition ]
After sitting dormant for 13 years, can the trusty 60 lb Troublemaker again reign (somewhat) supreme at a combat event? Or will it have to remain in retirement? Follow Troublemaker’s journey.

Tanks for the Memories

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April 2016, Page 52 [Digital Edition ]
Robots with Tracks

High Plains Translational Drifter

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February 2016, Page 54 [Digital Edition ]
Bringing an old robot out of retirement to compete in this year‘s RoboGames can definitely melt your brain.

Deck the Halls with Robots

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December 2015, Page 54 [Digital Edition ]
Sometimes the greatest gift a roboticist can give themselves is to revisit a project and find ways to optimize it.

Afternoon of the Robotic Punkin Chunker

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October 2015, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
With the fall season comes Jack-o-Lanterns, spice lattes, and, of course, the annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition — the inspiration for this month’s project.

The Adventures of Bogie and Sprout

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August 2015, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
Do some base “jumping” with Runt Rovers — Actobotics newest line of platforms.

The Force Servo Arm Awakens

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June 2015, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
Not only is the force strong with this device, it can handle fragile cargo as well.

Rise of the Simple Machines

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April 2015, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
Adding mechanical advantage to Protobot.

Robots Have Got Your Back

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February 2015, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
With all this crazy weather we’ve been having lately, some help filling sandbags would really come in handy.

Defending the Holiday Cheer With Robots

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December 2014, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
It’s littleBits to the rescue again as the need for a present protector from a pesky pug comes into play.

littleBits Planet

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November 2014, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
littleBits is an electronics prototyping kit that consists of different modules that demystify circuit design for beginners and promise excitement for more advanced hackers.

10 Years of Star Stuff

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October 2014, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
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.

Oedipus RHex

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August 2014, Page 69 [Digital Edition ]
Turning run-of-the-mill rolling robots into jolly jaunting walking versions is just a hop, SLIP, and a jump away.

How Troublemaker Got Its Weapon Back

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June 2014, Page 69 [Digital Edition ]
As our favorite Tweakers continue to prepare their back-from-retirement bot for combat, they put a new spinning weapon design to the test.

Weapons of Bot Destruction

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April 2014, Page 12 [Digital Edition ]
Our favorite hackers continue the revival of their combat bot by reinventing the spinning weapon.

Immortal Combat

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February 2014, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
Getting back into the world of combat robotics.

To Infinity and Beyond

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December 2013, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
Few things capture the imagination like robotics ... except maybe space elevators.

Material Bot

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October 2013, Page 69 [Digital Edition ]
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.

Tinker, Printer, Solder, Die

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August 2013, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
These “printer wars” show how even newbies can get started into the fascinating and terrifying world of robotics with junk.

Second Breakfast

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May 2013, Page 69 [Digital Edition ]
Exploring the full potential of 4D Systems smart display modules, with an “Eye” towards coordinating expressions with sensor input.

Robots in 4D

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March 2013, Page 67 [Digital Edition ]
4D Systems is offering some new smart OLED and LCD display modules that will play well with your robots.

Nice STEMs!

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January 2013, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
One of the things we love about robots is that they are such perfect teaching tools.

Rock and Rover

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November 2012, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
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.

The Cobra Strikes Again

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September 2012, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
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.

Big Trouble in the Little Dohyo

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July 2012, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
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.

Twin Tweaks

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May 2012, Page 67 [Digital Edition ]
The Sensor Olympics 2 — Going the Distance.

Twin Tweaks

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March 2012, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
The Sensor Olympics

Twin Tweaks

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January 2012, Page 67 [Digital Edition ]
Looking Backward: 2012-1989

Twin Tweaks

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November 2011, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
Due Digilence

Twin Tweaks

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September 2011, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
Getting Serial

Twin Tweaks

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July 2011, Page 60 [Digital Edition ]
Savöx Rocks

Twin Tweaks

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June 2011, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
Why Did The Robot Cross The Road?

Twin Tweaks

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May 2011, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
Mars Needs Motherships: Meet the MINDS-i Lunar Rover

Twin Tweaks

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March 2011, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
Little Robot Shop of Adventure

Cirque Du Robot

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January 2011, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
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.

So You Think You Can Dance?

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November 2010, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
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.

13 Years Under the Sea

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September 2010, Page 67 [Digital Edition ]
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).

I Am Encoding

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July 2010, Page 71 [Digital Edition ]
This month, we have the pleasure of presenting the Position Controller Kit from Parallax.

Robonova – Come Here – I Want to See You

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May 2010, Page 72 [Digital Edition ]
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).

Pavlov’s Bots

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March 2010, Page 70 [Digital Edition ]
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.

The New Roboni-i Robotic Gamer

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November 2009, Page 58 [Digital Edition ]
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.

Are You Ready To iARoC?

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September 2009, Page 58 [Digital Edition ]
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.

Universal Serial Bust

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July 2009, Page 62 [Digital Edition ]
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.

Who’s Vex?

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May 2009, Page 67 [Digital Edition ]
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. ..

Bug Sport

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April 2009, Page 58 [Digital Edition ]
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...

Living Off The Land

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March 2009, Page 18 [Digital Edition ]
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...

The San Diego Job

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January 2009, Page 68 [Digital Edition ]
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...

Surveyor’s Travels

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November 2008, Page 21 [Digital Edition ]
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...

Rhyme of the Modern Submariner | Part 2

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September 2008, Page 14 [Digital Edition ]
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...

Rhyme of the Modern Submariner | Part 1 | Special Edition

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August 2008, Page 14 [Digital Edition ]
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...

There’s a New Humanoid on the Block

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July 2008, Page 58 [Digital Edition ]
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...

Geeking From France

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May 2008, Page 73 [Digital Edition ]
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...

Back to Basics

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March 2008, Page 14 [Digital Edition ]
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 ...

More Than Meets the Eye | The Mighty Morphing V-Bot

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January 2008, Page 61 [Digital Edition ]
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.