Bryan Bergeron

Bryan Articles

Facebook and Microsoft Messenger Bots: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again

November 2016, Page 6

2016 is the year of the chat bot — a forecast supported in part by the launch of messenger bots for Facebook and Microsoft platforms, among others.

Pokémon GO — The Killer App for Augmented Reality?
Column: Mind / Iron
October 2016, Page 6

The Pokémon GO mobile game may be a bright light that burns quickly, but it has brought augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream consciousness.

The Serious Side of Robotics
Column: Mind / Iron
September 2016, Page 6

Two unrelated events that occurred this summer involving robotic/autonomous systems point out the serious side of robotics.

Getting from A to B
Column: Mind / Iron
August 2016, Page 06

Getting from A to B in drones/robotics

Not Your Grandmother’s Singer
Column: Mind / Iron
August 2015, Page 6

The current poster child of the DIY community is the 3D printer. However, from both a technological and market share perspective, the modern inexpensive sewing machine is the creative DIY tool of the masses.

Workshop Air Quality Sensors
Column: Mind / Iron
September 2015, Page 6

Volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) expelled into the air can be dangerous to your health.

Robotic Engineers vs. Experimentalists
Column: Mind / Iron
November 2015, Page 6

The innovators who are responsible for propelling robotics to the next level fall into one of two camps: robotic engineers or robotic experimentalists.

BioGears — It’s Alive!
Column: Mind / Iron
December 2015, Page 6

Getting to this stage of evolution involves a lot more than internal sensors of joint position.

The Cost of Custom
Column: Mind / Iron
January 2016, Page 6

One of the benefits of open source microcontrollers and other hardware is that with a modest investment in a software package such as EagleCAD, it’s a simple matter to create custom boards to fit the size and weight requirements of your robot.

Column: Mind / Iron
February 2016, Page 6

If you own a smartphone or an Apple Watch, you’ve likely experienced the pain of constantly connecting your gear to a charger and configuring (i.e., crippling) your device to extend battery life.

Automatic Braking Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Autonomous Vehicles
Column: Mind / Iron
July 2016, Page 6

Automatic braking systems are just the beginning in autonomous driving

Flying Cameras
Column: Mind / Iron
June 2016, Page 6

The Lily Camera is the equivalent of a selfie-stick crossed with a drone and high resolution video camera.

Noodle Chef Robots: Precursor to Pathogen-Free Fast Food?
Column: Mind / Iron
May 2016, Page 6

Could robot chefs be a precursor to pathogen-free fast food? Robots — unlike humans — can be routinely sterilized, bathed in bacteriostatic UV radiation, autoclaved, or doused with bactericidal chemicals.

Specifications: Believe Them or Not
Column: Mind / Iron
April 2016, Page 60

I’m working on a sound localization project based on three microphones — each connected to an Arduino — and a fourth Arduino connected to a Mac running Processing.

FAA Licensing: A Sign that Drones Have Arrived
Column: Mind / Iron
March 2016, Page 6

If you’re one of the million or so recipients of a drone this past holiday season, you’ve no doubt complied with the mandatory FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) registration. (Haven’t you?)

The ArduPilot 2.5 Autopilot Board and Mission Planner Software

November 2012, Page 56

If you’re an Arduino fan and want to build semi-autonomous planes, copters, or land vehicles, then this review is a must-read. This powerful plug-and-play graphical software is so much fun, it’s addictive!

Parallax Elev-8 Quadcopter — Part 2: The Electronics Setup

October 2012, Page 69

Take a look at the testing and setup of this flying robotics platform, including integration with an R/C transmitter and receiver, the selection and care of Li-Po batteries, plus the never-ending task of maintenance.

Parallax Elev-8 Quadcopter — Part 1: Mechanical Build
September 2012, Page 44

Ready to take your robotics experiments to new heights? Then follow along with this helpful kit build that will have you up and flying in no time.

Meet the Parrot AR Drone 2.0

August 2012, Page 46

Join in on a teardown of this popular quadcopter.

A Peek Inside the NEATO XV-11

February 2012, Page 40

Join in on a teardown of NEATO Robotics’ home vacuum cleaner.

Mind / Iron | January 2008 | Infrastructure

January 2008, Page 06

A fundamental aspect of robotics is that the application domain can range from ocean beds and table tops to the nooks and crannies of extraterrestrial dunes. It’s no coincidence that the techniques and technologies described in the article featured in this issue of SERVO can be applied to virtually any application areas. However, if you have a particular interest in space exploration, then you’ll find Fulvio Mastrogiovanni’s article, “Space Robotics,” of particular note...

The iRobot Looj

May 2008, Page 28

The treaded, weatherproof, remotely controlled Looj from iRobot is intended to facilitate the dull, dirty, and often dangerous job of clearing gutters of leaves, pine cones, twigs, and other light debris. At $99, I couldn’t resist exploring the potential of the Looj as a robotics platform. Following is a tear down of the Looj and wireless controller...

Size Matters

October 2008, Page 06

When Parallax announced their new 12 VDC motors with mount, wheels, and position controller, I couldn’t resist picking up a kit ($280). Finally, a ‘standard’ drive system designed for medium-sized mobile robots from the company behind the BASIC Stamp and the Boe-Bot...

Symbiotic Robots

February 2009, Page 06

Symbiosis — an association of mutual benefit — is a popular strategy for survival in the biological world. Think humans and normal intestinal bacteria, the common behavior of smaller fisher cleaning larger fish, or even the seemingly fearless Egyptian plover bird that feeds on the leeches attached to the gums of a crocodile. Now, imagine how symbiosis could be useful in a large, 'host' robot — say a planetary rover. Wouldn't it be useful to have relatively small, internal robots that monitor..

Unintended Consequences

March 2009, Page 06

In the world of robotics, advances in one application area often have unintentional, beneficial consequences in other areas, regardless of whether the initial application is a commercial success. Case in point — the Japanese robotic strawberry picker, touted as one of the prominent engineering failures of 2008 ( The autonomous robot is considered an economic failure by some because it's too expensive, too slow, and is restricted to a specially configured...

Robots in Business School

May 2009, Page

Robots have long been a staple in science and engineering curricula because they can serve as an experimental platform for technologies ranging from machine vision, programming, and wireless communications, to mechanical drive train design. Moreover, because developing robots typically involves expertise in multiple areas, they are the perfect focus for team building exercises. It might surprise you that this is especially true for non-engineering types with relatively little hands-on ...