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December 2014

Servo Magazine

Evolution Of The Jade Robot

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Features

MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion

In Part 5, we’ll wrap up our series by performing a few tests and then tuning the machine, so you will be able to put your new CNC to use.


NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition Digs into the Fifth Year of Mining Madness

This year’s event saw some familiar faces, but lots of new innovations.


Teaching a Robot to Play Catch With Minimal Mathematics

Discover an alternate method for teaching a robot to predict the flight path of a ball.


Watson Update: Going Beyond the Static Walk

Do you remember our old friend from the DARPA Robotics Challenge? See what he’s been up to lately.


Mechanical Modularity

Modular assemblies are making it easier than ever to construct robots.


DARPA Gets the SCHAFT

Japanese Team SCHAFT crushed the competition at the recent Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Robotics Challenge Trials.


Ways to Move Your Robot

All mobile robots move. Wheels, tracks, and legs are the most common ways. Which one should you use? That can be a tough question. Selecting the right system starts with figuring out what you want your robot to do.


Understanding the PIC Compare Module

The ability to determine the frequency of a waveform is key to modern robotics — think quadrature detectors, ultrasound, IR, and laser range finders. Learn how to use the compare mode to generate accurate timing pulses or repeat waveforms of a specific frequency.


ROS Indigo Meets the Neato

This high school student gives a quick tutorial on how to set up a Neato robot with ROS Indigo Igloo and use a simple teleop program to control the unit with a keyboard.


Red Rover, Red Rover ... 10 Years of Opportunity

Who would have thought 10 years ago that NASA would still be gleaning all kinds of awesome intel from their golden Opportunity.


FIRST Things First

This high school team member comes up with a unique way to be at the workshop helping with the robot build without really being there.


Bran Dee’s Bar — A Drink Making Robot

Follow the journey of a pile of parts and inspiration to a drink serving Barbot.


The Evolution of the Jade Robot

Follow the journey that led to one of the most innovative robot platforms for STEM education currently available on the market.


A Look at the Arlo Robotic Platform System

As an Engineering Tech at Parallax, Chris is able to give us a bird’s eye review of the company’s newest robot offering.


Understanding the PIC Capture Module

The capture module is so handy, it’s a shame not to know how to use it. Why, you ask? Its primary purpose is to accurately measure the period or duty cycle of an incoming pulse wave — a capability that’s invaluable in reading a wide variety of sensors.


Nuntius — The Garden Avenger

So, like, if you’re someone who would way rather do gardening from the comfort of your couch, then here’s the robot for you.


All About PIC Pulse Width Modulation

PWM is a valuable technique with many applications. If you’re unclear on this signal processing approach or are just having trouble figuring out the datasheets, this quick tutorial can help.


RoboBusiness 2013: A View from the Expo

A quick recap of the recent event.


Programming the Arduino in AmForth

You may not be aware that Forth was one of the earliest languages used in robotics and has a lot going for it — especially in the realm of rapid prototyping. Get a feel for this stack-based procedural programming language that offers users high productivity.


Cal Alveras — the Making of a New Friend

As projects often go, one simple idea can lead down unexpected paths. See how the Microsoft Kinect sensor, a book, and a stuffed animal led to the creation of this boney beast.


Using Radio Control Servo Motors in Robotics

Servo motors have earned an important place in robotics. Discover what you need to know to use R/C servos in your next automaton.


No PC and You Need to Code Your LEGO EV3? No Problem!

Baked inside each LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 Brick is the ability to code primitive programs. See how to use it to perform rapid prototyping “sanity checks.”


Servos aren’t Just for Robotics Anymore

There’s a new application movement going on for our beloved robotic component: controlling model trains. Check out these cool methods that might inspire an idea for your next robot project.


Using the PICAXE Microcontroller for Robotics

Sure, there’s a lot of different microcontrollers on the market to choose from. However, the PICAXE is an especially good choice if you’re on a tight budget. Plus, it’s great for first-time robot builders since it’s programmed with a flavor of BASIC.


Building the MD-1 Robot

Get some inspiration from this robot build that was created by using a lot of common items in a unique way.


Basics of Soldering

Roboticists need all kinds of different skills to construct their automatons. Knowing how to solder is invaluable in this process.


The Schmitt Trigger and How It Works

Whether because of harsh environments or the inherent limitations of sensor technology, output signals are rarely as clean as we'd like. Sensor noise can overwhelm a navigation system or even a simple robotics control system. You can take steps such as adding shielding to cables (adds weight), defining noise gates in software (takes space and degrades overall computational performance), and investing in better, more expensive sensors.


MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion

3D printers are great for prototyping, but nothing beats the consistency for milling multiple parts like a CNC router or milling machine. Here’s how to have one on the cheap.


Robots Under the Sea

For the past 13 years, MATE has sponsored a competition to advance education and encourage ocean exploration with ROVs.


From CardBoard to Kit

Really like the robot you just built and think other folks will too? Get some insight on what it takes to turn a robotics project into a product.


ARM ROSLing (Game of ARMs)

Here’s a quick tutorial on running ROS with a BeagleBone or Arduino.


e-NABLE’s Open Source 3D Printed Hand

Building robots isn’t always about fun and games. There’s a lot of humanitarian projects that can be developed. Take, for example, the Raptor hand that is bringing functionality and joy to all kinds of folks.


Windows 8 Tablets: The Ultimate Robot Controller — Part 2

Learn how to integrate the tablet’s sensors by first using it as a steering wheel, then taking advantage of the tablet’s compass to maintain a robot’s heading.


The Robot Emoticon

Give your robot a happy face — or whatever look you’d like — with LED arrays.


MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion

In this installment of our conversion series, the necessary components and the software needed to control the mill will be discussed.


The Crow, the Skeleton, and the Pirate

Sometimes it’s just fun to do crazy things with robots.


The Movie ‘her’

The movie 'her' (and yes, they purposefully use a lower case h) brilliantly tells the not-too-futuristic story of a biological male who falls headphones over buffering wheels in love with an artificial intelligent (AI) operating system.



Projects

Build the Plastic Bot of Destruction — Part 3

PBOD gets some major design changes.


Making Robots with the Propeller Activity Board: Part 2

In Part 2, we’ll move forward with completing the PropBot’s electrical subsystems, then give the robot its first taste of adventure with a simple servo test routine.


Making Robots With the Propeller Activity Board

In this final installment, learn about proximity detection and the way these low cost sensors are connected and used. Plus, mount these sensors onto a rotating turret attached to the PropBot.


Build the Plastic Bot of Destruction — Part 4

We wrap things up this month on our PBOD with the addition of the cover and weapons platform.


MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion

This time, you will be taken step-by-step through the conversion process.


How to Mount Motors and Wheels to Your Robot

So, you’ve got a nice robot base. You’ve dug up some motors and wheels that you think will be perfect. Now what? Just exactly how do you attach the darn things?


Mobile Me

With the high cost of telepresence robots, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just make a simple one of your own? Well ...


Using Stepper Motors for Wheeled Robot Propulsion

Stepper motors have the ability to precisely turn a wheel at a calculated distance and also the ability to brake, which makes them an interesting choice for robot propulsion, but not without some some tradeoffs.


Make Mine a Mad Rushin’

Convert a stock LEGO kit into a crazed cat crushin’, monster truck drivin’ robot.


Papa VooDoo — the Wicked Witch Doctor

DIY animatronics are really changing the landscape of holiday displays.


Nuntius — The Garden Avenger: Part 2

Details of the build process are explained for the robot and the controller, plus take a closer look at the software for this telepresence platform.


Windows 8 Tablets: The Ultimate Robot Controller — Part 4

In this final installment, bestow some personality to your tablet-controlled robot by giving it a voice.


Pool Bot

If you’ve got about $100 and a few hours, you’ll soon have an underwater ROV that can traverse your pool in search of treasure (or mermaids).


MF70 Micro Mill CNC Conversion

In Part 4, we’ll switch things up a bit and combine the electrical hookup and configuration together so you can get your machine moving as soon as possible.


Making Robots with the Propeller Activity Board

The Parallax Propeller is experiencing a resurgence in popularity because of its unique feature set which offers a lot to robot builders. In the first installment of this new series, we’ll be upgrading our old friend, ArdBot into the new and improved PropBot.


The Turkenator

A lot of times, using turkey fryers can be dangerous if extreme caution is not used. So, what’s the best way to avoid any injuries during the holidays? Make your fryer robotic, of course.


TheoBot — A DIY StrandBeest Walker

Similar to last month’s SpiderBot hack, see how to take a $10 kit and turn it into programmable bot with a mesmerizing walking action.


The Manta Ray — Part 1

This unique robot platform is easy to build, inexpensive, and flexible enough to support a number of options.


Monster Book — a Remote Controlled Halloween Prop

In the spirit of the holidays, here’s a fun project that will utilize skills that will help you in your robot building.


Build the Diet Buddy

Afraid you’ll pick up a few pounds this holiday season, or need help staving off those late night fridge attacks? Then, you need the Diet Buddy!


SPRITE: Simple Pi Robot Interactive Testbed for Experiments

Build this multi-purpose robot base geared toward the hobbyist (or student) to experiment with to your heart’s content.


Windows 8 Tablets: The Ultimate Robot Controller — Part 3

This time, explore programming a robot to navigate to a general destination using GPS and compass readings, and then once there, use images from the tablet’s camera to find an object of a specific color.


Programming the Arduino in Basic

The Arduino is a popular microcontroller to use in robotics, but one of its best kept secrets is that you can program it in the Basic language instead of C.


Making Robots with the Propeller Activity Board

This time, you’ll learn about interfacing switches to the PropBot, along with how to use the information these simple switches provide to interactively command the motors.


Build a Simple Walking SpiderBot

Hack an $8 toy into a programmable walking and sensing maniacal octopod of doom!


The Manta Ray — Part 2

Wrap-up on the build of this flexible robot platform, and a few minor adjustments.



Columns

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (09.2014)
• Much Ado About Ants • Hands Off the Merchandise • He’s Just a Buddy • Flung Among the Dung • Goldie Goes Mobile

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (11.2014)
• How Does $50 Grab You? • You Get the Thrust • Not Just a Stick • 322 Micron Swimbot • Dancing into Your Nightmares

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (1.2014)
• Flying Bugbot Out of the Woods • In Your Face — and Beyond! • Forget Mint: Here Comes Mab • Budgee in Your Budget? • Bookbots in the Sky

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (02.2014)
Hard-won knowledge to help you code more efficiently.

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (03.2014)
• Stickybot has Space Potential • Mechanical Cooter Seeks Shipwrecks • Universal Gripper Goes Commercial • Roomba to Beer Buddy

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (04.1014)
Questions on walking robots, bipedals in particular.

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (05.2014)
• No Captain, No Crew • Doc, Print Me a Liver • Inspired by Termites • An Egg for Couch Potatoes • Improved Robotic Ball

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (6.2014)
Every once in a while, there’s a chance to look at new robot products coming from manufacturers. See the latest from ROBOTIS.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (08.2014)
Working with noisy pneumatics, the best material to use for a target, dealing with stainless steel legs that snap, and why not to bargain-hunt for ABS plastic.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (10.2014)
Using an Arduino to control a motor driver chip.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (12.2014)
Find out whether stepper motors or DC motors are better for two-wheel balancing bots, and how to get your Roomba recharging properly.

GeerHead
by David Geer
The Quadforge Black Bat
The Pennsylvania-based Montgomery County Community College’s project helps give those Swedish weather folks eyes in the air.

GeerHead
by David Geer
A Deep Dive With the Bluefin-21 AUV
This robot sub is highly modular and offers one of the best autonomous subsea platforms available. As such, it was implemented in the search for missing Malaysian flight MH370.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Play-i Robots Make Learning Fun for Toddlers Through Teens
Discover two reasonably priced robots that can teach kids to program from the time they’re five years old on up through their teens.

GeerHead
by David Geer
One Man and an Idea
See what DJ Sures is doing at EZ-Robot Revolution for the future of robotics.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Weapons of Bot Destruction
Our favorite hackers continue the revival of their combat bot by reinventing the spinning weapon.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Carnegie Mellon University CHIMP Robot
This DARPA Robotics Challenge contender is enabled for disaster recovery and rescue, and so much more.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (03.2014)
Resurrect your Savage Innovations Soundgin board.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
Questions asked and answered include sharpening tool steel, “going green” with lubricants, protecting aluminum tubing from dings and scratches, and how to get multiple parts of a robot head moving.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (09.2014)
Mounting wheels to hubs.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (11.2014)
Fixing some coding faux pas from last month, plus a look at an awesome product that simplifies adding a touch-screen display to your projects, and a superior programming IDE for the Arduino.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here
Questions on analog vs. digital servos, battery charger selection, and temperature sensors for 3D printers are discussed.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (05.2014)
Issues with streaming video from your bot and making sense of micro-sensors.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Immortal Combat
Getting back into the world of combat robotics.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
littleBits Planet
littleBits is an electronics prototyping kit that consists of different modules that demystify circuit design for beginners and promise excitement for more advanced hackers.

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

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Oedipus RHex
Turning run-of-the-mill rolling robots into jolly jaunting walking versions is just a hop, SLIP, and a jump away.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
10 Years of Star Stuff
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.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Defending the Holiday Cheer With Robots
It’s littleBits to the rescue again as the need for a present protector from a pesky pug comes into play.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robot Wars: Roomba vs. Neato
See how these robot vacuums stack up against each other.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Humanity’s Perception of Robots
Whether they’re from the Uncanny Valley or just simple, hard-working automatons, people’s feelings about robots are changing.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Amateur Robotics Competitions and Exhibitions
These different group efforts make a big difference in the robotics community — especially for kids.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Tetrix, Activity Bot, and VEX
Educational robotics kits are a perfect way to encourage kids to get interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (07.2014)
• Cargo ’copter Works via Tablet • NASA to Employ Surgery ’bot • Not Setting Speed Records • Nice to Feel Needed

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robot Control Via Speech Recognition
Speech understanding and recognition are not as simple for robots as you might think. However, there are some interesting products available that may help your bot figure out what the heck you want.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
A New Look at Underwater Robots
The sea is a harsh mistress, and there are a lot of factors that have to be considered when designing robots for work under the waves.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Conferences Showcase New Robots
Check out what was and what more recently has been the highlights from robot expos and conferences.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Drones
Bad press, misunderstood information, and abuses of power continue to bring controversy to this otherwise useful technology.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robots Assist in Clean-Up of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
Details on what really happened that day and why this particular site is so difficult to work at, making it perfect for robots to intervene.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robot Evolution
Take a look at some of the exciting changes and progress made in the field of commercial robots.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
New Technology for Today’s Home-Built Robots
As technology moves forward, accessibility to new and improved products has made it that much easier for robot builders to create the automaton of their dreams.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
The Design Process for Amateur Robot Builders
o, how does someone really get started in robotics?




Combat Zone

BUILD REPORT: The Weta Equation

Weta, god of ugly things — my 3 lb Beetle weight — has always had a different beater bar than the kit bots for which it was the prototype.


EVENT REPORT: Pennbots Downtown Dogfight 2014

Back in March of this year, 22 robots gathered at Harrisburg University in Harrisburg, PA to participate in Pennbots' annual Downtown Dogfight competition.


EVENT REPORT: Clash of the Bots 2014

Clash of the Bots 2014 took place in Gastonia, NC at the Schiele Museum on July 19th. This was the fifth Clash of the Bots event and the eighth overall event put on by Carolina Combat Robots.


BUILD REPORT: Nyx v2 Part 2: Platform

With the design portion of the build completed, the next big step in the build is to fabricate the major structural components and build the drive platform.


BUILD REPORT: Using Actobotics in Combat Robots

Recently, I had the opportunity to try out some of the new Actobotics products from ServoCity.com.


BUILD REPORT: Scary! Scary! SCARY!

I have employed pretty much the same design for three pound robots since around 2002.


EVENT REPORT: Bot Blast

Three weight classes, 35 robots, and one 10x10 arena took center stage at Bot Blast 2014 at the Columbia Mall in Bloomsburg, PA on Saturday, July 13.


BUILD REPORT: Nyx v2 Part 1: Design

Nyx was originally built in early 2012 and first competed at Motorama in February of that same year.


PRODUCT REVIEW: Team Tiki Gearmotors Beta Tested

When Micah from Team Tiki fame was searching for someone going to an upcoming event to test out his new gearmotors, I knew I had the perfect storm.


BUILD REPORT: Isotelus Rex — Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, I showed how I designed my new 12 lb combat robot, and then revised the design so that it would meet the weight restrictions.


BUILD REPORT: Spanky Part 1: A Combat Robot Platform

Spanky is the newest robotic member of Near Chaos Robotics. Spanky was designed with two events in mind: DragonCon Robot Battles — an open platform Sumo style event; and the Sportsman class at Motorama — an event with a full arena.


BUILD REPORT: Spanky Part 2: Modular Weapon Systems

With the drive platform done and almost eight pounds to spare, there was a lot of room for the weapon systems.


EVENT REPORT: I was a Team’s Toadie

The event was streamed live at http://www.twitch.tv/robotrevo. (You can go back and watch all the fights, as well as all the in-between stuff.)


BUILD REPORT: A Wider Bite

Afew months ago, I was making a batch of drums for my Saifu Ant kits when I received an order for a wider drum for a customer who was building his own chassis.


BUILD REPORT: Bleuhh Cheese

My first attempt at a Fairyweight combat robot had been a failure when I built it to meet an imaginary 250 g weight limit, rather than the actual 150 g limit.


BUILD REPORT: Isotelus Rex — Part 1

Aweight class in combat robotics can be dominated — often for years — by one particular bot.


BUILD REPORT: Dolos: A Trip into the Used Bot Lot

Dolos began its existence in 2008 under the name Test Bot 4.5 SP1, and was originally built by Charles Guan.


EVENT REPORT: Putting on the Bots

For me, DragonCon is not a huge science fiction convention filled with panels, viewings, exhibits, parades, games, and elaborate cosplay that combine to contribute an enormous burden to the already crowded streets of Labor Day Atlanta and an equally weighty contribution to the bank accounts of the five main participating hotels.


Pushing Power: How Strong is Strong Enough?

This month, we address the other variable: torque. In terms of robot combat, torque is our fancy word for pushing power.


The Evolution of Attitude

My venture into the three pound Beetleweight class began in 2009 when I was in the eighth grade.


Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew Part 2: Designing an Asymmetric Weapon

Last month, we discussed the design and performance compromises that accompany the use of an asymmetric weapon. If you decide that this design is right for your robot, the next step is to start concocting your weapon.


Getting Started: Before You Build Your First Bot

Maybe you’ve seen video on the Internet, event reports here in SERVO, actually been to an event, or remember when robot combat was on TV.


Robot Battles Turns 24!

Robot Battles™ is the second oldest robotic combat competition in the world, and is a direct descendant of the oldest event — the Critter Crunch every year at MileHiCon in Denver, CO.


EVENT REPORT: DragonCon Robot Micro Battles 2014

Robot Battles 50 took place over Labor Day weekend during DragonCon in Atlanta, GA.


BUILDING TIPS: Balancing a Weapon Bar

I frequently get asked about balancing weapon bars, and figured a simple guide might be helpful.


PARTS IS PARTS: Product Review: FingerTech Robotics tinyMixer

FingerTech Robotics has recently developed and produced a new channel mixer for use on robots in all weight classes.


BUILD REPORT: Team Toad Validates the Lifting Wedge at the STEM Tech Olympiad 2014

Ever since Peter Abrahamson described the sport of robot combat as Rochambeau (spinner, flipper, wedge), the challenge has been to build a robot that could do two things well.


EVENT REPORT: The Adventures of Scary and Angry Bot

Last month, I did a brief report about how my two sons and I built their first "real" combat robots — "Angry Bot" and "Scary." This month, I want to discuss how they did in their matches. You may be a bit surprised by the result.


Old School Lathes

This is not your typical product review. I’m not going to tell you about a brand new product, a cutting edge piece of technology, or a product that will revolutionize the way we all work. I’m not even reviewing a single product. Instead, I am going to look at the subject of old lathes and why you should buy one.


BUILD REPORT: New Builders, Beware!

Here are some tips to avoid some common pitfalls at your first competition.


BUILD REPORT: Isotelus Rex — Part 4: The Sprint to the Finish Line

In Part 3 of this series, I had received most of the parts and started work on the chassis. Is this part, I will put together the drive motors, complete the rest of the parts, and assemble the bot. I was on a tight deadline as there was only four weeks to go before the bot’s first event ...


EVENT REPORT: DragonCon Robot Battles 2014

On Monday, the 12 and 30 pound machines competed in a Sumo style competition for Robot Battles 50.


2014 STEM Tech Olympiad

We are thrilled to announce the 2014 STEM Tech Olympiad! The event will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center in South Florida on May 4-6.


PRODUCT REVIEW: Making Tracks

Pololu produces an interesting set of components that allow you to have caterpillar type tracks on your small 250 g to 1 lb combat bots.


BUILD REPORT: Crop Circle

It’s probably a sign someone has been doing this too long when — upon sifting through ye olde junk box and coming across two needle bearings, a shaft, a piece of mild steel, and a brushless motor — the only thing that comes to mind is combining the steel with the shaft, inserting it into the bearings, hooking up the brushless, and wondering what’s got the cat so worked up.


PRODUCT REVIEW: Chaos Hubs

The 1.5" and 2" wide Colson wheels have been popular in the 30 lb+ weight classes in combat robotics for many years, but builders often had to make their own hubs to mate the large bore of the Colsons with the standard 1/2" keyed shafts that come on drive gearmotors like Banebots P60s.


EVENT REPORT: Franklin 2013 — Fall Fun in Philly

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (www2.fi.edu) hosted its 7th annual robotic combat event on September 21, 2013. The Institute provides the venue arena and N.E.R.C. (http://www.nerc.us) organizes the event.


PRODUCT REVIEW: FingerTech Robotics TinyESC v2.4

TinyESC speed controllers have typically been the ESC (electronic speed controller) of choice for the drives of many Ant and Beetleweight combat robots.


EVENT REPORT: Thunderdome

Thunderdome is a new event to South Florida aiming to give builders a venue to compete multiple times a year. Spectators can learn from competitors and come back with a robot of their own.


Buzz Dawson: Rockets to Robots

In September, the world of combat robotics lost a founding member, Brett "Buzz" Dawson. Buzz was an integral part of the creation of our sport, as well as one of our media rock stars. The SERVO family is greatly saddened by his loss, and wanted to share some of our favorite stories.


BUILD REPORT: Printing Cheese

The 3D printing phenomenon had more or less passed me by. I had learned to use one at the TechShop in Raleigh, NC, but that wonderful resource closed days after my course and I never got a chance to use their machines.


THEN AND NOW: A Decade Later with Alexander Rose

This is the next installment in our series of articles about famous figures from a decade ago. 2002 ended the popular Comedy Central series, BattleBots™.


Departments

The Problem With Too Much Experience
by Bryan Bergeron
It's good to question the beliefs and experience of others and, at times, experiment with things first-hand. If you want to be an innovator, you've got to be a risk taker.