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March 2014

Servo Magazine

Hacking The Toy SpiderBot

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Features

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.


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.


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.



Projects

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.


Build a Simple Walking SpiderBot

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



Columns

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

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.

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

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.




Combat Zone

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.