A Robotics Infrastructure for the Experimenter: Hardware Essentials
Say you’re setting up a robotics lab centered on four-wheel drive robots from a commercial source. Focusing on the hardware, here’s a list of the essential components you would need.
Microcontrollers — They’ve Finally Made it to Cracker Jacks
With the prices of microcontrollers going down these days, it’s no longer necessary to repurpose them.
The pioneers in robotics faced and overcame numerous challenges. For example, if they wanted to develop, say, a new navigation algorithm, they had to first build a hardware platform. They couldn’t simply go online and decide between dozens of off-the-shelf flying, swimming, crawling, and walking robotics platforms.
Wanted: Robotics Experimentalists — No Experience Necessary (or Desired)
Despite all the talk, there hasn’t been much in the way of deliverables for robots taking over one job or another.
EMG Control and Monitoring of a Servo Gripper — Closing the Loop
Use your body to control your bot.
Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles: The Next Big Thing in Robotics?
UROVs — the little brothers to the massive commercial underwater vehicles used to inspect hulls, ship wrecks, and pipe lines — are where quadcopters were five years ago.
Facebook and Microsoft Messenger Bots: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again
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
The Pokémon GO mobile game may be a bright light that burns quickly, but it has brought augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream consciousness.
Automatic Braking Systems: A Gentle Introduction to Autonomous Vehicles
Column: Mind / Iron
Automatic braking systems are just the beginning in autonomous driving
Noodle Chef Robots: Precursor to Pathogen-Free Fast Food?
Column: Mind / Iron
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.
The ArduPilot 2.5 Autopilot Board and Mission Planner Software
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
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
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.
Mind / Iron | January 2008 | Infrastructure
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
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...
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..
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 (http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/jan09/7130). 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
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 ...