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December 2010

Servo Magazine

Building The Arduino ArdBot

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Features

Tips for Selecting DC Motors for Your Mobile Robot

When building a mobile robot, selecting the drive motors is one of the most important decisions you will make. Here are some of the basic physics and the rules of thumb for proper selection.


RoboGames In Retrospect

Team Tesla Prime shares some insights and lessons learned from their experience at RoboGames 2010.


From Brazil to San Francisco - Our Incredible RoboGames Experience

Brazilian combat robotics have never been the same for Team RioBotz, after they became acquainted with RoboGames in 2005.


Give Your Robot a Better Grip On Things

Add a whole new dimension to your robot by giving it a helping hand (literally!).


Optics for Your Robot Using a Webcam

Learn some basics about lenses, light, and color to get your started using machine vision.


Taking the STAIRSs to Advance Robot Development

Researchers at Stanford and Cornell are pioneering new methods of teaching robots to interact more fluently with their surroundings using the STanford Artificial Intelligence Robot (STAIR) as the base.


Rate the eM8 — Part 2

You can’t build robot smarts if you can’t speak the language. Or, in this case, speak the languages. We’re about to continue our port of the eM8 assembler application to CCS C.


The Evolution of Ethel

This enthusiastic bot builder chronicles his robot’s journey from a pile of parts to a well-dressed automaton.


From Autonomy to Symbiosis: Some Thoughts on the Complexities of Networked Robots

Certain actions are much easier for humans than robots, so, how will they ever make it to the workplace with us?


Explore the New ZervoG Technology to Go RoboWireless

Now your grazing piece of iron can let you know if its battery voltage is low or you can use it as a roving interactive Web server.


The Bioloid Premium Kit Wrap-Up

In the Feb. ’10 issue, we covered the hardware components and assembly of the Bioloid Premium. This time, we’ll take a look at the vast capabilities of the RoboPlus software that comes with the kit.


How to Prepare For - and Maybe Even Win - a Robot Competition

Get some insights and helpful tips from a veteran of robot combat.


GoPHR — An Inexpensive Prototype Platform for General- Purpose Household Robotics

The idea behind this homebrew build is to develop an open source hardware platform capable of performing useful household tasks, plus be expandable.


The Bioloid Premium Kit

Learn the details of ROBOTIS’ latest offering in the humanoid league.


Tool Time With the Versapak Smart Charger

Whether you have Versapak tools or not, this circuit can be used to charge any NiCd or NiMH battery pack and can restore what you may have thought was lost (battery wise, that is).


Look Who’s Talking!

Explore this simple method that lets you and your robot play together in a wireless world.


Planning Out Your Software for Microcontrollers

The use of microcontrollers in hobby robotics continues to grow, but creating software for them can be intimidating. Matt takes you through his favorite process for developing software using a simple puzzle box project as his point of reference.


Rate the eM8

Microcontrollers aren’t always the most clever electronic components in a robotic design. In the case of the eM8, the abundance of basic circuitry consisting of some common CMOS latches, decoders, and multiplexers complete the design.


Self Similar Optimization

This new coding idea will change how you design and optimize robots.


The Typewriter Repairmen 2009 NURC ROV: notBob

Follow this family team’s build of a submersible robot that captured the overall winner award at the 2009 NURC competition.


The NXT Big Thing #3

See the light! Learn about the light sensor that many NXT enthusiasts argue is the single most versatile sensor in the kit.


Controlling Motors and Lights with Pulse Width Modulation

This article shows you how to implement PWM into your robotics design by demonstrating the principles through two simple projects.


Trade Two PWM Channels for a Whole Bunch of Switches

See how to perform surgery on a transmitter to gain more on/off switches and data from your rover.


Robot Rescue: ROVs Lend a Hand During Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

Get a closer look at the ROVs that were put to use within hours of this highly publicized offshore tragedy.


The NXT Big Thing

Time to break out that LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT kit! We’ll start with a basic build following step-by-step instructions and then in future articles, we’ll create some very unique projects utilizing things like Bluetooth and additional sensors.


Making Robots With the Arduino — Part 1

It just makes sense to look at ways to leverage the popular Arduino development board for use in robotics, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. We’ll start with some basics and introduce ArdBot — the robot base we’ll be working with.


Building Robot Parts with a CNC Laser

A CNC laser is a powerful and highly versatile tool. Learn some of the advantages, disadvantages, and basic techniques to have this machine build your machine.


Get Ready for RoboGames 2010!

Get inspired from 2009's event coverage.


More Room for Your Robot Stuff

One never visualizes hard drives and microcontrollers in the same thought process. About 10 B.M.C. (Before MicroSD Card), relatively large capacity hard drives and Intel microprocessors were the norm. These days, the MicroSD card has brought the storage capacity of yesteryear's hard drives to the microcontroller bus. Today's microcontroller can control as much data storage in the space of a couple of quarters as the first personal computers could with a full-sized hard drive.


“Roll” With the HoverBot

Wheels? We don’t need no stinking wheels with this unique bot that’s lighter than air.


Hacker Dojos offer Collaboration Opps for Robot Hobbyists

Developer communities help everyone. See what came our of the recent "Random Hacks of Kindness" event at a Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, CA.


Using a VEX Controller for Electronic Experiments

Learn two methods of interfacing LCDs into your next build as we connect a low cost character LCD to the VEX microcontroller.


GPS Navigation - Part 3

Our Navigation code will get a bit more complex, so this month the focus will be on how the individual sections work.


Add a Transceiver to Your ZeroG Trainer

Expand your Trainer project from last month by adding a transceiver to the mix.


Getting Down to Some Basics of Using C

Mechanically-inclined roboteers tend to gravitate towards the hardware side of things for solutions. However, they’ll soon C the beauty of having the tool of programming in their arsenal.


Propelled by the Propeller Chip

This article is an excellent demonstration for how the parallel processing abilities of the Propeller chip from Parallax can be utilized in conjunction with RobotBASIC to achieve robotics projects that involve diverse and multifaceted elements that require simultaneous use of numerous microcontrollers along with a PC.


Teach Your Old RoboScout Some New Scripts

See how using an optional PC interface can let your robot learn some dif ferent tricks.


Swarm Robots and Sensor Virtualization

Ben has nothin’ on our Zhu Zhu hamsters when it comes to working together in a pack.



Projects

The CheapBot Smart Proximity Detector

This proximity detector incorporates a PIXAXE-08M so that it takes care of detecting obstacles and leaves the driving to the robot controller.


The ?OLED-128

High-quality color graphics for your mechatronic creation are just a serial port away. Microchip’s new P32MX microcontrollers have six serial ports to choose from. This month we’ll use one of them to drive a 4D Labs ?OLED-128-G1 Display Module.


The NXT Big Thing #4

A feast for the sensors! This time, learn how to use two light sensors to accurately follow a line in any direction.


GPS Navigation — Part 2

Build a small robot to test and prove the theories discussed in Part 1.


Determining a Rechargeable Battery‘s mAh Capacity

Set up this test system to restore — rather than toss out — some of those “unuseable” batteries you may have lying around.


The NXT Big Thing #2

This time we get touchy-feely by first learning how the computer software included in the kit works. Then, we’ll use our first sensor to navigate our robot around a room.


Enhance Your Plain Vanilla Benchtop Power Supply With a PICAXE

A power supply is an essential tool for any roboticist’s workbench. This article presents a cost-effective upgrade to get the functionality and flexibility you’ll need.


See How Easy Coding a Rotary Optical Encoder Can Be

Fellow roboteers ... cast your fear aside and join me as I give you everything you need to add an optical encoder to the input end of your robotic projects.


HoverBot: Look Ma, No Wheels!

This month, you’ll “dress” HoverBot in a skirt and add its drive fans.


Digilent’s Robot Starter Kit

Once we sort through this new kit, we'll get a joystick, three momentary pushbuttons, and a pair of LEDs up and running.


HoverBot: You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Loose Wheel!

This time, we wrap up our HoverBot project with an explanation of the drive electronics.


The NXT Big Thing #5

Things get light-hearted as we learn about dynamic variables by making Eddie seek light.


The Cassette Bot

Remember VHS cassette tapes? Well, now you can turn them into robots!


Using a VEX Controller for Electronic Experiments

In this series of articles, you will perform simple experiments initially, then build to more elaborate VEX Projects.


Using a VEX Controller for Electronic Experiments

This next installment shows you how to develop a user interface for the VEX microcontroller using a DIY LCD display and a numeric keypad.


So, You Want to Build a ComBot - Part 2

This time, we'll put everything together to turn that bucket o' bolts into a working ComBot.


Building a Real-Time GPS Tracking System

Learn how to add a tracking system to your autonomous robot or vehicle using a GPRS/GPS module, a local web server, and a simple web interface with Google Maps API.


The Wasp Embedded Processor Takes the Sting Out of C

If you’re already a C expert, you’ll be interested in the hardware discussed here. If you’re a hardware guru and want to know more about how C and an AVR microcontroller can work together for your robotic projects, there’s something for you too.


Making Robots With the Arduino — Part 2

Now that you’ve been introduced to ArdBot and its central Arduino brain, it’s time to construct the base.


GPS Navigation - Part 1

Give your bot some good direction so it can travel great distances with very little extra hardware.


Go XBee - Pro With Your Robot Control

Learn how to monitor systems, display status via an LCD, activate relays, drive solid-state relays, and flash status LEDs, all via the top of a tiny wire antenna.


Simple Sensor Interface

See how to implement this new chip on the block into some extremely simple and low cost sensor applications.


VEX Stepper Motor Control Experiments

Part 2: Building the VEX Sunbot. Using simple VEX hardware with some PIC18 C firmware, precise and repeatable movements are possible for aiming a solar panel at the sun using stepper motors.


Base on a Budget

Get a useable robot platform up and running with only a minimal budget.


So, You Want to Build a ComBot — Part 1

This short series will cover the basics of designing a featherweight ComBot from the ground up using only tools you’d find in a home shop.


Using a VEX Controller for Electronic Experiments

Build a DIY numeric LED display that's bright and easy to read, while at the same time conserves battery power and precious I/O pins.


VEX Stepper Motor Control Experiments

Learn how to interface stepper motors to the VEX controller and adapt them to the VEX motion subsystem to use in your own stepper motor applications.



Columns

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tibits.

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits


by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits

Robytes
by Jeff Eckert
Robytes
Stimulating Robot Tidbits.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Artificial Intelligence Brings Humanoid Robots to Life (Part Deux)
It is not so much the practicality of humanoid robots that drives interest in their development as it is the familiarity, sources say. “People are interested in things that are anthropomorphic. This makes interaction with [humanoid] robots easier,” says James J. Kuffner, PhD, associate professor of the Robotics Institute at the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.

GeerHead
by David Geer
The Ultimate Buzz Lightyear Programmable Robot
With seven motors, a microprocessor, and multiple sensors, your favorite Space Ranger is no slouch among modern, commercially available robots.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Penbo for Girls, Prime-8 for Boys
Penbo is an intuitive emotive penguin robot — complete with baby — for girls. Prime-8 is a macho, aggressive gorilla robot for boys. Together, they represent hours of playtime for kids of all ages.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Hot Dog! Robot serves up wieners!
If you want people to pay attention to your technology, blend it with something that lots of people already love. In this case, that turned out to be the all-American hot dog!

GeerHead
by David Geer
Remote Presence Robots Put Physicians Within Reach
The Remote Presence (RP) robots from InTouch Health enable physicians to be literally anywhere — in the emergency room, the ICU, at home, the office, or even at the same or dif ferent hospital.


by David Geer
Aqua Robot
The Aqua Robot — a collaboration of participating universities including McGill University, York University, and Dalhousie University (all in Canada) — swims beneath the water and walks on land either autonomously or tethered to capture environmental images for preservation efforts.

GeerHead
by David Geer
National Instruments Robot Platforms
National Instruments LabVIEW graphical programming combined with powerful embedded hardware such as the NI Single-Board RIO enable engineers and scientists to develop sophisticated autonomous systems and is used extensively in robot creation for a variety of applications.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Baton-Wielding Bots Command and Control Orchestrated Wonders!
The College of New Jersey in Ewing received an award of $359,477 in March ‘09 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the Conducting Robots class for three years. The class brings together students from four disciplines — Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Interactive Multimedia, and Music — to design, build, and program robots capable of conducting orchestras.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
From Garco to the New Bots in Town
I still receive comments about many of the old robots that I wrote about years ago and I am always asked to write about some cool robot from the past that a reader has heard about. Garco, from 1953, has been one of the most requested robots people have wanted some information about, as well as the REEM series of robots that I briefly mentioned in the May ‘10 issue of SERVO.

GeerHead
by David Geer
University of Akron Competition Robot Roundup
Events such as RoboGames attract bright minds and hungry competitors from across the country.The University of Akron’s student roboticists were well prepared with well-designed, efficient, and intelligent mobile robots.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Robots Clean Oil Spills, Climb and Crawl Anywhere
Seaswarm robots and snake robots have been created to service many types of terrains and environments. Between them, they greatly improve the quality of work that robots can perform, cleaning and maintaining a variety of environments.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Titan, Baddest Guitar Hero Playing Humanoid on the Planet
A high school robotics team is tasked to solve complex programming and design problems in robotics to achieve a worthwhile goal for their age group in popular culture. Their resolution: a humanoid robot that effectively competes in a significantly high percentile in the Guitar Hero video game, defeating most opponents.

GeerHead
by David Geer
Artificial Intelligence Brings Humanoid Robots to Life
Researchers have a variety of goals for artificial intelligence. Some scientists are examining human biology together with artificial intelligence in an effort to create robots that are as humanlike as possible. Still others examine AI from an engineering perspective, begging the question, what can robots be enabled to do?

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your problems solved here

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here


by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here.

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Ask Mr. Roboto
Your Problems Solved Here

The Combat Zone
by Kevin Berry
MANUFACTURING: Tentacle Calculator Rehosted by Killerbotics
The combat robotics community was deeply saddened by the passing of Steve Judd last year. Steve was an icon in the sport, and left behind a lasting legacy in many areas.

An Introduction to Robotics
by Brennon Williams
An Introduction to Robotics
This new series of articles is aimed at the beginner — especially the teenager crowd — to help them better understand the fundamentals of robotics and engineering. This month, a few microcontrollers good for robotics are discussed.

SERVO TankBot
by Calvin Turzillo
TankBOT: Basic Robotics 101
A Beginner’s Guide to Building Your Future Robot Overlord

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
13 Years Under the Sea
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).

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
So You Think You Can Dance?
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.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Pavlov’s Bots
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.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
I Am Encoding
This month, we have the pleasure of presenting the Position Controller Kit from Parallax.

Twin Tweaks
by Bryce Woolley, Evan Woolley
Robonova – Come Here – I Want to See You
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).

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robot Cars
The idea of robot cars has been around for many decades and, in fact, “automatic mobility” vehicles were envisioned from the very first automobile, though total autonomy as we know it today was not possible at the time. There have been many unique robotic developments that have been employed in various personal transportation devices. Science fiction movies and TV productions have long used robot cars in their sets, and most depictions are a bit off in their technology.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
A Closer Look at Personal Service Robots
This recession has hit all industries very hard and the robotics industry as a whole has felt the brunt of it, especially the service robot segment.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robot Mobility
The single feature that distinguishes a robot from a computer or any other sort of electro-mechanical device is its ability to move — whether the movement is an appendage or a movable base. Most of us want our creations to move about our house, yard or in some location. To accomplish this, we have to select and build a method of mobility. For now, and I’ll concentrate on land vehicles only.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
The Future of Robotics Competitions
There have been interesting threads on the Seattle Robotics Society’s (SRS), the Portland Area Robotics Society’s (PARTS), and the Dallas Personal Robotics Group’s (DPRG) websites lately concerning the state of experimental and home-brew robotics, and the many types of competitions available to amateur robot builders.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
The Age of Robotics
A lot of people speak of the age of robotics. They’ve been doing that for decades. Sometimes these words are just hype by a book publisher to promote a book, whereas others are truly convinced that the period in which they live is the beginning of the age of robotics. They see robots everywhere in their lives — on TV, in the movies, cleaning their carpets, exploring space, and building cars world-wide.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
What is a Robot?
Today’s new influx of personal and service robots are not being developed because they are ‘cool’ but because people have really come to rely on them for daily tasks.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robot Applications
Robots have come a long way since the first industrial robots of the early ’60s.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Robot Manipulators
One of the most famous robot manipulators in use today is the RMS or Remote Manipulator System used on the Space Shuttle.

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
What Does A Robot Look Like?
What does a robot look like? What should a robot look like? Does a robot have to look a particular way to be considered a robot?

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
A Brief Look at Service Robots
Let’s look at the service category, which can include sub-categories of personal and consumer robots (toys, vacuum cleaner robots, etc.), military and defense robots, security robots, academic and research robots, healthcare and hospital robots, and a vast array of remotely-operated vehicles.




Combat Zone

Hobby Guide to Metal Lathe Work: Part 1

in The Combat Zone

First and foremost is lathe safety. You are working around very fast rotational parts with high torque. Please be aware of your surroundings, and remove all jewelry, long sleeves, and anything hanging that could stand a chance to get caught up in rotational parts.


Hot Stuff Heats Up ComBots Cup!

by J Miles
in The Combat Zone

In my opinion, the only thing more fun to watch than two robots fighting it out in a bulletproof arena is watching two robots with a lot of animation battle it out.


BUILD REPORT: Reversing the Trend

I recently completed our first drum bot — Weta, God of Ugly Things. And while it is a pretty conventional design, it does have one feature rarely seen in bots of this type: The drum is reversible, so it can spin in either direction.


RioBotz ComBot Tutorial Summarized: HammerBots

in The Combat Zone

Professor Marco Antonio Meggiolaro, of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has translated his popular book — the RioBotz Combot Tutorial — into English.


BUILD REPORT: Zergling

in The Combat Zone

Back in February, I decided that I was going to build drums for the PA Bot Blast, Horizontals for Franklin, and VDs for Moto.


Hole Drilling Redux

in The Combat Zone

Back in the November ‘09 issue, I ended the Hole Drilling story with a reference to sharpening drills. I have now purchased a Drill Doctor 750 sharpener and the results are surprising and worth sharing.


MANUFACTURING: DIY CNC for CAD/CAM

by J Miles
in The Combat Zone

For those unfamiliar with CNC routers, I am building a three axis machine, meaning it can move in three different directions: backwards and forwards (the Y axis); side to side (the X axis); and up and down (the Z axis).


My First Welder (or not?)

Most bot builders, at some time, think about buying a welding system. There are dozens of choices out there, each with their own jargon, culture, and opinions (think Ford vs. Chevy!).


Mayhem in Miami

in The Combat Zone

At Mayhem in Miami, it wasn’t without a bang that Fluffy earned the name Flamin’ Fluffy, and made the South Florida robotics event be true to its name.


Crossfire — From Broken Robot to Breaking Robots

in The Combat Zone

A veteran of televised robotic combat, the heavyweight robot “Edgehog” was still on frontline service when it entered the 2008 UK live event season.


PARTS IS PARTS: Data Points: Fine-Tune Your Bot’s Performance

in The Combat Zone

Knowing exactly how well your bot performs in a particular configuration would be very useful ... like, exactly how fast is the blade turning? What current is the weapon motor drawing at start-up and at cruise? How much does the battery voltage sag at full power?


BUILD REPORT: A Reintroduction to Wedges

in The Combat Zone

In mid 2007, I began the construction of Gilbert — MH Robotics’ first antweight.


BUILD REPORT: Bigger Better Beetle Blade

in The Combat Zone

The first blade I had created for our 3 lb beetleweight, Pure Dead Brilliant, had been done in a big hurry to meet weight for its first competition.


PARTS IS PARTS: TAIG Tools Desktop CNC Mills

in The Combat Zone

On the ever interesting Robot Fighting League forum, I ran across this spontaneous product review. It meets my criteria for this column, which is “builder tested.” I am a firm believer that all product reviews should be after they’ve been “in the box."


PARTS IS PARTS: Fingertech Tiny ESC v2 Review

in The Combat Zone

Just a few weeks back, Fingertech Robotics released the upgraded version of their popular TinyESC single channel speed controller. I was one of the first to have a chance to try out this new piece of hardware in the arena, and my experience so far has been nothing but positive.


Debugging Welding Problems

The poster has some very old welding experience, from 15 years ago. He just bought a battered old arc welder, 220V AC, with no DC conversion unit.


Pattern Routing of Plastic Parts

in The Combat Zone

The easy way to do these parts is to have them watercut by a company like Team Whyachi ([url=http://www.teamwhyachi.com]http://www.teamwhyachi.com[/url]), but if you need parts quickly and your time is cheap, then with a little careful design you can route the same parts using just a router and a pattern.


Pattern Routing of Plastic Parts

in The Combat Zone

The easy way to do these parts is to have them watercut by a company like Team Whyachi ([url=http://www.teamwhyachi.com]http://www.teamwhyachi.com[/url]), but if you need parts quickly and your time is cheap, then with a little careful design you can route the same parts using just a router and a pattern.


MANUFACTURING: Composites – Part 2

in The Combat Zone

In this month’s article, I will cover a very basic lay-up process, the tools you need, and the safety precautions to take.


MANUFACTURING: RioBotz Combot Tutorial Summarized – Tooth Design

in The Combat Zone

Original Text by Professor Marco Antonio Meggiolaro; Summarized by Kevin M. Berry


MANUFACTURING: Calculating Bolt Torques

in The Combat Zone

Sparks fly as the two robots smash into each other again. Sweat drips down your forehead as you prepare for another charge across the arena.


3pd

in The Combat Zone

3pd has competed in: Robot Club & Grill (RCG)-301; Motorama 2003; RCG-303; RCG-304; RCG-305; 12 Lbs of Pain; Robot Assault 2003; House of NERC 2003; Motorama 2004; Pound of Pain 7; Robot Assault 2004; House of NERC 04; Motorama 2005; Robotic Revolution — New Orleans; House of NERC 05; 2005 RFL Nationals; and Motorama 2006.


Keeping Your Stuff Together

in The Combat Zone

Since screws were invented over 2,000 years ago, mankind has struggled to keep them from coming undone. In the past 100 years, many advances have been made, yet screws still loosen and no single solution works universally.


PARTS IS PARTS: Kitbots Rolls Out B-16 Gearmotor Mounts

in The Combat Zone

Ihave a pretty solid policy that this column only promotes parts that are thoroughly “combat tested” by the fighting community. This month, I’m bending that policy.


MANUFACTURING: Tentacle Calculator Rehosted by Killerbotics

in The Combat Zone

The combat robotics community was deeply saddened by the passing of Steve Judd last year. Steve was an icon in the sport, and left behind a lasting legacy in many areas.


Open Melt — Generous Sharing or a Threat to Society as We Know it?

in The Combat Zone

The author — in a blatant attempt to up his word count and thus his income — summarizes material he’s already sold to SERVO once ...


COMBAT ZONE’s Greatest Hits

in The Combat Zone

This month, once again, only one builder submitted to Greatest Hits. Come on, bot fighters! There are tons of events going on, and gourmet damage abounds!


No Gain Without Pain - Franklin Institute 2009

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA (www2.fi.edu) holds their “World Space Week” each autumn and hosted the Northeast Robotics Club’s (www .nerc.us) big autumn competition on Saturday, October 3rd.


Lipo Puffometer

in The Combat Zone

Lithium polymer batteries are increasingly popular in robots. In combat bots, they are often abused to the point of failure with expensive and dangerous results.


RioBotz Combot Tutorial: LaunchBots

in The Combat Zone

Original Text by Professor Marco Antonio Meggiolaro, Summarized by Kevin Berry


EVENT REPORT: Power Play! Robot Rumble 2010

in The Combat Zone

The Museum of Life and Science, in Durham, NC, hosts this one day event each spring. Last year, three local teams got together to put on a “show and tell” about combat robotics as part of the museum’s much bigger robotthemed event.


The ComBots Cup 2009

in The Combat Zone

Over the weekend of December 19-20, 2009, the ComBots Cup event was held in San Mateo, CA where combat robots ranging from one pound up to 220 pounds competed for honor and glory.


MANUFACTURING: Modifying NPC Drive Motors for Combat

in The Combat Zone

National Power Chair (or NPC) has been in business for many years, rebuilding and selling electric wheelchair motors and parts to individuals and wheelchair repair facilities throughout the country.


PARTS IS PARTS: Let’s Roll — Wheels for Combat Robots

in The Combat Zone

It does not matter how powerful your robot is, if you cannot transfer that power to the floor. Wheels are the single most important part of your robot because without them doing their job properly, the effectiveness of every other capability is reduced.


COMBAT ZONE’S GREATEST HITS

in The Combat Zone

Pete Smith, of KitBots fame, sent in this one from the recent “Clash of the Bots” event. Pure Dead Brilliant, whose blade was featured in the August ‘10 edition of Combat Zone, took a bit of a beating at the “hands” of MH2.


Potpourri

in The Combat Zone

That’s right, botheads, I used the word “potpourri” in an article title! Just like a fighting machine, I have a soft vulnerable inside also. Get over it, okay?


FingerTech Robotics’ Spark Motor Series

in The Combat Zone

FingerTech Robotics ([url=http://www.fingertechrobotics.com]http://www.fingertechrobotics.com[/url]) has a new line of motors.


How Not to Die. I Mean, Build a Test Box

in The Combat Zone

You’ve just finished putting the finishing touches on your new insect class combat robot. You’ve spent the last three hours tirelessly wiring, soldering, grinding, tapping, cutting, and wrenching on your bot.


PARTS IS PARTS: O-Ring Wheels for Ants

in The Combat Zone

Antweight (<1lb) combat robots use a variety of different drive motors and finding small, light, and robust wheels for them can be a problem.


EVENT REPORT: Clash of the Bots — Schiele Museum 2010

in The Combat Zone

Walk in the front door of the Schiele Museum ([url=http://www.schielemuseum.org]http://www.schielemuseum.org[/url]) in Gastonia, NC and the first thing you see is a full size replica of the skeleton of a T-Rex!


Outside the Box

in The Combat Zone

Project Zoidberg was conceived when a motor delivery for one of our other robots arrived at my teammate’s house, containing a surprising ‘extra’ component. The sender had accidentally packed a pair of Team Delta18V Dewalt ‘power drive’ gear motors. These powerful, drill-based units looked too nice to send back, so a deal was arranged.


Combat Zone’s Greatest Hits

in The Combat Zone

Last month’s debut of this new feature generated a lot of buzz — or should we say crash!


Combat Zone’s Greatest Hits

in The Combat Zone

This month, only one builder submitted to Greatest Hits. Going by the mystery handle “kkeerroo,” this Australian fighter highlights his bot — “Vendetta” — competing at RoboWars 7 in a semi-final fight against a spinner call Bender.


EVENT REPORT: Franklin Institute 2010 – Rise of the Melty Brains!

in The Combat Zone

The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia and NERC ([url=http://www.nerc.us]http://www.nerc.us[/url]) presented their fourth annual robot event on Saturday, October 9, ‘10.


Combat Zone’s Greatest Hits

in The Combat Zone

This month, CZ is experimenting with a new feature. We all know that creating bots is a fulfilling mental exercise, building them is satisfying craftsmanship, and going to events is great for bonding with your buds. But let’s face it — it’s about the destruction!


Motorama 2010

in The Combat Zone

February 19-21, 84 killer robots gathered in Harrisburg, PA to delight hundreds of motor sports fans with their metal crushing mayhem in the North East Robotic Club’s (NERC) Robot Conflict 2010.


EVENT REPORT: 2010 Central Illinois Bot Brawl

in The Combat Zone

On March 6, 2010 robots invaded Peoria, IL as the Central Illinois Robotics Club (CIRC) hosted their annual Bot Brawl event. This year’s event was the club’s largest yet with eight separate competitions, as well as Mech Warfare demonstrations.


MANUFACTURING: Creating Composite Combat Bots

in The Combat Zone

The world of plastics and composites is considered a space age science, yet the industry started in the 1930s. Over the years, the composite industry has evolved and so has the amount of information.


Life Cycle of a Fighting Robot

in The Combat Zone

Apollyon started as a concept for a simple but somewhat unique 12 lb wedge bot. The original design started as a sketch in a notebook during class. Later, it moved into 3D in the CAD program Rhinoceros.


PARTS IS PARTS: Bantam E-Station BC8HP Charger Review

in The Combat Zone

The BC8HP charger is an update to Bantam’s already popular BC8 model. In short, Bantam has kept all the good features, increased the power rating, and improved the ergonomics.


Combat Zone’s Greatest Hits

in The Combat Zone

Ray Billings sent in this great selection of damage shots. All of these are results of fights against his HW Last Rites.


Combat Zone’s Greatest Hits

in The Combat Zone

Dalton O’Conner of Team Massacre Robotics sent in this one. The bot is Sonic the Hedgehog from the 12 lb class.


EVENT REPORT: Robotic HORD Returns to Cuyahoga Valley Career Center

in The Combat Zone

The Ohio Robotics Club (ORC) — a member of the Robot Fighting League (RFL) hosted the House of Robotic Destruction (HORD) Spring 2010 at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (CVCC) back in May of this year.


EVENT REPORT: PA Bot Blast 2010

in The Combat Zone

July 17, 2010 fighting robots in four weight classes invaded the Columbia Mall in Bloomsburg, PA for the third annual PA Bot Blast.


Departments

Robotics Horizon
in Mind / Iron
Please visit our Mind / Iron Blog to read the full article and comment.

Robots: From Industrial to Some Amazing Capabilities
by Tom Carroll in Then and Now
Besides some independently-built creative robots in university labs that exhibited ‘animalistic’ properties, most early robot products were of the industrial variety.