Tag Archives: robot

Color-changing pneumatic moving silicon-based robot creature

This color changing and amorphic creature was invented by DARPA researchers with the goal to create a low-cost silicon based moving bot. The creature uses air and fluid to control its movement and color changes. By using different fluid colors this bot is able to change its color depending on the underlying surrounding. The researches say that this silicon based robot is able to move around 40 meters per hour, or up to 67 meters without the fluids.

One of the actual challenges of this development is to also integrate the power source as well as all mechanisms for producing air and liquid pressure. At this stage of development these parts are controlled from external.

Magnetic Lego whiteboard eraser robot

 Despite the fact that it is a really simple and cheap design, i really love this creation of a magnetic whiteboard eraser bot that’s built with Lego parts and a simple Atmel microcontroller, which acts as brain controller. Le Zhang and Michael Lathrop, both senior students at Cornell had this nice idea how to efficiently clean your professors whiteboard 🙂 The entire robot consits of a magnet that holds the robot ontop of the whiteboard, an accelerometer sensor for controlling the direction of movement and some microswitches to sense the edge of the board.
I wish i had such a robot for cleaning the windows for my house or for removing the dust of solar panels to get more energy out of them. If you know such robots please comment below this post and give us your information!

MIT develops a cheap and highly agile autonomous plane for indoor navigation

MIT researchers recently published a video of their highly agile autonomous plane drone that is able to navigate through indoor locations. Their video shows a good overview how the autonomous plane is able to automatically build a navigation map out of a laser range finder scanner and to find its way through indoor locations.

Traditionally, these environments have been dominated by quadcopters or similar air drones. The minimalistic design of this plane allows low cost survaillance tasks within indoor locations, such as parking garages, as it is shown within the video below.

Segway Unicycle Lego Bot

image source: robotsquare.com

Laurens Valk, the author of several Lego Mindstorm Engineering books (The Unofficial Lego Mindstorm NXT 2.0 Inventor’s Guide and The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book), recently published an update for his Segway Lego Mindstorm bot. The new design is running with one wheel only: an Unicycle. It uses the standard drivers from his previous design with some minor modifications. Beside his Mechanical Engineering studies, Laurens published a number of robotic books as well as some really amazing Lego designs.

Arduino Controlled Drawbot


image source: www.marginallyclever.com/

One of the highlights of the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire was Dan Royer’s drawbot kit in action. Dan sells his Drawbot kits online. The kit includes a 3D printed pen holder, 2 stepper motors, a 12V 2A power supply, 2x 3D printed bobbins, an Adafruit Stepper shield. The whole drawing bot is based on an Arduino UNO. The kit requires no soldering or wire cutting, and is perfect for use in a classroom.

Drawbot is even easier to use than any other machine of it’s kind. Choose a picture from your computer and the Java program will prepare it for you in 10 minutes or less. It also understands GCODE, the language used by 3D printers and industrial fabrication machines. You can even take the GCODE and send it to your RepRap or Makerbot.

My HTML5 Android Camera App: HTML5Cam

I just released a tiny and quite useful Android app that is able to open a HTTP server socket on your Android device, in order to serve you a simple HTML5 page that shows the actual smartphone camera output. This is a really simple possibility to get the camera output of your smartphone where ever you can open a browser. If you register a dyn dns name for your smartphones IP you can even refer to your smartphones camera worldwide. I wrote this tiny app in order to get the camera image of an old Android device that is sitting on top of my NXT Lego Mindstorms mobile robot! The HTML5Cam Android app is completely free, so try it for yourself from here.

Skippy: Remotely skip stones in Sun Valley, Idaho

Skippy, the stone skipping robot from Sun Valley, Idaho allows stressed people from the city to skip stones on an idyllic lakeside. But wait until daylight because Skippy is afraid of the dark and does not operate in the night 🙂
A really cute idea, professionally implemented with a lot of sponsors out of Sun Valley tourism domain but definitely worth a try!

Mahoro Lab automation Robot

Mahoro a general purpose robot for automating lab work was co-developed by AIST and Yaskawa. It automates all sorts of lab work that previously had to be done manually, such as dispensing and culturing, faster and more precisely than people. So, it can do clinical tests and work with biohazards efficiently.

For example, to develop influenza drugs, we do infection trials every day, using virulent strains of influenza. This work is very hazardous, so it should be done by robots. We also have to do lots of tests with radioactive materials. Those should also be done by robots. We’ve tried various robot systems. But if we build special-purpose robots, when we modify trial procedures or switch to different projects, those robots become useless. Also, developing robots is very time-consuming. So, we wanted to develop a robot that can do what people do, using the same tools people use. That’s why we’ve developed Mahoro.

New in the Maker Shed: Arduino Robot Shield Kit

Parallax just released the Robotics Shield Kit for Arduino which is now available in the Maker Shed. This excellent Board of Education was transformed into a shield that’s compatible with your Arduino. The rest of the kit remains largely unchanged from the original Boe-Bot kit.  Full documentation with over 40 activities is available online so you’ll be learning in no time. Simply add your own Arduino and a USB cable and enter into the fascinating world of robotics and Arduino!


  • Board of Education Shield PCB
  • High-quality aluminum robot chassis, continuous rotation servos, and wheels
  • Boe-Boost Module
  • All the assembly hardware needed (nuts, screws standoffs)
  • Parallax screwdriver
  • Detailed online documentation and tutorials
  • All the electronic components and sensors needed for the tutorials
  • Note: Requires Arduino and USB cable

Burrito-Building Robot

 Marko Manriquez has built this amazing Burrito building robot (BurritoB0t). The bot was his thesis project at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Burritob0t is a platform for rapid prototyping and tracing the source of food in our lives to reveal hidden issues revolving around fast food: labor practices; environmental consequences; nutritional values. Mexican fast food is emblematic of the assembly line, mass produced era of modern consumables – appropriating the authenticity of the ethnic food sensibility it purports to embody while masquerading as an edible like substance. Because the burrito is a mass market consumable, it lends easily as a way for examining and stimulating discussion on various aspects of the food industry including: how and where our food is grown, methods of production, environmental impact, cultural appropriation and perhaps most importantly – what our food means to us. By parodying the humble burrito’s ingredients and methods of production we can shed light on these exogenous factors and interconnected systems surrounding the simple burrito.

[via TechCrunch]