Oct 242014
OWI Solar Wheel-bot - front view

OWI Solar Wheel-bot

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally built a robot using the 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit by OWI. I’m not sure I will make my way through all 14, but I decided to start with what looked to be the simplest one first: the Wheel-bot. (Note: I now also realize that I could have been subconsciously swayed by the fact that the Wheel-bot is also the one on the cover of the kit’s box. I didn’t realize that until now.)

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Oct 082014
OWI Solar Robot Kit Gearbox Transmission Pieces

Gearbox Transmission Pieces

So I am going it alone again today. School has been back in session for several weeks now. With evenings and weekends consumed with homework, friends, karate, and Minecraft, I am lucky to even get my daughter’s attention let alone hold it for any appreciable length of time. Her life is full of friendship, creativity, and exercise so I find it difficult to complain though.

I, however, am tired not moving ahead with this kit. Before I can start assembling any robots there was one final “permanent” module that I had to assemble – the body.

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Mar 142006

Robot Koi
Today is shaping up to be aquatic robot day, so it’s fitting that Pink Tentacle brings us an article about a robot built by Ryomei Engineering that is modeled after a koi carp. At 31 inches long and 26 pounds, the robotic koi can swim like the real thing plus do some things its inspiration can’t, like swimming backwards and rotating in place. It is controlled by wireless remote, has a camera in its head and built-in sensors for testing water quality. The koi is not the first aquatic robot Ryomei Engineering has produced. Other iterations include a sea bream and prehistoric coelacanth.

Read about the robotic koi at PinkTentacle.com: “Hiroshima engineers develop robotic carp

Mar 132006

ACM-R5 Snake RobotRobot snakes are nothing new, and although there are quite a few impressive models out there already, Engadget.com reported yesterday on the ACM-R5, an amphibious robosnake that out-snakes the rest of them. At a little over 6 feet long and weighing roughly 18 pounds, the ACM-R5 expertly mimics the movement of its biological counterpart both on land and in water. TechEBlog.com has an excellent video showing the ACM-R5 swimming and crawling, as well some pretty detailed shots illustrating its inner workings. The narration is in Japanese, but the footage is compelling regardless.

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Feb 102006

Robotis RX

The Korea Times is reporting that on Thursday South Korean robot manufacturer Robotis unveiled the RX, a robot capable of running at almost 0.5 mph. Developed in conjunction with Samsung Electronics and Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication, the RX stands 2 feet tall. Like the Robotis’s Bioloid kit, the RX is made up of modular components that can be rearranged easily into other forms according to Kim Byoung-soo, Robotis chief executive.

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Dec 142005
MIT's Snail Robot

source: AIP/MIT/Chan, B. et al

Nature.com is reporting today that researchers from MIT have created a robotic snail capable of climbing vertical walls and traveling upside down across ceilings. The team, led by Anette Hosoi, developed the mechanical slug primarily to study the locomotive mechanisms of biological snails, although they believe the results of their research will eventually end up in practical robot applications.

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Dec 072005

e-nuvo educational robotEngadget is reporting that Japanese robot manufacturer ZMP is offering a stripped down version of their popular nuvo humanoid robot. Offered with education in mind, the e-nuvo consists of the legs from a nuvo and comes bundled with instructional material for a 12-week robotics course covering coordinate systems of link structure, motor driver circuits, processors & sensors, serial communications, and feedback control. The e-nuvo has 12 joints that are driven by the ZMP original Motor Driver Modules. It stands 30 cm tall and weighs 1.2 kg.

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Nov 092005
Amoeba-like robot

source: Hong/Ingram

Discovery.com is reporting today that researchers from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have developed a robot that does not use wheels or legs to move, but rather uses its skin as its means of propulsion in much the same way that amoeba do. While this method of locomotion will not be practical in most applications it does give the robot the unique ability of squeezing through spaces that are much smaller than its own diameter – a feat not easily accomplished by robots employing traditional propulsion systems.

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Nov 022005

Engadget is reporting today on an article at Discovery.com about a new concept robot that will use an innovative means of locomotion: rimless wheels instead of traditional wheels or legs. The robot, dubbed IMPASS (Intelligent Mobility Platform with Active Spoke System), will have four rimless wheels. Three spokes that pass through each axle will lengthen or shorten independently during movement based on the type of ground the robot covering. This combination of wheel and leg is being called a “wheg” and could revolutionize the way robots are able to adapt to and traverse different types of terrain.

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