Trossen Robotics Releases PhantomX Hexapod Robot Line

They may be a bit pricey, but the new PhantomX Hexapod robot lineup from Trossen Robotics features incredible price performance for dedicated robot fans, research labs, and educational institutions:

Check out the Specs-
Speed (AX-12+): 1.44 fps / 0.44 mps
Speed (AX-18F): 2.82 fps / 0.86 mps
Weight: 4.6 lbs / 2.1 kg 
Dimensions: L 19, W 20, H 7.5-9 
Payload: 4 lbs / 2 kg

Feature List:
3 Degree-Of-Freedom Legs
Arduino-Compatible ArbotiX Robo controller
Open Source Software
Advanced Inverse Kinematics Driven Gait Engine
6 Different Walking Gaits Available
High Quality LiPo Battery
Rugged ABS Construction
Totally Hackable!
Add Arms, Grippers, Cameras, Pan/Tilts, even Computers!
Wireless Xbee Control via PC or Handheld
Tons of I/O available and fully programmable for autonomy
Control Wirelessly from RC or PC
Extra nuts and bolts provided for repair
High payload means you can load up add ons
Great platform for hobby, education, research, and Mech Warfare.

PhantomX Hexapods Have Arrived

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Onimaru-5 in training for ROBO-ONE 19 (Video)

The Spring ROBO-ONE competition will be here before you know it. It's hard to believe that the upcoming event will be the 19th ROBO-ONE. It's scheduled for March 19th  and 20th, in Kawasaki, and this time the format has changed slightly.

On the first day, in lieu of the more traditional, and time consuming, 2 minute autonomous demonstrations, the organizers have decided to substitute a simple 9 meter foot race. Robots that veer off course, or take longer than 1 minute to finish, will be automatically disqualified. The fastest 32 robots, including the winners in today's Lightweight Division footrace, will come back on the second day of the competition to battle in the ring.

One robot that we think stands an outstanding chance of qualifiing is Onimaru-5. Onimaru, developed by Yamaguchi-san in Kochi features champion class performance, though he has experienced some bad luck during qualifying rounds for the past few ROBO-ONE competitions. This time around, since the qualification is based purely on running ability and speed, he has a much better shot at making it into the top 32 robots. Here's a look at his most recent performance:

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ROBO-ONE Lightweight Division Final: Hammerhead vs. Lucanus

In conjunction with the ROBO-ONE Humanoid Helper Project (more on that later) held this weekend, the organizers staged a Lightweight Division humanoid robot battle competition. The intent was to show of a different aspect of robot design, especially the speed, power, and pure fun generated by involvement with robotics. And, since the event took place at a major new home promotion center in Yokohama, they wanted to expose a wider group of potential players, especially young families, their parents, and children.

The robot battles were definitely first-class, among the best fights that we've seen in the Lightweight Division. Here's the final match between Hammerhead and Lucanus:

Hammerhead seems perfectly designed for battle in the ring. The center of gravity has been deliberately kept low; the stance is wide with extremely strong and stable legs; the robot has a long reach and is equipped with grippers to grab and topple its opponents; and every unnecessary component, including the traditional useless in battle servo head, has been completely eliminated. It's really a sweet design.

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2010 Robot Sumo Finals (Video)

Robot Sumo, the way it's played in most countries, tends to be rather slow and can even be a bit boring. But here in the land of it's origin the sport is lightening fast, powerful, and is anything but boring. This past Sunday the All Japan Robot Sumo finals were held at Ryogoku, the home of human sumo competitions. Here are a couple of the competitions.

Autonomous operation:

Radio Control:

The competition entries are usually split about 50/50 between autonomous operation and radio controlled robots. And, it's a little misleading to think of the R/C robots in the same way you would think of an R/C car or plane. These robots move so fast and pack so much punch that the human operator's responses would never be able to keep up.

The secret is that they build a lot of autonomous functionality into the R/C robots as well. The operator can give the command to attack, but the actual engagement and high speed opponent tracking, is built into the robots.

Via robonable

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Two more reasons to be at Dekinnoka 7! robot Pro wrestling (Video)

Robot Pro wrestling excitement is building

If we didn't already have enough reasons to make sure that we're excited about next Wednesday's Dekinnoka! 7 Robot Pro -- Wrestling competition, this morning's e-mail delivered two more.

First, the Roboenta “Robot Entertainment” YouTube channel posted a entertaining, and funny, promotional video for the event:

Then, our friends over at imaterialise also posted a video, apparently taken during yesterday's practice session, that gives a brief glimpse of one of the humanoid robot wrestlers decked out with custom-designed 3-D printed body parts:

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