Using 3D Printing for Practical Designs

IPhone Lens 3D printing

Design World has an online webinar scheduled for next Tuesday, December 4th, featuring Chong Pak of Olloclip explaining how they used 3D printing technology to design and manufacture their 3-in-one lens system for the iPhone camera. According to the webinar registration webpage:

"Olloclip has created the ultimate 3-in-one lens system for your iPhone that fits in your pocket and takes your picture taking ability to the next level. Product design in the most recent years has been impacted tremendously by 3D printing and Olloclip’s camera lenses are no different. Whether it’s wide angle, fish eye or a macro picture view, this development in camera phone technology has been made possible by Objet 3D Printing. Please join Chong Pak of Olloclip and Objet Geometries as they discuss product design within the iPhone era and how 3D printing can help engineers design, create and ultimately bring products to life faster.

Attend this webinar to learn about:
-Olloclip and their fast hitting iPhone accessory
-3D printing and the design process
-Objet’s multi-platform capabilities"

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Turtlebot 2 Roams the Streets of Nagoya (Video)

Turtlebot 2 robot

This is Japan, so you would think the people wouldn't be surprised to see a robot rolling around in the streets. But, somehow,  the TurtleBot-2 managed to surprise and delight quite a few customers and bystanders in the streets of Nagoya this weekend.

William Morris, the founder of Iheartengineering – a great resource for specialty tools, kits, ideas, and even custom parts – dropped in on us last week during his business trip to Korea. William was kind enough to bring along the latest turtle bot configuration and show it off.

 I'll be posting more about the turtle bot in the next day or so, including more video, some detailed photos, and a summary of Williams presentation at the Tokyo HackerSpace.

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NAO Humanoid Robot Movement Detection (Video)

NAO Robot Motion Detection

Aldebaran Robotics released a new video for the NAO humanoid robot. Of course, you would expect that a robot this expensive would be able to identify movement around it. So, of the video is in anything spectacular. It's just a simple tutorial.

But, what I found interesting was the copy of robot magazine laying on the desk in the video. It's a little bit hard to tell from the angle, but it appears to be the recent issue featuring  the NAO Developer Days event held in Paris earlier this year. Of course, I have a personal attachment to that particular issue.... :)

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I Heart Engineering Website Renewal

i heart engineering robots

Our favorite online site for high quality and hard to find tools, I Heart Engineering, just completed a major makeover. The website has always been easy to use and a great source for robot and engineering parts, accessories, hand tools, and information. But its latest evolution makes it even easier to use, research, and order.

At the same time, I Heart Engineering announced availability of the new TurtleBot 2 complete Open Source robot development kit - perfect for colleges, universities, research organisations, and independent developers.

One thing that I really appreciate about I Heart Engineering is that the management comes from the robot research and development community, so they understand the challenges faced by their customers and are positioned to respond quickly and accurately. In fact, several of their accessory products were custom designed and manufactured specifically for customers based on their experience and know-how.

And, to make things even sweeter, they regularly share the background behind their product development including the reasoning behind a lot of the design decisions on the I Heart Robotics blog.

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Dr. Guero’s Amazing Tightrope Walking Robot (Video)

Tightrope Walking Robot

Remember Dr. Guero, the robot builder that stunned everyone last year with his bicycle riding Primer-V2 humanoid robot? He's back with another astonishing robot feat. This time his Primer-V4 robot is a full fledged tightrope walker!

Pretty darn amazing, especially considering that just a few short years ago many of the hobby level humanoid robot builders were lucky to keep their robots balanced and upright while walking for an extended period or boxing in the ROBO-ONE ring.

The tightrope used for this feat was a 4mm diameter cable suspended 1 meter above the floor. The technical challenges were significant and considerably different from normal humanoid robot walking. When a bipedal robot walks on the ground the standard approach is to apply gyro sensor feedback corrections primarily to the leg servos to shift the center of gravity. The arms don't play a significant role.

With tightrope walking the arms and upper body play a much more critical role in shifting the robots center of gravity to keep it balanced and avoid crashing to the floor. Dr. Guero's blog doesn't mention the use of any safety net, but I'm sure he had to catch the robot quite a few times before he got it working perfectly.

The robot's feet have a small slot for the tightrope, which is fair enough.  A human tightrope walker in the circus would cup their feet and use their toes in the same fashion.

tightrope robot

Here's Dr. Guero's bicycling robot, for those that haven't already enjoyed it:

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Lady Ada Skins Furby Alive! (Video)

furby skinned

Lady Ada is up to it again! This time she's skinned Furby alive!

I'm not surprised that she's prepped Furby for hacking - that's parr for the course with our favorite creative hacking guru. But, she's done it with the brand new Furby that is just hitting the market, and she did the whole skinning process with Furby fired up and working the whole time.

Wait until PETA gets word of this. Or, more likely, PETR (People for the Ethical Treatment of Robots). :)

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