Google Sketchup Used for Robot Design

google sketchup robot design

I've used Google Sketchup in the past to design robot parts and sometimes to create 3D graphics to illustrate articles and manuals. It's extremly handy, easy to use, and the price is right. From time to time I run across other robot builders using it, but I'm not aware of any forum, blog, or website specifically devoted to robot design using Sketchup.

A good example would be the 'Design. Click. Build' Blog that features all types of tips, tricks, and techniques for applying Sketchup for woodworking. If anyone knows, or publishes, a similar website for robotics, please let me know.

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Using the Kinect with Willow Garage ROS as a Master/Slave Robot Control (Video)

Taylor Veltrop explains and demonstrates his Master/Slave implementation of the Kinect with the Willow Garage ROS system to control a Kondo KHR-1HV humanoid robot, including a few surprises.

The contest description says:

“We invite you to combine an RGB-D sensor (e.g. Kinect, PSDK5.0) with ROS to produce something new, interesting, and fun. It could be anything, from a novel robot control interface to a data-driven art project to pure computer vision. Bonus points if it's also useful (see below). We're offering $8K in prizes. We encourage participants to share, and our rules and judging will reward participants who act in the spirit of collaboration.”

Pretty sweet with $8K in prizes.

Related links:

Official Taylor Veltrop website

ROS 3D Contest Wiki

Taylor's Contest Entry

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UncleBot’s Humanoid Robot Walking Tutorial (Video)

To say that Robert Lam has a talent for humanoid robots would be a gross understatement. Not only does he build robots, he also blogs under the nickname “UncleBot” about what he discovers to help others, and he even creates tutorial videos to share his know-how. 

Robert recently modified a Bioloid Premium Robot kit to give it proportions closer to the classic Kondo KHR series. Of course that mean that all the existing walking motion sequences had to be tweaked, modified, or completely recreated from scratch. Here's his latest tutorial on creating walking motions for humanoid robots:

We're guessing that it won't be very long before we see a completely custom humanoid robot, designed from the ground up, walking proudly out of Robert's workshop. It's the natural next step.

Via: Trossen Robotics blog

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Robot Servo Serial Mode Comparision

serial robot servo comparision

Many robot servo manufacturers sell servos that can be controlled serially, but unfortunately their implementations aren't typically well documented which makes it difficult to make design choices. However, the Aichi Institute of Technology Tetsujin Project website has a fairly detailed webpage comparing serial servo designs from Hitec, Kondo, Robotis, and Futaba. Here's the original webpage, and a Google translated version.

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Micromouse Tutorial Series Debuts (Video)

micromouse robot tutorial

As we were processing the photos and videos from last weekend's micromouse competition it occurred to us that many of our readers may not be familiar with the joys, and challenges, of designing a competitive micromouse robot. Luckily, with what turns out to be perfect timing, Martyn, a long time micromouse UK fanatic, has posted the first few episodes (see the Episode 1 video below) of what promises to be a very informative, educational, and hopefully inspirational series of micromouse tutorials.


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New ROVIO Robot Webcam Tutorials (Video)

rovio robot navigation tutorials

We're a big fan of the WowWee ROVIO robot mobile webcam and frequently discover new uses for this innovative product. We've even started to use it as handy portable web conferencing tool since it's light enough to pick up and carry around the office to give our remote co-workers close up views of new projects.

At the same time we understand that new ROVIO owners, especially those that aren't 'geeks', might need a little guidance in setting up and using the robot. So we were very glad to see that Evolution (developer of ROVIO's Northstar navigation system) and WowWee have put together some new, and very helpful, video tutorials (see videos below).


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