A furry companion robot that can purr? For me, a roboticist who can’t have pets, my newest bot will make the winter months so much more cozy! I’ve designed this module in KiCad to provide a soothing purring interaction, complementing my Companion Core. It runs on 5V and can power two or four haptic vibration motors.
Plus, it has a neat bee design! Buzz buzz. 🐝
There are still a few days left until the Redefine Robotics challenge deadline on Monday, September 27th:
Challenge 4: Redefine Robots
Entry Period 7:01 a.m. P.D.T on August 23, 2021 – 7:00 a.m. P.D.T on September 27, 2021
Finalists Announced 10/4
Rethink robotics with this challenge, utilizing hardware to create an assistant, a companion, or something else entirely!
Whether it’s a friendly digital face to keep you grounded, or a functional robotic arm to assist you in your projects, we want to see the droids and robots of the future! How can robotic companions or assistants help us thrive in this new normal? Your designs should utilize robotics in a unique way, as a personal assistant, a friendly companion, or something else entirely!
From Al Williams on the Hackaday blog:
Oregon State University must be a pretty good place to go to school if you want to hack on robots. Their robotics club, which looks active and impressive, has a multi-part video series on how to solder surface mount components that is worth watching. [Anthony] is the team lead for their Mars Rover team and he does the job with some pretty standard-looking tools.
The soldering station in use is a sub-$100 Aoyue with both a regular iron and hot air. There’s also a cheap USB microscope that looks like it has a screen, but is covered in blue tape to hold it to an optical microscope. So no exotic tools that you’d need a university affiliation to match.
Even if you’ve done a lot of SMD soldering, you can always pick up new tips and tricks. There’s lots of flux, of course, and careful alignment before you secure the component down. We know the feeling of leaving a bad solder joint long enough to go secure the other pads and then cleaning it up at the end.
From Ken Olsen of the Makers Box:
It is hard for me to believe that it has been seven years since my first ChichTech.org workshop, and five years since I started with the Turtle Robot workshop. The Open Source Turtle Robot I designed specifically for this workshop has gotten better and better. My workshops leader skills have gotten better and better. And this workshop was the best so far. It was designed to introduce high school age girls to engineering, mainly electrical, mechanical, and firmware. I tell them that engineering is all about problem solving. The trick is figuring out which problems you like solving!
The high-light of these events is when the parents and siblings come in for a “tech show” and you get to hear the girls explain how they built and programmed the robot. It is an amazing feat to accomplish in just a few hours. I predict great success for these girls in what ever they decide to pursue in their lives!
From Maker’s Box on Tindie, a 3D printed drawing robot you can build, program, and modify:
From All the Badges of DEF CON 26 (vol 4) on Hackaday:
Hackaday Alum Sarah Petkus has been on a long quest to build an awesome robot with a lot of personality lovingly known as Noodle (check out her Hackaday Supercon talk on the adorable quadruped). For DC26 she decided to throw a con inside the con for Noodle and this is the badge.
Anyone following Sarah’s work knows that her art is on point and here is a great example. Look at the solder mask on front and rear and you’ll notice the lettering is mirrored. This gives it the appearance that this is a design you can see through the board. The bold use of patches of silk screen and gold-plated copper deliver her aesthetic boldly and make you just want to stare at the design. There is a little squiggle through the C on the front that is a superb touch! Driven by an ATmega328 and a CR2032, there are 10 LEDs on the back that flash for a backlight effect.
From Roger Cheng on the Hackaday blog:
A web search for “Uncanny Valley” will retrieve a lot of information about that discomfort we feel when an artificial creation is eerily lifelike. The syndrome tells us a lot about both human psychology and design challenges ahead. What about the opposite, when machines are clearly machines? Are we all clear? It turns out the answer is “No” as [Christine Sunu] explained at a Hackaday Los Angeles meetup.
When we build a robot, we know what’s inside the enclosure. But people who don’t know tend to extrapolate too much based only on the simple behavior they could see. As [Christine] says, people “anthropomorphize at the drop of the hat” projecting emotions onto machines and feeling emotions in return. This happens even when machines are deliberately designed to be utilitarian. iRobot was surprised how many Roomba owners gave their robot vacuum names and treated them as family members. A similar eruption of human empathy occurred with Boston Dynamics video footage demonstrating their robot staying upright despite being pushed around.
Here at mimicEducationalRobots we farm out most of our production circuit board assembly, but we still assemble all prototypes in house. Most people are surprised to learn how relatively simple the process really is. This blog assumes that a unique PCB of your own design has come out of your wonderful brain, or at least that you’re interested in how we do things here.
Come enjoy yummy snacks and bevs and hear fascinating talks by these kickass engineers.
Sarah Petkus – SHE BON: Using Body-data to communicate the intimate and the unseenRyan Cousins – How and Why We Failed at Everything (So You Don’t Have To)
Sarah Petkus is a kinetic artist, roboticist, and transhumanist from Las Vegas, who designs electronic and mechanical devices which encourage reflection regarding the human relationship with technology.
Their talk will be about a series of wearable augments built to facilitate in sensing, tracking, and indicating one’s level of excitement (or arousal)! Each of the wearables uses a variety of sensors as input to influence quirky electronic and mechanical devices of my design as output. The goal in doing so is not only to create a stellar suit of electronic armor (or amour), but also to help facilitate a dialogue about sex and intimacy amongst my peers that is relatable, honest, healthy, and fun.
Ryan Cousins is cofounder and CEO of krtkl inc. Based in Silicon Valley, krtkl (“critical”) makes life easier for companies developing heavily connected and automated products. Ryan earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering – with an emphasis in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics – from UCLA. He has worked in both R&D and business capacities across a variety of markets, including medical and embedded, and has been granted a European patent.
After years of working on embedded systems, product development, manufacturing, and startup-ing, Ryan has had the “pleasure” of experiencing nearly every type of failure a hardware business has to offer. Ryan will share some humorous – and horrifying – anecdotes from his arduous journey, along with some key takeaways that will (hopefully) prevent others from making the same mistakes.
After the talks, there will be demos, community announcements, and socializing. If you’d like to give a 2 minute demo/ community announcement, please see the organizers when you arrive to get set up.
A community announcement includes looking for a project partner, a job, offering a project/ job, the announcement of your startup launch, your Crowdfunding pitch, etc.
We’re looking forward to seeing you Thursday, July 12th, at 6:30pm!
Bradley Ramsey writes on the Tindie blog about this robotics kit from The Maker’s Box:
The Open Source Turtle Robot (OSTR) was created as the basis for a two-day workshop where high school students could gain hands-on experience with engineering concepts. The finished robot even creates interesting pieces of art via pen plotting with Turtle graphics.
The project is Arduino compatible for ease of programming and powered by 4 AA batteries to make it cost effective. Stepper motors were chosen for accurate motion, and the parts were 3D printed for easy customization.