Flying Insects and Robots Symposium 
Saturday, February 3, 2007, 02:42 PM - Robotics
The 2007 Flying Insects and Robots Symposium will take place August 12-17, 2007 in Ascona, Switzerland. The deadline for submitting abstracts is March 31st.

Looks like fun.



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Small Form-Factor PC for Cars and Mobile Robots 
Thursday, January 25, 2007, 01:53 AM - Robotics
MiniBox.com has a small form-factor barebones PC for $400. The size is 21x26.5x6.6cm, which is a bit too big to fit in those new hackable Roombas.


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Amazing Lego Car Factory 
Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 07:19 PM - Robotics
There is an amazing video of an automated car factory built with Lego Mindstorms on YouTube. The whole setup is huge. I couldn't count how many RCX bricks are used, but it seems like a lot. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any other web site that describes the system.


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Buy a CNC machine from Sears 
Tuesday, January 9, 2007, 12:00 AM - Robotics
Are CNC machines becoming a consumer item? Sears now sells consumer-grade 3D CNC machine called the CompuCarve computer controlled- woodworking machine under its Craftsman brand. The machine sells for $1800. It looks more appropriate for shallow carving, engraving, and cutting thin sheets (the cutting depth is limited to 25mm). It can handle pieces up to 36cm wide, 12.5 cm thick, and almost any length.

Pretty soon, we are going to see low-price consumer-grade CNC machines coming out of the .... woodwork ;-)



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Programmable Roombas 
Monday, January 8, 2007, 09:06 PM - Robotics
Irobot announced the Irobot Create Programmable Roomba. It a version of the Roomba without the vacuum cleaner parts, with a payload bay, a "real" serial port, and an optional Atmel-based programmable micro-controller module that includes external sensor interfaces. The best thing: its' dirt cheap: $130 for the basic robot, $180 with the controller module, and $1000 for a 10-pack. There is an article about it at Robot Magazine.



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Kyosho Manoi Robot Competition 
Saturday, January 6, 2007, 11:40 PM - Robotics
There is astory at Robot Magazine on the recent Kyosho Athlete Humanoid Cup. Most competitors use the Kyosho Manoi humanoid robot. The article has lots of pictures and a nice video.



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Big list of amateur telemetry/UAV web sites 
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OpenServo project 
Wednesday, December 27, 2006, 01:16 AM - Robotics
The OpenServo project proposes turn a cheap analog servo into a high-performance, programmable digital servo by replacing the circuit board with a custom board built around an Atmel AVR-8 micro-controller. The servo includes I2C control with position/force feeedback.
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ChRoMicro UAV auto-pilot project 
Wednesday, December 27, 2006, 01:06 AM - Robotics
The ChRoMicro helicopter autopilot project uses a Gumstix Connex board. The Gumstix are tiny computers running Linux that are built around a Freescale PXA255 ARM processor.

The software part of the ChRoMicro, called pxaRC, has its own web site. Other goodies include instructions and software to connect a CMOS camera to a Gumstix Connex board.

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Magnetometer-based UAV auto-pilot 
Wednesday, December 27, 2006, 12:31 AM - Robotics
Apeliotes is an autu-pilot for UAV that uses a 3-axes magnetometer. This allows the UAV to measure its attitude using the Earth's magnetic field. Unlike gyro-based attitude estimations systems, magnetometers are not subject to drift.

This was a project conducted by Matthew Chave at University of Otago in New Zealand. The board is built around a Philips LPC-2129 microcontroler (with an ARM-7 processor core). The project report is available.

The project web site is being moved to www.uavdev.com, but the new site is still in construction.

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MicroPilot 28g UAV auto-pilot 
Wednesday, December 27, 2006, 12:14 AM - Robotics
MicroPilot sells a miniature auto-pilot for UAVs that weigh only 28 grams, on a 10x4 cm board that includes a GPS, Gyros, airspeed, and barometric altimeter. The price is not light: the cheapest model, the mp1028g, is
$1700, if you buy 100 of them.
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JediCut free foam cutting CNC software 
Monday, December 18, 2006, 12:38 AM - Robotics
JediCut is a free CNC software for foam cutting that can talk to a number of CNC control boards, including the ones from HobbyCNC.
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USB Airsoft gun turret 
Thursday, December 14, 2006, 01:42 PM - Robotics
InventGeek has the building instructions for a simple USB-controled gun turret that cannibalizes a USB rocket launcher and an airsoft gun.


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TinyBoards DSP board with camera support 
Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 06:08 PM - Robotics
Austrian company TinyBoards sells a small board that contains an Analog Devices CM-BF561 dual-core "Blackfin" DSP. Interestingly, they offer a daughter board that can accept two Omnivision OV7660 camera modules.


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Cheap omnidirectional camera 
Sunday, December 3, 2006, 09:16 AM - Robotics
A Korean company is selling an omnidirectional camera mirror for $100.

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High power laser diodes 
Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 07:05 PM - Robotics
Roithner in Germany sells all kinds of laser diodes, laser diode drivers, optics, etc. In particular, they sell high-power infrared laser diodes that could be adequate for a CNC laser foam cutting machine. A 500mW 808nm diode costs about $40, and a 1W costs about $100.

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