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Robotics

This is first in series of articles about project I've been building in my spare time since last Summer. Actually it all began when I was researching a topic of modeling human motion kinematics in order to create gesture recognition library for Kinect. This ties heavily into motion theory of robotic manipulators so I also glanced at some designs of robotic arms. Somehow I stumbled upon this cool looking open source robotic arm: It was featured on Thingiverse and published by user jjshortcut (Jan-Jaap). ......

.NET Micro Framework includes reach graphics capabilities with WPF-like libraries, and quite a few high end development boards (Tahoe II, ChipworkX, or FEZ Cobra to name a few) include fancy graphic TFT screens, often with touch input thrown in as well. But this comes at a significantly higher costs, and requires a speedy CPU. Thus it might seem that if you are using a much cheaper board such as Netduino or one of FEZ family, you are doomed to rely on blinking LEDs only. Not quite so. In most scenarios ......

For my next project I decided to try to upgrade my SERB robot that I showed here last year to use Netduino. This robot was designed by great inventors from oomlout and you can buy it as a nicely packaged kit from them. However because the design is open source you can also download the project files and if you have access to a laser cutter order all the acrylic pieces there. It is also very easy to build following the instructable (you can find few more photos from my build here). The original SERB ......

Yesterday I picked up a nice package from TinyCLR.com. Yes, it is yet another robot (third in fact), but this time it runs .NET! How freaking cool is that! This robot is controlled by FEZ Mini board that runs .NET Micro Framework. What’s interesting is that this board has pin-out compatible with Basic Stamp from Parallax. You can also uses it easily on a breadboard for prototyping (just like Boarduino). TinyCLR.com also offers a larger board called FEZ Domino that has pin-out compatible with Arduino ......

Last Friday I’ve received new Futaba S3001 servos. Turns out they are more easier to modify to Hitec’s, and at the same seem more reliable. I’ve simply followed this Instructable, and you can also find some additional photos in my gallery. What most important the servos are also easier to calibrate, so now my SERB will actually stop in place when I want it. Below is a short video of the completed SERB robot where it just runs in random directions: This weekend I’ve also started looking at Microsoft ......

Few weeks ego we went to an exhibition in one of Kraków’s malls to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of robotics. Besides some nice exhibits there was also a place where kids could try to build a robot from Lego Mindstorms NXT and Fishertechnik sets. We spent few hours there with my older son Jas and even managed to build a walking robot. It was fun for both of us so I started looking if we could continue playing with robots at home. Unfortunately most of the sets I found are pretty expensive (starting ......