Thursday, October 30, 2008
1- Purchase or find black electrical tape (of approx. 1 inch width) and a hobby knife. Clean and clear the front wheel of any dirt/grime/hair as shown here:
2- Cut the electrical tape in half for a length of aprox. 4 3/4 in. (this will provide about 1/4 in. overlap) :
3- Apply the cut electrical tape on the front wheel while pulling it (this will make the elect. tape 'hug' the wheel surface evenly and tightly), you can use two hands (I used one because I was holding the camera) :
4- When you finish, press with your fingers all along the applied elect. tape in order to take out any ripples/air bubbles and to make sure that it is applied well. Depending on your hard surface floor this will protect your front wheel from premature wear for at least 1 - 3 months! Repeat the process every time you need to prevent wear and tear on the fixed front wheel of your Roomba.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
RMP 50/100 OMNI - Uses unique 'mecanum' wheels which allows it to move sideways without turning. Designed for flat surfaces and can carry a maxium payload of 400 lbs. Cost range US$21,000 - 42,000.
RMP 50/100/200 - Stable platform for indoor use that provides maneuverability and a tight turning radius. Can carry a maxium payload of 140 lbs. Cost range US$7,500 - 21,000.
RMP 400 - Most powerful robotic platform from Segway. Designed to move accross challenging terrain and can carry a maxium payload of 400 lbs. Cost US$32,000.
Though, not the cheapest platform available (some people find Roomba or others to be most economical), Segway do provide platforms for more industrial or research applications for robotics. Who knows? One day someone could possibly come up with a semi-humanoid robot that can move around on a RMP 100 or 200 platform around the house or office!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Just ask Dean Kamen! Creator of the Segway and the "Luke Arm" has founded an organization called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) that inspires young people to get involved and learn about science and technology. FIRST has yearly technological challenges and for the 2008 season (FIRST Tech. Challenge 2008) a new robotics platform was introduced. The robotics platform, called the FTC competition kit, consists of a TETRIX metal robot structure kit,LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robotics kit, servomotors, controllers, advanced sensors and LEGO NXT, NXTG, LabView for FTC, and RobotC programming software. With these new competition kits, high school students will be able to apply mathematics, science and technology to solve annual challenges. I find this kind of events do help push the further development of domestic robotics and would like to see other inventors, entrepreneurs and technology companies get involved in similar projects like this one. Kudos to Dean Kamen for creating something like this! If you wish to join and/or learn more about FIRST go to: www.usfirst.org
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
This small guy was created to just follow 3 rules: 1. Always look at what it's tracking; 2. Always move toward what it's tracking; and 3. If it gets too close to what it's moving toward, back away. Though appears to be simple instructions they do appear to give way to emergent behavior that results in complex maneuvers. "Huey"has an on board CMUcam2+ that allows it to process visual data such color changes and assist in tracking objects of specific colors. Steve will most likely incorporate this feature on future robot projects. So what "DIY" robots or hacks have you created recently? Please share them with us!