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Using a Rotacaster Wheel as a, ehm, Caster

The Rotacaster wheels are not only great for making holonomic robotic platforms but also for the more mundane robotics models such as the one pictured above.  This is a simple construction meant to illustrate the idea. The advantage of using a wheel like this over a standard caster wheel is that this can take a lot more weight without losing ... Read More »

Rotacaster Wheels Test 1

I made a quick video to show off the Rotacaster wheels.  As you can see traction is really great.  I will do further testing on various surfaces. The wheels’ small size give you great control when directly driving them from the motor; there is no need for additional gearing down.  This allows you to make a very compact construction. Additional ... Read More »

Rotacaster Holonomic Wheels

This morning the mailman had another package for me!  It was a padded envelope with nothing less than the 4 Technic axle compatible holonomic wheel prototypes from Rotacaster.  I haven’t had a chance to build anything with them but my first impressions are: Very compact, they’re about 3.5 units wide and about 6 units in diameter; Quiet!  They’re all plastic, ... Read More »

Super Size Me!

My good friend Eric likes to build big.  He is one of the designers and builders of the High Bay Storage System. A while back he told he wanted to build a tracked vehicle. He’s done this before, of course: Very nice, right? Not satisfied with this Lilliputian-sized tank (actual Lilliputians ride around in this), he set about making something ... Read More »

Released: 3rd Party ROBOTC Driver Suite V1.5

I’ve uploaded a new release of the ROBOTC Driver Suite. Version 1.5 has a couple of nice changes: Newly added: Drivers for Dexter Industries dFlex, dPressure and temp probe Test program for Mindsensors Touch Sensor MUX with HiTechnic Sensor MUX Driver for additional timers in ROBOTC Documentation changes: All drivers sorted by manufacturer for easy lookup (thanks to John Hansen ... Read More »

It Is All About Balance

It seems balancing robots are all the rage now.  Laurens Valk made one that even hit the Make: Magazine’s blog.  It just so happened that Gus from HiTechnic was thinking the same thing a few weeks ago and has made one as well.  It’s a different model and also works with RCX, NXT 1.0 and 2.0 sized wheels.  The HTWay ... Read More »

The adventures of BobBot Mk2: OMG a Can!

BobBot Mk2 has learned a new trick: finding a can.  Finding cans makes BobBot very happy; he even chirps when he sees one and gets very loud when it’s about 10 cms away from one.  A lot of work still needs to be done: Approach towards can needs to be PID controlled for smooth steering instead of the waggle it ... Read More »

BobBot Mk2

Meet BobBot Mk2, the intellectually challenged robot.  This subsumption based robot is probably the most challenging robot I’ve ever had to program.  It has quite a number of sensors: Mindsensors NXTCamV3 Mindsensors Magic Wand Mindsensors Dist-nx HiTechnic Sensor MUX HiTechnic EOPD LEGO Touch Sensor x 2 LEGO US Sensor Subsumption is not something I have an awful lot of experience ... Read More »

Cool Project: Liquid Handling Robot

Mike Barnkob posted a really nice project on the ROBOTC forums;  a liquid handling robot.  I am sure you’ve seen them on most CSI shows; not like this one, however.  As you can see from the picture, it’s a fairly large contraption.  For additional coolness, he made use of the Firgelli Linear Actuators. The motors are controlled by using two NXTs ... Read More »

Please don’t mind the mess (Omniwheel part II)

I love days when I really feel like building something, you know that inspired feeling you get?  Today I started building at about 9am and didn’t come out of my Lego room all day except for dinner and lunch. I took some pictures of the unholy mess my desk was covered with. The first picture was taken after about an ... Read More »