Tag Archives: Robotics

PUMA’s robot can beat you (and Usain Bolt) in a race

via Arduino Blog

Man versus machine may sound like a bit of cliché at this point, but PUMA recently took this concept to a whole new level with a shoebox-sized, programmable robot that helps runners push themselves to the limits. The BeatBot — which the apparel company created together with ad agency J. Walter Thompson New York and a team of MIT engineers — is a self-driving, line-following device that provides athletes with a visual target to beat.

The robot works by scanning lines on the track using its nine IR sensors, while wheel rotations are monitored by an Arduino to measure speed and distance. BeatBot is equipped with front and rear-facing GoPro cameras, as well as LED lights on the back so you can see it in your peripheral vision. Data is processed in real-time, making more than 100 adjustment per second to remain on course, navigate turns and finish the race at a pre-determined pace.

To get started, runners enter the time and distance of the race they want, place the robot on the starting line next to them and go. BeatBot is managed through a companion iPhone app that enables the runner to set their own time and goals, which can be anything from surpassing a personal best, competing against a rival, or even breaking world record-holder Usain Bolt’s fastest time with speeds of up to 44.66 km/h (27.7 mph).

Unfortunately, BeatBot is only available for PUMA-sponsored athletes. So for now, you’ll just have do it the old-fashioned way: stopwatch or find a friend.

ZeroBorg: teeny tiny robotics from PiBorg

via Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi robotics aces PiBorg are known for quality robots and add-ons, from the tiny PicoBorg board to the somewhat terrifying DoodleBorg. Now they’re bringing their magic to the Raspberry Pi Zero with ZeroBorg, a small but powerful motor controller and sensor board. We weren’t surprised to see their Kickstarter campaign hit its target quickly; there’s still time to jump on board.

ZeroBorg robot

ZeroBorg costs from £15 and is barely larger than a Raspberry Pi Zero, and a Zero + ZeroBorg + 9V battery weigh as little as 65g, but it doesn’t pull its punches. You can control four motors independently, or more if you stack multiple ZeroBorgs over I2C (ideal for animatronics projects or CNC machine servos); I2C communication also means you can connect it to other add-on boards to pile on extra functionality, and there are two analogue inputs so you can connect any sensors that your project demands. It’s available with an infrared module, so you can control it via a TV remote, and a DCDC regulator for powering the Pi Zero. And, as with PiBorg’s other boards, they will provide open source software for controlling the board, so you can set up your robot exactly the way you choose.


PiBorg told us,

We love making boards and kits for the Raspberry Pi, mainly because the Pi community is like one big growing family. The support we’ve received so far with this Kickstarter has been phenomenal and we can’t thank the community and the Raspberry Pi Foundation enough.

Many people are learning about programming, electronics and robotics with the Pi. Every day a new Pi project appears, and the community jumps in and helps develop ideas and solve problems.

Already there are really awesome projects such as a Zero that makes tea in the morning, and a robot that feeds your cat while you are away. We can’t wait to see what people build with the ZeroBorg!

Neither can we. Take a look!

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Dobot: Robotic Arm for everyone, Arduino & Open Source

via Dangerous Prototypes


Here’s an interesting open source project on Kickstarter the magical robotic arm, Dobot:

Designed for DESKTOP. Arduino-powered, 4-axis parallel-mechanism robot arm with High Quality. For makers, educators, and everyone!
We are six engineers who built a 4-axis high accuracy, high repeat precision, stepper motor, Arduino-based, desktop robotic arm called Dobot.

You can visit his Kickstart page for more info.

Also check out project’s Instructables and Github page.

GoBox: A Robotics Subscription Service

via Raspberry Pi

Kit maker Dexter Industries pulled the wraps off their latest Kickstarter, GoBox, the first-ever robot subscription service. It’s aimed at kids age 7 and up along with the help of an adult. No prior knowledge of robotics is required and step-by-step guides and videos will be provided.

In the first month of service, kids will receive the popular GoPiGo kit to act as the core of their robot. This kit includes a Raspberry Pi, chassis, battery pack, motors, motor controller board, and wheels. Each subsequent month, they’ll receive a new component such as a sound sensor, servo, light sensor, and many more. Each month, they’ll also receive step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish a particular mission. See their Kickstarter page for details on the different backer rewards and a sample draft mission.

Of course, we’re delighted that Dexter Industries uses Raspberry Pi in their robotics kits. Why do they like our computer? I’ll let John Cole, Dexter’s Founder & CEO, speak for himself:

We’re using the Raspberry Pi because it’s the most open, flexible, and easy to start with hardware for learning programming. We can use Scratch to start with, which is super-easy for young learners to use. And we can walk learners all the way up to command line programming.

There are two interesting and important aspects to what makes GoBox different. The first is that we are starting with little to no background assumed. When we looked at other platforms for starting robotics, they assume you know something (maybe something about coding, about electronics, or about computers). We really wanted to minimize that, and make starting with robotics and programming as easy as possible. So that is why the Raspberry Pi is a perfect platform — because we really start the story from the beginning.

The second is that we’re trying to design the program to keep learners engaged over a long period of time with the subscription service. We’re helping learners gradually, and encouraging open-ended design problems, but with a new delivery every month, you keep learning over the course of a year, rather than rush in, try a few things, lose interest, and throw the program in a corner. A new box every month really encourages people to keep going, and to keep trying new things without overwhelming them all at once.

We think this is a powerful formula to learn some of the most important skills needed in the world today. We also are seeing the creative projects (“missions”) we have developed appeal to girls and boys alike, which is really encouraging.

Check out the GoBox Kickstarter for more details.

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Windows 10 IoT core controlling a Raspberry Pi 2 robot

via Dangerous Prototypes


Windows 10 IoT Core running a Raspberry Pi 2 robot by Scott Hanselman:

Starting with a Raspberry Pi 2, walk through the setup instructions here. You do need to have a Windows 10 today to installing Windows 10 IoT Core but at least it’s gotten a lot easier with the latest build for IOT. There’s an app that does all the work and you don’t need to go to the command line. Also get Visual Studio 2015 Community and the Windows IoT Core Project Templates. Basically just follow these step-by-step instructions.

Project info at Scott’s blog.

Check out the video after the break.

Forumula AllCode – robotics course

via Raspberry Pi

Liz: Robotics is a really powerful way to get kids excited about programming and electronics, and a Kickstarter from Formula AllCode, with its integrated course, has all the elements you need to get a kid from zero to robot overlord. I asked Liam Walton from Matrix TSL, the people behind Formula AllCode, to write a few words for us about what they’re doing with the project. 

We think the Formula AllCode robotics course is great for makers to test their skills and capabilities; it’s also great for introducing learners to programming and robotics in a fun and motivating way.

Raspberry Pi is one of the hosts you can use for this neat little robot from Matrix TSL​, designed as part of a course in robotics that aims to cater for beginners and advanced users alike. It’s controlled over Bluetooth from any platform that can support the Bluetooth RFCOMM protocol, so you can program for it in just about anything (popular examples are provided).


Matrix TSL have also written a full tutorial about how users will talk to the Formula AllCode robot using the Raspberry Pi.


Kitted out with a variety of sensors, microphone, speakers and LCD display, and with capacity for expansion, it has plenty of appeal, and it’s on Kickstarter now with 16 days left to go. You can back the project by clicking here.

The project itself consists of:

  • The Formula AllCode robot
  • A FREE course in robotics
  • Accessories used to learn, including graphical mat and maze walls


The robot can be used with a number of hosts, including Raspberry Pi. A low cost robot buggy, the AllCode is great for makers to test their skills and capabilities using an interesting and diverse platform or for introducing younger school children to programming and robotics in a fun and motivating way with huge scope for further work and competitions.


The video below explains more about the vision for Formula AllCode and provides some examples of what the robot itself can achieve when used with Raspberry Pi and other devices.

The Formula AllCode Kickstarter campaign runs until 4th September. To back the campaign from as little as £5 click here.

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