Robotics Resources

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Let's Make Robots
A very well-run and well-designed user site for robotics enthusiasts. Active forums and user blogs along with other features that make it easy to find and share videos, technical information, favorite components and more. The user projects run the gamut from simple to advanced, but there is a definite hobbyist slant that makes it accessible to those just getting started. Lots of PICAXE based bots.

Society of Robots
User site with a forum, lots of tutorials, and some great links. Oriented toward more advanced users.

Seattle Robotics Society
Founded in 1982, the Seattle Robotics Society is one of the oldest and largest robotics groups in the world. The group publishes the Encoder newsletter. The SRS Workshop Robot was designed by SRS members to be an affordable platform appropriate for beginning and intermediate robot builders.

Myrobotlab is a open source Java service based framework for robotics and creative machine control. Brings together a number of cutting edge open source technologies to support machine vision, speech recognition, text to speech, motor control, servo control, GUI control and microcontroller communication. Designed to run on standard computer configurations it can be used to either control a robot directly by embedding a regular PC or via a typical microcontroller thru RF, infrared, WiFi or Bluetooth.

A free Robot Control Programming Language that has an integrated robot simulator, advanced graphics, flicker-free animation, floating point variables and multidimensional arrays. It requires no install and can run from a memory stick if desired. Runs in interpreted mode or will compile executables for distribution.

Pololuís primary products are small electronics modules for robot and motion control. In addition to items they manufacture themselves, their online store offers small gearboxes, breadboards, servos, and robot kits. Pololu also offers a custom laser cutting service.

Robot Electronics (Devantech)
Home of the SRF line of ultrasonic rangefinders and numerous other inspired sensors and boards for the robotics enthusiast.

JPL Robotics
The Mobility & Robotic Systems Section at NASA - chartered to develop, mature, and bring to flight, robotics technology for in-situ exploration of the solar system.

Magic 1
Extensive documentation of the building of Magic 1. It has a custom CPU made out of TTL chips! There are photos, schematics - the works. Definitely worth checking out.

Trossen Robotics
High end robots and robot parts.

Thinkbotics Robotics Research Labs
Home page of Karl Williams author of several robotics books -Insectronics, Amphibionics, and Build Your Own Humanoid Robots, as well as numerous magazine articles. Williams' designs are biologically inspired and very inventive. The site contains the support material for his books and articles as well as nice illustrations of projects. He likes to work in aluminum and build his own linkages etc. - the robots are very nice but it would be difficult to implement many of the projects for the home hobbyist!

PhilBot: Phil Malone's Robot Project place.
Personal robotics page with some nice projects. The BOB - Bot on Board robot is a small robot with a PCB as chassis. Site is focused on Oopic programming with some good tutorial information.

JCM Inventures
Home of the CYBUG robot family - a series of biologically inspired kits intended for new robot builders.

STAIR: STanford Artificial Intelligence Robot
From the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Computer Science Department, Stanford University, The STAIR (STanford AI Robot) project's goal is to build a robot that can navigate home and office environments, pick up and interact with objects and tools, and intelligently converse with and help people in these environments. The project integrates methods drawn from all areas of AI, including machine learning, vision, navigation, manipulation, planning, reasoning, and speech/natural language processing.

A well organized and informative site that feature videos of the STAIR robot performing tasks in a number of environments. The robot picks up objects, opens doors, navigates in cluttered areas and more. A very nice feature is a library of academic publications that enables you to directly access the various theories and ideas driving STAIR's multiple capabilities - topics such as fast data collection, grasping novel objects, and peripheral-foveal vision for real time recognition and tracking. Also includes access to some of data sets used in developing the STAIR algorithms and the STAIR Vision Library (SVL) a cross-platform open-source computer vision and machine learning software library.

DJ Sures Robots
Gallery with videos of a few well built and well documented robots. Includes some pretty good write-ups and a discussion of a mapping algorithm.

Shadow Robot Company
Manufactures and sells air muscles and robot hands. The air muscle is a very interesting device. It is made with a rubber tube covered in tough plastic netting which shortens in length like a human muscle when inflated with compressed air at low pressure.

Budget Robotics
Budget Robotics is the website of Robot Builder's Bonanza author Gordon McComb. Features low-cost parts and kits for the amateur robot builder. The product line includes plastic angle brackets, round base, rigid PVC, compact flange-style servo brackets, steel and nylon fasteners, and low-cost servo accessories.

David Cook's Robot Room
From the author of Robot Building for Beginners and Intermediate Robot Building. Homemade autonomous bots. A rich site with robot schematics, books, and circuits for mini-sumo, line-following, BEAM, and electronic projects. DIY instructions on making robots at home. Basic help and tips on how to build robotic sensors.

Formica: Affordable, open source swarm robotics
The Formica project began as a group project in the fourth-year Biologically Inspired Robotics module of the electronic engineering course at Southampton University. The project takes its name from the latin word for ants, as the robots were developed to explore the behaviour of social insects. The robots were demonstrated at ALIFE XI - the 11th international conference on artificial life.

Example Mechatronics Projects
Teaching examples featuring student projects posted by University of Washington Professor Santosh Devasia. A number of innovative and inspired designs that showcase some very interesting uses of technology. Nitonol SMA actuators are used in several designs as are piezomotors, a prototype 4-rotor helicopter, fluid waves to actuate a bio-mimetic swimmer, and more.

Prototyping Folded Robots
Interesting discussion out of UC Berkeley Biomimetic Millisystems Lab regarding a process called "Smart Composite Microstructures" (SCM) used to build small, strong, lightweight, robots and structures. These structures are made as single flat pieces and are folded up to form more complicated shapes and linkages. They can also be integrated with smart actuators like piezoelectrics and shape memory alloy to provide motion. Featured designs include a 2.5 gram SMA driven robot with integrated electronics.

Mark III Robot Store
The Mark III Robot is a complete robot kit designed and sold by the Portland Area Robotics Society (PARTS). Primarily intended sell to contestants the club's annual MiniSumo competition and stimulate interest in the event. The store has complete kits as well as individual parts and accessories some of which are hard to find. Lots of Sharp IR proximity sensors.

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