This Insect-Sized Robot Has the Same Agility as a Cheetah

UC Berkeley engineers developed a robot that can traverse complex terrain and quickly avoid obstacles.

Most insects and spiders climb walls and walk on ceilings through sticky footpads, allowing them to stick on surfaces. UC Berkeley engineers used the same electrostatic adhesive concept to develop an insect-sized robot with similar swerving and pivoting capabilities as a cheetah. As a result, the robot can travel through a maze while avoiding sudden obstacles.

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RaspberryPi Zero Takes the Wheel in Miniature Fighting Robot

Looking to capitalize on his familiarity with the Raspberry Pi, [Sebastian Zen Tatum] decided to put the diminutive Pi Zero at the heart of his “antweight” fighting robot, $hmoney. While it sounds like there were a few bumps in the road early on, the tuxedoed bot took home awards from the recent Houston Mayhem 2021 competition, proving the year of Linux on the battle bot is truly upon us.

Compared to using traditional hobby-grade RC hardware, [Sebastian] says using the Pi represented a considerable cost savings. With Python and evdev, he was able to take input from a commercial Bluetooth game controller and translate it into commands for the GPIO-connected motor controllers. For younger competitors especially, this more familiar interface can be seen as an advantage over the classic RC transmitter.

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Tencent’s Robotics X Division Shows Off Ollie, a Leaping Wheeled Robot with a Clever “Tail”

Designed around two wheels on four joined “legs,” the secret to Ollie’s agility is a hidden third wheel on an extra limb.

Robotics X, the robotics research division of Chinese multinational conglomerate Tencent, has shown off a new robot dubbed Ollie — capable of performing the skateboarding trick which provided its name, by swinging around a wheeled “tail.”

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Here’s what happened when a Tesla owner built a robot to plug in his car

A Tesla owner built a robot to automatically plug his electric car for overnight charging — something that Tesla has previously announced that it is working on.
Here’s what happened.

The idea of automatically charging electric vehicles have been around for a while.
It seems to have emerged from the idea that electric vehicles are not as convenient to charge as gasoline-powered vehicles are to fuel.
This is not exactly true.

Electric vehicles can be charged overnight at home, which makes them way more convenient than gas-powered cars.
The only aspect that can be seen as less convenient is the charge time versus refueling time when on the go.

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David Huang’s Ultra-Low-Cost Wearable Tension Sensor Is Built From String and Pencil Graphite

Just rub some string against a pencil lead and you too can have your own low-cost, wearable tension sensor.

Maker David Huang has shared a trick for creating a surprisingly capable tension sensor at practically zero cost — by rubbing some string over a pencil.

“Our goal is use the cheapest and the easiest way to make your own sensor for your project,” Huang explains by way of introduction. “The sensor we are making today is a tension sensor. A tension sensor will react to a pulling motion. The most common material we use for the tension sensor is conductive rubber, or weaved conductive rubber wire – but the problem is the conductive rubbers are very expensive, and they are also hard to get.”

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Become the Next Jack Johnson with This Guitar AutoStrummer

Fortunately for aspiring folk rock stars that lack strumming skill, Jacob Stambaugh designed a DIY guitar AutoStrummer.

We all know that people who can play guitar are very cool, but it takes a lot of dedication to practice to actually get good at it. It’s easy enough to play power chords for some punk rock head banging, but learning all of the finger positions for the real chords requires perseverance. Strumming is usually considered the easy part of playing the guitar, because you just need to make sure you’re hitting the right strings. But even that can be tricky if the strumming pattern is complex. Fortunately for aspiring folk rock stars that lack strumming skill, Jacob Stambaugh designed a DIY guitar AutoStrummer.

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Mr Innovative’s resistor cutting machine is ‘reely’ awesome

If you need some help separating out lots of resistors, then Mr Innovative’s latest automated rig is the perfect solution for you. At the heart of his homemade device is an Arduino Nano, along with a multipurpose PCB for electrical connections and a touchscreen user interface.

The machine advances the reel of resistors through a slot via a stepper-driven rod and o-ring friction wheel assembly. When properly positioned, it cuts off the correct number of resistors using a pair of razors, set in motion by two stepper motors and corresponding linkage systems.

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Simple Robots Can Work Together to Perform Complex Tasks

BOBbots can still accomplish a set of tasks, even without the aid of sensors, communication, and computation capabilities.

I love swarm bots of all types. Something so innocent about them. Researchers from Georgia Tech have developed a method that allows “simple” robots — those without sensors, onboard processing power, communication capabilities — to perform complex tasks by leveraging their physical characteristics, a trait they term “task embodiment.” Think of it like trying to control a child, which is hard enough, and then trying to control many of them at once, which is nearly impossible. The same can be said for trying to get swarms of robots to work collectively without complex programming and a ton of onboard sensors.

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3D Printed Cycloidal Actuator

I have designed yet another cycloidal drive! This one is different, though. Unlike most of my projects, it is strictly 3D printed. No CNC required. The cycloidal mechanism is also “inside-out”. The cycloidal discs do not rotate, they only wobble, transmitting rotation to the output. This was also designed to maybe be used in a modular robot arm. It’s also a 25:1 gear reduction.