SubPos Ranger: Indoor Positioning System

The SubPos Ranger is as an open source indoor positioning system to be used for robotics applications in the education and hobbyist markets. It has primarily been designed as a flexible radio frequency platform for experimenting and tinkering, that allows you to not only obtain positioning and perform distance measurements, it can also be used for passive motion detection as well as communication between embedded devices.

While there are many positioning systems on the market, the Ranger has been created to be extremely cost effective, easy to use and develop for. While other systems are usually locked down in one way or another, whether that be functionality or availability of source code, the Ranger is completely open and flexible. Perfect for the budding hobbyist to invent the next big thing.

The Ranger is fully operational and ready for manufacture, and a complete system can be had for $274AUD (~$210USD), which gives you 3D positioning in a room, as well as a receiver to output the position. Once set up, the system can give up to +-10cm of accuracy. Other options are also available to experiment with too, such as a cheaper option for two nodes to perform distance measurements and motion detection, or a Wi-Fi support add-on.

Key Features:
•        Supports 2D and 3D Positioning – not just x and y, but z also.
•        2.4GHz ISM Spectrum – supported worldwide.
•        Standards Compliant Hardware – supports 802.15.4 and can also utilise Zigbee or 6LoWPAN communication protocols.
•        Reconfigurable RF Chipset – enables many different 2.4GHz ISM applications.
•        Firmware Updates over USB – no need for any extra programming hardware.
•        Open Source Hardware and Software – hack, repurpose and play to your heart’s content.
•        Modular Design – the Ranger allow all sorts of connectivity options. You can connect it to anything such as a Raspberry Pi via USB or GPIO, Arduino or to your smartphone via Wi-Fi.
•        Low Level Raw Data and Parameters – access to all low level measurement data and parameter tweaks are available to discover interesting new applications (such as motion detection).
•        Node Position Calibration – get the position of nodes automatically; no manual fixed node measurements required.
•        9-Axis Accelerometer – the client expansion board contains a 9 axis accelerometer for increased positioning accuracy.

Board Image – https://cdn.hackaday.io/images/7007401465041329447.jpg
Client Image – https://cdn.hackaday.io/images/3158211465041337828.jpg

IronBot Robotics Kit for Children Launches IndieGogo Campaign

XiaMen, China – May 22, 2016 – IronBot is a 3-in-1 buildable and programmable robotics kit for children age 8 and up. Kids will learn STEM and  robotics, when they happily create a “little robot friend” of their own. On Tuesday, May 17, it was launched on Indiegogo, with early bird perk starting from just $89.  (Indiegogo Link: https://igg.me/at/ironbot/x/12259168)


IronBot Includes three choices: a „Robot Arm,“ a „Biped Robot,“ or a „Humanoid Robot.“ As a step-by-step robotic learning kit, the robots are perfect for education and technical instruction, and are a fun playtime activity for children 8 years and up.

IronBot helps children to learn by following step-by-step easy instructions, easily explaining the components, which include, a servo-motor, manipulator assembly, Biped Robot and the Humanoid Robot. The IronBot kit will open the door to the world of robots to children of all ages.
According to the founders of IronBot, „Children can control their IronBot by Bluetooth®, and IronBot offers a coordinating, dedicated app. The robotic arm will pick up small objects or play a balloon game. The app can also race two biped robots. When a robot transforms to the next level humanoid form, kids can use a mobile phone to act as the brain of IronBot. Children will learn by audio and visual interaction using the mobile phone’s camera and microphone.“
The kit comes with a multimode progressive assembly, graphic programming and a personalization setting. Kids can name their robot, and program a personality, voice and story with a customized setting. The kit can be augmented by the children by crafting unique parts for their IronBots, creating unique characteristics on their own.


For more information visit www.ironbot.net.

Find Ironbot on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ironbotforkids/, Twitter: @IronbotforKids, and on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCALVYMZ5RCrYsGO4EOxS11A

FRANKA EMIKA: Everybody’s Robot

KBee announces the world’s first cost-efficient Industry 4.0 robot that everybody can program and safely use.

Munich, Germany – April 23, 2016. KBee introduces FRANKA EMIKA—a revolutionary human-centered robotic system—to the market. FRANKA EMIKA is designed for human-robot collaboration, is extremely cost-efficient and lives in the cloud. FRANKA EMIKA is also the first robot that builds itself; therefore perfectly suited for mass production.

FRANKA_EMIKA

FRANKA EMIKA was built, designed and developed by KBee AG. It is a collaborative, lightweight robot system that is designed specifically to serve and seamlessly interact with humans. FRANKA EMIKA can be operated and programmed by anyone, regardless of technical skill, in just a few minutes through a visually intuitive setup process.

FRANKA EMIKA consists of the robot system FRANKA ARM and FRANKA CONTROL, the gripper FRANKA HAND, the software FRANKA DESK, and is connected to the FRANKA CLOUD.

KBee’s CEO, Sami Haddadin, states that, “We strongly believe that FRANKA EMIKA will be a game changer not only in intelligent robotics but also far beyond, opening the doors to a new world of connected digital intelligence accessible to everybody.

FRANKA ARM is a human-safe, force-limited robot arm with torque sensors in all 7 axes that enable humanlike arm agility and sensitivity. FRANKA EMIKA also has a unique workspace that ranges from close to its base to a maximum reach equivalent to the length of a human arm. With a payload of 3 kg and a repeatability of 0.1mm, FRANKA ARM enables a wide range of possible applications for customers.

Prof. Gerd Hirzinger, who was the first robotics researcher to receive all international robotics and automation awards, says, „Worldwide, robotics researchers are convinced that sensitive torque controlled robots are the future; in particular when considering the large scale future topics such as robotic assistance, safe human-robot collaboration in production or service robotics. Interestingly, this novel technology was often considered to be far too complex to be realized. However, the FRANKA EMIKA robot is the perfect exemplar of the synergies between mechatronics and digitalization in the context of Industry 4.0, and I believe it is the long yearned for breakthrough.“

FRANKA DESK, which is the visual and APP-based programming software, runs on the browsers of everyday devices like tablets and computers. Thanks to its intuitive, user-centered set-up and programming system, no special skills are necessary to operate the robot, even for its most complex applications. Therefore, everybody can easily operate FRANKA EMIKA.

With the revolutionary FRANKA CLOUD, it is possible to deploy 1 or 1,000 FRANKA EMIKA robots in no time, and to share and archive TASKS and APPs locally or globally. FRANKA CLOUD enables a seamless connection to Industry 4.0.

FRANKA EMIKA will be unveiled to the public on April 25, 2016 at Hannover Messe Hall 17 / G17.

 

About KBee AG:

KBee AG is based in Munich and was founded in 2013 by the DLR spinoff, Kastanienbaum GmbH. Its main investor, KUKA AG, is one of the world’s leading robot manufacturers. KBee develops and designs human-centered industrial robots that can be used by anyone and are unmatched in cost-efficiency. KBee’s vision is to make robots a commodity by putting humans at the center of robot design, to introduce the most intuitive customer experience, and to connect automation with digitalization.

Scanse Launches Kickstarter Campaign for “Sweep” Low Cost Scanning Lidar Sensor

San Leandro, CA – Scanse, a young sensor development company, announced that they are running a Kickstarter campaign for their new Scanning LiDAR sensor known as Sweep. LiDAR sensors are crucial to the success of autonomous vehicles, like self driving cars and smart drones. They use laser light to detect how far away surfaces are, in order to do things like make maps and avoid obstacles.

SWEEP SENSOR, LOW RES, WITH KICKSTARTER

What makes Sweep different is a sensing technique which allows it to use lower power components to perform long range measurements. This lowers the cost of components, making it affordable for a larger consumer market. Sweep is the first commercial scanning LiDAR to utilize this technology, and is being sold for $249.

Scanse will be providing an easy to use visualizer interface, along with many example projects to help users get started. Scanse is especially interested in the education market, and hopes Sweep will be popular among the hobby robotics and drone communities. For many, this will be the first time LiDAR is affordable enough to consider in their projects.

The goal of the Sweep kickstarter is to gauge market interest in this kind of sensor. As smart drones and robots become more popular, there is a growing need for affordable sensors. Scanse thinks Sweep is the key that may unlock a world of new products.

More information can be found at their website www.scanse.io

Thier kickstarter can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/scanse/sweep-scanning-lidar

About Scanse

Scanse has been working on scanning LiDAR solutions for several years. They started off developing outdoor consumer robots for the home. To do any kind of mapping, scanning LiDAR or something like it is required. When they discovered that there were no affordable LiDAR sensors on the market that could work outdoors, they set out to make one themselves.

Pictures from Maker Faire Ruhr 2016

InnoTechnix is Launching an Arduino Maximo Robot Arm on Kickstarter

Montreal, Canada, February 10 2016 — InnoTechnix is pleased to announce the launch of its new crowdfunding campaign for the Maximo Robot Arm on Kickstarter:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/itnx/maximo-robot-arm

The Arduino robotic arm will look and act great on any desktop! Maximo is an Arduino-driven, 5-axis robotic arm with a laser-cut acrylic body. The robot comes with Robotic Studio software and can be controlled using a gamepad. Maximo will also play through a series of recorded steps, executing complex automations. Only a screwdriver is required for the assembly or it can be sent fully assembled.

Another great advantage of Maximo’s design is the head of the arm, which can be changed within seconds for another module. The regular claw is a gripper included with each robot. A more sophisticated gripper head module allows Maximo to grab objects by applying balanced pressure. The palletizer head module is a miniature reproduction of the ones used in factories and warehouses. The pen-holder module allows various objects to be placed on Maximo’s head (pen, laser pointer, drumstick, etc.).

The campaign offers many add-ons like the Webcam Attachment (includes a hi-res webcam with mounting system), Phidgets Board, LED lighting system. Regularly priced at just USD$349, with Early Bird pricing at USD$290 for the first 200 lucky owners. Following the Kickstarter campaign, the MSRP will be USD$399

Follow Maximo on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InnoTechnix and Twitter at https://twitter.com/innotechnix – hashtag #MaximoRobotArm For more information, please visit our website: http://www.itnx.com/

About InnoTechnix: Launched in 2011, InnoTechnix inc. has developed a variety of robots, robots arm, custom gripper, talking robots, intelligent clocks and mobile robots. InnoTechnix takes care of both the design of robots, manufacture of parts and development of robotics software. InnoTechnix Robots have appeared on television shows like Dragons’ Den, Mr. Net, Main Entrance, Cogéco TV and a television commercial for the Ford Focus.

Somikon Selfie-Roboter SFH-36.rt mit Bluetooth, App für iOS und Android

Mit Gesichtserkennung und -verfolgung: immer perfekt im Bild! Jetzt nimmt man Selfies und Gruppenfotos so bequem wie noch nie auf – ohne ausgestreckten Arm oder Selfie-Stick. Die Aufnahmen lassen sich genau so einfach auf Facebook, Google+ und Twitter teilen. Der Selfie-Roboter als die Selfie-Stick-Alternative von Somikon ist unkompliziert und effektiv: Einfach das Smartphone oder Tablet in die dafür vorgesehene Halterung klemmen und per Bluetooth und kostenloser App mit dem Roboter verbinden. Nur noch auf eine ebene Fläche stellen – und schon kann das SelfieVergnügen beginnen.
Der Clou: Per Gesichtserkennung folgt die Halterung den Bewegungen um 360°. Sobald alle fürs Bild still
stehen, startet ein kurzer Countdown und die Kamera löst aus. Für dynamische Aufnahmen: Per
Fernbedienung nimmt man jederzeit spontan Fotos auf, auch wenn Personen in Bewegung sind.
Ob alleine, zu zweit oder in der Gruppe: Die App bietet verschiedene Aufnahme-Optionen, sodass die Bilder
immer gelingen.
– Bluetooth-Selfie-Roboter mit Fernbedienung für Smartphones und Tablet-PCs
– Bluetooth 4.0, bis 10 m Reichweite
– Gummierte Klemm-Halterung: für Geräte bis 200 g mit 6 – 9 mm Dicke
– Kostenlose App (Wali von Unigear) für Android ab 4.3 und iOS ab 7.0 bei Google Play und im App Store
– Mit Social Media-Anbindung: Aufnahmen direkt auf Facebook, Google+ und Twitter hochladen
– 360°-Rundum-Aufnahme: Halterung folgt den Bewegungen dank Gesichtserkennungs-Option in der App
– Aufnahme per Gesichtserkennung, Fernbedienung oder voreingestelltem Timer
– Mit Upload-Funktion für Facebook, Google+, Twitter
– Status-LED: zeigt den aktuellen Modus an
– Gummierte, rutschfeste Standfläche mit 1/4″-Stativ-Gewinde
– Leistungsstarker Ni-MH-Akku: 800 mAh, für 2 Stunden Motorbetrieb (je nach Einsatzweise), wird per USB geladen
– Masse Roboter (Ø x H): 74 x 45 mm, 125 g
– Masse Fernbedienung: 75 x 41 x 20 mm, 44 g (inkl. Batterien)
– Selfie-Roboter inkl. Fernbedienung, 2 AAA-Baterien, USB-Ladekabel und deutscher Anleitung
Preis: CHF 89.95 statt empfohlenem Herstellerpreis von CHF 149.95
Bestell-Nr. ZX-1555
Selfie-Roboter mit Gesichtserkennung (https://www.pearl.ch/ch-a-ZX1555-1303.shtml)

LEGO® Education Brings Science to Life for Elementary Students with WeDo 2.0

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS:
• LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 is a hands-on, elementary science solution that develops science practices in the classroom through a robot-based learning system.
• Correlated to standards-based projects, the solution engages and motivates students to solve real-world science problems by working with engineering, technology and coding through the LEGO® brick, classroom-friendly software and 40+ hours of hands-on projects.
• LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 strengthens students’ understanding and develops competencies across key science topics including physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences and engineering.

CES – LAS VEGAS – NEWS RELEASE – January 5, 2016 – Today, LEGO® Education announced LEGO Education WeDo 2.0, a hands-on science solution designed for elementary classrooms using a robot-based learning system. The unique solution combines the LEGO® brick, classroom-friendly software and engaging, standards-based projects to teach elementary students essential science practices and skills. With WeDo 2.0, students explore, create and share their scientific discoveries as they build, program and modify projects. Through a series of collaborative challenges, they deeply engage with science, engineering, technology, and coding, sparking a love for experimentation and investigation. Teachers receive support through training, curriculum and built-in assessment. The result – a resource that builds students’ confidence to ask questions, define problems, and design their own solutions by putting scientific discovery in their hands.

Featuring curriculum that contains 40+ hours of lessons and activities built on key science standards for 2nd-4th grades, WeDo 2.0 enables students to engage with the science practices and engineering habits of mind by testing multiple designs through eight guided and eight open-ended projects. For example, in the “Drop and Rescue” project, students are challenged to design a device to reduce the impacts on humans, animals and the environment after an area has been damaged by a weather-related hazard. Students can prototype solutions to a challenge where there is no single right answer helping teach creativity and problem-solving skills. This also enables educators to tailor lessons to meet all students’ needs, no matter their abilities.

“Teachers know that science and technology skills are crucial for today’s elementary school students, but providing engaging projects that mean something in the real world is a challenge,” said Jeffrey Marlow, a Geobiologist at Harvard University and founder of The Mars Academy education and development program. “WeDo 2.0 offers projects that let students discover the surface of Mars with a model rover, or explore the Amazon rainforest through frog metamorphosis. These science lessons do more than just teach students facts to memorize – they represent an immersive experience that instills a deeper understanding of the scientific method and evidence-based reasoning. Not only are these skills central to science- and technology-based fields but providing a platform for our students to spark that one idea that could change the world is something they can build on for the rest of their lives.”

The wireless platform includes a Bluetooth low-energy Smarthub element; an electronic based building brick that is part of the LEGO Power Functions (LPF); a new technology platform for LEGO Education; one motor; one tilt and one motion sensor. The WeDo 2.0 Core software is an essential and easy-to-use component that is colorful, age-appropriate and has a drag-n-drop interface that is graphical in nature. It also contains a documentation tool that enables students to document their problem solving process and provides an assessment opportunity for teachers.

LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 is available today on iPad, Android, PC, and Macs. Chrome Book support will be available in the second half of 2016. A Scratch interface for WeDo 2.0 (both web-based and stand-alone) will be available for Macs in February 2016 and for PC/Windows in June 2016. For information on how to implement LEGO WeDo 2.0 in your school, or how to transition to WeDo 2.0 from WeDo, visit www.LEGOeducation.us/WeDo

About LEGO® Education:
LEGO® Education offers playful learning experiences and teaching solutions based on the LEGO® system of bricks, curriculum-relevant material, and physical and digital resources to preschool, elementary, middle school, and after school. In partnership with educators for more than 35 years, we support teaching in an inspiring, engaging, and effective way. Our educational solutions, which range from humanities to science, enable every student to succeed by encouraging them to become active, collaborative learners, build skills for future challenges, and establish a positive mind-set toward learning.

Entrepreneur turning hobby into novelty toy and apparel company

GREENSBORO, NC — After graduating from college, designer and maker, Charles Wade, began his hobby by making unique animal stickers, which later morphed into woodcraft and papercraft creations. During a test for one of his woodcrafts he designed and built a poseable wooden robot. The Helper Bot was born.

With the creation of the Helper Bot, Wade began experimenting with other ideas. After receiving feedback and appreciation for his work, he created more robots and designed assembly kits that would allow others to build his creations.

Wade has cultivated his hobby into a career by establishing RoboMustache; a collection of wooden robot assembly kits, accessories and merchandise. More than a collection of novelties, the RoboMustache hints at a rich world of storytelling as well. Coined from a found project in a derelict factory, as the company grows, so will the RoboMustache universe. The story will expand to tell more about the existing robots and bring in new robots along the way.

Wade is crowdfunding the project to take the RoboMustache universe to the next level. The Kickstarter launched Dec. 4, 2015 and runs through the new year.

Drone or Rover – New System Lets You Decide

Rocketship Systems Inc. releases BoxBotix, a new 3D printable robotics system that supports multiple configurations, including copter, plane and rover.

BoxBotix is an open source, modular robotics framework that is designed to be easy to hack, make, use and sustain. BoxBotix is the creation of Rocketship Systems Inc., a small robotics company in Fort Collins, CO.

“We run a small shop that machines robot parts, and we get a lot of calls from customers who have a new sensor or technology they want to test, but no robot to put them on,” says Coby Leuschke, President of Rocketship Systems. So for the last two years they have been designing and testing a new system to meet these needs. BoxBotix is the result.

Leuschke continues, “We have seen many different drone and robot systems emerge in the last year that try to meet the demands of a growing industry, but most are mass produced and difficult to customize. We wanted to create a system that allows people to move the design, build, maintenance cycle closer to the point of use, so they can control their own robot destiny. ” In order to meet these requirements BoxBotix has been designed to be built using desktop 3D printing and readily available parts and tools. Garrett Day, Rocketship Systems Lead Engineer adds, “We are releasing all of our design files under an open source license, so we can provide people the opportunity to modify the design to meet their specific needs, and help improve the overall design.”

The initial release of BoxBotix will feature robots, called BBots, which include the BBCopter, BBPlane and BBRover. Rocketship Systems will provide kits in two versions: A Bring Your Own Printer Kit, where they will provide everything needed to build a frame, excluding the printed parts, and they will also provide a Full Frame Kit that will include everything required to build the frame.

“BoxBotix is not about Rocketship Systems building a million robots. BoxBotix is about enabling a community of a million people to build their own robots,“ Leuschke concludes.

In order to fund the creation and growth of a strong open source community BoxBotix has taken to Kickstarter. To follow their project, be sure to find them on Twitter , Facebook or YouTube, and spread the word to your social media networks. Consider donating as little as $1 to help their project come to life. If you decide to donate more, you can be among the first in the world to build a BBot.