Trossen Robotics Community FAQ

General FAQs

1. What is the Trossen Robotics Community?
The Trossen Robotics Community(TRC) is one of the premier communities of roboticists on the web. Roboticists worldwide share questions, solutions, new projects, tutorials and more on the TRC. The TRC is maintained by the Trossen Robotics staff.
2. I'm new to the world of robotics. Where should I start?
The TRC has a large library of user-submitted Tutorials. These tutorials are a great place to get started in your quest to learn about robots and all kinds of electronics. TRC member Inxfergy has posted an excellent tutorial, So You Want to Build a Robot?, which is an great place to learn about the basics of robotics.
In addition, you can check out the Trossen Robotics Youtube Channel. The TR staff have put together a great library of videos that demonstrate how to build and work with a variety of kits and parts.
3. I am part of a school/club/charity/event/competition and we are looking for donations and sponsors. Can Trossen Robotics/the TRC help?
We receive many requests a week for donations and sponsorships and while we wish we could accommodate them all the hard fact is that we cannot. We love hearing about all the exciting projects people are working on and we especially love when they are related to education and students working in STEM initiatives. We wish we could give free things to all the awesome students and others out there doing science! But we, like many other small businesses in this area, make our living by selling to clubs, schools, researchers and hobbyists. We too have invested a lot of blood, sweat, and tears building a small business in a niche market during a recession. So we understand where you are at.

The situation is the same for most of our friends, vendors, and partners. The companies on the front lines of the robotics market all get swamped with donation requests. So if you have been knocking on all the same doors as everyone else and getting the same replies this is the reason why. What we recommend is that people go outside the robotics community when seeking sponsorships and donations, then support the small businesses that are part of the robotics community. This is the best way to help the community grow as a whole and support everyone as we build our future robot overlords!
4. I’m building this awesome product and going to come back and buy 80 zillion units. Can you send me free samples?
We don’t send out free samples. If someone needs to try out a product we sell then we suggest purchasing one or more and testing them. Ground shipping in the US costs only $7.99. We think that is a pretty great deal. If the products work for your needs then awesome. We are delighted to sell you more. Asking for free samples is like walking into your local hardware store and telling the cashier you want this item for free, but you promise to come back later and buy more. Sounds totally reasonable, right?
5. I’m opening/have a store and want to have a robotics section. Can I be a reseller?
Currently we only have two products available for resellers. The Redbee RFID reader and RFID Experimenters Kit. None of our other kits are available for resellers at this time. We also are not distributors for the vendors we carry and do not have wholesale pricing to offer on our vendors products. If you are interested in selling those products we recommend contacting those manufactures directly.
6. Customer Service versus Consulting
We understand that many people are very excited to see their ideas become reality and want to get moving as fast as possible. Sometimes this means calling companies looking for help on how to build a project too early in the process. Unfortunately, we cannot offer consulting on how to build people’s ideas and projects. Asking us to help a customer build a project is like walking into a hardware store and asking, “I need to build a sunroom in my house, can you teach me how and what I need to buy?” Unfortunately, there are too many variables and unknowns in order for a sales person to help answer questions with such a broad scope. A builder needs to apply due diligence, do the research on their project requirements, and then ask qualified questions so that a sales person can help with the more defined questions that come after.

What we can do:

  • -We can answer specific questions about product specifications.
  • -We can help inform which products work together or do not.
  • -Troubleshoot malfunctioning products.
  • -We can make general suggestions on products to look at that may fulfill a specific requirement.

What we cannot do:

  • -Train or educate in electronics, mechanical design, programming, etc.
  • -Spec out motors or controllers or servos based on generalities like “I want to make my front door open and close.” Or “What motor do I need to move a robot that weighs X lbs at Y speed”
  • -Assemble and program a list of products that the customer purchases to do X function.
  • -Build shopping cart lists or bill of materials for people based on project descriptions. IE: “What do I need to buy to build XYZ?”
7. Buying a robot part does not also buy training
The customer assumes responsibility for either knowing how or learning how to use the parts they are buying. Just like you wouldn’t expect to call the auto parts store and have them teach you how to install an alternator that you bought there, we cannot teach customers how to learn electronics, mechanical design, programming etc. If you are being pointed to this FAQ then it is because the questions being asked are beyond regular customer service and falling more into asking for training.

Forum Rules

Avatars, Profiles, and Signatures

  1. 8. You can't have both text and images in your signature
  2. 9. For text signatures: 4 lines normal size, 8 lines small size and up to 90 chars per line. Font sizes above 2 are not allowed. (Blank lines count as lines.)
  3. 10. Do not use images with large text to bypass the previous item.
  4. 11. For images in signatures: 1 image up to 300 pixels wide, 125 pixels tall and 20k in size.
  5. 12. Animated images in a signature and/or avatars are not allowed.

General Rules

  1. 13. While debating and discussion is fine, we will not tolerate rudeness, profanity (or attempts to bypass profanity filters), insulting posts, personal attacks or purposeless inflammatory posts. Our decision is final in these matters.
  2. 14. Multiple or repeated posting in order to increase your post count is not allowed.
  3. 15. Advertising, spamming and trolling is not allowed. This includes using the forum, email, visitor messages, blog comments, picture comments and private message systems to spam other members.
  4. 16. Please wait a reasonable amount of time before bumping posts. For style changes and general 'how-to' questions this should be 24 hours. For specific troubleshooting issues, use 12 hours as a guideline.
  5. 17. We do not allow posts or links to sites that are sexual in nature or violate Trossen Robotics community standards. The Trossen Robotics Staff shall be the sole arbitrator of what does and what does not violate community standards.
  6. 18. Discussion of illegal activities such as software and music piracy and other intellectual property violations are not allowed.
  7. 19. Each member is allowed one login account. Registering with multiple accounts is not allowed.
  8. 20. We reserve the right to remove offensive posts without notice.
  9. 21. If you are going to post non-English on these forums, please also post an English Translation of your post.
  10. 22. Posts discussing moderator actions are also not allowed.
  11. 23. While these rules cover most common situations, they cannot anticipate everything. Consequently we reserve the right to take any actions we deem appropriate to ensure these forums are not disrupted or abused in any way.
  12. 24. We reserve the right to ban anyone who willfully violates the forum rules, as access to Trossen Robotics Community forums are a privilege and not a right.

Posting Tips

  1. 25. Before you ask a question on the forums, do a little research. A little time spent searching Google, our Forums, or the Community Tutorials can go along way toward finding material related to your question.
  2. 26. When asking for help on the forums, qualifying your questions by doing your own research and asking direct, targeted questions will go a long way toward getting a helpful response. Asking for finished code, finalized schematics, or the exact solution to your problem will usually not get you much support. Instead, try asking for advice on what resources and materials to look at. Note the resources you've found and the things you have tried, as this will help show that you have a real interest in the subject. The TRC is here to foster learning, innovation, and collaboration - not to do your homework/job for you.
  3. 27. Keep all of the discussion of a particular project in one thread! This allows newcomers to the discussion to find out what has already been said, thus allowing them to further help you!
  4. 28. Post as much information as you can. If you can't give us many details, we probably can't answer the question, further, we probably won't be very interested in solving a problem that is part of a larger project we know nothing about.
  5. 29. Be patient. It takes about a day for everyone to cycle through reading a thread. Discussions may easily last several days as people are not glued to their monitors (believe it or not...)
  6. 30. Private Messages are great for asking specific things that would not be relevant to others. If it is a general question, please post to the forum, so that all can learn from the responses.

Forum FAQs