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Thread: February '08 WINNERS!

  1. #1
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    February '08 WINNERS!

    Cut from Dave's Blog post

    In case you're new to the Trossen Robotics Community, here's a quick refresher on how this contest works:

    First, all kinds of fantastically talented and dedicated people come to our Project Showcase forum to tell us all about the projects they've been working on. Periodically, we (the Trossen Robotics team) sort through these projects, and score them very scientifically in the following categories: "Wow" factor, Ingenuity, Creativity, and Presentation (this includes graphics, videos, documentation, explanation, etc.).

    This is the fourth contest we've run here at Trossen Robotics, and the projects just keep getting cooler! This time around, we extended the deadline and upped the stakes. Since the last contest, the community has grown and expanded well beyond our expectations, and this has resulted in some of the best work we've seen yet. If you showed off your project in our Project Showcase forum, give yourself a big ol' pat on the back. Now, let's get to the meat and potatoes. Here are the runners-up and winners, in suspense-building ascending order!

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    Honorable Mention

    Project: "Johnny 5.3"


    Creator: Andrew Alter (Tyberius)

    We've been working a little too closely with Andrew to let him enter the contest, but we can't totally leave him hanging. He's been building a "Johnny 5"-inspired humanoid/trackbot hybrid, and it's really coming together. His brain (Johnny's, not Andrew's) is a Pico-ITX running Windows XP Pro. It has a vocal synthesizer, great big grippers, a reinforced suspension system, a snarky personality, and I've heard that it drives around harassing Andrew's baby. It's the embodiment of robotic awesomeness, in other words. Check out his thread, picture gallery, and his blog.

    Runners-Up

    Project: "Leviskate"

    Creator: Rodger Cleye
    Average Score: 7.63 / 10
    Prize: $20 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

    The Leviskate is a "self-balancing motorboard." Kind of like a Segway for people who really like head injuries. Seriously though, this contraption is truly awesome. There are some cool videos in Rodger's thread, too. Our favorite thing about the videos is that Rodger sounds genuinely amazed that it actually works.

    Project: "The Bratinator Project"


    Creator: SN96
    Average Score: 7.67 / 10
    Prize: $20 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

    It walks, it talks, it scares the kids. It's... the Bratinator. Built around the Lynxmotion Brat biped, this monstrosity features speech, binaural hearing, a custom-machined aluminum head.

    Project: "Gepetto"


    Creator: darkback2
    Average Score: 8.25 / 10
    Prize: $20 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

    It really pains us to see Gepetto in the runners up, instead of placing in a cash-winning position, but sometimes that's just the way it goes. This was a very close race. This bot is beautifully made from wood and metal, has a really cool suspension system, carries its laptop brain around with it, and is programmed with some really interesting behavior/mood software That's really just the tip of the iceberg, so you'll have to read through the thread to see Gepetto's full story.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Third Place




    Project: "eyeRobot"
    Creator: Nathaniel Barshay
    Average Score: 8.38 / 10
    Prize: $100 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

    The eyeRobot is a robotic guide for people with vision impairments. It has a whole slew of IR and ultrasonic range sensors for collision avoidance, and pathfinding software to keep it moving through the clearest area. This was a proof-of-concept prototype meant to marry the simplicity of the traditional white cane with the instincts of a seeing-eye dog. This project is going places, and hopefully one day it will help other people go places.


    Second Place



    Project: "Frameless Laser Harp"
    Creator: Stephen Hobley
    Average Score: 8.88 / 10
    Prize: $250 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

    Twenty-two years ago, he saw Jean-Michel Jarre play a laser harp at a concert, and from that day he's been on a mission. This mission finally came to fruition last month, when he completed his own laser harp, and let me tell you, it's a pretty stunning piece of equipment. Using a galvanometer to very rapidly and precisely aim a pulsing laser, light sensors to detect where a beam has been interrupted, and an Arduino brain; the harp sends MIDI control signals to a synthesizer.



    First Place



    Project: "Phoenix"
    Creator: Kåre Halvorsen
    Average Score: 9.63 / 10
    Prize: $500 Trossen Robotics Gift Certificate!

    Phoenix is a six legged walking robot. Wait, we know some of you out there may be thinking that hexapod robots are old hat. Well, you're wrong... So very wrong. Wait until you see it move. Phoenix's real beauty lies in her graceful motion, which is some of the most convincing and eerily lifelike that we've seen in a robot that uses standard hobby servos and a common off-the-shelf servo controller. The kinematics are computed by an intricately programmed spreadsheet, which we highly recommend you check out if you're a fan of trigonometry.

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    We want to thank everyone for their great submissions. If all goes as planned, the next contest (which is already underway) will conclude at the end of May 2008. You can stay up to date on contest rules and regulations at the Trossen Robotics Project Contest page, and start posting your projects in our Project Showcase Forum.
    Last edited by Matt; 04-07-2008 at 03:08 PM.

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

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    Re: February TRC Project Contest Winners!

    Congrats everyone! Great projects all around, must've been hell on the staff to pick the winners.

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    Re: February TRC Project Contest Winners!

    must've been hell on the staff to pick the winners.
    Indeed! But it was still really fun. I can't wait to do it again this round

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

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    Re: February TRC Project Contest Winners!

    I just wanted to give a huge thanks to everyone who posted their projects and to all those that evolved the threads with their interest. These contests are a lot of fun, but as always it's merely a way to promote the sharing of projects and ideas more than anything else. I really think this is a pivotal time in robotics and automation technology. I like to think of this community as the robotics equivalent of the infamous homebrew computer club. There is a lot of innovation and experimentation happening here amongst the convergence of many rapidly evolving technologies. It is in places like this where next generation applications of fresh technologies are born keep at it everyone!

    I look forward to seeing what awesome projects pop up next round!

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    Re: February TRC Project Contest Winners!

    Hi!

    Thanks to Trossen Robotics for this generous gift! (read more robot parts LOL ) I feel very proud of getting the first place, especially among all these awesome projects.

    I also want to give Tyberius a special thanks because he was that man who gave me the tip about this contest.

    Thanks to all of you!

  6. Re: February TRC Project Contest Winners!

    Thanks for the $20! I'm up to $70 now - and am eyeing some of your new offerings. I am still in the process of refining the Leviskate. The new gear motor had so much torque, that it bent the motor mount at the weld ! Some additional mechanical slop made the control loop really mad as well. I will post video of the new mechanical design and hopefully some more impresssive daytime videos as soon as I get it all worked out. - Rodger

  7. #7

    Re: February TRC Project Contest Winners!

    I want to personally congrat Zenta for the first place win. He deserved it greatly. It was a lot of fun being apart of the contest, and I enjoyed checking out what others have done as well.

    I also want to thank Andrew for telling me about this awesome community and about the contest. I really look forward to seeing what projects are going to pop up next!

  8. #8
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    Re: February TRC Project Contest Winners!

    be sure to let everyone you guys/gals know about this contest! It's going to be pretty hard to top this round of contest entries, but we can sure try

    �In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed�
    - Charles Darwin

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    Re: February TRC Project Contest Winners!

    Congratz Zenta! And to all of the entries. It's very cool when people share their ideas and are open to discussion. It's very inspirational and I look forward to finding the challenges that will take my skills to the point that I can enter one (or more) of my bots.

    I'd also like to say thank you to Trossen Robotics for hosting and sponsoring such a competition.

  10. Re: February WINNERS!

    hi I'm really excited about this contest, my cousin is a 14yr old robotics programmer (slightly evil genius) and I'm learning Rhino so I would like to know, is there going to be another contest like this? when? where? how? thanks, I guess I will search the threads as well. Nice to be here and looking forward. fishfool @ The Reef Tank

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