To content | To menu | To search

Thursday, May 15 2014

Video from Robogames 2013

The guys at Trossen Robotics released some more highlight videos about people who attended Robogames 2013, inlcuding this one (I'm always horrified when I see or hear myself)...

Enjoy :)

Xachikoma at Robogames 2013

Monday, April 22 2013

Robogames 2013 done

That's it, Robogames is done. And by that, I am obviously talking about this edition, but unfortunately about the whole event too :s. According to what I have heard, it was the last year of Robogames :/

At least I made the right choice to come this year. It has been a blast, I met a lot of very cool people, got to show Xachikoma and the USB2AX to a lot of people and overall had a lot of fun!

With Kyle from Trossen Robotics we even had Xachi walk a PhantomX AX quadruped at the end of a leash, it was pretty cool!

Ho, and I won Gold in the "Best of show" category by the way :)


I have said to a lot of people that I would publish the code that I use in Xachikoma. This code has always been under an open source license, but around the first contest I entered Xachi in, it immediately became apparent that I needed to find a way to get version control even when I don't have access to the internet. At the time, I was very new to Git and so were the people who tried to help me, so the solution that our guardian angel Alex set up for me was to run a SVN repository on the robot itself. After all, the robot is the only common denominator in every situation I have been in.

The result is that in these two years, the code evolved far away from the internet and thus from the reach of the Internet dwellers. While I might transition to git at some point, for now i'm just going to post a source package so that people can have a look, and I'll try to setup a better workflow at a later date, if it ever proves useful. In the meantime, have fun!


Thursday, April 11 2013

Robogames 2013

I'm going to Robogames 2013 with Xachikoma, April, 19-21 in San Mateo!


I entered Xachi in the "Best of show" contest, just for the fun of it :)

I'll also use this occasion to show off the USB2AX ;)

This is gonna be LEGEN.... wait for it... DARY!

Sunday, December 23 2012

Packing up for Techfest

Xachikoma will be present in Techfest, 3-5th January 2013 in Mumbai, India!

It will demonstrate some of its abilities to the crowd in the International Exhibits section ;) Come say hello!

Friday, December 30 2011

December tales

December has been a cool month, and I'm not only speaking of the weather.



TechTic&Co is an association created to promote science and robotics in Lorraine (the region I live in) and in the northeast of France. The reach is quite wide: the general public, but also students, professionals, researchers, ... everybody who could take part in the "robolution" (robotics revolution) Bruno Bonnell, CEO of Robopolis, talks about.

Their first big public event is a one week long exhibition (FR) covering various aspects of robotics, and it will take place in Oct. 2013 in Metz, FR.

Have a look at their website (FR): http://www.techtic-co.eu/

Preparing such a big event requires a lot of work and a lot of collaboration with public services, other associations, industrials, high schools, etc. So after a few month of the staff tirelessly contacting potential partners, the date of Dec. 8th had been chosen to gather all these people in one place to make sure everybody is on the same page.

For this occasion, I have been asked to be the guest of honor, and to bring Xachi for a little demo. I don't have pictures/videos, but imagine me, awkward as ever, trying to explain my crazy passion to a crowd of 120 influent people (politicians, entrepreneurs, press)... Fun times ;)

Xachi learns to write

A week after the inaugural meeting of TechTic&Co, Xachi was once again up to make the show. This time, it was for a ceremony to celebrate the anniversary of the University the school I graduated from (ESIAL) depends of.

The name of said university is "Université Henri Poincaré" (aka UHP), after the great French mathematician born in the same town the university resides in. So the plan was to have an interlude near the end of the ceremony, where a student-made robot would write on a giant piece of paper "Merci l'UHP" ("Thanks to UHP"). I'm not a student any longer, but my robot was functional, cool and available, so in the end I got to do it.

To write stuff, I made an add-on to mount a pen on the robot. It's a little slide that can move up and down the support structure beneath Xachi's body. The pen is clamped on the slide with rubber bands, and pressure of the pen on the paper is maintained thanks to two other rubber bands driving the slide downward.

mP1010250_1365x1024.jpg mP1010248_1365x1024.jpg mP1010249_1365x1024.jpg
The slide with the pen on it

Working on the cursive L

As time was scarce, I had to do some quick and dirty coding to get things done in less than 24h... So the letters were divided into a few segments and curves each, and I tried to make them look like letters by tweaking the motion parameters (speed vector, turn rate and duration). In the end, since programming "Merci" would have taken too much time, I only taught the robot to write "l'UHP", and "Merci" was written beforehand on the piece of paper, by hand.

Have a look at the last test before leaving for the event venue:

Xachi writes stuff...

Xachi is proud of his calligraphy.

This is completely scripted, but making an automatic path generator taking a set of lines as input seems like a fun project for later...

I should get the videos of the event at some point in the future, stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 6 2011

Xachikoma @ Innorobo

Two weeks ago, the first Innorobo exhibition was held in Lyon, FR, and Xachikoma made a small apparition.

Here it is, just chillin' with his new friend ;) DARwIn_and_Xachikoma.jpg

I met and talked to plenty of wonderful people, including people from Robotis, INRIA Flowers (the guys doing the wonderful humanoid robot Acroban), Gostai, Wany robotics, ECCEROBOT (incredible life-sized compliant humanoid!), Robotsavvy, Ro-botica and many many more :). I also had the opportunity to stay at the Robotis booth Wednesday and Friday with my robot, and to meet volunteers from the Planete-sciences / Eurobot organization team.

Wednesday, after the exhibition closed, I was invited to the first ever DARwIn-OP Tutorial for Partners along people from Robopolis, Roboshop, Ro-botica, Robosavvy and other European robot distributors. We had one DARwIn-OP for three people to play with, and we could try our hands at using some of the stock software applications, like configuring the color tracking, modifying a motion sequence, or re-flashing the servo controller. Very interesting and we had some great fun. At the end of the workshop, I even could disassemble the arm of our DARwIn-OP :). A BIG thank you to each member of the organizing team!


As always, more in the gallery!

Wednesday, February 2 2011

Huge gallery update

I realized I had not posted nearly half of the pictures I took since the beginning of the Xachikoma project... so here they are.

Huge Xachikoma/Eurobot 2011 gallery

It is also available via the "Gallery" link in the sidebar, along with all the photos from the last 2 years.

It covers nearly everything from the first Xachikoma proto to stuff I haven't talked about yet.

Be sure to have a look around here from time to time as I catch up on all I have done during the last two month!

Friday, October 8 2010

Xachikoma !

Pendant ces vacances, je n'ai pas uniquement fait joujou avec les Supermodified, aussi cool soient-ils.

Voila une petite idée du truc qui nous a occupé (mais c'est très loin d'être fini !), avec mon pote Sticky ( www.landrycollet.fr ):

Xachikoma - test cinématique inverse

et avec ses petits bras (ca date de ce soir ^^ ) :

Xachikoma a des bras

Comme à l'origine on voulais avoir des retours de roboticiens de tous horizons, on a commencé un thread sur un forum de robotique amateur (c'est en anglais, mais y'a plein d'images et de vidéos). C'est l'endroit où vous trouverez le plus d'infos, car j'ai la flemme de tout répéter ici.

Le code du simulateur, que vous pouvez tester sur n'importe quel ordinateur ayant Python et VPython d'installé peut être téléchargé ici : http://code.google.com/p/xachikoma/source/browse/#svn/trunk/simu