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SERVO Issue 3.2014
SERVO Issue 3.2014  


Red Rover, Red Rover ... 10 Years of Opportunity
by Dave Prochnow
Who would have thought 10 years ago that NASA would still be gleaning all kinds of awesome intel from their golden Opportunity. Page 43

Nuntius — The Garden Avenger
by David Dorhout
So, like, if you’re someone who would way rather do gardening from the comfort of your couch, then here’s the robot for you. Page 52

The Schmitt Trigger and How It Works
by Roger Secura
Whether because of harsh environments or the inherent limitations of sensor technology, output signals are rarely as clean as we'd like. Sensor noise can overwhelm a navigation system or even a simple robotics control system. You can take steps such as adding shielding to cables (adds weight), defining noise gates in software (takes space and degrades overall computational performance), and investing in better, more expensive sensors. Page 60


Windows 8 Tablets: The Ultimate Robot Controller — Part 4

by John Blankenship, Samuel Mishal

In this final installment, bestow some personality to your tablet-controlled robot by giving it a voice. Page 48

Build a Simple Walking SpiderBot

by Eric Ostendorff

Hack an $8 toy into a programmable walking and sensing maniacal octopod of doom! Page 67


by Jeff Eckert
Stimulating Robot Tidbits (03.2014)
• Stickybot has Space Potential • Mechanical Cooter Seeks Shipwrecks • Universal Gripper Goes Commercial • Roomba to Beer Buddy Page 08

by David Geer
The Quadforge Black Bat
The Pennsylvania-based Montgomery County Community College’s project helps give those Swedish weather folks eyes in the air. Page 10

Ask Mr. Roboto
by Dennis Clark
Your Problems Solved Here (03.2014)
Resurrect your Savage Innovations Soundgin board. Page 14

Then and Now
by Tom Carroll
Humanity’s Perception of Robots
Whether they’re from the Uncanny Valley or just simple, hard-working automatons, people’s feelings about robots are changing. Page 74

Combat Zone

BUILD REPORT: Isotelus Rex — Part 3
in Combat Zone: Features
In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, I showed how I designed my new 12 lb combat robot, and then revised the design so that it would meet the weight restrictions. Page 28

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew Part 2: Designing an Asymmetric Weapon
in Combat Zone: Features
Last month, we discussed the design and performance compromises that accompany the use of an asymmetric weapon. If you decide that this design is right for your robot, the next step is to start concocting your weapon. Page 32

Old School Lathes
in Combat Zone: Features
This is not your typical product review. I’m not going to tell you about a brand new product, a cutting edge piece of technology, or a product that will revolutionize the way we all work. I’m not even reviewing a single product. Instead, I am going to look at the subject of old lathes and why you should buy one. Page 35

2014 STEM Tech Olympiad
in Combat Zone: Events
We are thrilled to announce the 2014 STEM Tech Olympiad! The event will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center in South Florida on May 4-6. Page 37

in Combat Zone: Features
Pololu produces an interesting set of components that allow you to have caterpillar type tracks on your small 250 g to 1 lb combat bots. Page 38

EVENT REPORT: Thunderdome
in Combat Zone: Events
Thunderdome is a new event to South Florida aiming to give builders a venue to compete multiple times a year. Spectators can learn from competitors and come back with a robot of their own. Page 40


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