Website of the Week Archive
2004 Archive :: 2005 Archive ::
:: 2004 Archive ::
:: 2003 Archive ::
:: 2002 Archive ::

:: October 16th - January 31st, 2005 (A very long week indeed) ::

This week we feature a recommendation from one of you.

Explore where fact meets fiction in this site featuring over 675 creations inspired by science fiction. Take a look into how the fiction of past affects our present and helps dictate what will be the future. Have look into the crystal ball at...

Technovelgy Highlights:
-  The Timeline of Science Fiction Inventions
-  Glossary of Science Fiction Inventions
-  Or search by category
-  Check out the Robotics category

:: September 22nd - October 15th ::

Art for art's sake?...

A 2004 robot talent show was held last weekend in Harlem, New York. It featured the work of more than 20 artists from around thw world showing off their mechanical contraptions in the name of "ART". This is the place where those wacky people who love to hack together a crazy contraption without worry of practical application go to let off steam and entertain. It's always a good time and fun to look at the line up of talent at the third annual...

Artbots Highlights:
-  Artbots 2004 Participants
-  Artbots at Art Expo
-  Artbots 2003
-  Artbots 2002

:: September 8th - September 21st ::

Anyone up for a game of Foosball?...

Check out what some robot scientists in Freiburg Germany have cooked up. It's a robot foosball table! Guess what's on my wish list for x-mas...

KiRO Highlights:
-  New Scientist Article

:: July 21st - September 8th ::

I'm back after an even longer hiatus with an update on Robosapien...

Robosapien has been out for a few months now and is starting to get some traction in the hacker community. Servo Magazine is even sponsoring a contest with a $500 first prize for best Robosapien hack. Check out...

Robosapien Hacking Highlights:
-  Unofficial Robosapien Hacks Site
-  Zodiak's Robosapien Internals Page
-  Hacking a Robosapien - A pictorial guide

:: July 16th - August 20th :: (a very long week indeed)

We're back after a short hiatus with the little rover that could...

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA has a little project with some big potential to help humans explore planetary surfaces. Weighing in at anywhere from 10 to 100 grams these little guys might be sent to comets, asteroids or even be the next successors to the MER on the planet Mars. Check out...

NanoRover Highlights:
-  Science Instruments
-  Mobility Systems
-  Control Systems
-  Nanorover Imagery

:: July 8th - July 15th ::

This week we take a look at deformable soft body robots from Japan..

What goes down stairs alone or in pairs, runs over your neighbors dog? We'll could be a soft robot from Ritsumeikan University. Check out their...

:: July 1st - July 7th ::

If you happen to be in the DC area during the middle of August...

BrickFest 2004 is coming to the nation's capital. Brickfest is reportedly a very good time with many people bringing their own creations or MOCS (My Own Creations) to show off. There are also many worshops, presentations, and even a few robot challenges. Go get your brick on...

Brickfest Highlights:

-  Robotics Competitions
-  Reach your inner architect in the Micro Moc Off
-  Participarte in the community mosaic project
-  Check out the rest of the events

:: June 24th - June 30th ::

Here's a great site to visit if you're a robotics teacher or student.

Carnegie Mellon University hosts this organization bent on turning every child into a robot genius. If you're an educator that uses Robolab to teach robotics you will find great curriculum ideas free and in several products that they have available. I own a couple myself and they are quality presentations of material you would normally have to comb the web for. Stop by and visit the National Robotics Engineering Consortium...

Robotics Academy Highlights:

-  Printable Curriculum Guide [.pdf]
-  More about curriculum can be found here.
-  Design Challenges
-  One Day Design Challenges
-  Core Concepts
-  More useful links can be found here

:: June 17th - June 23rd ::

This week we feature one of my science personalities.

I've been a fan of James Burke since his Connections series first started airing on PBS in the early 80's. His shows were one of the few reasons I would stop to watch television. After all these years they're still genius. Come on you know you want to see how the invention of the sail influenced nuclear weapons. Check out his latest project...

For more info on James Burke check out these excellent sites:

-  Palmer's James Burke Fan Companion
-  Hear him @ Voices from the Smithsonian
-  Connections @ Scientific America

Pick up the book of the video:

Connections 2: 5 Pack
Connections 3: 5 Pack
The Knowledge Web

:: June 3rd - June 16th ::

This week we feature a very cool builder's site...

It's always nice when you run across a website that has a wide array of robot designs. This week's feature does not disappoint. Feast your eyes on the...

Here are some of our favorites:

-  The Ambulator
-  The Battlebot...
-  ... and Joystick
-  The Hexapod
-  3 Speed Automatic Gearbox

:: May 27th - June 2nd ::

This week we feature another simulation.

Everyone loves a good roller coaster ride. Now is your chance to design your own and learn a little bit about the physics that go into design to make sure your riders don't lose their heads. Explore...

Check out these other great roller coaster physics sites:

-  Funderstanding Roller Coaster
-  Encyclopedia Britannica's Roller Coaster Physics
-  The Discovery Channel's - Build your own coaster
-  Review of Kinetic & Potential Energy
-  Amusement Park History

:: May 20th - May 26th ::

From the Museum of Science, Boston comes...

...your very own robot design simulation! It's showing it's age a bit but is still nevertheless a great introduction to how robots work and the decisions that need to me made when building a robot. Go...

Exhibit Guides:
-  Introduction
-  Teachers' Guide
-  Parents' Guide
-  Visitors Guide

:: May 13th - May 19th ::

This week we venture into a bit of programming...

SQUEAK comes out of the Smalltalk movement and is a fun and easy introduction to application development. The brainchild of Alan Kay, an ex-Xerox PARC researcher who is responsible for helping along the first GUI and a dozen other things you use every day, and a team of volunteers SQUEAK is open source and best of all FREE. Check it out at....

Other helpful SQUEAK resources:
-  Squeak Tutorials
-  Squeak fun
-  Games written in Squeak
-  Squeak Wiki

:: May 6th - May 12th ::

Why this hasn't been up here before now I just can't say?

The Center for Engineering Educational Outreach (CEE0) at Tufts University has been listed in my resource section for years now. This we week bring it out into the spotlight. The CEEO is the organization behind the development of ROBOLAB and if you've been in one of my classes, camps or competitions you certainly know that I'm a big fan of ROBOLAB. So this week you pop by and visit...

Other helpful resources at the CEEO:
-  Curriculum and Activities

Teacher's Upcoming Conference in August 2004:
-  ROBOLAB Conference 2004

:: April 29th - May 5th ::

This week we feature a DIY project...

Ever wanted a simple, inexpensive puppet? For less than $10.00 you can bring Woody to life!. Check out...

Other helpful info:
-  This project uses MSWLogo. It's Free. Here!

Craft Store Resources:
-  Michaels
-  Dick Blick

Electronic Store Resources:
-  Jameco Electronics
-  Digi-Key Electronics
-  Mouser Electronics

:: April 22nd - April 28th ::

The story of the Golem is an old one that takes place in Prague, Czechoslovakia. This week we look at a project that uses the story as its inspiration...

Students at Brandeis University are working on a project where separate electro-mechanical systems evolve into systems that form their own robotic life forms. To make it even more interesting, these systems are entirely evaluated ,designed, redesigned and fabricated by robotic systems. Check out...

Other Golem info:
-  Evolution Scrapbook
-  Fabrication Technique

Golem Project in the Media
-  NPR (audio)

:: April 15th - April 21st ::

Presented by the KISS Institute of Practical Robotics, this week marks the local crescendo to this year's Botball tournament.

Starting in February middle school and high school students have six weeks to get their team together to play a rousing game of...

This is a completely autonomous robot competition without human intervention. The game is played by moving ping-pong balls into a "scoring position". The robots are made from a combination of LEGO and other electronic components, including a Handy Board.

Botball Info:
-  Botball Video Gallery
-  Botball also has a website design element. Check out who won in 2004.

Want to know more?
-  Botball overview

Botball is supported by NASA who has a really great robotics site:
-  NASA's Robotics Education Project
-  Northern California Regional - April 17th, 2004 in Santa Clara.

:: April 8th - April 14th ::

Just in case you've felt like you've done it all...

This week we feature a builder who has gone where no person has gone before with LEGO. I mean come on now...a retina scanner!? Check out...

:: April 1st - April 7th ::

"March Madness" in the student robotics world means it's time for the competitions to begin.

This week the Silicon Valley Regional FIRST competition is held at San Jose State University. High School students from the surrounding area will come together to pit their robots against others in this year's challenge - “FIRST FRENZY: Raising the Bar”". Check out...

Find a regional competition near you:
-  Regional Event Information

Other FIRST Resources:
-  Competition Details
-  Can't make it? Watch the simulcast.
Watch the kick of videos:
-  Low-Res (2 MB)
-  High-Res (13MB)

:: March 24th - March 31st ::
During last week's Robolympics I had an opportunity to meet Steve and some of his creations...

Steve has made some pretty crazy stuff out of LEGO. Feast your eye's on...
Be sure to look at:
- The Connect 4 Robot - Full Contact
- The Legway
- Directions for the Robolympics gold medal line runner - Ben Hur

:: March 17th - March 23rd ::
This week we examine the convergance point between robot and human.

Students at U.C. Berkeley are hard at work examining how robotics can be used to assist humans. Picture a strap-on robot that allows you to lift and carry several hundred pounds of heavy equipment for hours on end. Besides the obvious military applications this type of assistive technology might be used to someday allow people who have lost the use of their legs to walk again. Check out the Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton, better know as...
Have a look at these other exoskeleton projects:
- Extended Body and Walking Machine
- The Spring Walker
- University of Washington - BioRobotics Lab
- ARTHROPODS - Secrets of Exoskeleton

:: March 10th - March 16th ::
This week marks the first attempt at Darpa's Grand Challenge.

Since it was announced a year and a half ago teams of engineers in garages, universities and industry have been working frenetically to build an autonomous robot vehicle that can make the trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The prize you ask? $1,000,000 and bragging rights (not to mention a little contract from Darpa). It all kicks off this weekend with over 25 teams competing. Time to get out and drive along...
Check out some of the teams and their vehicles:
- GhostRider - Cal Berkeley
- Road Warrior - Palos Verde High School
- Sandstorm - Carnegie Mellon
- Team CalTech
**Click here for a complete list of teams**

:: March 3rd - March 9th ::
Look what's waddling into a store near you soon...

Over the last few year's Mark Tilden has brought us BEAM robotics and the B.I.O. Bug. His latest creation is even more remarkable, a biped robot, capable of 84 program steps, has reflexes and can whip out the kung fu on you. The best part is it will sell for under $100! Brush up on your "international caveman" and meet your new buddy...

Videos of Mark Tilden and RoboSapien on Solarbotics:
- Gallery One
- Gallery Two

:: February 26th - March 2nd ::
This week I appeal to a human's need to "fiddle" ...

Fiddle with this, fiddle with that...fiddling with things can be fun. This week's entry is no exception, when I first found this I fiddled with it for hours. Construct your own little contraptions and take them to the races. Have fun fiddling with...

Other cool SodaPlay stuff:
- Make your own in the - SodaConstructor
- See what other's have created in the - SodaZoo
- Compete in the - SodaRace!

:: February 18th - 25th ::
This week we look at the latest robot craze from Asia...

There's not too much available in the english language yet but it sure is fun to look at the media from some of their recent events. Feast your eyes on...

To get a rough translation of these pages use the "Translate a Page" function at Babel Fish

Other RoboOne stuff:
- More Pics
- Eiichiro Morinaga's Metallic Fighter
- Jin Sato's Robot Factory
- Miyata's Robot Factory
- Robot Kingdom
- U-Knight
- A list of Robo-One Stuff

:: February 12th - 17th ::
This week we play robot surgeon...
mu-ha!! It's alive!!

A few years back Wow Wee released a series of toys designed by one time NASA scientist and BEAM roboticist Mark Tilden. Dubbed B.I.O. Bugs they were cool out of the box, autonomous or controllable via a small remote. However, as happens with most toys these days, after a bit of play they lost their luster. It's time to dust off your B.I.O. Bugs and learn to hack some new life into them. Pass the x-acto, fire up the soldering iron and get ready to learn about...

Check out what else is coming from Mark Tilden and Wow Wee:
- RoboSapien

Other B.I.O. BUG Hacks:
- Jérôme Demers - 17 yr old malicious toy modifier
- BIO HACK - add a solderless breadboard
- BIO BUG Overhaul
- Giving your BIO BUG a voice
- Solar Powered BIO BUG

Other toy hacking pages:
- AiboHack
- I-Cybie Mods
- Furby Autopsy
- Furby Plastic Surrgery
- Rumble Robots Autopsy

:: February 5th - 11th ::
This week we feature Kevin Clague and his creations.

Kevin has contributed enormously to the LEGO community and is the creator of all kinds of cool contraptions to get you thinking. Check out...

Some of my favorites from Kevin's collection:
- PneumADDic II
- Inchworm

:: January 29st - February 4th ::
This week we take a break from Mars and are back to LEGO.

Ben has created some amazing creations. Check out...

Some of my favorites from Ben's collection:
- The Fetchbot
- Plotter
- Clock

:: January 21st - January 28th ::
NASA's second rover touches down Saturday.

Mars Exploration Rover-A (MER-B) "Opportunity" is scheduled to decend from the martian heavens and come bouncing to a stop at 9:05 p.m. PST on January the 24th...Destination: Meridiani Planum. With "Spirit" having suddenly gone silent the success of this landing is more important than ever.

Other Mars sites:
- The Rover Landing Sites (Flash)
- M2K4
- Cornell's Athena Project
- How the Mars Exploration Rovers Work

Check in on LEGO's very own Astrobots on Mars:
- The Diaries of Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust

:: January 15th - January 20th ::

Here's a great book about LEGO CAD

Lego Software Power Tools
Coming back down to Earth for a bit...

This week we feature a series of programs that can be used to create your own "virtual" LEGO creations and building instructions. A good place to start is the site, however there are many more sites and programs to look at so be sure to explore the other links listed below. So go get creative in the wonderful world of...

Getting Started:
- Getting Started
- Tutorials

The world of LEGO CAD is comprised of lots of programs working together.:
- MLCAD - LEGO CAD Program
- LeoCAD - LEGO CAD Program
- LDView - Real time 3D LDraw Model Viewer
- L3P - Converts files for POV-Ray
- MegaPOV - Raytracing Rendering Engine
- LPub - Produces step-by-step instructions
- LSynth - For making bendable parts in MLCAD
- and many more...

:: January 8th - January 14th ::
This week we decided to stick with the Mars robot theme.

The Planetary Society in conjunction with LEGO has had a program that fosters student's direct involvement in some of the missions headed to Mars. Check out this great program at...

Check in on LEGO's very own Astrobots on Mars:
- The Diaries of Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust

Other Mars sites:
- The Mars Exploration Rover Missions (TPS)
- Learn about the Red Planet (TPS)
- M2K4 - Mars 2004 (NASA)

:: January 1st - January 7th ::
The wait is over this Saturday... the Mars Exploration Rover-A (MER-A) "Spirit" is scheduled to bounce to a stop at 8:35 p.m. PST on January the 3rd.

Check in on LEGO's very own Astrobots on Mars:
- The Diaries of Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust

Other Mars sites:
- Cornell's Athena Project
- The Mars Exploration Rover Missions (TPS)
- Red Planet Rovers (

Stay in touch with the British effort to try to contact their mission to Mars:
- The Mars Society (UK)
- Beagle 2 Lander