A robot is a mechanical or virtual artificial agent, usually an electro-mechanical machine that is guided by a computer program or electronic circuitry. read more at WikiPedia

  • 11.12.13 Mai à la Ferté Bernard 1999,
    Coupe de France E=M6 de Robotique "Châteaux Forts"

    essaim1999.jpg (56437 octets)

    Avec de gauche à droite et de haut en bas

    <>Alain DAUBIGNE, Gwen SCHMITT, Gilles GUILLAUME, Jack  BERINGUIER, Emmanuel GILLON, Cédric WALTER, Edouard LABARRE, Jean Baptiste BONNET

    L&39;Equipe ESSAIM 5ème sur plus de 180 équipes avec 1 gros robot (piloté par un 486sx sur carte mère PC104) + deux modules indépendants OBI 1 et OBI 2 (PIC 80C535).


  • eCenter is the company which has give me the opportinity to work in zurich  from 2001 to 2004 in a very experienced team of Java developer.
    I've made a break by going back to Helvetia switzerland 2 years ago, but I  am more than happy to reintegrate this unit at the end of year. eCenter is now going to the market (internal IT unit to an independent, market oriented IT solutions company) , and this give me the chance to put some links:

    ecenter solutions
    vision is to be a leader in the financial services market , offering the first Open Source Software based solution for sales support and product distribution.

  • I already saw this at the french robotic cup in 1999, here is Your chance to buy a mature kit: the Xport 2.0. You can now create amazing robot creations with a Game Boy and some LEGOs....

    The new Xport 2.0 turns the Game Boy Advance (GBA) into a powerful embedded development system. 

    • 4 closed-loop back-EMF motor controllers
    • 16 digital sensor inputs
    • 8 analog sensor inputs
    • In-system NiCd, NiMH battery charger
    • Battery voltage monitor
    • Comprehensive open-source software
    • Optional Bluetooth and other accessories

    Combine with a game boy advance, you have among other things a system:

    • Programmable in C or C++
    • PCM sound
    • 240x160 TFT color LCD
    • Powerful 32-bit RISC CPU

  • List of functionnalities:

    • Multiple levels of environmental interaction, with humans and objects; sight, sound and touch senses.
    • Humanoid body movements, including bending sitting and standing, lying down and getting up, waving, martial arts...
    • A color vision system: recognize colors and skin tones; which wil help him interacts with objects and people.
    • IR vision: detects and avoids obstacles and table edges; tracks moving objects.
    • Speech: through the controller or after detection of sensors
    • "Laser" tracking technology: follows a path traced on the ground.
    • New Precision gripping hands, articulated fingers.
    • Stereo sound system and possibility to program reaction to sounds detection.
    • Realistic 2-axis turning head with animated LED eyes.
    • Interacts with, and can controls, 2 others robots: Robopet and Roboraptor
    • Sleep and auto-shut off functions.
    • 100 pre-strore functions.
    • 4 demo modes and 4 programming modes.
    • Controller or direct, positional programming.
    • Remote control and autonomous behavior modes.
    Expected price tag: $200

  • Robotic physicist Mark Tilden has release its second version of robotsapiens (price tag around 200$). It can now control 2 others robot (Robotpet and Roboraptor), can follow a laser line, recognize with his color camera persons and environment...
    Official Homepage Woowee
    Pictures of the prototype on

    Robosapiens ($200)

    Robopet ($70)

    Roboraptor ($100)

    Soon someone will have to enter the 3 robotics laws in their silicon brain for sure:
    1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

  • Bigger picture of the robosapiens 2 and its box have surfaced on the internet: Go HERE

    The best hacking site about the robosapiens are definitively:
  • Wowwee Robotics has a nice booth set up here at the Sands Convention Center with all kinds of new robotic goodies. Three new robots are debuting this year: the P.E.A. BOT, the RS Media, and the Roboreptile.
    Read more here
  • At the Space and Naval Warfare Systems, 5 robots type are under development:
    • The hunter-killer military robots 
    • Scouts buildings, tunnels and caves.
    • Hauls tons of weapons and gear and performs searches and reconnaissance.
    • Drone in flight
    • Security guard, will soon be able to launch drones to conduct surveillance, psychological warfare and other missions.
    More Here (NYTimes)

    • You can see HERE some floor cleaning and sweeping robots
    •  And HERE some robots that can take care of the lawn

    In the biggest category, do not forget to look also at  the giant forest-walking spider robot by John Deere.

  • I was 2 times at the French robotic cup in 1999 and 2000,  and I am very happy to see that building robots is a lot easier than in the past. I remember me playing with ADA/C++, encoding wheels, ultrasonic waves, Infrared  line detection,  motor steppers...time goes bye too fast :-(

    Parallax is selling a small robot : Boe-Bot ($199 powered by a Basic stamp) which is very similar in what the Essaim team has build in the past.

    Parallax Boe-Bot
    Our design in 1999 (rank 5th against 183 competitors)

    As advertised on their pages, there is a Compas(a low-cost direction sensor, sensing 8 direction) sold by Parallax
    There is also a lot more modules available...I think I will buy one or two just for fun!

    Parallax also sell  an interesting kit called the M-Sorter.  It really sorts M&M candies, and even Skittles by color!
    See the M-Sorter in action here  and buy it here