Website of the Week Archive
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:: December 21st - December 31st ::
It looks like it's shaping up to be a Martian Xmas.

After a journey of 250 million miles this week marks the arrival of the British born Beagle 2 lander to the martian soil of the Isidis Planita Basin on Mars. It's primary mission to seek out the signatures of life. Check out...

Other sites about Beagle2 and the Mars Express program:
- ESA : Mars Express
- ESA : Mars Express Data Sheet
- Where is Mars Express now?
- Have a peek at the folks at mission control.
- Lot's of good video here.
- Videotalk: Why is Mars so red?

:: December 14th - December 20th ::
This week we feature an odd innovation in rover technology.

We love it when NASA thinks out of the box. Check out...

:: December 7th - December 13th ::
This week we feature robots that link themselves together.

These robots configure themselves into complex mechanical structures where the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Check out...

Other Cool Modular Robotics Links:
- Darthmouth Robotics Lab
- John Hopkins Robotics Lab
- SwarmBots
- NanYang University
- Carnegie Mellon
- Cal-Tech
- Rensselaer PolyTechic Institute
- Michigan State University

:: November 30th - December 6th ::
This week's feature is new class of robot on the robot sumo circuit.

Called Micro Sumo or Nano Sumo they are from 5 cm - 2.5 cm in size and weigh in at less than 100 grams. There isn't one site that can give you a complete overview so follow this link for some pictures and explore the links below to find out more about...

Other Micro-Nano Robot Links:
- Rules: for the upcoming Robolympics
- Video: Nanobot's in action at RoboMaxx
- Photos: From Solarbotics at RoboMaxx
- Parts: MEGAbitty Robot Controller
- Shop: Purchase MEGAbitty parts here.
- Parts: Nano-Scoop Kits

:: November 23rd - November 29th ::
This is what I get when I put Thanksgiving +robots into google...

...Don't ask me why I did it. Slow news week? Maybe it's that early morning brain fog I have before my first cup of coffee? I felt it too weird to pass up making the site of the week. So before I come to my senses and change my mind go checkout...

Be Festive and Happy Holidays!

:: November 16th - November 22nd ::
There's a new magazine in town just for us mechanically fixated types.


Order your copy today:

:: November 9th - November 15th ::
We have a great resource this week for those of you that sometimes want to build something but just aren't sure how to get started.

From the site:
“Build-It-Blocks is a library of reusable,functional building blocks and construction tips.
— Build complex, engaging projects quickly.
— Edit and perfect your solutions easily.
— Make your inventions reliable.
Build-It-Yourself is collaborating with the MIT Media Lab to design and develop Build-It-Blocks.”
There's lots of great food for though in here, many of which use LEGO! Go get inspired...

Some of our favorites:
- Open Close
- WSquirt Gun
- Program Flow Chart
- RCX Computer Control
- Sling Shot
- Clock LEGO
- Sidewinder Gear Train

:: November 2nd - November 8th ::
The original Renaissance man is featured this week.

Scientist, artist, inventor, and futurist this man was busier than a cranberry merchant in November. Have fun...

Other Leonardo Da Vinci sites to visit:
- WebMuseum: Leonardo Da Vinci
- Leonardo Da Vinci Biography
- Leonardo Da Vinci: Man of Both Worlds
- Why is the Mona Lisa smiling?
- Leonardo Da Vinci Museum
- Italy's National Museum of Science and Technology
- Great list of Da Vinci's machines

:: October 26th - November 1st ::
This week we are reaching out into virtual robot space.

Dave has built a virtual playground for you to play around in by controlling a LEGO robot. Go muck around with...

Technologies for controlling an RCX over the web:
- WebRCX
- WebBrick
- WebRemote
- Red Rover Goes to Mars - The Planetary Society

Telerobotics on the web:
- Austrailia's Telerobot on the Web
- NASA Space Telerobotics Program

:: October 19th - October 25th ::
A humanoid LEGO robot project tops the list this week.

"Feelix is a humanoid robot built out of LEGO. Controlled by two Mindstorms™ RCX'es, it reacts to tactile stimulation by changing its facial expression. It is capable of displaying anger, sadness, happiness, fear, and surprise. It was built and programmed by Dolores Cañamero and Jakob Fredslund from Lego Lab at Aarhus University in Denmark." Meet...

More projects from the LEGO LAB at the University of Aarhus:
- The Jungle Cube
- A Steel Plant Production Line
- Small Car, Big Sound
- Inner Space Robots

:: October 6th - October 18th ::
This week we feature a project from ancient China that you can build at home.

Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor of China during the Warring States period needed a navigation aid to guide his army through the sandstorms of the Gobi Desert. The result of this effort is the...

Instructions and pictures of South Pointing Chariots built with LEGO:
- The Fifth R South Pointing Chariot
- The Direction Master
- Richard's LEGO South Pointer
- Richard's LEGO South Pointer ala Alex
- A LEGO South Pointing Mechanism
- Phil's South Pointing Chariot
- A Mechanical Compass

Other South Pointing Chariots around the web:
- South Pointing Penguin
- South Pointing Jawa
- Dr. Gears
- Kit Williams' Engines of Ingenuity

:: October 5th - October 11th ::
This week we feature another fellow builder and a creative one at that.

Meet David. David likes to build and play with LEGO CAD. Build! David Build!.....

David has some good stuff. Some of his projects even include instructions. Be sure to visit.
- The Peanut Butter Sandwich Bot
- The Question Machine
- Annelidabot the Robotic Worm

:: September 28th - October 4th ::
This week's site explores where robotics meets biology.

Dr. Robert Full and his team at U.C. Berkeley explore how nature can inspire new and innovative robotics systems. Have a look at....

Be sure to visit...
- ...their animal page.
- ...their equipment page to see a treadmill for cockroaches!
- ...their robotics page.
- ...their animation page to see their work on
A Bug's Life".
Other resources on biology and robotics:
- MIT Leg Lab
- MIT Robot Pike Project
- SRI's Artificial Muscles
- U.C. Berkeley's Robot Fly
- Play Biobot the game!

:: September 21st - September 27th ::
One of our robot explorers says goodbye today.

After more than a decade of service Galileo will take a pitch dive into Jupiter's atmosphere today. A fitting end to a machine that has long been fixated on the great red-eyed planet. Read all about Galileo's accomplishments here...

Other Galileo spacecraft sites to visit:
- Galileo Project Information
- Spacecraft Galileo at Jupiter
- Galileo to Jupiter
- Galileo Tour Guide
Find out about the explorer the spacecraft was named after:
- The Galileo Project
- Galileo Galilie
- Galileo Galilie (IMSS Firenze)

:: September 8th - September 20th ::
Turn imagination into reality with a future in engineering.

"You'll have the power to make a difference! By becoming an engineer, you can help solve problems that are important to society. You could be controlling and preventing pollution, developing new medicines, creating advanced technologies, even exploring new worlds..."

:: September 7th - September 13th ::
Do you have a hankering to build something but don't know what to build?

Maybe someone else's creation could be an inspiration to you. Have a look into...

Looking for robot models in specific? They're listed here:
- Mindstorms
- Robotics

:: August 31st - September 6th ::
Always fashioned yourself a bit of a mechanical genius?

Test your skills at LEGO's new game...

:: August 24th - August 30th ::
This week we explore a little Biomemetics...

Try your hand at building your own Biomimetic creature using the Liberty Science Center's...

:: August 18th - August 23rd ::
Unleash your LEGO into robot combat...

With a free application that emulates a RC controller it's LEGOBot fighting time at...

Check out the BattleBrick control module at Sourceforge:
- BBRC - The remote control for your robot of destruction

:: August 10th - August 17th ::
This week's site is as pretty as it is useful!

There are a lot of LEGO related web sites out there but few are as weel put together as this one. My hat's off to...

BrickVista is being released in monthly installments. Check out last month's issue:
- BrickVista July '03

Other Mindstorm's related web periodicals:
- LEGO Mindstorms Monthly

:: August 3rd - August 9th ::
Discover Engineering!

Although designed for high school students, this site by the American Society for Engineering Education has a lot of great information that anyone will enjoy. Check out...

Other Engineering Education links:
- [scroll down and look at the teacher's resources]
- The Future of Engineering Education [Article]
- Kid's Inventor Resources
- ASEE Directory of Engineering Disciplines

:: July 27th - August 2nd ::
Coming to a T.V. near you!

The DIY Network has a new show students from two colleges design and build robots for a competition in a single day. Check out...

Other Robot Rival links:
- Complete list of episodes
- Buzz Dawson's Team Davinci

:: July 20th - July 26th ::
Here's one from the MIT Fluid Dynamics Lab.

In their pursuit of mimicing biological movement on fluid surfaces the lab has produced..well...a....

Check out their other water bound creations:
- Robostrider
- 3-Link Swimmer

Read the CNN article for more information:
- 'Robosnail' reveals the wonders of goo

:: July 13th - July 19th ::
This week we feature Eric Sophie's amazing LEGO creations.

His latest, the Jamocklaquat, utilizes 41 motors, 12 RCXs and stands over 50" tall. It is truly a bot to behold.

Check out these links out for all the Jamocklaquat details.
- Jamocklaquat Technical Schematic
- Full Body Image w/ RCXs at feet
- Technical Readout

For more pics check out Eric's gallery on
- The Jamocklaquat Brickshelf Gallery

Eric's site hosts many other bots and mecha sculptures that are really cool:
- Little Bots Series
- Mecha
- Build-a-Bot (Instructions to build your own!)

:: July 6th - July 12th ::
With luck the second MER rover will launch to Mars this week.

The second of two missions, Mars Exploration Rover-B (MER-B) "Opportunity" is scheduled to launch at 10:43 pm EDT on July 7th.

Follow along with the mission through LEGO's very own Astrobots on the rover. Biff is up Sandy still awaits launch:
- The Diaries of Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust

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

Fun projects from NASA for you:
- Make a Balloon-powered Nanorover!
- Build a Bubble-Powered Rocket! - ...and many more.

Don't miss your chance to participate in First LEGO League this year.
- FLL International : Mission Mars Challenge

:: June 29th - July 5th ::
This week's feature focuses on telerobotics and is brought to us by our friends at NASA in conjunction with Tufts University's CEEO department.

Telerobotics is loosely defined as the control of a robot from a distance.

SENSORS - stands for the Science and Engineering NASA Site Of Remote Sensing. The program includes several LEGO robots that can be controlled over the internet. Have fun playing with...

Telerobotics has many practical applications, have a look through these robotic telescopes.

- Mt. Wilson Observatory
- Bradford Robotic Telescope
- UCSB - Remote Access Astronomy Project
- NASA's SkyView Virtual Telescope

:: June 22nd - June 28th ::
Look at what their cooking up in the UK.

Check out this very informative group of "techlabs" on the BBC website. It's all under...

The Techlab modules cover everything from plastic injection molding to basic electric theory.

If you are interested in getting parts for the robots in the techlabs, and don't live in the UK, you can try the Robot Store.

:: June 15th - June 21st ::
It's vacation time and now that you have a little time on your hands you might be interested in this.

Check out...

This computer game is an "intelligent robot simulation" that allows you to program your virtual robot to compete in a series of challenges ranging from a simple race to an all out battle.

Download the demo:
- Mindrover Demo (Windows ONLY)

There is even an RCX Add-on Pack that lets you control your LEGO Robots with the Mindrover programming environment.
- MindRover RCX Add-on Pack

:: June 8th - June 14th ::
This week kicks off a series of missions to the planet Mars.

The first of these missions, Mars Exploration Rover-A (MER-A) "Spirit" is scheduled to launch at 1:58 pm EDT on June 10th.

Follow along with the mission through LEGO's very own Astrobots on the rover:
- The Diaries of Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust

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

The European Space Agency recently launched an orbiter and lander of their own:
- Mars Express
- Beagle 2 Lander

:: June 1st - June 7th ::
Ready to move beyond Robolab or RIS programming?

Give "C" a try...
or rather David Baum's Not Quite C.

With practical applications that extend far beyond the discipline or robotics "C" is a worthy language to learn.

Using an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) will help create a more intuitive programming experience. I suggest using
Bricx Command Center (BricxCC)

For other IDE's including one for the Mac look here:
- IDEs

:: May 26th - May 31st ::

This week's site is a showcase of another master builder...

Philo is not only innovative, he is educational. Most of his projects include example code and CAD files.

Wrap your brain around...

:: May 11th - May 25th ::

This weeks feature is a piece of software that will keep you occupied for hours. This is what the author says about it...

"It's a skeletal animation workshop, with realistic physics.
It's like a virtual Erector set.
It's sort of like a box of Lego widgets.
It could be a really cheesy CAD program.
Mostly, it's something fun to play with.
You can use it to create robots that walk.
(if they fall down, you can call them kinetic sculptures.)"

It's all that and it's...

:: May 4th - May 10th ::

Here's a fun one...

Program your robot to complete the course, sound familar? Take a shot at...

:: April 27th - May 3rd ::
This week marks the beginning of the 1st Robocup American Open.

Their goal:
"By the year 2050, develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world soccer champion team"...

Robocup consists of many games and leagues with different styles of play. Check out these other Robocup sites for all the details.
-  Games List
-  RobotCup
-  Robocup Jr.

:: April 20th - April 26th ::
At some point in your robot learning you may wonder what's beyond LEGO.

There's no better place to start than...

Parallax makes a variety of easily programmable chips called basic stamps. They also make a number of robot kits. Check out some of these bots that use basic stamps. These robots come with great educational instructions that teach just about everything you need to know.
-  The BOE Bot
-  The Toddler - Biped Walking Robot
-  Mini-Sumo

Educators Parallax has material for you too. Check out all the online resources for teachers.
-  Stamps in Class

For a preview of their materials have a look here. Parallax is nice enough to post their curriculum online in .pdf format.
-  Parallax Educational Curriculum

:: April 13th - April 19th ::
Mario Ferrari has written one of the best books on LEGO Mindstorms.

His thorough knowledge of LEGO and creativity really come through in...

Here are some of my favorites of his:
-  Shrimp 2
-  Golia II
-  Tic-Tac-Toe Player

:: April 6th - April 12th ::

There's nothing like a good set of instructions to help you learn new building technique.

Rob Stehlik's site is full of inspiration. Feast your eyes on...

Rob has some pretty incredible robots. Be sure to have a look at his:
-  Window Walker
-  Crevasse Crosser
-  Articulated 4X4 robot

and you're not going to believe this...
-  Photocopier!!

:: March 30th - April 5th ::

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

Starting in February 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 Videos:
-  2003 Game Summary Video
-  Botball Video Gallery

Want to know more?
-  Botball overview

Botball is supported by NASA who has a really great robotics site:
-  NASA's Robotics Education Project

:: March 23rd - March 29th ::

Not exactly a robot, but certainly an amazing piece of engineering..

Artist Theo Jansen designs these wind powered creations to walk. Feast your eyes on the...

Theo Jansen's creations were featured in a Popular Science news article:

-  Beach Beasts

A few videos of his creations in action can be viewed here:

-  strandbeest videos

:: March 16th - March 22nd ::

There's not much to say about this team's project but WOW!.

Check out Kismet's LEGO cousin...

Kismet was a recently featured site:
-  Kismet

:: March 9th - March 15th ::

Here's a great site for identiying those Technic elements..

Parts are more than just parts at...

Have a look at these other great part sites:
-  Lugnet's Parts Reference

And here's a fun one...
-  The Construction Toy Home Page

:: March 2nd - March 8th ::

March is competition month for the big brother of First LEGO League.

Designed with the high school student in mind, there are now more than 800 teams and 20,000 students particpating. Check out...

Their are two Northern California Regional Competitions:
-  Sacramento - March 7-8
-  San Jose State University - March 27-29

Other FIRST Resources:
-  Competition Details
-  Video of the 2003 challenge - Stack Attack

:: Feb. 23rd - March 1st ::

A robot you can interact, cooperate and play with? Researchers at MIT's Humanoid Robotics Group are working on just that.


Meet some of Kismet's friends in the Humanoid Robotics Lab:
-  Cog
-  Coco
-  Macaco

There's also a long list of retired robots:
-  Robot Retirees

Kismet, as well as many other robots and artificial intelligence systems are featured in a recent episode of Scientifc American Frontiers. Watch it online:
-  "The Intimate Machine"

:: Jan. 20th - Feb. 22nd ::  (A very long week!)

See what NASA is cooking up at JPL to crawl around the planets one day.

It's a bug. It's a rover. It's...

Be sure to also visit these other JPL related robot sites:

-  Robotics Rovers
-  Mars Rovers
-  Robotics Education Project
-  Planetary Robotics Laboratory

:: Jan. 19th - Jan. 25th ::

Have you heard of the Segway?

Have a look at this LEGO knockoff...
Steve's Legway

Check out the movies of the Legway in action:

-  Following a line
-  Spinning in place

Steve's Legway achieves it's sense of balance through some clever programming and the use of some innovative Electro-Optical Proximity Sensors (EOPD). You can find the EOPD's and other cool LEGO sensors for sale at:

-  HiTechnic LEGO RCX Sensors

:: Jan. 12th - Jan. 18th ::

It's all happening at the zoo...

Check out biomechanics in action. Nature the master engineer...
The Robot Zoo

The study of animal motion and robotics has a long history together. Check out some of the additional resources below to learn more.

-  Animal Locomotion
-  The Secrets of Motion
-  Motion Photography - Eadweard Muybridge's
-  Picture Anatomy...Set into Motion
-  Universal Robots - The history and workings of robotics

:: Jan. 1st - Jan. 11th ::

They're mean, they're lean, and really tiny

Feast your eyes on the latest craze in fighting robots...

Sometimes called Antweight fighting robots, these little gladiators are certainly a lot cheaper to build then their bigger cousins. Check out these other great fighting robot resources:

-  IFI Robotics
-  Team Delta
-  Vantec