Robotic Fish

New from Osaka City University, a robotic fish that propels itself using magnets instead of motors which results in huge energy savings. It has the ability to propel itself forward as well dive or surface, and it movements are very lifelike and do not resemble what we tend to think of as robotic.

Looks tasty too!


Da Vinci’s Robot Drawings

I have begun work on Robotics 2008. That is the working title of the robot book I’m writing. It looks like there will be two main parts of the book. The first part will describe the current state of the art. This section will be broken down by chapters that each focus on a specific vertical area, e.g. “Industrial Robots”

The second part will focus on building your own robot. A few days ago I wrote about and that by using their products it is possible for someone without any electronics background to experiment with robotics.  This section of the book will follow that model as much as possible. In other words, it is not going to be a book that attempts to teach electronics, or mechanics, or writing control code. At least I will try to avoid that as much as is possible. I had mentioned in a previous post that one of the first sections of this book that I would write would be about stepper motors. Originally I envisioned this section as an introductory lesson on stepper motor theory. That has changed now and I am not going to do that at all. I will be doing a chapter on stepper motors, but will treat them as  Black Boxes. It will focus on what they do, not on the science of how they do it. It will describe the different types and sizes available. How to select the right one for a particular task, and how to hook them up. We will give examples using Phidgets or other solder-less solutions.

I will be writing the second part of the book first. This is mostly because the first part is changing so rapidly, i.e. there are new robot products hitting the market daily. It makes sense to write that part last and have it a current as possible when the book is released. The second reason is that I will need to get some photos of some of the products we will be talking about and permission to use them. For example the easiest way for me to get photos of industrial robots it to ask the manufacturer for them. That could take some time.

Anyway, what does all this have to do with Leonardo da Vinci. In starting to work on the book I was writing about where robots came from, how long people have thought about robots, etc. Well, Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings reveal that he had thought about building robots.

I ordered a book from Italy today entitled “da Vinci’s Robots”, and since this book does not seem to be available in the U.S. I also inquired with the publisher about selling copies on the web site.

They also make a kit, which is the book and what appears to be cardboard parts, so that you can turn da Vinci’s drawings into 3D models

The book was a bit pricey, 34 euros, which is about $50 U.S., but I think european books are of a higher quality than American books. We’ll see.
Da Vinci Robot

2007 International Robot Exhibition

Next week Tokyo will host the 2007 International Robot Exhibition.

International Robot Conference

IRex is the largest robot conference in the world and this is the exhibitions 17th year. In 2005 there were 152 companies exhibiting, with over 800 booths set up. The event drew in close to 100,000 visitors. This years conference will amost certainly surpass those figures. I don’t have any stats for this years event, but the conference area can hold 1,000 booths. I will bet that they are filled. Will post more about this coference after it ends.

The Robots are Coming!

The Robots are Coming!  It’s just a matter of time before there is a robot in every home.

I started a new company named Roslyn Robot Company to ride the wave.

There is no business plan, no mission or vision statements. Not exactly sure what we’ll sell, but we will have an online store, and will sell robot related stuff.

I think I am also going to write a book that we will offer without charge to introduce people to robotics.

I purchased a pre-built online storefront from

I broke it already though. I had originally secured the domain and had activated the store with that url. Yesterday I decided to rename the site so I bought that domain and moved the site there. The reason for the rename was that the hyphenated Roslyn-Robot may help with search engine rankings since it has the word robot in it.

Anyway moving my site to the new url broke my store. A licensing problem, since I already activated it at, it said I couldn’t use my serial number for the new site.

I put a support request in at znode and hope they will fix this for me. 

I purchased a mailbox at the UPS store so that Roslyn Robot Company will have a street address. I myself don’t like to purchase anything from vendors that don’t show a location, and I like the street address better than a PO Box.

I decided to incorporate so the official name is Roslyn Robot Company, Inc. Incorporating costs more, and makes your taxes harder to prepare. The advantage is protection from personal liability in case one of my robots short circuits and goes on a killing spree.

Actually the real reason for incorporating was for partnership building. Since I don’t really have any robots of my own to sell yet, I will attempt to become a reseller for some of the more popular ones. Being incorporated adds some credibility.

I used to do the corporation filing for me.  They advertise for $149 they will do all the work for you. It actually cost closer to $500 with all the other things you need, but is still was a good deal. Once you pay, on your receipt it says “You save an estimated $1,643 by using Legalzoom instead of a local attorney” That’s probably close to true.

I saw a commercial about Legalzoom after I had done this.  In the commercial was Robert Shapiro. He was part of O.J. Simpson’s dream team of lawyers.

I have heard back that New York State has approved my application for incorporation, so once I get the documents back I can open a bank accout, and an online credit card processing account. Then we can open for business.

I’m sure it will take a while before we actually do any business. The only thing I have for sale on the site are some robot books. We will not actually make any money on these if we sell them, at least not yet, I may look for a way to get them cheaper or drop ship them and make a small profit if we sell them. The main reason to include the books was for convenience of our future clients, and they make great search engine products.

The other items we will be selling are a few models of Stepper Motors. I found a company in Asia that sells them for about 1/10 of what they go for here, so I ordered a few. It takes a couple of weeks for them to arrive. Hopefully they will arrive, as opposed to the company I bought them from taking my credit card info and going on a shopping spree. If they do arrive I will place a second order and get some more. I will be writing some info about stepper motors on the web site, then later it will become a chapter in my robot book.

If we are back online by time you read this, you can visit us at: