Tag Archives: NTNU

Watch out for those snake robots!

Every engineer loves robots, it’s one of the few disciplines that mechanical, electrical, and software engineers all admire. There is a class of robots called snake robots due to their means of locomotion resembling the way a snake works. One such robot , Wheeko, was recently unveiled by the folks at NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the self-same place that Vegard Wollen, the inventor of the AVR microcontroller chip, attended before starting at Atmel.


Wheeko, a snake robot developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

When I asked a Norwegian co-worker if Wheeko might have Atmel microcontrollers in it, he was not sure about Wheeko, but pointed out and earlier robot at NTNU, the Anna Konda was run by eleven mega128 AVR chips.

The Anna Konda was intended as a fire-fighting robot that could crawl through burning or collapsed buildings. There are other applications as well, anywhere that a robot has to work in confined spaces.

So whether Wheeko goes to Mars or his little sister crawls through your veins, you can bet there will be a snake robot in your future.

Greetings from Trondheim (home of AVR)

Trondheim, home of AVR architecture, is checking into the Maker Movement! This summer there is a lot going on; a few Makerspaces are popping up, a new coworking space and in August Trondheim hosts its first Maker Faire. Although Trondheim hosted a mini Maker Faire at the Pstereo festival last year, we are going for the real deal in 2014 with a featured Maker Faire.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Trondheim is now in company with cities like Tokyo, Senzchen, Kansas, Paris and a few other cities around the world. There is one primary difference between Trondheim and most of the other cities – population. With only 180,000 people living in the city, there is no doubt that Trondheim is the smallest city among the featured faires. Although Trondheim is the smallest city, it is home to a compact and vital community of Makers, hackers and techheads. With almost 40,000 students in the city, a significant number of tech businesses, a well-established creative community and a long cultural history, it all adds up to be a great place for innovation and Making.

In fact, as you are reading this article, there is a group of people transforming an old 1500 square feet basement into a Makerspace. Ragnar Ranøyen Homb, one of the initiators behind this Makerspace and Norwegian Creations, a maker community, describes Trondheim the following way:

“Trondheim is a rather small city if we look at population. So when we combine the population with all the Maker Movement initiatives going on, we get a rather high concentration of awesome stuff!

“The resurgence of this new culture is, among other things, an important catalyst for ‘the open source generation.’ One of this generation’s strongest characteristics is the high amount of knowledge originating from looking into the designs of different open source projects. And it’s not only the hardware creators that take part of this. As we can see in Trondheim now, a new breed of entrepreneurs is also emerging.”


Hackheim, an established hacker space, is currently moving from its old location into new and improved facilities this summer. At NTNU university, a group of students are turning a number of current workshops into what they describe as an “open arena for innovation.”

Alf Egil Bogen, co-inventor of the AVR-microcontroller, did see a need for a stronger culture and community working for innovation and entrepreneurship in Trondheim. In September 2013 Trondheim Makers was established. The organization is working with the schools and initiatives that already exist, in addition to their own events and projects; Maker Faire Trondheim is the first big event held by Trondheim Makers.

So there are definitely some things going around in the tech capital of Norway right now. If you are interested in reading more  about the Maker Movement in Trondheim, please check the links listed below. Some of them are currently only in Norwegian, but as projects receive more and more attention outside Norway, new dual language websites are going live at a rapid pace: