Dec 272015
 

Dot

I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but my daughter got a robot for Christmas, and I had absolutely nothing to do with it. As a matter of fact, I was totally unfamiliar with Dot,  the cute, roughly 3.5 inch, sensor-packed, “brains of a robot” by San Mateo-based Wonder Workshop,  Inc. Now that I’ve had some hands on time with Dot and read up about her mobile sibling Dash, I have to say that I am impressed with these learning tools in disguise.

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Jun 252015
 
littleBits BitSnaps Package - Front

BitSnaps Package – Front

The RadioShack here in town, *my* RadioShack, is finally closing its doors forever after more than ten weeks of clearance sales the likes of which I won’t likely ever see again. I scored a lot of cool gadgets at ridiculously low prices, but my favorite continues to be the littleBits modular electronics system. As I’ve previously written about, my introduction to littleBits was via the cloudBit Starter Kit and the Arduino Coding Kit. Since then I have been grabbing a handful of the individually packaged elements on my weekly trip to the Shack. Now that my harvest has come to its inevitable end, I’m posting my take. A few of these were included in the kits I had bought as well, but I know I don’t have to remind a fellow tinkerer that too many of anything is never enough. Now for the pictures …

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Oct 242014
 
OWI Solar Wheel-bot - front view

OWI Solar Wheel-bot

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally built a robot using the 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit by OWI. I’m not sure I will make my way through all 14, but I decided to start with what looked to be the simplest one first: the Wheel-bot. (Note: I now also realize that I could have been subconsciously swayed by the fact that the Wheel-bot is also the one on the cover of the kit’s box. I didn’t realize that until now.)

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Mar 222006
 

Lego Mindstorns NXT Robot

Gizmodo.com is reporting that retailers will begin taking pre-orders for the forthcoming Lego Mindstorms NXT robot development kit starting April 1st. The system, priced at $249, will not ship until late summer and will be available at Amazon, Target, Fry’s and Wal-Mart. This follows the news from earlier this month that Lego had chosen 100 volunteers from a field of over 9500 applicants to take part in the NXT beta program.

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Jan 052006
 

Lego Mindstorns NXT Robot

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been in full swing in Las Vegas for the last few days, and while there’s been a lot of cool gadget news and product announcements, there hasn’t been much worth mentioning here until today. To the surprise of many people, myself included, Lego announced this morning that the next version of their Mindstorms robotics kit, NXT, would be available for purchase in August of 2006. While many had written the platform off after the 2.0 version released in 2001, Lego has actually been undertaking a super-secret development campaign in conjunction with a select handful of Mindstorm enthusiasts for more than a year and a half. The fruits of this endeavor, NXT, will not be an upgrade to 2.0, but rather is a complete overhaul of the entire kit from the building blocks to the microprocessor.

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Dec 072005
 

e-nuvo educational robotEngadget is reporting that Japanese robot manufacturer ZMP is offering a stripped down version of their popular nuvo humanoid robot. Offered with education in mind, the e-nuvo consists of the legs from a nuvo and comes bundled with instructional material for a 12-week robotics course covering coordinate systems of link structure, motor driver circuits, processors & sensors, serial communications, and feedback control. The e-nuvo has 12 joints that are driven by the ZMP original Motor Driver Modules. It stands 30 cm tall and weighs 1.2 kg.

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