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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Underwater Robot Sheds New Light on Antarctic Ice

The twin hull design of the SeaBED AUV provides the stability needed for low-speed photographic surveys. Photo courtesy of P. Kimball/WHOI.

New data on ice sheets in the Antarctic has been gathered using an autonomous underwater vehicle (UAV) named SeaBED. Unlike most UAVs, which have sonar sensors pointing down, SeaBED’s sonar system points upward to measure and map the sea ice floes above. SeaBED was driven back and …

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Simplify Programming Your Arduino Uno with FTDI SmartBasic

Save yourself a lot of hassle debugging code for your Arduino Uno with the FTDI SmartBasic. Photo courtesy of SparkFun.

The FTDI SmartBasic makes it easy for Arduino Uno users to program their board even if they have something else connected to board only hardware serial port. Normally, if the UARTT is connected to another piece of hardware, the port can’t be used for programming and you’ll get …

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Drones with Novel Payloader Could Help in Emergencies

A new project called Drones to the Rescue aims to deliver food, water, and medicine to people during emergencies, via specially equipped search-and-rescue drones. In addition to cameras, and GPS locators, the drones also have a custom system for safely deliveries their payloads. The payloader comes in two …

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Kiddie’s First Soldering Project

This giraffe is one of six light-up animal scenes that come in the Zoo Animals kit.

Parents who love robots are a different breed. We dream of the first build with our child, and eagerly await the day when our kids will be old enough to handle a soldering iron (with adult supervision, of course). When they are ready, it’s up to us to pick …

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Pololu’s Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale

Pololu’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale is almost here, and this one will be their biggest yet. Pololu will be offering huge discounts on over 600 products, along with 11% to 15% off orders over $100 (the discount goes up as the order total goes up; some …

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Robot Freed from Conference Room

A telepresence robot was recently liberated from its prison: a locked meeting room. Built by Double Robotics, the robot was placed in the room so that users could remotely demo the system. It’s intended to provide an in-office presence for people who work remotely. But one anonymous man took it on …

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LocoRobo: A Robot Designed to Grow with a Child

LocoRobo offers different levels of control for programmers of all ages and abilities. Photo courtesy of LocoRobo.

Another educational robot for children has entered the arena: LocoRobo. The basic version of the bot features ultrasonic sensors, differential drive, lithium ion batteries, LED lights, and a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) dongle for downloading code. The more expensive version of the robot also includes motor …

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EU Robotics Week Has Begun!

Our friends in the Europe Union are celebrating the wonderful world of robotics this week, with more than 330 events. Those who aren’t able to attend European Robotics Week (EWR) in person can watch videos of robotics projects from labs in 24 countries across Europe, all …

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Harvard Creates a $10 Educational Robot

With an eye toward cost savings, AERobot was designed with a PCB that doubles as a chassis, a single-sided PCB, and inexpensive, vibrational motors. Photo courtesy of Michael Rubenstein.

Researchers from Harvard University have created a new, low-cost robot designed to teach children about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The Affordable Education Robot costs just $10.70 to make but offers enough functionality to keep things interesting. The AERobot comes with an RGB LED, infrared transmitters, phototransistors, and inexpensive …

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A Lego Robot with a Worm Brain

Software representing the entire mental map of a Caenorhabditis Elegans (C. Elegans) nematode is being run on a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot. Timothy Busbice, one of the co-founders of the Open Worm project, created the system in order to study a biological brain in silica. He’s been …

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Patin: The Open Source, Customizable Home Robot

Patin's lighting and planing units hook into a rolling, artificially-intelligent base (right). Photo courtesy of Flower Robotics.

Flower Robotics of Japan is developing an artificially intelligent robot called Patin, which features swappable components. With the lighting component, for example, the robot can analyze conditions near humans and move to the ideal location to create optimal lighting. A concept video of Patin also shows the “planting service unit” which appears …

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Send a Robot to the Moon, Leave a Legacy

The Lunar Mission One Lander, illustrated above, will drill up to 100 meters into the moon to study its composition. Photo courtesy of Lunar Mission One.

A private initiative called Lunar Mission One is crowdsourcing money to send a robot to the moon, drill beneath the surface, analyze samples, and leave behind a record of human history. Higher-level donors will also be able to leave personal memories in the moon, and vote on decisions about …

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Upgrade Your Appliances with littleBits Smart Home Kit

With the littleBits Smart Home Kit, you can upgrade your appliances and devise your own inventions for around the house. Photo courtesy of littleBits Electronics.

LittleBits Electronics released a new kit Tuesday, intended to make it easy for anyone to make old, dumb appliances smart. The Smart Home kit includes 14 components, called Bits, which can be magnetically snapped together for easy inventing. Want to get a text message when your husband leaves the freezer door open …

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