Sunday, October 21, 2018

Plug & Play

Bean Loader Finally Released for Android

Make your own Bean Bot an program it from your phone using the LightBlue Bean. (Photo credit: Punch Through Design.)

Building a robot controlled via a SmartPhone has never been easier, thanks to the LightBlue Bean. The low-energy, Bluetooth-enabled Arduino microcontroller runs on a 3V coin-cell battery. It even features a few on board sensors, including a 3-axis accelerometer, RGB LED, and a temperature sensor. Made …

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Paint Touch Sensors Right on to Your Bot

Paint and play with Bare Conductive! (Photo credit: Sparkfun.)

Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint ($24.95) is the perfect way to make a robot’s exterior interactive. The paint works just like a button. When correctly connected to the necessary electronics, touching the paint can trigger all kinds of actions. Design paintable buttons that turn on LEDs, play …

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Soldering Sunday’s LED Soldering Practice Kit

Make your own nightlight while honing your soldering skills with this kit from Soldering Sunday. (Photo credit: Soldering Sunday.)

Soldering is an important skill for any roboticist. But it’s wise to practice on something simple and inexpensive, before trying to solder together an actual robot. That’s why the LED Soldering Practice Kit is an ideal first project. Each kit contains assorted LEDs that can be …

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Jade Makes it Easy to Get Started in Robotics

The Jade Robot includes an on-board user interface and a wealth of sensors. (Photo credit: Mimetics.)

More than 3,000 students have already worked with the Jade Robot, a well-equipped bot that’s ready to use right out of the box. The robot includes a wealth of sensors, including all-aspect light and object-detection sensors, a spectrometer, and line sensors. Unlike most bots on the …

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Learn About Air Pressure with the Air Power Racer

Learn about an alternative energy source with OWI's Air Power Racer. (Photo credit: OWI.)

OWI is releasing a new toy soon: the Air Power Racer. This easy-to-build product runs on air pressure alone. No battery! No motor! Pump the robot full of air, and watch it go! The air chamber is made from a plastic bottle. If the bottle is pumped with …

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Arduino Obstacle-Avoiding Bot from OddWires

WIth an HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Distance Sensor module on top, this simple bot autonomously avoids obstacles. (Photo credit: Oddwires.)

OddWires’ obstacle-avoiding robot kit is a cost-effective learning platform for robotics. It chassis rolls on two wheels and a castor, to simplify programming for beginners. The kit includes two geared DC motors, an Arduino Uno R3, motor shield, a servo, ultrasonic sensor, a 6V battery case with …

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Print Your Own Open-Source Humanoid

The Plen2 is a cute little humanoid you can make at home, or order online. (Photo credit: PLEN Project Committee)

The Plen2 is a 3D-printable, open-source humanoid. The robot has 18 joints, and stands nearly 8-inches tall. It uses an Intel Edison for the main board, and a Arduino Micro to control the 24 RC servo motors. The designers say the basic robot can carry small, …

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Actobotic’s Bogie Runt Rover Ready to Roll… Right Over Obstacles

The Bogie is designed to easily travel over challenging obstacles. (Photo credit: Actobotics.)

Actobotics continues to impress with its Runt Rover series of robot chassis! What makes the Bogie chassis unique amongst the Runt Rovers is the suspension. With articulated wheels, 5” of ground clearance, and 5” of flex, this bot is ideal for climbing over obstacles. Powerful gearmotors …

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Pimoroni Explorer HAT Pro for Raspberry Pi

Pimoroni Explorer HAT Pro makes prototyping easy. (Photo credit: Adafruit)

If you want to prototype with your next Raspberry Pi 2, B+, or A+ robot, the Pimoroni Explorer HAT Pro is an ideal solution. You can use it to drive motors or test code involving sensors. It can also accept input from 5V systems, such as …

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A Wireless Arduino Variant with an ESP8266EXW WiFi Chip

At 50 mm long and 18 mm wide, the Arachnio is just a wee bit larger than the Arduino Micro -- to fit the integrated antenna. (Photo credit: Logos Electromechanical)

The first Arduino-compatible board with an integrated ESP8266EX WiFi chip is now available on Kickstarter. Called the Arachnio, the board is ideal for Internet of Things projects, as well as mobile sensors and robotics. “The number of applications the Arachnio can be used for is almost …

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Build a Self-Balancing, Upright Rover

The SainSmart InstaBots Upright Rover Kit is now easier to build and more stable. (Photo credit: SainSmart.)

SainSmart has updated its Instabot Upright Rover Kit, so now you can build an even better self-balancing bot. The two-wheeled robot features an Arduino Uno R3 and a wireless remote control. Key improvements to the 2.0 version of the Instabot Upright Rover include an LCD on …

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Pololu’s Tracked Robot Kit with LCD and Sensors

Build a line follower, an obstacle avoider, or a Sumo robot with this kit from Pololu. (Photo credit: Pololu.)

The Zumo 32U4 robot from Pololu is built around an Arduino-compatible ATmega32U4 MCU. Motor drivers, an LCD, quadrature encoders, line sensors, side and front proximity sensors, and a full IMU are all part of the kit. In fact, the kit includes all the parts you need …

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Animatronics Made Easy with the SparkFun Servo Trigger

Control servos with ease by adjusting the three potentiometers. (Photo credit: SparkFun.)

The SparkFun Servo Trigger is perfect for those applications where you’d like a hobby servo to move from one position to another — at exactly the same speed each time — but you don’t want to program the behavior. Instead of controlling the movement with code, …

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