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Yearly Archives: 2014

Robot Art: Thymio Paints By Barcode

Thymio Robots run along strips of barcodes were used to create an interesting form of robotic art. Photo courtesy of Thymio.

The Thymio team has taught the bot how to paint 8-bit-style pictures, by interpreting barcodes. The system largely relies on 39 LEDs and two ground sensors. One ground sensor allows the robot to follow a greyscale line on the ground. The other decodes barcodes. Each barcode sets the robot’s LEDs differently, …

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Exoskeleton Suit for Children in Development

The Esko robotic exoskeleton helps patients who has suffered a stroke or spinal cord injury walk again. Photo courtesy of Ekso Bionics.

Robotic exoskeleton company Ekso Bionics is working on a special suit for children. Long known for their robotic suits that allow paralyzed adults to walk, the company is now applying the same technology to help kids. The pediatric suit is being developed for children with neurological …

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Could Your Robot Win the IEEE DIY Contest?

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is celebrating the art of do-it-yourself with an online contest. You can submit a description, pictures, and videos of your robot (or other engineering project) via the contest Website. The contest Website is also a great place to go for a little …

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Spark Photon Improves Upon the Core

The Photon WiFi module is cheaper, smaller and faster than its predecessor. Photo courtesy of Spark.

The Internet of Things movement has inspired many promising new products that simplify bot building. An assortment of small circuit boards can now connect our bots to the networked world, quickly and easily. One such product is Core ($39). Released by Spark in 2013, Core features …

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EZ Kit Provides Speech Recognition, Color, and Face Tracking

With the EZ Robot Developer Kit, makers can create a robot that performs many tasks, including responding to voice commands, tracking faces, and avoiding obstacles. Photo courtesy of EZ Robot.

The EZ Robot Developers Kit is an open-ended kit for folks who want to make a customized robot, without dealing with the hassle of finding main components that will definitely work together. The kit includes the core of what you’ll need for a mobile robot, including four HD servos with …

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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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