At this year CES, Lego just announced the next generation of Lego Mindstorms Educational robotic invention kits. Lego Mindstorms robotic educational kits are used by a large community of robotic hobbyists and the release of the next generation of their invention kit was a logic step. The new generation of Lego Mindstorm Kits is called Lego Mindstorms EV3 and will offer a deeper integration into the users consumer electronic, such as smartphones or digital cameras. Lego enhanced the new Lego Brick by adding more (16 MByte) Flash-Memory and (64 MByte) RAM, to offer the user more space for complex programming. In order to store sensor values or images on the Lego-Brick, Lego added a SD-Card slot. Lego also improved the 3D engineering experience by offering a new Creation software that is based upon the popular Autodesk suite, which enables the 3D engineering of Lego models and to provide a perspective view on your designs.
LulzBot, a company based in Colorado, designs leightweight and easy to use 3D Printing hardware. Their latest model is called ‘AO-101 3D Printer’ and costs around $1.725, which is quite low for a full 3D Printer that turns your CAD models into reality. The affordable LulzBot 3D Printer is prefectly designed for makers, inventors and entrepreneurs who create new things on their desktops. LulzBot emphasises open community communication according to 3D Printer hardware specifications, to share and improve the printer as well as its software. See our list of already discussed 3D Printers, such as the 3D Paper Printer or the solid frame 3D Eventorbot Printer.
After the Leap Motion Sensor was first mentioned in summer 2012, Leap Motion announces that the first round of 10000 free motion sensors start to ship to the developers within the next days. The Leap 3D Motion sensor system is capable of tracking ten fingers in realtime. Leap Motion claims that their 3D Motion Sensor is 200 times more accurate than existing technology. The idea for this technology was invented during a Phd work in mathematics from UNC and while studying in fluid mechanics. After four years of research and many iterations of hardware, the Leap was finally finished. The Leap is an optical system that tracks your fingers with infrared LEDs and cameras in a way unlike any other motion control tech.
PopSLITE is a project on Indiegogo.com that collects crowd funds in order to design a second eInk screen cover for your iPhone. According to the fact that eInk displays need much less energy that traditional LCD type screens, this cover is a cool idea for consuming ebooks and reading material. eInk screen also offer perfect contrast in direct sunlight without the glean effect. Since the popSLATE screen is ultra-low-power, it is always on. This opens up a bunch of new application possibilities, such as urgent notifications, sports scores, maps, notes, calendar, talking points—you name it—will now be available at a glance.
I especially love the idea of constantly showing a street map on the back of your phone.
This incredibly practical little desktop docking station for Samsung Galaxy Tablets is all you need to transform your ordinary Samsung Galaxy Tab into a full featured POS vending machine. Just put your Galaxy Tab inside this Desk Dock and replace your traditional cashier POS system with a cool and lean Tablet instead. The Desk Dock is compatible with most of the Samsung Galaxy Tabs such as the 7.0, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. The Desk Dock charges your Galaxy Tab™ conveniently at your desk while checking email, listening to music, or just taking in your favorite photos in digital picture frame mode – all while your Tab charges. Your tab is fully functional while charging in the Multimedia Dock and positioned at an ideal angle for working or playing. The 3.5mm audio out jack supports external speakers or home stereo connection.
Micah Elizabeth Scott, best known for her latest work on a tremine style wireless control for a popular vibra toy, also published a lot of interesting DIY hacking projects over the last years. One of these projects is a complete redesign of an old school Sewing Machine, Micah Elizabeth Scott originally bought to produce fabric based RFID tags. Micah soon found out that on her Singer Inspiration 4210 sewing machine she could update some low-end electronic parts, such as motor and sensors, in order to get better results.
Watch this amazingly cool pole climbing robot, that is able to create urban graffity art taggings on public poles. The climbing robot is drawing while climbing up and down the pole. AKIRA, the author of the video who studied computer science, art and cultural studies at International Christian University Tokyo, calls his projects ‘experiments in urban intervention’, which means to tactically hack into your urban environments to create urban art. At the moment AKIRA is working as a freelance coder, engineer and artist in Tokyo. You can find more of his fantastic work on his site Ampontang.com.
electree+, a recent Kickstarter project, plans to build a really stylish solar bonsai tree for your home or office table, that can charge your smart mobile devices. It’s tiny solar leaves collect the power of the sun and directly route it into your iPhone. The electree+ harvests solar energy through 27 high-quality amorphous-silicon square solar panels, each ~3.7″ wide. Its branches extend vertically to an apex of ~16″ high. Energy is stored in a 14,000mAh internal battery capable of recharging an iPhone5 over nine times, a Galaxy S3 ~seven times, or an iPad2 twice without light exposure
Part sculpture, part appliance, the electree+ challenges preconceptions about the role of artwork by dissolving the barrier between aesthetic and pragmatic.
Massoud Hassani, an Afghan product designer, recently published a wind toy design he had invented and tested during his childhood. This wind toy design consists of a large ball of artificial legs that is used to clear minefields. This innovative and quite cheap design can be used by the locals to disable single mines without the use of specific tools or large budgets. As Massoud Hassani explaines within the video below, his multi-leg design is driven by strong winds and looses just some artificial legs per mine which enables a single device to disable at least 3 mines within one trip.
These days, the Croatian company Hipersfera presented an autonomous airship, that is designed to fulfill border control and survaillance tasks. It looks like a small sphere in the shape of a camera lense, as it is shown within the video below. This Helium filled sphere is able to float over a survaillance target without making much noise. While the real airship should come in a size of around 40 diameter, the prototype actually offers around 3.5 meter. This announcement comes right after the US Army declared the recreation of traditional airship technology, so it seems as if Zeppelin’s technology is still interesting.