Laurens Valk, the author of several Lego Mindstorm Engineering books (The Unofficial Lego Mindstorm NXT 2.0 Inventor’s Guide and The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book), recently published an update for his Segway Lego Mindstorm bot. The new design is running with one wheel only: an Unicycle. It uses the standard drivers from his previous design with some minor modifications. Beside his Mechanical Engineering studies, Laurens published a number of robotic books as well as some really amazing Lego designs.
I just released a tiny and quite useful Android app that is able to open a HTTP server socket on your Android device, in order to serve you a simple HTML5 page that shows the actual smartphone camera output. This is a really simple possibility to get the camera output of your smartphone where ever you can open a browser. If you register a dyn dns name for your smartphones IP you can even refer to your smartphones camera worldwide. I wrote this tiny app in order to get the camera image of an old Android device that is sitting on top of my NXT Lego Mindstorms mobile robot! The HTML5Cam Android app is completely free, so try it for yourself from here.
Parallax just released the Robotics Shield Kit for Arduino which is now available in the Maker Shed. This excellent Board of Education was transformed into a shield that’s compatible with your Arduino. The rest of the kit remains largely unchanged from the original Boe-Bot kit. Full documentation with over 40 activities is available online so you’ll be learning in no time. Simply add your own Arduino and a USB cable and enter into the fascinating world of robotics and Arduino!
- Board of Education Shield PCB
- High-quality aluminum robot chassis, continuous rotation servos, and wheels
- Boe-Boost Module
- All the assembly hardware needed (nuts, screws standoffs)
- Parallax screwdriver
- Detailed online documentation and tutorials
- All the electronic components and sensors needed for the tutorials
- Note: Requires Arduino and USB cable
ArcBotics published their pledge for 13.000$ on Kickstarter, in order to fund a low-cost six-legged open source robot (known as a Hexapod). As the robotic hobby is quite expensive, this Kickstarter project will give all hobby robotic developers the possibility to get their hands on a Hexabot with open software and hardware design for around 400$. The entire Hexapod kit comes in some really nice color kits and is completely compatible with Arduino software and Hardware. The team also updated shortly that if they will hit the 200K $ mark they will add a programming language support for drag-and-drop programming GUI based on miniBloq, with which they are definitely on the right track. The entire hardware and software design will be published as open source, so there are no limits for additional robotic apps and new hardware features.
Meet Sphero, a small glowing robotic ball, which you can control with your iPhone or Smartphone device. Its amazing how this small glowing sphere is navigating on the floor, while you are controlling it with your phone. It changes the color according to your settings and it moves with the acceleration of your phone. The control seems to be quite intuitive. Even President Obama seems to be quite amazed by this small compagnion. It would be a perfect device if the guys at Sphero discover a way to add a camera into the sphere 🙂
This compact remote controlled underwater vehicle can record live video and capture photos in HD, streaming them to your iPad and allowing you to share with family and friends. The vehicle’s features includes LED lights, HD camera, Standard 75 foot cable, Waterproof carrying case, Topside box which produces vehicles Wi-Fi. This underwater bot is perfect for studying marine life, checking water depths or inspecting under your boat. Stay dry and safe from topside while recording videos and snapping photos to upload and share on social media sites.
Look at MAKE’s latest weekend project, which are two solar-powered BEAM bots. Generally, BEAM stands for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics. From Wikipedia: “This is a term that refers to a style of robotics that primarily uses simple analogue circuits, such as comparators, instead of a microprocessor in order to produce an unusually simple design (in comparison to traditional mobile robots) that trades flexibility for robustness and efficiency in performing the task for which it was designed.”
I love these two cute solar-powered creature bots, see the video below: