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LIDAR for under $100

January 25th, 2014 No comments

from: Dragon Innovation

[Editor note: This project is currently on Dragon Innovation (website like kickstarter) and looks real cool. A Lidar like distance sensor for $70! WOW!]

Optical Distance Measurement Sensors

Our sensor technology is ideally suited for any project requiring very compact, low power, high performance distance measurement sensors, such as drones, robots, or unmanned vehicles.

PulsedLight’s novel signal processing technology enables us to offer a low-cost optical distance measurement solution with performance comparable to systems costing hundreds of dollars.

“PulsedLight takes distance range finding from the expensive, closed solution that it is today to small, cheap and open. This is tremendously appealing to us at 3D Robotics, as is the potential this has for getting us to truly autonomous UAVs without relying solely on GPS.” – Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics

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Watch “Maker Faire New York 2013 Electronics Stage : 5 Easy JavaScript Tricks You Can Teach Your BeagleBone” on YouTube

January 18th, 2014 No comments

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Play-I Robot to help kids learn to program

October 28th, 2013 No comments

Disney Rapid Design Tool Creates Mechatronic Characters – IEEE Spectrum

July 26th, 2013 No comments

From: IEEE Spectrum
By Evan Ackerman
Posted 22 Jul 2013 | 14:28 GMT

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The typical approach to adding actuated joints and additional degrees of freedom to a robot is slapping additional servos and motors on there. And that’s fine, except that it adds weight and cost and complexity. A little bit of cleverness with gears can go a very long way, and Disney Research has developed a new rapid design tool that can create sophisticated mechatronics that operate with just one motor.

Disney designed ten animated characters with this system, and manufactured seven of them, and in each case, getting the character to do what they wanted it to do took less than half an hour. All of the parts involved can be 3D printed, too, which makes us think that it might be a lot of fun for Disney to release this too into the wild and let people make their own characters with it. But before they do, there some additional capabilities in the works:

Our characters are currently restricted to cyclic motions,” said Stelian Coros, an associate research scientist at Disney Research, Zürich. “However, our research brings us one step closer to the rapid design and manufacture of customized robots that can sense and interact with their environments to carry out complex tasks.

More info at: Disney Research

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EZ-Robot

June 8th, 2013 No comments

I ran across this robot website that sells neat robot kits, check it out at: http://www.ez-robot.com/default.aspx

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New Arduino Robot Available in the Maker Shed at Maker Faire

May 17th, 2013 No comments
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UDOO

April 16th, 2013 No comments

UDOO is a project on Kickstarter that adds 4 rasperry Pi’s with an Arduino on one board. Look really neat and it is already way past its fundraising goal!

Check it out:

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Liquid metal used to create wires that stretch eight times original length – Electronic Products

January 18th, 2013 No comments

Electronic Products
by Jeffery Bausch

Have you ever gone to plug something in but found yourself an inch or two short of the outlet? This may soon be an inconvenience of the past thanks to some outside-the-wire thinking by researchers at North Carolina State University. They’ve developed wires that can be stretched up to eight times their original length and still function just as effectively.

fajb_stretchy_wire_01_dec2012

What’s more, beyond connecting to a power source, the can also be used for headphones. They also present a unique opportunity when it comes to electronic textiles.

How they did it

The group started with a thin tube made of extremely elastic polymer. They then filled the tube with a liquid metal alloy made up of gallium and indium, an effective conductor of electricity.

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“Previous efforts to create stretchable wires focus on embedding metals or other electrical conductors in elastic polymers, but that creates a trade-off,” explains Dr. Michael Dickey, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on the research.

“Increasing the amount of metal improves the conductivity of the composite, but diminishes its elasticity,” he adds. “Our approach keeps the materials separate, so you have maximum conductivity without impairing elasticity. In short, our wires are orders of magnitude more stretchable than the most conductive wires, and at least an order of magnitude more conductive than the most stretchable wires currently in the literature.”

Video

While the video below isn’t exactly the most entertaining piece of media ever created, it does demonstrate the effectiveness of the stretchable wire pretty clearly.

Outlook

Manufacturing the wire is pretty simple, but it’s still going to be some time before it hits the shelves. Dickey notes that, of the challenges the group still faces with the technology, figuring out how to minimize leakage of the liquid metal should the wires be severed absolutely needs to be addressed.

In the meantime, you can check out the group’s paper, entitled “ Ultrastretchable Fibers with Metallic Conductivity Using a Liquid Metal Alloy Core ” in the online edition of Advanced Functional Materials. Free log-in is required.

Story via: ncsu.edu

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Webots: robot simulator

January 18th, 2013 No comments

Here is a link to a mobile robot simulation program. it has a 30 day free trial then it costs. See http://www.cyberbotics.com/

Hackable Lego Robot Runs Linux

January 9th, 2013 No comments

Here is a link to a more detailed description of the new Lego NXT Hackable Lego Robot Runs Linux

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