Designing a robot that can traverse variable terrain usually involves a number of unsatisfactory compromises. You can go with a flying robot, which will almost never get stuck, but is of limited use in detailed sensing and can’t operate for very long. Or, you can go with a ground robot, which is much more efficient, but also much more likely to run into an obstacle that it can’t get around.
An ideal platform would spend most of its time on the ground but still be able to fly when it needs to, but this is a very tricky thing to make happen, since the design of something that drives is fundamentally different from the design of something that flies. Researchers from the Center for Distributed Robotics at the University of Minnesota have managed to create a single robot that can actually do this effectively….
Shop classes have all but disappeared from many American schools, and at first glance that might seem like a logical step. Why would today’s wired kids need to know how to work with their hands? The answer is that they still need the inspiration and understanding that results from turning something digital into something real.
As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, manufacturing jobs paying upwards of $80,000 a year are going unfilled in an era when unemployment hovers around nine percent. Three factors are contributing to the shortfall in workers. Baby boomers with sophisticated machine skills are retiring in large numbers at the same time that parents and guidance counselors discourage kids from pursuing careers in manufacturing. Additionally, the U.S. education system isn’t producing enough graduates with the math and science proficiency necessary to operate and repair computer-controlled factory equipment.
NEW PRODUCTS – Female & Male DC Power adapter – 2.1mm plug to screw terminal block!
Female DC Power adapter – 2.1mm jack to screw terminal block – If you need to connect a DC power wall wart to a board that doesn’t have a DC jack – this adapter will come in very handy! There is a 2.1mm DC jack on one end, and a screw terminal block on the other. The terminals are labeled with positive/negative assuming a positive-tip configuration (which is the most common)…
Come join Driptech, a for-profit, socially-minded, high-visibility startup named by BusinessWeek as one of the world’s most intriguing new companies, and voted by its readers as one of the top 5 most promising social ventures in America.
Driptech is laser-focused on making affordable irrigation technologies for small-plot farmers in developing countries. Our early-stage, privately-funded, Mountain View, CA based venture is
scaling up for high-volume commercial roll-outs in India and China. By joining the Driptech team you will be part of a compelling social venture that aims to produce a global impact
The “Netduino+ Tweeting Geiger Counter” is a great example of the type of project you can enter for the Adafruit + Instructables Make It Tweet Challenge…
Adafruit + Instructables Make It Tweet Challenge We’re teaming up with Instructables to bring you the Make It Tweet Challenge. Ever wish you had a tweeting coffee pot that would announce via Twitter when a pot was ready? What about a potted plant that twittered when it needed to be watered? This is your chance to make it tweet! How can you win the Adafruit Make It Tweet Challenge? Submit a Photo, Step-by-Step or Video Instructable explaining how you made an object tweet. Create awesome photos, good documentation and clear steps for how your project works. Your creativity and ingenuity may rewarded by winning awesome prizes!
Students in ECE 4760 at Cornell University were given the responsibility of choosing,designing and building a project using Atmel Mega644 microcontrollers.
Projects this year include a multitouch interface, face recognition system, and an automated rock band vocal player, as well as musical instruments and scientific devices.
During the last 5 weeks of the semester in ECE 4760,Microcontroller Design, students have to combine sensors, actuators, microcontrollers, and mathematical techniques to build something. All projects show a great deal of originality and work. There are over 380 projects on the page. This year the coding was done using WINAVR and AVRstudio.
I’m working on an I2C project, but I don’t have a sampling oscilloscope and I need to see what the heck is going on, so I put together this quick and dirty I2C sniffer sketch.
You connect two digital pins on the Arduino to the I2C bus lines SDA and SCL, and Arduino ground to I2C ground. It captures the data (within a certain time window) and then it sends CSV-formatted output to the serial port. You can then take this data and plot it to get an idea of what’s going on on your I2C bus. Naturally, you could expand this to sniff other bus-types, like 1-wire or SPI, provided the signalling rate is low enough. This code samples at about 2Msps on an Arduino running at 16MHz — that figure is derived from the fact that it records approximately 20 samples per 100kbit/s clock cycle.
This code runs a “one-shot” capture, meaning that it only captures data once and then dumps it to the serial port. It starts capturing when it detects the SDA line has gone low. it does not check the SCL line (as a proper start condition detector would).
You can adjust the capture window to suit your needs, though bear in mind that the ATMega328 only has 2k of RAM, so values approaching 2000 may not work so well. A value of 250 is long enough to catch one byte sent over I2C at the 100 kbit/s standard rate. The sampled data is good enough to show you the sequence of events.
If you need very specific, time-aligned data, you should use a logic analyzer or sampling oscilloscope.
For plotting, I recommend LiveGraph, which is super easy to use and runs in Java, so it’s portable.
The code is CC-BY-SA 3.0 and unsupported. Use at your own risk.
It’s pretty simple. 3D Robotics is a hardware development business. The more successful we are as a business, the more hardware designers we can hire to create new products, and the more production equipment we can buy to make them, the more customer support we can provide etc. We’re 100% focused on creating great products for this community. If we grow, it’s because we’ve given our customers what they want.
DIY Drones, meanwhile, is a community. It is built by you all and exists to serve your needs. It’s free and always will be. This community not only provides information and support for each other, but also includes the many dozens of people who make up the development teams that create the software that gives the 3D Robotics hardware all of its value. The most important work is done by volunteers here and given freely to all.
This is the classic open source hardware model. Software, which costs nothing to distribute, is free. Hardware, which is expensive to make, is priced at the minimum necessary to ensure the healthy growth of a sustainable business to ensure quality, support and availability of the products. All intellectual property is given away, so the community can use it, improve it, make their own variants, etc.
The possibility that others would clone the products is built into the model. It’s specifically allowed by our open source licence. Ideally, people would change/improve the products (“derivative designs”) to address market needs that they perceive and we have not addressed. That’s the sort of innovation that open source is designed to promote. But if they only clone the products and sell them at lower prices, that’s okay, too. The marketplace will decide.
Either way, the DIY Drones community will be unaffected. It is not a business, but rather a free service by and for the members (the small hosting costs are paid for by Google AdSense ads).
BTW, Arduino has gone through exactly the same situation, with many Chinese cloners. The clones were sometimes of lower quality, but even when they were good most people continued to support the official Arduino products and the developers that created them. Today, clones have a small share of the market, mostly in very price sensitive markets such as China. And frankly, being able to reach a lower-price market is a form of innovation, too, and that is no bad thing.
Personally, I’m delighted to see this development, for four reasons.
1. I think it’s great that people have translated the wiki into Chinese, which makes it accessible to more people.
2. It’s a sign of success– you only get cloned if you’re making something people want.
3. Competition is good.
4. What starts as clones may eventually become real innovation and improvements. Remember that our licence requires that any derivative designs must also be open source. Think how great would it be if a Chinese team created a better design than ours. Then we could turn the tables and produce their design, translating the documentation into English and making them available to a market outside China. Everybody wins! (Hey, a guy can dream )
Have you ever wondered in how many different episodes MacGyver has made an arc welder (answer: 3 times in episodes 6, 52, and 87)? Or perhaps you forgot about your favorite episode (season 1, episode 12) when Mac escapes via a casket that transforms into a jetski. And how many times has Mac made a diversion? In order to placate all of your MacGyver-related curiosities, we offer you MacRecipes.
We assembled data from MacGyverOnline and IMDB, and using Processing and Processing.js we produced the ultimate MacGyver recipe book. Click on any of the recipes below to see information about the ingredients as well as information about the episode. Further investigate the ubiquity of simple recipe ingredients and products by clicking on words listed under “Similar Recipes.” What’s your favorite recipe?
NEW PRODUCT – Tactile switch (6mm) x 10 pack – Little clicky switches are standard input on electronic projects. These work best in a PCB but can be used on a solderless breadboard as shown in this tutorial. The pins are normally open (disconnected) and when the button is pressed they are momentarily closed. They come in a pack of 10, they’re pretty handy so you’ll want to keep them around. You can find an EAGLE cad package for these in switch-omron:B3F-10XX
Zen Cart Mods! Our mods, hacks, tips and tricks for open source shopping carts. This week – Tariff information for each product. If you plan to ship items abroad, the package will end up having to pass through the recipient’s customs office. These offices basically look at whats in the package and send a tax bill for any import tariffs or VAT. To speed up shipping (especially with a automated shipping system) its handy to have each items tariff information attached to the product. This tutorial will show how we do this by creating three new product attributes that are stored in the database: Tariff Number, Country of Origin and brief description.
Here is a picture of what may go down as the most awkward weeklong tour of Ireland ever. In a rare chance of fate the five distributions and five evil distributions had been both booked on the same tour group of the Emerald Isle.
And it wouldn’t have been that bad, but Uniform tried to transform himself to make impersonations of the other distributions. Then Poisson would make everyone guess how long it would be until the next bout of turbulence or take to get a table, or anything. The final straw though was when Chi-Square made a Type II error and said everyone would fit in a small boat, which they didn’t -and promptly sank.