• Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 18:50
    Maker Pro Newsletter – 03/27/14

    google-android-wear-01“3D printing is not becoming local fast enough.” From the editors of MAKE magazine, the Maker Pro Newsletter is about the impact of makers on business and technology. Our coverage includes hardware startups, new products, incubators, and innovators, along with technology and market trends. Please send items to us at makerpro@makermedia.com. […]

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 18:36
    Arduino Based Cellular Sensor Sentinel

    Sensor Sentinel System DiagramExpanding the capabilities of your Arduino is easily done by adding a shield. Plugging directly into an Arduino and typically including custom libraries for easy coding, sheilds provide a quick way to expand a project. In his Weekend Project: Cellular Sensor Sentinel, Adam Wolf uses a Seeed Studio GPRS/GSM Shield to send text messages when sensors are tripped.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 18:32
    Tutorial – Adafruit 1-Wire GPIO Breakout – DS2413. Running out of pins on your Arduino? Get this!

    Microcontrollers 1551 Lrg

    Tutorial – Adafruit 1-Wire GPIO Breakout – DS2413 @ Adafruit Learning System.

    Pins are precious in the microcontroller world. How many times have you needed just one more pin? Sure, you could step up to a Mega and get a whole bunch more, but what if you really just need one or two? The DS2413 breakout board is the perfect solution. Each DS2413 breakout has 2 open drain GPIO pins and a 1-Wire interface. Just one of these boards will give you 2 pins for the price of one. But you can keep expanding from there.

    You can put as many of these boards as you want on the the 1-wire bus and still control all of them with just one Arduino pin. Each chip has a 48-bit unique address, which means (in theory*) you could have as many as 2 * 2^48 pins controlled by just one Arduino pin! What could you control with 562 trillion pins?

    Learn more! and pick up one in the Adafruit store!

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 18:28
    How to – Automatic monitor color temperature adjustment… DIY f.lux @JustGetFlux

    Light Rwrzevc

    How to – Automatic monitor color temperature adjustment @ The Adafruit Learning System.

    Staring at a computer monitor all day is quite stressful. Moving your gaze from the cold, white light of a monitor to warmer indoor light is especially jarring to your senses. Programs like f.lux and Redshift were created to ease this strain by adjusting the color temperature of your monitor. However these programs don’t measure color temperature of light in the environment and instead guess the temperature based on location, time of day, and sunrise/sunset time.

    This project will show you how to build hardware that measures the temperature of ambient light and automatically adjusts your monitor color to match. With just a simple RGB color sensor and an Arduino or FT232H-based cable, your computer can easily sense and react to light in its environment.

    Before building this project, it will be helpful to familiarize yourself with the color sensor guide.

    Learn more.

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 18:22
    CNC Machining Contest Winner: Viva La Four Axis Delta Router!

    DeltaMillSQA four axis deltabot style milling machine built around creative constraints and run on standard 3D printer hardware takes top honors in our CNC Machining Week contest.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 18:07
    NEW PRODUCT – Large Enclosed Piezo Element w/ Wires


    NEW PRODUCT – Large Enclosed Piezo Element w/ Wires: This large (30mm diameter) piezo element is nicely enclosed with mounting holes so you can attach easily. Piezo elements convert vibration to voltage or voltage to vibration. That means you can use this as a buzzer for making beeps, tones and alerts AND you can use it as a sensor, to detect fast movements like knocks. You can also use it under a drum pad to make a drum/crash sensor.

    It’s rated for up to 12Vpp use but you can also use 3 or 5V square waves and its plenty loud. For music use with an Arduino, check out the Tone tutorial. For sensing, the Knock tutorial is your guide! There are thin wires attached, we plugged them into a solderless breadboard, but they might too thin to plug in directly into the Arduino socket headers.

    In stock and shipping now.


  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 18:01
    Hackaday’s Guide to Shanghai

    We happened to be in Shanghai for Electronica trade fair this year and had a great time exploring heavy industrial gear and fantasizing about all the things we could do with it. However, we simply couldn’t ignore the fact that there was a whole city out there that we’re completely missing out on. So after less than a day of being surrounded by businesspeople and Miss Universe-dressed promoters, we decided to pack our bags and hit the streets.

    The question was, where should we go? Finding interesting things in a city that keeps shapeshifting (the whole Shanghai skyline did not exist 20 years ago) can be a challenge. Fortunately, our friend [David Li] gave us a list:

    1. Xin Che Jian
    2. Jiu Xing market
    3. Beijing Lu electronic market
    4. Qiujiang Lu CNC/lasercut market
    5. DFRobot.com

    …and off we were.


    The Country’s First Hackerspace

    053b2694af6111e3a7fd12b201d372bb_8Xin Che Jian is China’s first hackerspace, founded in 2010 by [David Li] and is currently based in Downtown Shanghai, Xuhui district. [David] is being modest in saying that the reason behind founding Xin Che Jian was not changing the world, but rather a simple fact that his wife wanted to throw out all the hardware junk he’s been piling up in the apartment and he needed a place for it. The reality is that this place has completely transformed the ‘Maker’ scene in China (term “Hacker” is rarely used on the other side of the Great Firewall). Inspired by this example, people have started opening up spaces in different cities and the whole thing is starting to reach scary proportions with government stepping in, creating “makerspaces” in schools and providing TV coverage.

    We happened to be there on a rainy Wednesday night, and the whole place had an irresistible Bladerunner feel to it. Walls of cardboard boxes, hydroponics tent, tons of electronics and all sorts of people ranging from local makers to expat “new media” artists. The night we visited was “open night” and we got to hear a lot of interesting and diverse talks. Talk topics had a very wide range. One discussed using Max/MSP to generate sound corresponding to the time lapse camera recordings of the space. Another slightly bizarre demonstration outlined the importance of insulation when dealing with high voltages, which among other things, included “spark frying” of something that moves.


    Shopping for Electronics

    Next stop was Beijing Lu electronics market. This one is a dream — a five-floor superstore exclusively selling electronics components. It’s a farmer’s market for silicon. We have learned that a lot of these shops are actually brick-and-mortar fronts for stores on TaoBao, but here you can buy things first hand, with a personal touch from “your guy”. If you happen to live in Shanghai, you can get components delivered the same day, pizza-style: by carrier on scooter.

    Surrounding streets are even better. It’s where you can buy metal, plastic, get stuff cut, folded, CNC’d or spot-welded right on the curbside. Big blocks of steel, iron, aluminum all cut to order by artisans with decades of experience. For makers, artists and hackers this is where a lot of the real jewels lie. For an extra dystopian flavor, you can enjoy the fact that, among rows of such shops, you can find things like food stands, cleaners and grocery stores. You can get your aluminum cut in one shop and get your nails done nextdoor.

    And now for something completely different..


    Small Business Catering to Makers

    DFRobot is something you would not ordinary expect in China. It’s offices look & feel like a proper Silicon Valley startup; it’s engineers are young, passionate and big on Open Hardware. They have great ideas and build beautifully designed products targeting the DIY community, educators and researchers. Their goal is “bringing back the joy of thinkering to daily life” – still a radical concept in China. If I were Adafruit or Sparkfun, I would watch out for these guys.

    We got to hang around their office and saw a lot of great projects, but the experience we enjoyed most was in the 3D Printer room. We came into this room only to find a couple of dozen 3D printers, all printing bones! Some professor ordered a couple of hundred human bones for him to use in some kind of kinetic art installation. Weird.

    For more in-depth look on Maker culture and it’s intersection with industry development in China, check out our attempt at serious investigative journalism in an interview with the fantastic [Silvia Lindtner], researcher at Fudan University.



    2232b5deafe611e38e7a12db3d4904f6_8 (1)
    Filed under: Featured

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 18:00
    Students Design Automated Pill Dispenser @Raspberry_Pi #piday #raspberrypi


    Dalrida School Designs Automated Raspberry Pi powered pill dispenser. via Dan Grabham

    Winning the secondary school category, this entry stood out amongst some outstanding projects in the category. The judges said it demonstrated good use of the hardware and software as well as showing superb team work. Remembering to take the right number of pills at the right time can be stressful, particularly for those who are elderly or very sick. This automated pill dispenser makes managing medicine easier: the Raspberry Pi connects a pill dispenser with the person’s GP, who can program the administration of the drugs through a website. Correct dosages drop out of the Raspberry Pi controlled pill dispenser at the specified times. Meanwhile, if sensors detect pills haven’t moved once dispensed, an alert is sent to a family member who can remind them.

    Read more

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 17:37
    MakerBot Desktop | From Digital to Physical

    MBD Education Blog pt2_Header 3

    Steps to Success
    Every now and then we’re reminded 3D printing is not science fiction, but a real technology used every day to make amazing things in homes, studios, schools, and businesses. At MakerBot we’re proud to be leading this Next Industrial Revolution with the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem, which makes desktop 3D printing and 3D scanning affordable and reliable for everyone, and includes a variety of products and services to help unleash your creativity.

    One of the newest members of our family is MakerBot Desktop, a complete, free 3D printing solution for discovering, managing, and sharing your 3D prints. As we learned in last week’s post on connectivity, MakerBot Desktop was built to access the powerful software capabilities of the new Fifth Generation line of MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers. This week, we’ll take a look at how to use it to go, in just three simple steps, from a 3D design to a 3D print.

    1. Find a Model
    Whether you make your own digital 3D models or prefer to use ones that are already made, MakerBot Desktop gives you three ways to get started:

    – Did you design your own model? MakerBot Desktop will open any STL or OBJ file. Just make sure you save your file as one of those types in the design software you’re using. Click Add File in MakerBot Desktop, and navigate to where the file is saved on your computer.

    – Want to browse through free designs? Click on Explore in MakerBot Desktop to see the hundreds of thousands of 3D printable things on MakerBot Thingiverse, the 3D design community for discovering, printing, and sharing 3D models. Simply click Prepare next to the file name, and MakerBot Desktop will open up the file in the Prepare tab.

    – Looking for high-quality, original prints? Check out the MakerBot Digital Store by clicking Store in MakerBot Desktop. Buy individual models or collections, all designed by our experts. A print file for your purchased model will appear in your MakerBot Cloud Library.


    2. Prepare Your Model
    Once you have your model open in the Prepare tab you can change its orientation, scale it up or down, or even add another model to the virtual build plate.


    You may also want to change some settings before printing. Click Settings and choose if you want to print with a raft, support, or both. A raft is a base on which your model will be printed, and can help it stick to the plate. Supports can be printed to hold up overhanging parts of your model. Both the raft and supports can be easily removed once the print is finished.

    You can also choose your resolution: low, standard, or high. The higher resolution, the longer the time it will take to print. For more information on preparing your model, visit MakerBot Desktop Advanced Options page in the MakerBot support website.


    3. Send the File to Your MakerBot Replicator
    When your model is set up the way you like it, you can go ahead and click Print.

    – If you’re printing via USB stick, MakerBot Desktop will slice your file when you click Print. When the file is ready, click Export Now, and save the file to your USB stick. Then plug the USB stick into the port on the MakerBot Replicator, and navigate to USB Storage on the LCD Display. Find your file and push the control panel dial to print.

    – If you’re printing via USB cable, LAN, or Wi-Fi (coming soon!), MakerBot Desktop will slice your file and send it over to your MakerBot Replicator when you click Print. All you have to do is press the control panel dial to confirm and start the print.

    Show the World Your Work
    If you printed a file from Thingiverse, MakerBot Desktop will prompt you to share a photo of your print. Select Share to Thingiverse, and the MakerBot Replicator’s on-board camera will take a photo of your build area. Push the dial again to post the photo to the Thing page.


    Now you’re all set to start printing. Go ahead and explore all the exciting options MakerBot Desktop offers with your new MakerBot Replicator. And stay tuned next week for when we’ll go over how to use the MakerBot Cloud Library!


  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 17:00
    Using Minecraft: Raspberry Pi Edition to get kids computing #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

    Martin O’Hanlon of Stuff About Code explains why Minecraft: Raspberry Pi Edition is a great programming teaching and learning tool for teachers and kids. via Raspberry Pi

    It’s a powerful way to get kids who didn’t realise they had an aptitude for programming excited about the Pi; it’s a creative, constructive tool; kids and teachers love it; and we find it’s enormously popular with kids all over the world.

    Read more.

    998Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 17:00
    Homebrewing and Arduino: the perfect recipe

    Open Ardbir display menuOne of the common past times in the home-brewing community is the self-building and DIY of the equipment need for beer production in all steps. All that needs is some added Arduino.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 17:00
    New Product Friday: There is no Spoon

    We’re back, as always, with more new products for you. This week we just have a few, but one of them is mind control, so we’ve got that going for us. Be sure to check the video.

    This really is the future, isn’t it? Put something on your head, load an app on your phone, and see your brain waves. It’s a great time to be alive.

    alt text

    The Neurosky Mindwave Mobile an EEG headset that safely measures and transfers the power spectrum (alpha waves, beta waves, etc.) data via Bluetooth to wirelessly communicate with your computer, iOS or Android device. We even have a cool hacking tutorial from one of our hackers-in-residence. It’s a pretty cool way to play with brainwaves and such.

    alt text

    These long headers work well when you want to connect something in a breadboard. Because they’re centered (the pins on both sides of the plastic strip are of equal length), they fit into a breadboard snugly, and leave you enough pin length to connect female headers. These also work well for connecting two female headers together, like servo cables and such. They come in 40-pin strips that are easily cut or snapped to length.

    alt text

    We have a new version of the RFM12. The new version, the RFM12BSP is slightly different, but ultimately has the same functionality as the previous module. These are great little transceivers for sending data back and forth. They’re SMD, but can easily be used with 2mm pitch headers. They work similarly to the RFM22, which we have on a shield.

    alt text

    Lastly, we have another header. This is a 10-pin female SMD header with 0.1" spacing. We carry numerous other pin configurations of this, but didn’t carry a 10-pin, so why not?

    That’s all I have for this week. I’ll be back again next week with more new products, and the final Robotics 101 video (Tools - Part 2). Be sure to check back then and thanks for reading and watching!

    comments | comment feed

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 16:13
    NEW PRODUCTS: Flex Cable for Raspberry Pi Camera – 18″/ 457mm and 24″/ 610 mm


    NEW PRODUCTS: Flex Cable for Raspberry Pi Camera – 18″/ 457 mm and 24″/ 610 mmm: This cable will let you swap out the stock 150mm long flex cable from a Raspberry Pi Camera (either ‘classic’ or ‘NoIR’ type) for a different size. Works great, just carefully open the connector on the Pi and slip this one in.

    We have cables in 2″, 4″, 8″, 12″, 18″ and 24″ long so you can have the perfect fit. Each order comes with one cable, Pi Camera not included (but we have those in the shop as well).



    In stock and shipping now!

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 16:00
    Raspberry Pi Transformed Into Wearable Cyborg Tech @raspberry_pi #piday #raspberrypi


    Zack Freedman creates a wearable cyborg Raspberry Pi.

    When Rob Bishop of the Raspberry Pi Foundation visited the space yesterday, he challenged the attendees to build a project using the tiny open-source computer. I decided, why not take advantage of its small size to make myself a cyborg?

    Wearable technology is my main area of hacking, so I had some parts lying around. The wearable display uses the innards of a pair of MyVu Crystal video glasses – these are tricky to disassemble, so check this tutorial. You can cut off the earbuds and one microdisplay without breaking the functionality. I bent a coat hanger into a behind-the-ear mount, electrical-taped the parts in place, and viola, monocular HUD.


    The brains of the operation are, of course, a RasPi. I fitted it with a 2GB micro-SD card in the excellent Quilix pIO mini-adapter, Raspbian, a Duracell phone recharger, and a cheapo mini keyboard-trackpad combo. Apart from the video cable, the system is totally wireless! I zip-tied the RasPi to my belt and the keyboard to my wrist. Everything is wearable with zip ties!

    No one brought a wi-fi dongle, so no wireless intertubes. The upside is that when I wanted to go online, I could actually jack into an Ethernet port!

    I built this with parts lying around, but a similar setup would cost just over $100. Not bad for a fully-functional wearable computer, especially one with connectivity and around four hours of battery! Plus, ladies love a Pi in the Face. Maker ladies, at least.

    Read more

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 15:00
    Bringing Star Trek to life: LCARS home automation with Arduino and Raspberry Pi #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi

    This LCARS home automation from YouTube user boltszmann138 a trekkies dream come true!

    …I came to the conclusion that QT works fine for me. There are two programms running:

    First, there is “ha_interface” on the raspberry which on the one hand connects to the arduino via usb and provides a tcp server for clients on the other hand. Clients can request sensor values by sending “request:sensortype:sensorid” over a simple QTcpSocket. If the arduino sends an interrupt (for example: reed contact 1 is now open), ha_interface sends a broadcast message like “broadcast:reed1:opened” to all connected clients. Parsing of these commands can easily be done via the QString::split(“:”) function. The biggest problem was: I dont want the clients to poll for the reed contact state, since they change very seldom. On the other hand, I didnt want to miss that event. So I had to find a way how recognize an interrupt (by emitting a signal) in the serial usb connection. This gave me the answer: http://www.webalice.it/fede.tft/seria… (part 5) and http://fedetft.wordpress.com/2010/04/… . Several connected clients can talk to each other via the interface and share for example their local “red alert on” or “system locked” bool variables.

    The second program, “ha_gui” is the LCARS design you can see in the video (the final version will get a dedicated 24″ touch screen :-D). This program connects to the ha_interface programm via QTcpSocket. When switching an outlet, it sends “switchOutlet:syscode:groupcode:mode” to the interface, when requesting the temperature sensors, it sends “request:temperature:1″ or something like that to the interface. If the main door is openend, the arduino will recognize that and send a message to the interface which then broadcasts that information to all connected clients. This LCARS client will play the “red alert” sound from Star Trek Voyager if that happens. Playing sounds is done via “QProcess::startDetached(“aplay PATH_TO_FILE”). The “analysis of sensor data” at the top is realized via 7 QLineEdits. There is a QTimer which is called periodically, it generates random numbers and sometimes highlights a row. The LCARS design was created in QT Designer. There are stylesheet options for rounded corners and you can find official LCARS colors via google. The different views are realized by a QStackedWidget.

    Read more.

    998Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 14:48
    Enginursday: Get Roving!

    Robotics competitions are a great way to hone your skills by designing with a purpose (and a deadline). There are competitions large and small all over the world, for all skill levels, with all kinds of goals, both constructive and destructive. If you’ve been following SparkFun for a while you’re probably aware of our Autonomous Vehicle Competition, which will be held at the Boulder Reservoir on June 21st. The AVC challenges are for fun and glory, but there’s another robotics competition coming up in April that challenges you to design a Mars rover and try it out in a remote and spectacular part of Colorado.

    alt text

    Ron Cogswell

    As a wise man once said, space is big. Really big. Big enough that it’s difficult, expensive, and risky sending people everywhere we’d like to go. We’ve been sending machines instead (and hopefully in advance) of us for decades, and the knowledge gained from these programs has literally rewritten the book on our solar system and beyond. The first robotic explorers just flew by planets, followed by orbiters, followed by landers; each of which provided more and more spectacular results. But even given the astonishing technical achievement of being able to softly touch down on an alien world, there was always an interesting rock just out of reach, or a mountain on the horizon, that scientists wished they could visit. Rovers have given us the mobility to truly start the detailed and long-term exploration of these worlds.

    alt text

    Brian Sanders

    The first planetary rover was Russia’s Lunokhod (“moon walker”) 1, which explored the moon for almost a year in 1970. More recently the US has had great success with Mars rovers; Opportunity is still operating after an unheard-of ten years on the ground, and the massive mobile laboratory Curiosity is providing new insight into Mars’s complex geologic past (as well as having a cranky alter-ego). Many more rovers (and flyers, and even submarines) are on the drawing boards of NASA and other organizations. Unfortunately, even the most cost-effective missions are at the mercy of agency budgets, which are currently cut to the bone and beyond. (Write your congresspeople.)

    alt text

    Brian Sanders

    Because space is so big, planetary rovers are an ideal application of autonomy (the ability to make your own decisions). The problem is the huge distances involved. For example, depending on where they are in their orbits, Mars may be anywhere between 55 and 400 million kilometers away from Earth. In the vacuum of space, radio waves travel at the speed of light, which means it takes between 3 and 22 minutes for a command to get from you to your rover. And that’s just one-way; any responses or returned video would take just as long to get back to you, so you could be waiting 45 minutes to find out whether your rover fell into a ravine or not. Imagine trying to directly control a vehicle with that kind of lag. (You think gaming is tough!) Not to mention that there are periods when the sun is directly between Mars and Earth, entirely cutting off communications for a week or so. It would be nice if your rover was able to perform investigations on its own during that time.

    In practice, rovers are such a valuable asset that their operations are very carefully planned in advance, and onboard autonomy is usually limited to catching any unforeseen problems while command sequences are being executed. But autonomy is increasingly becoming an effective cost-saving measure on numerous missions (Deep Space Network time is limited and expensive), and we’ll only see more of it in the future.

    alt text

    Michael Rael

    Which brings us to the Colorado Space Grant / Adams State University Robotics Challenge, held annually at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. This challenge is designed to give amateur teams a taste of what it takes to create and operate a Mars rover. The vehicles need to autonomously navigate courses of varying complexity and ruggedness, with the possibility of unexpected obstacles, high and low temperature extremes (April in Colorado can have anything from 80 degree days to whiteout blizzards), and the ever-present blowing sand, which has a way of getting into everything, no matter how well-sealed.

    alt text

    Brian Sanders

    A unique part of this challenge is the central radio beacon. To more accurately simulate the conditions a rover would encounter on another planet, GPS receivers are not allowed. (GPS signals are broadcast by a constellation of satellites in earth’s orbit; these signals won’t be available anywhere else until we put similar constellations around other planets.) Instead of using GPS, a 433MHz radio beacon is set up at the center of the course area. The robots must move from the starting point toward the beacon, navigate around any obstacles in their path, and return to the original course. The various challenge courses are laid out in spokes from the central beacon, allowing multiple courses to use the same beacon simultaneously.

    alt text

    Brian Sanders

    True radio direction finding is a difficult task. To make the beacon more accessible to amateur teams, a clever technique is used. The beacon consists of a rotating Yagi antenna that continuously broadcasts the compass bearing of the beam as it rotates. The antenna pattern from the Yagi is highly directional, so the robots will only receive the beacon as the beam sweeps past them. If a robot receives the beacon, the data will contain the reciprocal bearing back to the beacon. Just knowing that information doesn’t help you if you don’t know your own heading, so an onboard compass is used to figure out what direction you’re pointing.* Once you know both of those angles, you can figure out the direction you need to drive to get to the beacon.

    alt text

    Brian Sanders

    Befitting the institutions behind it, the primary goal of this challenge is education. Instead of giving you the rules and saying “good luck,” the Colorado Space Grant Consortium provides pre-challenge workshops in basic skills like soldering and programming, and provides as much information as they can to help teams succeed. Mass and cost are constrained to give as many teams as possible the opportunity to participate; robots must weigh under 4kg or 1.5kg depending on the weight class, and the hardware cost is limited to $500. The rules are also specific about protecting the course environment (the Great Sand Dunes are a national park that contains protected and fragile ecosystems), and that the real goal of the challenge is not to win through finding loopholes, but through solid design, good craftsmanship, and testing, testing, testing.

    alt text

    Brian Sanders

    The Colorado Space Grant Consortium, and the NASA-funded Space Grant Colleges in each state, exist to give students practical engineering experience through challenges like these and numerous other opportunities. COSGC alumni have gone on to design, build and operate the current generation of Mars rovers and many other space missions, and work at many interesting places, including SparkFun.

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    Michael Rael

    This year’s Robotics Challenge will be held on April 5th from 8AM to 11:30AM, just past the visitor’s center at the Great Sand Dunes National Park which is about a four-hour drive from Denver. The public is welcome! If you’d like to be involved in next year’s competition, you can find more information at http://spacegrant.colorado.edu/statewideprograms/robotics-challenge. Registration is in December, so get roving!

    alt text

    Brian Sanders

    * Unlike Earth, Mars has a very weak magnetic field, so this likely wouldn’t work in real life, but for the purposes of the challenge you have to constrain the problem somewhere. Interestingly, there are indications that Mars had a much stronger magnetic field in the past that, like the Earth’s magnetic field, once protected the surface of Mars from being blasted by solar radiation as it is now. Why the field disappeared is an important question scientists are trying to answer. Write your congresspeople.

    comments | comment feed

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 14:10
    A Look at Arduino’s Origins: the First Prototype

    arduino03-1319574149091Believe it or not, this simple-looking prototype board was the original Arduino that has since become "the brains of maker projects" around the world.

    Read more on MAKE

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 14:00
    Transform Cardboard Into an Optimus Prime Costume

    optimus  prime

    I never tire of seeing how different builders tackle the same costume, and Optimus Prime is one of those characters people keep creating in new ways. Instructables user dannyeruena loves Transformers and funneled his passion into making this fantastic costume. He only spent about $40-50 on the costume, and it looks slick. The material he used the most of was cardboard and he was able to get at least some of it by recycling material from local markets. Here’s some info on making the head:

    First select an old bicycle, snowboarding, or hardhat helmet that you never plan on using again.

    From the Cardboard or foamboard
    - Cut 2 ear flaps (Triangle shape)
    - Cut 1 center unit piece (Retangle Shape)
    - Cut 2 side discs where you plan on attaching the 2 antennae. (circle discs) Antennae.

    Like most of this project it will be a series of trial and error to make things fit, the ear flaps are no exception. Once you have your desired shapes cut out, you’ll need to cut circles on the inside to affix to the helmet with hot glue. Adjust fast because the glue dries quick.

    The Center unit will present the biggest challenge as the concave center will need to be cut out with your best estimate then refitted for additional cuts. Remember don’t over guess because you can always take off more, but you can’t regrow once cut. Take your time on this fitting, it will pay off in the end.

    Read more at Instructables.

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 14:00
    Learn How-to Design and Build a Raspberry Pi Robot @Rasbperry_Pi #piday #raspberrypi

    Raspberrypi rubyrobot

    This tutorial shows you how to design and build a Raspberry Pi robot! from penguin tutor.

    When I first showed my Raspberry Pi based “Ruby Robot” at the Raspberry Jam at Pycon UK, I promised a guide would be forthcoming. I’ve now finished the first draft of my guide to creating the robot.

    The guide does more than just take the reader through the steps to create a robot. It also covers the design process involved in creating the design and some of the decisions I went through in creating the robot.

    eBook – Desgin and build a Raspberry Pi robot
    The robot is just the starting point to create an initial working version. I have several ideas for new features and improvements to the robot, but the idea is for the reader to have their own ideas and turn it into a truly personal robot.

    At the moment the guide is a draft pdf document. I intend to publish this as a free eBook in future (including putting it on the Raspberry Pi store). As this will be made available free of charge I don’t have a budget for technical reviewers or proof-readers, but would very much appreciate feedback on the guide if anyone finds any mistakes.

    Download the draft document below:

    Design and build a Raspberry Pi robot

    or read more at: PenguinTutor – Guide to the Raspberry Pi based Ruby Robot

    Read more.

  • Vendredi, Mars 28, 2014 - 13:01
    Fritzing Friday: nRF8001 Bluetooth LE Breakout!


    This week, we’ve added our brand new nRF8001 Bluetooth LE breakout.

    Check it out, and all sorts of other Adafruit stuff, in the Adafruit Fritzing Library!