Posts with «carnegiemellon» label

Hummingbird is a 'pre-Arduino' for kids (video)

It's an Arduino -- you know, for kids. Or, as BirdBrain Technologies' chief robot design Tom Lauwers put it, a "pre-Arduino." It's never too early to get kids into robot building -- or so goes the thought process behind this nectar-loving kit. At its center is a custom controller that can be used to manipulate a slew of different sensors, motors and lights, a number of which are included in the box. Getting started is extremely simple -- don't believe us? Check the video after the break, in which Lauwers connects two wires to get the whole process underway.

The kit's also reasonably priced at $199 a piece. On top of the controller, you get a handful of LEDs, two vibration motors, four servos and light, temperature, distance and sound sensors. The kits are currently available through the company's site (click on that source link). Lauwers tells us that his company (which you may remember from last year's MakerFaire NYC) is working on a slightly more affordable option priced at around $130, which scales back a bit on the in-box components.

Check out a conversation with Lauwers -- and a pretty awesome cardboard dragon -- below.

Continue reading Hummingbird is a 'pre-Arduino' for kids (video)

Filed under: Robots

Hummingbird is a 'pre-Arduino' for kids (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 24 Oct 2012 12:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Romibo therapeutic robot, eyes-on (video)

Between old Paro the robo seal and the original iteration of Keepon, we've seen plenty of adorable robots designed for therapeutic purposes. Romibo's creators have no qualms admitting that their own creation is following in those cuddly footsteps, but what sets their furry 'bot apart from much of the competition is a focus on (relative) affordability. For starters, there's the fact that Romibo is being offered up as an open-source project online, letting do-it-yourselfers build their own versions and contribute custom designs.

The company's also hoping families will get into the act, making sure that Romibo is "able to be assembled by a neurotypical child 10+ and a parent" -- and then there are the plans to offer up workshops to let folks build robots to be donated to special needs facilities. Once built, Romibo can drive around, blink its eyes, speak and move its antennae. Crack it open and you'll find WiFi, bluetooth, light sensors, an IR Proximity sensor, accelerometers and a big 'ole Arduino Mega. There's a certain amount of autonomous functionality (watch in the video below as Romibo's handler warns about it driving off the edge of the table), or you can control the robot via an iPad app. You can also use an SD card to help teach it some new words.

Continue reading Romibo therapeutic robot, eyes-on (video)

Filed under: Robots

Romibo therapeutic robot, eyes-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Oct 2012 09:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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