Posts with «hands-on» label

Jolly Tracker forces holiday cheer with a shock to the face

The holiday season is supposed to be a happy time. But lets be honest, between the stress of picking out gifts, racking up credit card debt you can't afford and being forced to spend time with your creepy uncle there isn't a lot to smile about. Enter the JöLLY Tracker. It's a wearable of a different kind -- one that monitors just how much you smile. And, if you're not keeping that frown turned upside down, it gives you a gentle "reminder" to smile in the form of an electric shock... to the face.

Source: Hacky Holidays

Jolly Tracker forces holiday cheer with a shock to the face

The holiday season is supposed to be a happy time. But lets be honest, between the stress of picking out gifts, racking up credit card debt you can't afford and being forced to spend time time with your creepy uncle there isn't a lot to smile about. Enter the JöLLY Tracker. It's a wearable of a different kind -- one that monitors just how much you smile. And, if you're not keeping that frown turned upside down, it gives you a gentle "reminder" to smile in the form of an electric shock... to the face.

Arduino Robot launches at Maker Faire, we go hands-on (video)

There's a new kid on the Arduino block, and it's called the Arduino Robot. Launched yesterday at Maker Faire Bay Area, it's the company's first product that extends beyond single microcontroller boards. The Roomba-like design, which we first saw in November 2011, is the result of a collaboration with Complubot. It consists of two circular boards, each equipped with Atmel's ubiquitous ATmega32u4 and connected via ribbon cable.

The bottom board is home to four AA batteries (NiMH), a pair of motors and wheels, a power connector and switch plus some infrared sensors. By default it's programmed to drive the motors and manage power. The top board features a color LCD, a microSD card slot, an EEPROM, a speaker, a compass, a knob plus some buttons and LEDs. It's programmed to control the display and handle I/O. Everything fits inside a space that's about 10cm high and 19cm in diameter.

Pre-soldered connectors and prototyping areas on each board make it easier to customize the robot platform with additional sensors and electronics. It even comes with eleven step-by-step projects and a helpful GUI right out of the box. The Arduino Robot is now on sale at the Maker Faire for $275 and will be available online in July. Take a look at our gallery below and watch our video interview with Arduino founder Massimo Banzi after the break.

Filed under: Misc, Robots

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Via: Make

Source: Arduino

Keepon co-creator Marek Michalowski shows off his Arduino-powered wall drawing robot (video)

As one might imagine, there's plenty of shiny things to get excited about in BeatBots' San Francisco office, one of which is suspended on a wall in between paintings of Keepon and his power-promoting British cousin, Zingy. Marek Michalowski gave us a look at the still-unnamed wall drawing robot he's been fiddling around with. Still in its early stages, the 'bot is supported by wires that also power it, using an Arduino brain to drag a dry erase marker across the white surface of the wall. Check out a quick video explanation after the break.

Continue reading Keepon co-creator Marek Michalowski shows off his Arduino-powered wall drawing robot (video)

Filed under: Robots

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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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Check 'N Chew Foursquare-enabled gumball machine hands-on (video)

When Tyler DeAngelo asked if we'd be interested in checking out his new project, we jumped at the opportunity. After all, we were pretty blown away with Fifth Avenue Frogger, his hacked arcade cabinet that incorporated real-time webcam footage of a busy Manhattan street into gameplay. His latest project, Check 'N Chew certainly has more apparent commercial applications, offering up a form of immediate gratification for social media users. The concept is fairly simple: check into Foursquare, get a gumball.

DeAngelo has hacked an off-the-shelf gumball machine with a stepper motor, Arduino and an XBee radio. There's also a port on the rear of the machine that plugs into a wall to power it all. The Check 'N Chew communicates wirelessly with an ethernet-to-wireless gateway device. When someone checks into an authorized location, information is sent from DeAngelo's server to the gateway, and a gumball is dispensed. The whole process is quite speedy, only taking a couple of seconds from Foursquare check-in to gumball dispensing.

Continue reading Check 'N Chew Foursquare-enabled gumball machine hands-on (video)

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

Check 'N Chew Foursquare-enabled gumball machine hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 16 Aug 2012 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sassor wants to let users know just how much electricity their gadgets are wasting (hands-on)

Everyone knows that their game consoles, appliances and HDTVs are energy vampires, and while Energy Star-certified products tell us which gadgets are more green-friendly than others, we still don't know just how much juice they're actually sucking down in a given day. Enter Sassor, a start-up from Japan that's created a system to monitor the electrical consumption of anything plugged into a wall outlet -- from PCs to refrigerators. It tracks power consumption using current sensors clamped onto power cords, which communicate wirelessly via ZigBee with an module (based on an Arduino design) that uploads the info to the cloud.

Through the web portal, users can track energy consumption on a per-device basis in real-time, letting them figure out which gadgets are most responsible for their sky-high utility bill -- and take appropriate steps to correct the problem. Currently, it's aimed solely at businesses, but once Sassor's on its feet, funding-wise, the plan is to also put them in people's homes. The company told us it'll ditch ZigBee in favor of a WiFi solution in such future iterations, and it'll make an SDK and the system APIs available to all so that people can program for the platform and improve it in ways currently not contemplated. Alas, there's neither a timetable nor a price for the consumer version just yet, but you can see some pictures of the hardware's innards below.

Sassor wants to let users know just how much electricity their gadgets are wasting (hands-on) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 18 Jun 2012 21:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hexy: hands-on with the adorable, affordable hexapod (video)

The Artisan's Asylum has a few guiding principles, one of which is anyone can "make." We assume one of the others is "you can never have too many hexapods." If Stompy, the giant rideable bot, is a bit much for you to handle (or store), then maybe Hexy is more your speed. He's got six legs and 20 servos, but at only $200, he's much cheaper than similar hexapod kits and, most importantly, more adorable. The bot is the brain child of Joseph Schlesinger, a resident at the Somerville hacker space who saw a need for a low-cost but serious robotics kit. Since hitting Kickstarter in May, his creation has raked in roughly $86,000 in pledges, far surpassing his original goal of thirteen grand. We swung by Joe's booth to get a taste of what exactly his hundreds of backers have bought into and to find out what's next for the budding bot entrepreneur.

Continue reading Hexy: hands-on with the adorable, affordable hexapod (video)

Hexy: hands-on with the adorable, affordable hexapod (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 14 Jun 2012 18:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rascal Micro hands-on (video)

Not far from the bustling labs of Northeastern University is the even more bustling hacker space known as Artisan's Asylum. The roughly 30,000 square foot complex is home to more than 100 makers, tinkerers and artists who building all sorts of crazy contraptions. One of the less ostentatious projects being worked on within its cavernous halls though, is the Rascal Micro. This tiny board is home to an ARM-based SOC and has its hungry, open-sourced eyes on competitors like Arduino and Beagle. Brandon Stafford, the creator, boiled down its primary selling points to this: "it's maybe 25 times faster, has 1,000 times more storage." Where as the Arduino excels at making things blink, move or Tweet, the Rascal Micro has enough power to function as a full-fledged web server.

Continue reading Rascal Micro hands-on (video)

Rascal Micro hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 13 Jun 2012 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MIT gets musical with Arduino-powered DrumTop, uses household objects as a source of sound

Everyone's favorite microcontroller has been a boon among hobbyists and advanced amateurs, but it's also found a home among the brilliant projects at MIT's Media Lab, including a groovy instrument called DrumTop. This modern take on the drum pad delivers Arduino-powered interactivity in its simplest form -- hands-on time with ordinary household objects. Simply place a cup, or a plastic ball, even a business card on the DrumTop to make your own original music.

The prototype on display today includes eight pads, which are effectively repurposed speakers that tap objects placed on top, with an FSR sensor recognizing physical pressure and turning it into a synchronized beat. There's also a dial in the center that allows you to speed up or slow down the taps, presenting an adjustable tempo. DrumTop is more education tool than DJ beat machine, serving to teach youngsters about the physical properties of household objects, be it a coffee mug, a CD jewel case or a camera battery. But frankly, it's a lot of fun for folks of every age. There's no word on when you might be able to take one home, so for now you'll need to join us on our MIT visit for a closer look. We make music with all of these objects and more in the video after the break.

Continue reading MIT gets musical with Arduino-powered DrumTop, uses household objects as a source of sound

MIT gets musical with Arduino-powered DrumTop, uses household objects as a source of sound originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 12:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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