New Product: Octasonic 8 x HC-SR04 Breakout Board

Need to connect up to 8 ultrasonic sensors to an Arduino or other 5V microcontroller?

Now you can with the Octasonic HC-SR04 breakout board. This board uses SPI communication so only uses one dedicated pin on the microcontroller.

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Here’s a video of an electronic piano project using 8 ultrasonic sensors. This would work great in robots for obstacle avoidance too!

Lowering the cost of Robotics

One of our goals here at Super Awesome Robots is to produce a low cost robotics kit based around the Arduino platform. We’ve looked at many of the currently available robot kits and feel that they are too expensive and out of reach of many hobbyists, especially students.

We are currently working on some prototype designs and negotiating prices with suppliers to obtain the motors, sensors, and other components required to put together an interesting kit.

As part of our research we came across the MIT Printable Robot which was a winner of the AFRON (African Robotics) Ultra Affordable Educational Robot Project this year.

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This robot uses an innovative design using a folding frame and requires no tools for assembly. MIT managed to make these robots at a cost of $20.27 each, which is very impressive.

Our more modest goal is to create a more generalized kit at around the $50 to $75 price point and the project will also be Open Hardware and Open Software, meaning we will make all of the designs available for free for anyone wanting to make these robots themselves. We will also offer a retail version of the kit, probably at a lower cost since we will be buying the parts in bulk quantity at a reduced price.

 

MIP Robot

andygrove   September 11, 2014   No Comments on MIP Robot

The MIP Robot is a self balancing robot that can carry various objects thanks to a clip-on plastic tray. It can also respond to certain gestures. The MIP only comes in two colors – black or white. You can find MIP at stores such as Toys R Us and Amazon.

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As you can see, the MIP Robots are quite small, but capable of carrying a fair amount of weight, relative to their size.

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Wowee often produces best-selling toys over the Christmas period and the MIP is likely no exception. We think these will be one of the most popular kids toys this holiday season.

We especially liked SparkFun’s training video that really puts the MIP through its paces.

 

Dyson 360 Eye

andygrove   September 9, 2014   No Comments on Dyson 360 Eye

This is a new robot being released by UK company Dyson. This is a competitor to the Roomba and its sole purpose is to autonomously vacuum your floors.

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It has some pretty cool technology, especially its unique 360 degree vision system, allowing it to see all of its surroundings at once. The motor that they use to create suction is also pretty impressive since it uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) to spin the motor at up to 78,000 RPM. That’s some serious spinning!

The drive system appears to use two motors to drive tank treads. There is no mention of the speed of these motors but presumably it’s a slow (and safe) mover.