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We can design the future in our garages.
A few months ago, we heard rumors that Google was planning something big in robotics. We also heard that Andy Rubin, the engineer who spearheaded the development of Android at Google, was leading this new robotics effort at the company. Rubin, we were told, is personally interested in robots, and now he wants Google to have a major role in making robotics happen. Not just robotic cars, but actual robots. Today, an article in the New York Times has revealed more about Google's plans: according to the article, the company is funding a major new robotics group, and that includes acquiring a bunch of robotics startups, quite a few of which we're familiar with.
Climate-KIC's volocopter start-up E-volo has raised €1.2 million in a recent crowdfunding campaign, surpassing the €500.000 mark after only two and a half hours.
E-volo's Volocopter – supported by Climate-KIC Germany – is safer, simpler, and cleaner than normal helicopters. After successfully completing its first test flight last month, it is has now raised enough funding to turn from prototype to production.
The Volocopter is an environmentally friendly and emission-free private helicopter. Instead of one combustion engine, eighteen electrically driven rotors propel it.
The Climate-KIC start-up ran its successful crowdfunding campaign on the German platform Seedmatch.
The maiden flight and first test flights were conducted in…Continue
Remote-controlled helicopters can be fun to fly, but they’re not exactly easy to see in the dark. But these little R/C choppers not only light up when flying, their blades can display messages while airborne.
Simply enter the text you want to display using the companion app (which appears to be Windows only), choose the animation pattern, and download the data to your helicopter. The text is designed to be legible when viewed from the ground looking up at the helicopter.
The helicopter itself has 8-inch gyro-stabilized blades, and can be charged via USB.
Micro Python is a lean and fast implementation of the Python programming language (python.org) that is optimised to run on a microcontroller. The Micro Python board is a small electronic circuit board that runs the Micro Python language. The aim of this Kickstarter campaign is to make Micro Python open source software so you can use it in your own projects, and also to fund a small manufacturing run of Micro Python boards so that you can own one for yourself!
More information at Kickstarter
Drones are often thought of as weapons of war, but a few years from now people may come to know them as delivery bots. In a recent interview with CBS show 60 Minutes, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled Amazon Prime Air, a futuristic service in development that would use unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver goods to customers in just 30 minutes after they order.
In the interview, Bezos explained that the drones will be able to operate in a 10 mile radius from its shipping centers and will be able to carry goods weighing up to five pounds. While that means you can’t expect your…Continue
Thermal imaging cameras – those really useful devices that give you Predator vision – are incredible tools. If you’re looking for heat escaping your house through a window, or just trying to figure out where your electronics project will explode next, they’re invaluable, if expensive, tools. [Kaptein QK] figured out an easy and cheap way to make your own thermal imaging camera using nothing just a few dollars worth of parts.
By making the basic building blocks of batteries out of ink, Harvard materials scientist Jennifer Lewis is laying the groundwork for lithium-ion batteries and other high-performing electronics that can be produced with 3-D printers.Although the technology is still at an early stage, the ability to print batteries and other electronics could make it possible to manufacture new kinds of devices. Think of self-powered biomedical sensors, affixed to the skin, that would continuously transmit vital signs to a smartphone. Or existing products could be made more simply and efficiently.
From: MIT Technology…Continue
Continuing to Invest in Innovative Technologies to Bring More Differentiation to Popular 8-bit AVR MCUs
Atmel announced it has further expanded its low-power 8-bit tinyAVR® family with the ATtiny441 and ATtiny841.
Atmel is a leader in the 8-bit MCU market and the launch of the ATtiny441/841 family further demonstrates its commitment to continue investing in this solid market. This launch leverages the company’s two decades of MCU leadership to enable higher system integration with easy-to-use features, tools and peripherals that enable increased performance at lower power consumption.
The ultra-low power 14-pin tinyAVR MCUs deliver enhanced analog and communication capabilities for an overall…
Creating a humanoid robot that can walk over all kinds of junk, like a parent traversing a child’s LEGO explosion of a room, is no easy task. The idea is the same for both the parent and the robot. No matter what you step on, stay upright.
So check out this video of The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition’s Atlas humanoid robot trying to navigate a bunch of wood and rope, because researchers didn’t clean their room. Naturally, the robot struggles to stay upright. Damn kids! But don’t worry, it was wearing a safety harness, which kept it from breaking a hip.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed an electronic tattoo that can be printed straight on to the body to track patients' symptoms – measuring heart rate and temperature, strain and hydration – and then beam the information back to your doctor. It might sound like something from Brave New World, but this could be the first step in a future of networked healthcare.
The project, pioneered by materials scientist John Rogers, is the latest development in ongoing work into flexible "epidermal electronics". His team have previously engineered stick-on stretchable electronic circuits with an elastic polymer backing, which could simply be applied to the skin like a temporary tattoo – but with the downside that they could easily wash off.