Saturday, May 28, 2016

Return of the Twinkle Toes!

We have a bit of a Parallax Toddler revival going on at this thread over on the Parallax Forums. In thread, we began discussing bump sensors for the Toddler - that were nick-named "Twinkle Toes!" - Parallax Part #27312. As far as I know Carol Lynn Hazlett got the last set from Hobby Engineering. Above is a photo of the Blue Toddler. A pdf describing how they work is here (Chapter 8 from the Toddler Manual). See additional photos below including one to the the sensors, Gold Toddler, Toddler Control Board, and all the parts!

We also discussed recreating the Toddler Bump Sensors - which are no longer available. "Publison" at the Forums has recreated the design of the PCB and is getting them made. He says,
"I'm going to get them done with Solder Mask and Silkscreen so the would look finished. The difference was $3.00 per set with no mask or screen. I'm going with ExpressPCB right now. I will get 7 sets, (with one board left over). Looks like on set of Twinkle Toes boards, (right, left), will cost $11+ shipping. You will have to supply the two resistors. the Red/Green LED, and the headers. I'll send this order out Tuesday and get them back by Thursday. I'm taking two sets, erco gets one and Whit gets one. That leaves three. Should we make Ken buy a set? Also you will need 4-40 screws and nuts and the wire, available at most hardware stores and R/C outlets."
Here is Publison's recreation of the PCB. So excited to be even a small part of reviving this bit of Parallax history!

The Twinkle Toes installed from the pdf.
Post Script - we also have a great conversation going with Harry Lewis at Blue Bell Design - see note in the Forum thread.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Puma's Training Bot

Puma's training Bot can keep up with the fastest man in the world and help improve performance. You can see the whole story here at element 14.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Too Cool Not to Post!

Not really robotic, but space related and just too cool not to post!

My Projects - Link Removed

I removed the link to my robots and robotic's projects from the sidebar today (not a true 404 error, since I disabled the link). The information was really out of date - that is, it had not been updated in a very, very long time. A look through this archives show that I have many, many more robots and projects than are shown here.

The old info is here (April 24, 2007 post) and might be updated someday - it will take lots of work to get this in good shape!

Montana Robotics

Some great work going on here in Montana at X Team Robotics (X Team's blog is here). Photo above is with family friend Shannon Thomas (that is Shan on far right) at CR Anderson Middle School in Helena, Montana. X Team is a FIRST Tech Challenge Team and based out of Exploration Works! - a science and educational center in the city. 

Looks like a really good group! I really need to get a club going here, especially now that I don't have a school team anymore!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

On My Reading List

I want to read Sublime Dreams of Living Machines by Minsoo Kang. It is available at at this link.

You can see the author talking about the book and his ideas in the following video episode of PBS' The Good Stuff. Looks really interesting...