Monday, May 17, 2010

Fellowship of the Traveling Junkbox

It all started with a post by Jeff, aka Oldbitcollector over at Savage Circuits. Here's what he said,

The Fellowship of the Traveling Junkbox.
The idea here is to keep a box of interesting electronics parts, etc moving from participant to participant. Here are the OFFICIAL guidelines for participation:
1. You must live in the United States. This keeps the cost of participation to $10.70. (The cost of shipping a medium-flat-rate box in the US.)

2. When you receive the box, you have 1-week to take what you please (being mindful of others) and replace items with parts which you think others will enjoy. Parts should be useful to those working with Propeller, BASIC STAMP, or robotics. Good Examples include, electronics parts, resistors, relays, LEDs, a game controller, circuit boards with useful parts. Bad Examples include, chemicals, a cdrom drive, network card, the DVD movie of "Twins".

3. You will need to transfer all of the remaining contents and new items to a fresh box of the SAME SIZE and TYPE. The post office has these boxes free. They can be picked up or delivered upon request of the USPS website. As much stuff as will fit in the box will ship for $10.70. The box needs to ship to the next person by 1-week of it's arrival.

4. Add your name to the log included in the box. Name, forum alias, city, and comments.

5. Report back to the forum. You might include a picture, or video. Let us know what surprises you found and what you added. Under NO circumstances list the inventory of the box in the forum. If you find items which you feel are dangerous, (chemicals, etc) or items which you feel violate the spirit of the Junkbox, please contact me by PM for instruction.

6. By registering to our group, you accept these rules and allow that your NAME and ADDRESS is allowed to be posted within our private group so that members know where the box is shipping to and where it needs to go next. If we reach the end of list, the box should return to the top of the list to be refreshed and keep moving.

7. Have fun! This is a fun project!

Anyway - a bunch of us signed up and the game is on. I received the box on May 11, 2010.

The Traveling Junkbox continues its journey after I mailed it on May 17, 2010. It is on it way to "Potatohead" in Oregon.

I took some of Microcontrolled's LEDs and PS2s (plenty more remain!), a mouse PCB with two encoder wheel detectors, a Parallax Servo, a Piezo Speaker, and few other bits and pieces. By the way - I loved the photo Microcontrolled included in the log book. It inspired me to include my own. See above - it'a me opening the junkbox when it arrived.

I added some nice goodies, a surprise, some fun hackable items and the photo of me opening the box (which I added to the log book along with my Robotics Business card).

The box was stuffed full! The woman at the Post Office said that if it wasn't the Flat Rate $10.70 Box - it would have cost me over $20.00 to mail!

Thanks OBC and all who have contributed. I can't wait to hear of the box's continued journey.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Nation Robotics Week Photos

Photos of National Robotics Week are available on Flickr here. To see just the GatorBots Demonstration Day photos click here.

It looks like there were some great events around the country. The second annual National Robotics Week will be April 9-17, 2011. See you then!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Accidental Find

Tonight my wife, the kids and I took a ride. We ended up at an Atwood's Ranch and Home Store in Crossett, Arkansas (about 30 minutes from home). It is like a farm supply and hardware store.

 As we walked along the asiles my wife spotted some robot toys. There were three key wound motor robots. The Space Robot is made by Schylling -

As the robot walks he lights up with sparks inside. It is really cool! See the pic and info from their website here. The price at the store was the same as online - $19.99. The Box was almost as cool as the robot. Neat huh?