Friday, October 30, 2015

Robot Magazine

A new communication solution could allow an orbiting space station to maintain uninterrupted contact with robots working on the surface of a planet.

Lunokhod Video

Found a new video on the Soviet Union's Lunokhod -1 (Moon Walker). Amazing stuff!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

That Reminds Me...

That reminds me. Don't forget to "fall back" on Sunday, November 1 at 2:00 a.m. Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend. Set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Parallax Robot Hardware

Parallax's latest post on Facebook. Everybody needs some of this stuff...You will find no more knowledgeable, generous and professional people to work with! 

Build or enhance your custom robot with our sturdy robot hardware.


Robots may not need rain - but we sure do! Yay!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hours of Fun! is one of the first places I ever ordered from - Got my first multi-meter from Jameco. They have great customer service and selection! You can get lost for hours here... Trust me!

Check out Jameco’s digital Electronic Essentials Catalog online or just browse on the website at

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Murray Leinster

Got into a conversation this afternoon with the fresh produce manager at the grocery store. He was my robotics shirt and told me about his favorite Sci-Fi author.

From Wikipedia -  Murray Leinster (June 16, 1896 – June 8, 1975) was a nom de plume of William Fitzgerald Jenkins, an award-winning Americanwriter of science fiction and alternate history. He wrote and published more than 1,500 short stories and articles, 14 movie scripts, and hundreds of radio scripts and television plays.

I am going to find some of his robotics' stories and check em out!


Saw this the other day at Toys-R-Us - Lego WALL-E!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Robotic Scribe?

If you were lucky at the 2015 World Maker Faire you may have stumbled upon strange writings of poetry on the ground -- written in sand. While at first confusing, if you followed the poetry along you...

Forrest Mims - Everybody's Hero

Well deserved write-up of Citizen Scientist: Forrest Mims via Hackaday

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pilgrim's Mo-Bug

Ken Gracey reminded me this evening about Phil Pilgrim's very nice Mo-Bug two servo walker. Works and looks great - Need to study this servo configuration... Here is a video.

A Dusty Curiosity

Mars Curiosity rover's latest selfie...

Two Servo Walker Badge Hack

Ken Gracy, over at Parallax, beat us all to the punch with a three servo walker hack of the Hackable Electronic Badge. Photo below from the Parallax Facebook page. Looks great, I think, and I will surely want one!  (previously posted below)

But, I had been thinking of a two servo hack version similar to the Solarbotic's JBB Walker but using the new badge for the brains... Here is a photo of the Solarbotic's bot, which is a Mark Tilden BEAM design - sporting a single guitar string whisker!

Lastly, here is a video of my proposed work in progress. This is intended to show the idea powered by the Propeller. It uses two Parallax Standard Servos (rubber banded together) and some simple wire (coat hanger) legs. I wrote a simple C program for my Propeller Board of Education (which is similar to the Propeller Activity Board used on the Parallax Activity Bot) - it oscillates the servos back and forth (180 degrees out of phase with each other). And away she walks... I will dub my version the "Badge Bot.

More news to follow I hope. The idea is to have a self contained hack that simply attaches to the Hackable Electronic Badge. You would then upload the program to the Badge and away you'd go. I would like to take advantage of the badges' 3-axis accelerometer, OLED display, tri-color RGB LEDs, passive touch-buttons, and stereo audio too! 

The badge is so capable and an easy-to-attach walking or rolling chassis is a just a great idea!

A BB-8 for October 31

Monday, October 12, 2015

Lean on Me

Robots in space from NASA. Yes, please!
Humans and robots working together... Sing it with me...

"Lean On Me"
by Bill Withers
Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

Please, swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won't let show

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

If there is a load
You have to bear that you can't carry
I'm right up the road, I'll share your load
If you just call me

Call me (If you need a friend)
Call me (Call me uh-huh)
Call me (When you need a friend)
Call me (If you ever need a friend)
Call me (Call me)
Call me (Call me)
Call me (Call me)



Found a great link over at the Solarbotics' site for the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics at!

It looks like it has been inactive for a bit...though ;-(
Still has some good stuff!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hack the Hackable Electronic Badge into a Bot

The hacking of the Hackable Electronic Badges has begun. I want one of these Ken Gracey​! My pal, Carol Lynn Hazlett​ wants one too. Who do I send my payment to? Parallax does it again. See here.

I had been thinking of a two servo hack similar to Solarbotic's JBB Walker but using the Badge for  the brains...

Friday, October 2, 2015

Moon Walker Tribute Meme

The Soviet Union's Lunokhod-1 (Moon Walker) inspired this meme to advertise RUS. Click on the image to enlarge.

Always get the latest on robotics at!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Robots Everywhere

The folks over at Robots Everywhere are doing some very innovative work. Got lost over at their site and blog for a while tonight...

Matteo Borri, a co-founder of Robots Everywhere, is friends with Ken Gracey from Parallax and I followed his link. Take a look at the video below to see some of what they are up to at Robots Everywhere.

See at the Parallax Propeller Object Exchange (obex) for more info. 

And here is the Robots Everywhere wiki -
Thanks Matteo!