Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Alright, here is a good one for you all. What if a nice fellow human being is willing to give away a cool Friendly Robotics RL850 for FREE with just tiny catch? Would you take it? This one comes from our friends over at MAKE: that has a kind human being that is willing to do this. What is the catch? He wants the person to hack the living electrons out of it so it can be something that the planet Earth has not seen and publish the project at MAKE:Magazine! Talk about a great bargain, not only do you get a nice domestic lawn mower robot but you get to hack it and publish your work in a great magazine. It is almost like a dream come true to us domestic robot geeks! Here is what you need to do, are you ready? Send an Email to gnomic AT earthlink d0t net with your idea on what you plan to do with this domestic robot. gnomic will pick the top 10 entries in the next 9 days. The winner should be willing to pick up the robot in Richmond, Virginia - United States of America (unless you can convince him that you pay for shipping & handling to your destination). Keep me updated if any of you here won this great robot! Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Yes they do! Once in your mind and once in "reality". I admire my two friends still roaming around Mars for 6 years and counting! My dream is to create a mini version of them with the Lego Mindstorms NXT kit for various experiments. One item that was missing was a renewable energy source for the setup.
I know that solar panels can be purchased for the cheap but not many exists that can be purchased to be "plug-n-play" ready for a Mindstorms NXT kit! One such nice solar panel kit is made by Dexter Industries called "dSolar Systems". Dexter Industries offers two versions of dSolar panels, a round solar panel that provides 2W of power at 9 volts to give 250mA at direct sunlight, just enough to power the NXT and a single motor. The other version of dSolar is a much larger rectangular shaped panel that provides 4W of power at 9 volts and gives 500mA at direct sunlight; enough sunshine juice to run the NXT and two motors!
You can definitely mix and match the panels in parallel by using their "dSolar Parallel" connector that can hold three panels for total of 740mA! The dSolar 2W unit sells of US$90 and the 4W unit for US$99. Both kits includes a single solar panel, power cord and adapter. Let your imagination go wild and create something new today! Here are some videos showing the product and what it can do.