Ever want to order room service at a strange hotel late at night, but were concerned about letting the delivery person into your room? Here’s a service robot that can solve that problem for you…(more…)
The original Meccano concept was extremely innovative and exciting, at least when it was first introduced in 1901. It enabled users in hacking together concept prototypes of mechanical structures, linkages, and movements. Tens of thousands of engineers, researchers, and young learners put the Meccano kits to good use in realising their dreams. They learned what worked, and what would fail, by experimenting with the Meccano metal strips, brackets, girders, wheels, and other components. Now, over a century later, the company has introduced two quasi-humanoid robot kits that they demonstrated at the Bay Area Maker Faire.(more…)
Mark Galt, a well known and respected Bay Area creator of kinetic art and automata, displayed several of his works at the Bay Area Maker Faire held in San Mateo last weekend. One of his more recent creations, “Sugar Time with Miss Bouffant” set a new high watermark for unsettling spookiness, to the point that it seemed to have been a leftover spirit from the Twilight Zone TV series.
I guess it isn’t too surprising, but it hadn’t occurred to me how easily cheap off-the-shelf items like micro-copters can be hacked. At the Bay Area Maker Faire, I ran across quite a few of the under USD$100 mini drones that had been modified by replacing their standard frames with custom designed 3D printed bodies.
A good example is the Dragon Drone pictured above. As long as you maintain the basic geometry, keep the body weight to a minimum and keep it balanced, the modified drone should fly almost as well as the original multi-copter.
Birds, eagles, dragons, UFOs… what will you make fly?
What appears to be a small, low cost, hobby level drone crashed in the middle of a religious ceremony at a popular temple in Nagano, Japan. Since the ceremony drew hundreds of onlookers, police and public officials are very concerned about the incident and potential safety hazards posed by the operation of drones in areas like this.(more…)
Drone popularity has skyrocketed. If you don’t already have one, then odds are quite good that you know someone that has a drone. Unfortunately, the low cost entry level drones leave a lot to be desired. It’s very difficult to get acceptable video quality from a low cost drone. Getting stable video typically, at least in the past, required adding a multi-axis gimbal. This is particularly true for the common quadcopter configuration because the drone body has to tilt in order for it to change horizontal direction, like moving forward. Thankfully, all that is about to change radically.(more…)