RoboSavvy posted a very detailed and well documented teardown of the eBox3350 compact PC.
The teardown includes the step-by-step process, hidden product features, close-up photos, and observations about how to put the PC to good use in a robot controller application. They even put together a short video of the teardown.
As usual with a popular forum like RoboSavvy, the subsequent discussions among the forum members, with proactive support from PedroR - the resident RoboSavvy expert - yielded a wealth of additional specifications, block diagrams, and knowledgeable input.
Over the past week I've been asked three times, by three different people, about the names used for screw heads. Oddly enough, the questioners were from totally different parts of the globe and don't know each other - at least as far as I know. It turns out that the same screw, and screw head, can have several different names, even in the same language, depending on the country and target application.
In researching, and answering, their questions I ran across this helpful and well writen Screw Head Chart by Zero Fasteners. It can't totally resolve the naming difference issues, but at least it was very useful in making sure that we were all describing the same thing.
Subscribers to ROBOT Magazine are receiving their copies of the latest issue right about now, and the store copies should be in bookstores very soon.
This particular issue, with the Kumotek KT-X humanoid robot on the cover, will prove to be quite interesting and exciting since it includes coverage of robots at the Maker Faire, animatronic dinosaurs, a how-to on programing servos, Arduino Bot Brains, a chance to win a Parallax robot, a look at the latest Kondo hexapod robot, and our detailed coverage of RoboGames 2011.
We have no idea how long the supplies will last - they may have already run out - but Makerbot Industries has dropped the price of their original CupCake CNC 3D printer kit to an amazingly low USD$455.
We want to be perfectly clear up front. This iPad remote telepresence robot isn't a product yet, but it is very, very close to becoming one, as you can see from the video below.
The creative folks over at Taptic Toys have married up an iPad 2 with a balancing robotic platform that brings the Anybots product line or a Segway to mind. Since the iPad 2 incorporates FaceTime using its built-in camera and microphone it seems like a natural fit.
The minimalist styling appeals to us a lot also. Using fairly standard, off-the-shelf components a configuration like this should be quite easy to deploy and maintain almost anywhere across the globe, as long as you have sufficient WiFi (or a reasonable facsimile) access for FaceTime to operate.
Under the heading of "robot business", we were very pleased to see that even in today's extremely challenging business climate, robot ventures are continuing to attract substantial investment.
While increased use of robotics isn't likely to result in a corresponding increase in employment for their human counterparts, contrary to popular belief, it will open up new applications and open the door to exploring new opportunities that were previously considered to be too hazardous, risky, or beyond the keen of available economical technology solutions.
A good example is Liquid Robotics, the creator of marine robotic drones that utilize ocean waves and solar arrays to generate the power required for their operation. These unique platforms are almost totally self-sufficient and can automatically maintain their position in the ocean, kind of the sea-going equivalent of the geostationary satellites positioned in space over the planet.