Makeblock mBot: Introducing kids to robotics and programming

By Hitesh Raj Bhagat, ET Bureau:  This cute little fella is the mBot — a do-it-yourself educational robot kit from robotics experts Makeblock. Built around the Arduino open-source platform, it's designed to induct kids into the fields of robotics and programming. The company chose to build around the concept of STEM education: science, technology, engineering & mathematics. Specifically, it helps children get an early start into these disciplines. There are two versions of the mBot: a Bluetooth version for home use 2.4Ghz WiFi version, which is designed for classroom use.  The company took to Kickstarter to generate funds for mBot and promised one unit for $49 (plus shipping). From a modest $20,000 goal, a staggering $285,463 was raised during the campaign. Now, you can buy a kit from Makeblock's website. Coming back to the mBot, everything that you need to build it is in the box — in a nutshell, you need to assemble it using the precise instructions provided and add batteries. There are 45 pieces and it's easy to put them together in about 15 minutes. It's neatly packaged and consists of very high quality materials — including some attractive anodised aluminium parts in your choice of pink or blue. Every little part that you need — from the main Arduino board, DC motors, to each screw, cable and even a set of tools — is in the box. It comes pre-programmed but it's also designed to be tinkered with. Parent of pre-teens might be familiar with Scratch — a free, graphicalbased programming language developed by MIT Media Lab. Well, Makeblock has built their own version for this and called it mBlock (it's based on Scratch 2.0 and free to download from their website). The idea behind mBlock is that younger children can start out with graphical programming and move on to text-based programming as they become more advanced.   Cont'd...

New Extended Environment Plug-In Servo Drives from AMC

Experience the advantage of plug-in integration, DigiFlex® Performance™ and extended environment capabilities in one solution. These servo drives, from Advanced Motion Controls of Camarillo, CA, are designed to operate in harsh environments including hot, cold, shock and vibration. All models operate with both 3Φ (servo, closed loop vector, closed loop stepper) and 1Φ motors and inductive loads.

Lake fire grew after private drone flights disrupted air drops

As a hot wind shifted north and drove the flames toward Onyx Peak east of Big Bear Lake, fire crews deployed to save homes scattered among brittle-dry pines — waiting for help from a DC-10 laden with 10,800 gallons of retardant. It never came. Shortly before 6 p.m. on Wednesday, an incident commander on the ground spotted a hobby drone buzzing near the drop site at 11,000 feet. The air tanker had to turn back, as did two smaller planes following it. “These folks who are handling these drones, I have to assume they have no idea what they're doing,” Chon Bribiescas, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, said Thursday. “They not only endangered the folks on the ground, but they endanger the pilots.” Officials fighting the Lake fire in the San Bernardino Mountains scrambled to warn the public that it is illegal and dangerous to fly drones in restricted airspace around a fire. Unmanned aircraft are particularly hazardous because authorities have no idea who is controlling them or how they might maneuver.   Cont'd...

Pioneering the Next Generation of Robotics with the Biomimetic 'Melissa Robot'

The Human Gait will be Perfected Artificially Within 5 Years

ThinkFun and MakerBot Inspire the Engineer in Every Child with Maker Studio Construction Sets Available Online on Thingiverse

Sets to Create Imaginative, Kinetic Machines Now Available on Thingiverse, the World's Largest 3D Design Community

Teledyne DALSA to Showcase Latest Advances in Machine Vision Imaging at Vision China 2015

Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center, China from July 1-3, 2015.

Commercial UAV Expo Announces 2015 Conference Program

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Experts to Speak at SPAR Point Group's Inaugural UAV Event in Las Vegas October 5-7

ADLINK Introduces Complete EtherCAT Solution

New system offers ruggedness, intelligence and superior motion function scalability

MathWorks Hosts "Mission on Mars Robot Challenge" Finals at Innorobo

Company provides MATLAB and Simulink to teams of engineers, researchers and students participating in the robotics competition

Midwest Engineered Systems Listed as Future 50 Company for 2nd Consecutive Year

Construction and manufacturing firms topped this year's Future 50 list.

Major Boost To UK Robotics Capability With Launch of EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network

The UK's ability to develop and exploit the vast potential of Robotics and Autonomous Systems was given a major boost today with the formal launch of The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network).

Dynamic Tooling one of OCTOPUZ's versatile features

OCTOPUZ not only makes the complex simple, but it can also help your company save time and improve safety through Dynamic Model Simulation. Also known as Dynamic Tooling, it is an OCTOPUZ feature that shows how objects can change when they're physically pushed during a robotic automation process.

Widespread backing for UK robotics network

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced the launch of a new robotics network that aims to foster academic and industry collaboration. The UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network) will have a strong academic foundation, with a number of universities acting as founding members. According to the EPSRC, the network has already received strong support from major industrial partners, as well as from professional bodies such as Royal Academy of Engineering, IET, and The Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Globally, the market for service and industrial robots is estimated to reach $59.5 billion by 2020. A primary aim of the network will be to bring the UK’s academic capabilities under national coordination, fuelling innovation in the robotics sector and taking advantage of the growth in the industry.   Cont'd...  

Adept Technology Wins 2.5 Million Dollars in Orders from Two Digital Storage Companies

Adept has served the digital storage and broader electronics industries with leading-edge robotics and controls in both standard and cleanroom configurations for more than 25 years.

Yaskawa Motoman Selects Güdel TrackMotion TMO for Great Lakes Regional Center

Hi-tech robotics lab uses Güdel TMO to extend robot work envelopes.

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Bitflow is the leader in CoaXPress

Bitflow is the leader in CoaXPress

With the introduction of its Cyton and Karbon CXP frame grabbers, BitFlow has established itself as the leader in CoaXPress (CXP), a simple, yet powerful, standard for moving high speed serial data from a camera to a frame grabber. With CXP, video is captured at speeds of up to 6.25 Gigabits/Second (Gb/S). Simultaneously, control commands and triggers can be sent to the camera 20 Mb/S (with a trigger accuracy of +/- 2 nanoseconds). Up to 13 W of power can also supplied to the camera. All this happens over a single piece of industry standard 75 Ohm coaxial cable. Multiple CXP links can be aggregated to support higher data rates (e.g. four links provide 25 Gb/S of data). BitFlow CXP frame grabbers open the door to applications where cable cost, routing requirements and long distances have prevented the move to high resolution, high speed digital cameras. In many cases, existing coaxial infrastructure can be repurposed for CXP with very low installation costs.