Proud to Be Featured on EEWeb

We are proud to announce that Smashing Robotics has been featured on EEWeb, the Electrical Engineering Community website. This is a massive community featuring a great amount of resources for hardware designers, electronics enthusiasts and hobbyists alike. Here you can find electrical engineering projects, in-depth analyses, studies and tutorials, as well as latest news on technology advances in the field. An array of useful engineering tools is also available, such as various inductance, impedance or current calculators, power requirements calculator, equivalence tables and even math help documents. There is even a hugely entertaining comics feed!

Smashing Robotics on EEWeb

EEWeb is the brainchild of two American engineers, Cody Miller and Joe Wolin. In 2007 they have formed Aspen Labs, a business media company focused on engineering. In 2010 Aspen Labs partnered with electronics components distributor Digi-Key Corporation, creating the EEWeb electrical engineering community. In 2011 the digital EEWeb Pulse magazine was launched, and today several online engineering publications exist. You can follow EEWeb on Twitter.

Intel Galileo, an x86 Alternative to ARM Development Boards

Galileo is a microcontroller board featuring the first implementation of Intel’s Quark architecture, which is basically a 32-bit x86 Pentium class system-on-a-chip (SoC). The board is designed as an actual Arduino product, therefore it is fully compatible in terms of both hardware and software with the Arduino ecosystem. More than that, Galileo is the first Arduino board with a standard PC interface, a PCI Express 2.0 slot for expansion modules. Intel Galileo is aimed as an alternative to ARM based embedded products like the Raspberry Pi or the BeagleBone Black single board computers (SBC). In the following we will take a look at the board’s specs and discuss some of its key aspects.

Intel Galileo top view

Intel Galileo top view | Photo: Arduino.cc

The Intel Galileo is an Arduino certified board, powered by an Intel Quark SoC X1000 single core CPU with 256 MB of DDR3 RAM. Being build to specifications the board is fully compatible with Arduino Uno R3 shields. Programming the board is made in the same way and using the exactly the same tools as in the case of a standard Arduino board. Galileo is fully compatible with the Arduino IDE, while software files and schematics are available for download with no restrictions. The board is a perfect gap filler between the maker culture and traditional business models, offering quality and reliability in an open source package. Perhaps we will see more efforts like this in the future, as more large companies will submit into the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm.
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AIsoy1 Emotional Robot Powered by Raspberry Pi

AIsoy1 is a programmable emotional pet robot kit which can learn based on interactions, recognize faces, make decisions and talk with people completely autonomously. Now at its third generation, the fully open source AISoy1 is driven by a Raspberry Pi running Linux, and constitutes a very affordable yet powerful development platform for social robotics applications, which is well connected and allows for easy integration into the ROS ecosystem.

AIsoy1 emotional programmable robot with Raspberry Pi

AIsoy1 emotional programmable robot with Raspberry Pi | Photo: AIsoy

The AIsoy1 robot was created by Spanish company AISoy Robotics and is available in several types of kits. It comes either fully assembled, and with all software pre-installed so users can start interacting with it right out of the box, or in DIY form, where it can be assembled and customized from the very beginning. The AISoy1 robotic kit is delivered with the Raspjet — a jetpack module holding the Raspberry Pi, cables, power pack, SD memory card with required software and WiFi dongle.
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Overview of Fixed Wing Camera Drones from Lehmann Aviation

First introduced in fall 2012 by French company Lehmann Aviation, the LA100 was the first completely automatic personal drone that could capture aerial footage via an onboard GoPro camera. The drone was able to fly along a predefined path, return to the launch point and land automatically. In 2013 the company expanded the L-A series UAVs with the professional LA200 and LA300 models which feature longer flight autonomy and WiFi connectivity. The company has released recently a revised version of the LA100 drone, adding a WiFi module to the entry-level model as well. An OperationCenter remote control app for Windows Phone 8 devices has also been released, which allows full control and setup of the LA100-version 2 drone.

LA100 drone with GoPro camera

LA100 drone with GoPro camera | Photo: Lehmann

All L-A series unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are designed to be extremely easy to use, no previous flight experience is necessary. Low-level aircraft control, including take-off and landing, is handled automatically and completely transparent by the on-board computer, leaving the user to focus on high level mission tasks like actual path creation, video or even terrain mapping.
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ABB Robot Built with LEGO Bricks and Mindstorms EV3

It is an already very well-known fact that LEGO has a huge amount of fans all over the world, including ourselves. Regardless of age or level of education, the Danish company has been fueling the world’s creativity for over eight decades. With advent of the original Mindstorms, and the later NXT and EV3 platforms, the company has properly established its presence in the fields of programmable controllers and robotics. A huge knowledge base is available, backed by online communities and enthusiasts, bringing endless possibilities for creating with LEGO bricks.

LEGO robot and ABB IRB 120 side by side

LEGO robot and ABB IRB 120 industrial robot | Photo: ABB/BrickIt

Today’s project is a perfect example of the above. The IRB 120 industrial robot, created by Swiss company ABB, a world leader in industrial robotics and automation solutions, has been replicated entirely, in both form and function, just by using LEGO bricks.
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Androids Team up with Humans at the Miraikan Science Museum in Tokyo

Interesting events take place these days at the Miraikan National Museum of Science and Innovation in Tokyo, androids have teamed up with humans to guide and entertain visitors of a new permanent exhibition opened this week, named “Android: What is human?”. Three androids, Kodomoroid, Otonaroid and Telenoid, created by a team of scientists at the Osaka University led by professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, have been “hired” to make announcements and interact with people visiting the museum.

Ishiguro, Mori and Androids

Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro and museum director Mamoru Mori, flanked by Kodomoroid and Otonaroid | Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

The Kodomoroid and Otonaroid androids have been designed to resemble a young girl (kodomo – child) and a grown woman (otona – adult). Real human models have been used as references for designing these androids, casts have been made of real body parts of the models and a very human skin-like silicone was used to wrap the moldings mounted onto the robotic frames.
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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Completes its First Martian Year

Curiosity, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission robot, has completed exactly one Martian year on June 24th, which translates into 687 Earth days. On August 6th Curiosity will have completed 2 Earth years since it first landed in 2012. During April and May this year the Curiosity rover took a large amount of pictures with its arm-mounted MAHLI camera, which it later combined into a self-portrait on a Martian mission site called “Windjana” where it performed drilling and soil sampling.

Curiosity rover self-portrait composed from arm camera images

Click to enlarge | Curiosity rover self-portrait composed from arm camera images | Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Scientists say the main goal of the MSL mission has been accomplished, they have successfully determined that the Red Planet had once the proper environment to support microbial life, after analysis of rocks sampled by Curiosity from the Martian Gale Crater. While this is not an actual proof that complex life actually existed on Mars at some point, it revealed the fact that proper conditions, like mild water, life elemental ingredients and chemical energy source, where once available.

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