Curious Inventor Blog

  • Inspired by the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica, the tinyCylon has a row of LEDs that scan back and forth, glow on and off, and make other patterns.

  • shabadoo52 just posted a new project of his Bioloid robot doing some dance moves. He's looking for more ideas to make with the kit, so let him know if you have any. Shabadoo52 was the winner of our Bioloid Expert Kit giveaway contest.

  • There's a cool video of Ge Wang's laptop orchestra on apple's profiles page. They use pseudo-spherical speakers to give each laptop more of an instrumental acoustic presence.

  • The Roboduino is a Freeduino (Arduino software compatible) microcontroller board designed for robotics. All of its connections have neighboring power buses into which servos and sensors can easily be plugged. Additional headers for power and serial communication are also provided.Roboduino Kit page

  • New Stribe1 Max/MSP + Arduino software gives more control directly within Max. The video shows cursor and bar control for 8 daisy-chained Stribe1s, brightness control and full display animation. An Arduino with 8 inputs would normally be required, but here we use a 6 analog input Diecimila multiplexed with a 4051 chip. Get the code here.

    Stribe1 x 8 + new max/msp software demo from CuriousInventor on Vimeo.

  • he Spy issue of MAKE (16) has an article on surface mount soldering that's a short version of ourSMT Soldering Guide. The MAKE editors did an amazing job of condensing the material.

  • The winner of our Bioloid Giveaway contest is shabadoo52. The project he entered was Beirut Robot. We are contacting him now. If we don't get a response we will draw again in a few days. We compiled a list of all the accepted projects and picked a random number usingrandom.org, which uses atmospheric noise somehow to generate numbers. We couldn't think of a good way to guarantee to you that our raffle was truly fair... feel free to leave suggestions for future drawings. The projects are all amazing, let us know if you'd like to see features added. Some rules highlights: one entry per person, no one already in biz with us, project had to have a pic and a description of how it worked. Almost all projects submitted with pics were accepted, and those accepted have a little star by their inventor profile name. Decisions are final.

  • We started a new showcase section of our website where you can post projects and find others doing similar things. To promote it, we're giving away a $3500 Bioloid Expert Kit to a random person who submits a project (at least one project picture required). There are two days left and the odds are still great. The first 50 get $10 off coupons, too. You can see a collage of pictures from projects already submitted at the projects page. We originally added the inventors section to showcase people who were having kits manufactured by us, but thought it'd be useful to open it up to anyone that wants to show off anything from a class project to a commercial product. Links out to other blogs and pages are fine and encouraged. Some awesome projects are being submitted: My_Full_Sized_R2-D2 Bipedal_Walking_Robot_in_PVC Beirut_Robot

  • Who knows how this will last, but IPC (a trade organization that publishes solder and electronics standards) has demos of thousands of dollars of all their training material available. This includes picture books of good and bad joints for both lead and lead-free solder (dull and grainy OK for lead-free!) as well as low-res versions of their DVDs, which cover everything from hand soldering techniques, to ESD safety and even PCB manufacturing. The through-hole and SMT picture booksare great references, in particular. The DVDs have great up-close video (and cheesy music). These standards were the primary source for our soldering guides and videos.

  • We just received a TGIMBOEJ in the mail, that's a The-Great-Internet-Migratory-Box-Of-Electronics-Junk in long form. Our box included a huge, old LCD panel, a mini 6GB hard drive, a GPS something or other, some super old style capacitor can, a power supply, an old relay and a bunch of other little odds and ends. The box started in Canada at ogi lumen (the prettiest nixie pictures on the net), and then went to uCHobby.com. We'll be sending it to moderndevice.comnext. The idea is that you take what you want out, put in what you want from your own junk pile, and then pass it on. We're going to nab the power supply. The rest of this entry has more pics.

    mini 6Gb harddrive about the size of a coin dollar.

    A nice custom perf board creation--it's even got daughter cards of a sort that hang off the bottom.

    some sort of gps device

    Old school relay... computers used to click before transistors and tubes.

    Check out the capacitor can on the right.

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