MAKE LOOKS AT KITS
Marc de Vinck shares some of his favorite robot-related products in the Maker Shed.
Bundle of Bot Parts
We’ve featured a virtual army of little robots in the pages of MAKE, and
Solarbotics created a kit bundling all of the harder-to-find electronic
components to make four of them. You’ll need to source more parts for
each bot, but this will get you well on your way. Mousey the Junkbot
(Volume 02) is a quirky light-seeking bot housed in an old computer
mouse. It scoots fast, crashes, and zips off in the opposite direction.
Trimet and Solarroller (Volume 06) are both diurnally active BEAMbots.
Watch out as these bots spin and roll around until the sun goes down.
And Beetlebot (Volume 12) is a sweet bugbot that navigates obstacles
with feelers and switches. No shortage of character in this motley crew!
This little robot kit from Gakken is
tough! Through some impressive
engineering, a single motor is able
to power the robot and all of its
motions. The Co-Robot walks like
he’s on a mission, and if he falls over,
is able to right himself and continue
on. A great kit for introducing kids to
the world of kit-making and robotics.
Twitchie Robot Kit
The Twitchie kit was designed to
bring plushie toys to life. It requires
minimal soldering and is designed
so that it can be assembled in an
unlimited number of configurations.
The microcontroller comes prepro-grammed, so no coding is required to
get it going. If/when you do decide
to reprogram, it’s easily done to
meet your specific twitching needs.
Twitchie is a place to get started with
robots and Arduino programming,
for both kids and adults.
$90 DIY Drones
The Blimpduino kit is a very low-cost, open source, autonomous
blimp created by Chris Anderson of Wired magazine and Jordi
Muñoz of DIY Drones. The kit consists of a blimp envelope and
Arduino-based blimp controller board with onboard infrared and
ultrasonic sensors for navigation and altitude control, along with
an interface for optional R/C mode. The gondola has two vectoring (tilting) thrusters that guide the blimp based on the position
of the included ground-based infrared beacon. A great way to
experiment with autonomous aerial robotics without spending
a fortune. (Read more about the Blimpduino on page 52.)
There are many more robots, kits,
and components in the Maker Shed,
and more are added every week. Stop by
makershed.com and check them out.