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Electronics tinkerers love the Raspberry Pi because it is cheap and has some very cool uses. The little Raspberry Pi has been updated again and this time it gains some very cool features that fans will really appreciate. This latest model is called the Raspberry Pi Model B+.
The main new feature of the upgraded Pi is a microSD card slot that is a push-push unit rather than the old friction fit. Changes to the connector layout mean that existing cases may not work for the B+ version of the Pi. Some of the add-ons won't work either, such as the Adafruit Cobbler and Wolfson audio card.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that this will be the last evolution of the original Pi and that the next version will be Version 2. The Pi also gets the ability to power memory sticks and other items through the USB port. Other changes for stability and usability were made as well.
Since the introduction of the Arduino, we have seen a wealth of self-dispensing, self-mixing, and self-concocting barbots hit the scene, but never have we seen one quite so refined as the new Barobot. The Barobot is a cocktail slinging robot that is aimed at making your socializing events more about socializing than about mixing drinks.
Recently launched on Kickstarter, the Barobot is a $1600 (self assembly) to $2500 (fully assembled) alcoholic drink mixing machine that utilizes a 7-inch android screen, and some custom electronics to mix the perfect cocktail every time, without the need for a bartender. The team behind Barobot is looking to raise $151,500 to mass produce the Barobot and make it a retail success.
The Barobot is capable of holding 12 bottles of your favorite spirits, and can perfectly dispense the correct proportions for any drink in its library, making for a more accurate drink with less wasted boose. "Mixing drinks at home parties might prove a challenge if you are not a trained bartender with professional equipment. It requires remembering many recipes and accurate measures which could be disastrous if you forget, more importantly, it distracts you from interacting with your guests. Barobot takes care of your bar tending needs allowing you to focus on your friends," Barobot said in its Kickstarter Campaign.
This week, Arduino announced the launch of the first developer edition boards of its new TRE development system. The company said that it has listed the first 50 boards for sale on its website in an effort to boost its beta program and get some sample code up and working for the new development board.
The Arduino TRE is not your typical Arduino board. It's a Linux computer running on a Sitara processor as well as a full Arduino Leonardo. It builds heavily upon the experience of both Arduino and BeagleBoard.org, combining the strengths of both. Arduino says that upon purchasing one of the developer edition boards, consumers will be invited into the beta program and will be invited to wok alongside Arduino and BeagleBoard.org teams on tasks such as writing examples, testing libraries and external hardware, and making projects.
Printrbot has long been known for creating and selling affordable 3D Printer kits that enable almost anyone to begin 3D printing in their home, but that changed at this week's MakerCon in San Francisco. Earlier this week the company unveiled its first CNC Router that is targeted at beginner CNC users. The new Printerbot CNC Router is capable of machining wood, plastic and aluminum, albeit at different speeds.
The machine features a Wi-Fi enabled Raspberry Pi that runs a web-based control software suite enabling users to connect to the device wirelessly. The control board is based on the TinyG board, and movement is accomplished via NEMA 23 stepper motors. A Makita Router is utilized as the tool head, and the entire thing looks to be able to accept stock up to 24-inches square. No word on pricing has been released, but I have reached out to Printrbot for more information.
Yesterday, Arduino announced the launch of its latest edition to its user-friendly development boards. The new Arduino Zero is a powerful 32-bit version of the Arduino Uno, and is designed to empower creative individuals with the power to create something truly amazing. The board features an Atmel SAMD21 MCU which is comprised of a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ Core.
The new Arduino Zero is based on a 3.3v standards, has 14 digital I/O pins of which 12 are PWM and 2 are reserved for UART. Analog I/O is handled by 5 pins featuring 12bits ADC and 1 pin with 10bits DAC. Flash memory is set at 256KB, SRAM at 32KB, and up to 16KB of EEPROM is available via emulation. Unlike its AVR siblings, the Arduino Zero is clocked at 48MHz.
Every DIYer in the world has at one point or another owned a cordless drill. Since their inception, cordless drills have made life much easier, but they have also resulted in many more stripped screw heads and "oversunken" screws. Black+Decker has just released a new cordless drill / driver with some innovative technology designed to prevent both of these forever.
The new Autosense Drill has been designed to automatically stop when a screw has become flush with the working surface. In the past, the utilization of a clutch system also prevented this, but it relied heavily on the operator knowing the perfect clutch setting for the type of screw and wood that was being used. The new Autosense drill is intuitive and all the user needs to do is select drive mode. This will tell the drill to begin sensing the required torque levels needed and when a rise in torque is sensed, the drill slows down and stops just as the head of the screw reaches the surface of the wood.
As the maker and DIY movement continues to grow, so does the availability of less expensive, high-precision CNC machines. We have seen this trend already prove itself in the 3D printer market, and today desktop machining is cheaper than ever thanks to a company called Carbide 3D who launched its first Kickstarter campaign last week. The new Nomad 883 CNC Mill is designed be as easy to use as a 3D Printer, and will fit on most desktop surfaces, or to fit on top of any workbench in your shop.
"We designed the machine from the ground up to address the complaints we've heard about CNC machines - from designing our own spindle to adding automation like tool length probing and custom fixtures to simplify common job setups," said Grzesek, co-founder of Carbide 3D. "We think this is the next step in the recent Digital Manufacturing trend started by low-cost 3D printers."
Over the past seven years or so, I have been around my fair share of 3D Printers and robots, and while all of them have been extremely cool, the ones that still fascinate me the most are the delta bots. Delta bots use vertical shafts to articulate a trio of arms to position a head anywhere on a circular platform below, more efficiently than a standard linear X,Y and Z Cartesian robot. Today a new multifunction delta bot hit the internet and I just had to share it with everyone.
The ZEGO is a multifunctional delta bot that is capable of not only 3D printing, but can be used to do a wealth of other task thanks to its easy change tool-head. The ZEGO can function as a plotter that draws in pen, pencil, or marker, or even hold a pen-style hobby cutter if one felt like modifying a few things. ZEGO also offers additional tool-heads that allow for CNC wood burning, engraving and PCB milling, and even pick & place PCB population. A pledge of $549 is all it takes to get a ZEGO classic kit, but if you really want all of the tool heads, you will need to shell out $2,499.
A few weeks back I wrote a news post on an exciting new DIY wearables development board from Mbient Labs called MetaWear. In the time since the MetaWear campaign went live, it has managed to blow its initial goal of $8000 in just a two days and are almost at the $100,000 milestone.
With their initial goal blown past by several hundred percent, MetaWear's campaign has just four days left to go, and has already reached its stretch goals as well. MbientLabs says that it will only be producing 2000 boards at Kickstarter prices, and that they still have some slots left, so if you are one the fence about backing this awesome project, you should jump in as soon as possible! I will have a full review of MetaWear up shortly after the campaign ends as I have managed to secure an early production model that should arrive in the next few weeks, so stay tuned to TweakTown for that.
Airwolf 3D has just announced the launch of its first hot-end for 3D printers that allows customers to print in engineering-grade materials such as polycarbonate, Bridge Nylon and Nylon 645. The new JRx Hot-End is patent pending and not only allows users to print in the hotter temperature range of Nylon and PC, but also retains printing capabilities in the ABS and PLA ranges as well.
"Printing polycarbonate is the holy grail for prosumer 3D printers," stated Erick Wolf, president and founder of Airwolf 3D. "Personally, however, I think printing nylon is going to explode because it is incredibly strong and has almost unlimited applications. You can even dye different layers to get multi-colored products. Bridge nylon, for example, has been reformulated to meet the growing demand for the material. At 270 degrees Celsius (518 degrees Fahrenheit) we find the layer-to-layer adhesion is superb and the prints stick uniformly to our heated bed. When dealing with nylon at lower temperatures there tends to be trial and error to achieve ideal layer strength. That won't happen with our new JRx hot end."