iCEstick $25 FPGA Evaluation Kit


  • USB thumb drive form factor
  • iCE40HX-1k on board
  • 2 x 6 position Digilent Pmod™ connector for other peripheral connections
  • FTDI 2232H USB device allows iCE device programming and UART interface to a PC
  • Vishay TFDU4101 IrDA transceiver
  • Five user LEDs
  • Discera 12 Mhz MEMS oscillator
  • Micron 32 Mbit N25Q32 SPI flash
  • USB connector provides the power supply
  • 16 LVCMOS/LVTTL (3.3 V) digital I/O connections on 0.1” through-hole connections

Available from Lattice for $24.99

Paraplegic in robotic suit kicks off World Cup

From BBC:

A paraplegic man has made the first kick of the World Cup using a mind-controlled robotic exoskeleton... (cont'd)

Grantland has great story about the project here.

Response by Ray Kurzweil to the announcement of chatbot passing the Turing test

From Ray Kurzweil's blog:

In my 2004 book The Singularity Is Near, I anticipated that there would be premature announcements of this kind:

The Singularity Is Near, page 295 | Turing was carefully imprecise in setting the rules for his test, and significant literature has been devoted to the subtleties of establishing the exact procedures for determining how to assess when the Turing test has been passed. In 2002 I negotiated the rules for a Turing test wager with Mitch Kapor on the Long Now website... (cont'd)

Tessel: A Microcontroller That Runs JavaScript


Tessel is a microcontroller that runs JavaScript. It's Node-compatible and ships with Wifi built in. Use it to easily make physical devices that connect to the web.

  • Programmable via JavaScript
  • 14 different hardware modules for added capabilities
  • Compatible with 10,000's of Node.js packages on NPM
  • Deploy over USB or remotely by WiFi


  • 180mhz ARM Cortex-M3 LPC1830
  • 32mb SDRAM
  • 32mb Flash
  • TI CC3000 WiFi radio
  • 20-pin GPIO bank for general prototyping
  • Micro USB or battery power

Starting at $99 (controller and one module)

Open-source 3D Printed Life-size Robot

From InMoov's homepage:

Gael Langevin is a French modelmaker and sculptor. He works for the biggest brands since more than 25 years. InMoov is his personal project, it was initiated in January 2012 InMoov is the first Open Source 3D printed life-size robot. Replicable on any home 3D printer with a 12x12x12cm area, it is conceived as a development platform for Universities, Laboratories, Hobbyist, but first of all for Makers. It’s concept, based on sharing and community, gives him the honor to be reproduced for countless projects through out the world... (cont'd)

Algorithm that harnesses data from a new sensor could make autonomous robots more nimble.

MIT paper from Andrea Censi and Davide Scaramuzza:

The agility of a robotic system is ultimately limited by the speed of its processing pipeline. The use of a Dynamic Vision Sensors (DVS), a sensor producing asynchronous events as luminance changes are perceived by its pixels, makes it possible to have a sensing pipeline of a theoretical latency of a few microseconds. However, several challenges must be overcome: a DVS does not provide the grayscale value but only changes in the luminance; and because the output is composed by a sequence of events, traditional frame-based visual odometry methods are not applicable. This paper presents the first visual odometry system based on a DVS plus a normal CMOS camera to provide the absolute brightness values. The two sources of data are automatically spatiotemporally calibrated from logs taken during normal operation. We design a visual odometry method that uses the DVS events to estimate the relative displacement since the previous CMOS frame by processing each event individually. Experiments show that the rotation can be estimated with surprising accuracy, while the translation can be estimated only very noisily, because it produces few events due to very small apparent motion... (full paper)

Leap Motion V2 Tracking

From Leap Motion's developer blog:

V2 retains the speed and positional accuracy found in V1, but the software also now tracks the actual joints and bones inside each of the user’s fingers. This leads to some immediate benefits over V1:

  • Finger and hand labels – every finger, hand, and joint now has anatomical labels like ‘pinky’, ‘left hand’, and ‘proximal phalanges’
  • Occlusion robustness – fingers are tracked even when they’re not seen by the controller, as might happen if you turned your hands completely vertically or intertwined the fingers of your left and right hands
  • Massively improved resistance to ambient infrared light – sunlight, powerful halogens, etc.
  • Much more granular data for developers about the user’s hands and fingers – 27 dimensions per hand, in addition to special parameters like grab/pinch APIs

VoCore: A Coin-sized Linux Computer With Wifi

VoCore Indiegogo Campaign:

VoCore is a coin-sized Linux computer with wifi. It is also able to work as a full functional router. It runs OpenWrt on top of Linux. It contains 32MB SDRAM, 8MB SPI Flash and using RT5350(360MHz MIPS) as its heart. It provides many interfaces such as 10/100M Ethernet, USB, UART, I2C, I2S, PCM, JTAG and over 20 GPIOs but its size is less than one square inch... ($20 USD for single unit)

Printed Hand With An Opposable Thumb

From Chiprobot on Let's Make Robots:


Available now at Maker Shed for $499:

If you haven't checked out the amazing capabilities of the DARwIn-OP Deluxe Edition, you should! DARwIn-Mini is the younger, but no less amazing, sibling of this award winning robot. DARwIn-Mini is Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence from Korea-based ROBOTIS kits, famed for their transformability and stunning humanoid designs.

3D Video Capture With Three Kinects


Video from a capture space consisting of one Oculus Rift head-mounted display and three Kinect 3D cameras set up in an equilateral triangle, with each Kinect approximately 2m from the center point. The resulting 3D video data is merged with a virtual 3D model of an office environment... (cont'd)

Parrot Bebop

From Parrot's official announcement today:

Today, after 5 years of development, we are excited to introduce you Parrot Bebop Drone, a ultra-light drone with a full HD camera digitally stabilized on its 3-axis.

  1. Chris Anderson's and DIYDrones first look
  2. IEEE Spectrum coverage
  3. Press release pdf


Open Source Firmware for RC Radio Transmitters

From OpenTX:

OpenTX is open source firmware for RC radio transmitters. The firmware is highly configurable and brings much more features than found in traditional radios... (cont'd)

Thumbles: Robotic Tabletop User Interface Platform

From Pattenstudio:

Thumbles is an interactive tabletop system based on a group of tiny robots that users can grasp and manipulate. Each robot can represent anything from character in a video game to a molecule in a scientific visualization. The system combines the versatility of a graphical interface with the tactile advantages of physical controls.

Robot Orders a Scone in Mountain View, California

Using the Anybot QB Avatar to order a scone from Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, CA.

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Industrial Robotics - Featured Product



IO-Link is the first standardized IO technology worldwide for communication from the control system to the lowest level of automation.