Today, Sam Mahserjian, a marketing manager for RadioShack, came by today to show me the new Vex robotics design system. I don't know much about hobby robotics, but I was really impressed by what I saw here.
The $300 kit, which is already starting to go on sale at RadioShack retail stores, has wheels, spin motors, gears, a programmable microcontroller, servos, a radio receiver, a 6-channel radio transmitter, and tons of Erector-set style hardware for building robots. I like the fact that you are encouraged to cut and bend the metal structural pieces to build you bots. They'll be selling sensors and effectors in the coming months, and the platform will be open enough that lead users will be able to develop and sell aftermarket sensors and components for it.
I want to find out what my garage roboticist buddy, Gareth Branwyn thinks of Vex. I'm going to ask him to write about it for Make.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]