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.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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