After celebrating the Fourth of July last week, I headed back East (in the USA) to participate in the age old tradition of going to the beach.  This is slightly different than the booze fest depicted on the TV show, Jersey Shore.  Where we go in Delaware, we enjoy a more understated, relaxing experience that involves building sand castles, playing in the waves, eating Maryland blue crabs, and going to the boardwalk.  This is very similar to the Chinese tradition of heading East to the beach during long weekends or holidays, like National Day.  There are many famous beaches, such as Dameisha, Xiaomeisha, and Xichong, and as always whether you are in the United States or China, a trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without a traffic jam or two.

This week we are introducing the Seeeduino Ethernet, a variant of the Arduino Ethernet without PoE that includes a Micro SD card reader and indicator LEDs for internet connections.  It allows you to connect your Arduino to the Internet, and it supports up to four TCP/UDP simultaneous network connections.  We’ve also improved upon the standard design and lowered the height of the RJ45 jack so most Arduino shields can be mounted seamlessly.  Plus we’ve added two Grove interfaces on board for easy integration of Grove modules.  If you’re planning to download any programs, there isn’t a USB interface on board, so be sure to pick up UartSBee board too.

Next up is the Video Overlay Shield, an Arduino compatible shield board, that overlays text, graphics, and/or CCTV camera signals to analog displays in NTSC or PAL formats.  This is made possible by the MAX7456, a prevalent on-screen display chip.  Simply connect your Arduino to the shield, plug the video source into the VIDEO INPUT jack, write your code for the desired overlay, and see the overlay via the display device plugged into the VIDEO OUTPUT jack.  If you run into any issues, you’re in luck as the shield also includes test points for video loss, video horizontal and/or vertical sync, and clock output.

For all of you robot fans, we’ve saved the best for last, the Grove – Infrared Reflective Sensor.  This is a very common element in many robots that helps them differentiate between contrasting colors.  It is frequently used when programming a robot to follow dark lines on a light surface, like the Beauto Racer.  The sensor uses the high resolution RPR220, a reflective photosensor module, to detect lines as small as 1mm, and it is effective at a distance of 4 – 15 mm.  For more robot kits, motors, servos, drivers and other components, check out our section on robotics.

That’s all for now.  Until next time, keep on making.

(written by Erin Linke)

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