Last month we focused on a lot of really cool robot projects, this week we’re going back to basics and looking at development based products.

The WiFi Shield is a new device that enables your Arduino to connect to the 802.11b/g wireless networks.  It utilizes a common chip, the RN171 Wi-Fi module, to provide the serial Ethernet communications, and you only need two pins off of your Arduino/Seeeduino for this to work.  It comes with its own antenna which allows for a larger range of coverage and a stronger signal.  For beginners who have no experience with Wi-Fi modules, we’ve prepared a WiFi  Shield Overview that provides tips on hardware connections, basic coding, and application.

Enjoy going out with friends and having a few drinks?  Curious about how much it has affected you?  Then you need the Droidalyzer, an alcohol detector accessory for Android phones.  This easy to use portable device delivers a relative reading of alcohol in your breath via your phone through the use of clever, humorous characters.  Simply pair the Droidalyzer with your Android phone, breathe into the alcohol sensor (no mouth piece required), and get ready for the results.  If you need a cab, it will assist you in calling one, or simply post your results via Facebook or Twitter.

In addition, the Droidalyzer also doubles as a portable Android hardware development kit.  Based on the open source IOIO platform, it is a bridge between Android devices and external hardware, such as sensors and servos.  It offers plug and play support for USB and Bluetooth without additional coding for connectivity, 46 total I/O pins, and an on-board LiPO charger circuit.

Dangerous Prototypes, the group dedicated to releasing a new open source hardware project every month, has two new tools out this month:  the ATX Breakout Board Bench Power Supply and the Sick of Beige Basic Case.

The ATX Breakout Board Bench Power Supply allows you to harness the power of old (or new) ATX computer power supplies to power your current projects.  It can provide -12, 3, 3.3, 5, and 12 V at 1.25 amps, covering many common electronic needs.  It also includes a protective fuse and indicator light for each voltage and an on-board on/off button and control circuit.

The Sick of Beige Basic Case is Dangerous Prototypes’ revolt against mundane, beige acrylic boards.  They’ve come up with slick, transparent acrylic cases to house your PCBs.  Currently we have them in 50 mm x 37 mm sets with an expanded size offering coming soon.  Need a customized size?  Try our laser cutting service.  We will cut to order.

A couple of months ago we looked at 7 Segment Displays, digital building blocks that allow you create words, numbers, or unique patterns in 3 inch, 5 inch, or 8 inch form factors.  At the time they were only offered in a warm red.  Now we offer them in classic green too.  So get cracking and create a new project with multiple colors or spice up your existing messages or creations with a touch of green.

That’s all for now.  For the US folks, Happy 4th, and until next time, keep on making.

(written by Erin Linke)

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July 2012