Ryan and crew built Tessel because they thought building a personalized, web-connected speaker system should be easier than it was. So many public web services now offer tools called APIs, or application programming interfaces, that make it easier for anyone to build other software and services. APIs make it easier to, say, build an application that combines data from both Facebook and Spotify — and many other applications. Even non-developers can get in on the action through services like IFTTT — short for “If This, Then That” — which makes it easy to connect different services without writing code.
The Ai.Frame on Pozible caught my eye because of all the cool moves the robots do–although turning around becomes a surprisingly difficult option for a walking robot. In addition to the 16-servo humanoid, they also have a cool bird that sort of resembles an AT-ST Imperial Walker that uses 9 servos.
RF Explorer, a low-cost spectrum analyzer. The Wi-Fi version is less than $120. “RF Explorer is a remarkable device — and it would belittle its true value to even qualify that statement by saying for the money,” mentions Leytus. “Performance and sensitivity are on par with instruments that cost many times more.”
LOGi features a Spartan 6 FPGA with 9152 logic cells, 16 DSP Slices, 576KB of RAM, and 96 I/O Pins. There’s also 256 MB of SDRAM and a SATA connector.
The LOGi’s hardware is comparable to the Papilio Pro, so potential projects may include generating NTSC video, adding a VGA out, and a few retrocomputer emulations via OpenCores.
— FPGAS FOR THE PI AND ‘BONE by: Brian Benchoff
Blink(1), a tiny device you plug into your USB slot, is a red-green-blue LED that you can program to discreetly alert you to virtually anything.
Set the gizmo to watch for that email you’ve been waiting for, and save yourself the frustration of constantly refreshing your Gmail window. Once you see that blinking purple light (or whichever color pattern your prefer), you’ll be able to rest easy.
Hook blink(1) up to Skype so you can know when your friends are available, without windows popping up every time someone signs on. Use it as a physical “busy” indicator in your office so colleagues will know when you’re in a meeting, or simply set it to flash to the beat of your music. Groovy.
— Super Status Light: This Tiny USB Device Will Color-Code Anything by CALIN VAN PARIS
Interview: Blink(1) And How To Kickstarter
On board the Duo is an ATMega32u4, the same chip used in the Arduino Leonardo, allowing for easy integration with your standard Arduino projects. The top of the board is where the real money is. There’s a Spartan 6 FPGA with 9k logic cells, enough to run emulate some of the classic computers of yore, including the famous SID chip, Yamaha YM2149, and the Atari POKEY (!). With host and device USB, 512k or 2M of SRAM, and an ADC on the FPGA inputs, this board should be able to handle just about everything you would want to throw at it. There’s even a breakout for HDMI on the bottom.
There are a few interesting software features of the Duo, including a full debugger for the ATMega chip, thanks to an emulated Atmel JTAG ICE MKII. Yes, an Arduino-compatible board finally has a real debugger.
— PAPILIO DUO: FPGA, LOGIC ANALYZER, DEBUGGER, AND ARDUINO COMPATIBLE by Brian Benchoff, hackaday
“An Arduino compatible for minimalists.” We have designed a world standard prototyping tool that is essential for modern electronic work called Arduino, at the world’s smallest size. Arduino contains a microcomputer, and is used for prototypes and development by engineers, designers and media artists, but conventional products were too big to integrate into their work efficiently. We provide enough “margin” resulting from the world’s smallest size by eliminating all unnecessary space for users who pursue minimal work and product development. The material for users to smoothly develop has been realized without any compromise in usability when writing via the world’s smallest original micro USB connecter.
The Choosatron: Interactive Fiction Arcade Machine is a bit of a hybrid of these worlds. Like the CYOA books, each section ends in a question with a few choices. Unlike the books, you don’t have to go thumbing through pages to find the rest of the story. As part of the Kickstarter, a number of authors are creating new and original stories, and everything is open so it would be possible to create your own stories and download them to the Choosatron.