Thursday, March 25, 2010

Industrial and Scientific supplies from Amazon

Amazon isn't just for books anymore! Tools, fasteners, supplies, parts, materials -- even brass gears -- can all be found in their online store.

Check out the extensive Industrial and Scientific section of their online store.

Among the many categories included:
* Abrasives
* Adhesives
* Bearings
* Cutting Tools
* Electronic Components
* Fasteners
* Fittings
* Hardware
* Hoses
* Industrial Hand Tools
* Janitorial
* Lab & Scientific
* Linear Motion
* Materials
* Material Handling
* Measurement & Inspection
* Metalworking
* Motors
* O-Rings
* Pipe
* Power Transmission
* Pumps
* Safety
* Soldering, Brazing, Welding & Heating
* Tapes
* Tubing
* Valves

Here's a link to Amazon's Industrial and Scientific supply section.

[ Thanks Caleb! ]

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Parrot AR.Drone - Quadrotor helicopter for iPhone

I've never really felt the desire to get an iPhone...until I saw this.

Here is a web site with more info on the ParrotAR.Drone.

[ Thanks Kev! ]

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex on sale

Animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex
This remote control Tyrannosaurus Rex was selling for $199.95 and is now $129.95. It has some pretty cool features.

From the toy description:
This is the animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex that responds to noise or touch with over 100 different sounds and expressions, providing children with an interactive prehistoric pet. An internal system of servos, gears, and sensors form a biomechanical skeleton that delivers natural movements under a realistic reptilian skin. T. rex's eyes move, his tail wags, and he takes lifelike strides as he autonomously explores his environment. If he walks into a wall or furniture he will backtrack and growl at the impediment. Petting the back of the dinosaur's head elicits a grateful roar and calling his name prompts him to turn his head and walk toward the noise. A bone-shaped remote control has an "attack" button that prompts him to lunge forward and growl; pressing "guard" turns him into a sentry that scans a room for intruders and erupts with a hearty roar; pressing "prank" might cause him to release an ear-ringing belch.

Here the link for this Animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homunculus - kinetic sculpture by Nemo Gould

In keeping with one of his favorite themes, here is a new sculpture by Nemo Gould featuring a little figure operating inside a bigger one. This kinetic sculpture incorporates voltage meters, a radio tuner, lamp parts, candlestick parts, table legs, shoe forms, door hardware, wind instruments, trophy figure arms, vacuum tube, a tobacco pipe, thermostat parts, ukulele knobs, velvet, motors, and LEDs. Wow!

See more kinetic sculptures by Nemo Gould on his web site.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kinetica Art Fair 2010 - London, Feb. 4th - 7th, 2010

Kinetica Art Fair 2010
Kinetica Art Fair 2010 developed by Kinetica Museum will take place in London from February 4th to 7th. Over 25 galleries and organizations specializing in kinetic, electronic, and new media art are taking part and over 150 artists exhibiting.

From the Kinetica 2010 press release:
A family of holographic light beings, sculpting and drawing robots, an orchestral milk float, a giant vertical electronic wave and a special feature exhibition of work from the masters of kinetic art and the groundbreaking Cybernetic Serendipity show, are just some of the incredible exhibits at Kinetica Art Fair 2010. Kinetica Art Fair takes place from 4 - 7 February 2010 at the P3 space in London and is the UK's only art fair dedicated to kinetic, robotic, sound, light and time-based art. Art that has a life of its own, talks, workshops, performances and more create an art fair like no other.

Visit the Kinetica 2010 web site for more information about this amazing event.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Amazing animatronics and mechanical costumes

John Nolan Films
I urge you to pay a visit to the John Nolan Films web site where you can see a gallery of amazing special effects projects including animatronics and mechanical costumes.

Here is the gallery of images showing various animatronics and here is their demo reel showing video of animatronics in action.

[ Thanks Bre! ]

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Snap Circuits Extreme 750 with computer interface

Snap Circuits Extreme 750 with computer interface
Snap Circuits Extreme is Elenco's largest set of snap-together circuits featuring 750 experiments -- including 73 computer interface experiments. The kit covers electromagnets, strobe lights, transistor AM Radio, solar power, and vibration switches in addition to all the other experiments included in their smaller kits such as the SC-100, SC-300, and SC-500.

Here's the link to Elenco Electronics Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Zombie Shooting Gallery mechanical toy

This would have been better to post before Halloween, but it's still a great mechanical toy. A new spin on an old shooting gallery game.

From the zombie shooting game description:
Take aim with the included laser assault rifle and blast the zombies as they pop up from the windows of the dark mansion. Too slow and they dine on the human hostages inside. Remember, practice hard... not much time before the real hell spawn arrive to feast on flesh of the living.

Here is the link for the Zombie Shooting Gallery mechanical toy.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Mini HoverDrone - the smallest flying R/C toy yet

Mini HoverDrone - the smallest flying R/C toy yet
Take a look at this very small flying toy...

From the toy description:
With a diameter not much larger than a silver dollar and a single propeller on the bottom, the HoverDrone somehow manages to float in the air as it spins and flashes its blue LED. The simple slider control allows only up-and down movement... but this makes it so easy to fly that anyone can instantly control it.

Here's a link to the Mini HoverDrone flying toy.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Shooting game with flying motorized duck

Shooting game with flying motorized duck
Here's a new twist to the classic duck hunt game that brings it into 3 full dimensions. This "duck" is actually flying around the room!

From the game description:
This is the live-action shooting game that lets you hunt a flying duck with a harmless infrared gun. A 10-second charge on the barrel of the gun energizes the mechanical duck for a 30-second flight. The duck's 6" long mylar wings flap up and down nearly 500 times per minute, and it can be set to fly in an erratic left- or right-turning circle or a level, straight line. Sharp-eyed hunters take aim with the infrared gun--the first two hits merely stun the waterfowl, momentarily interrupting his flapping; the third hit downs the duck for good. The single-shot blaster has a 20' range and makes a loading sound with each pump.

Here's the link for the live-action flying duck hunt target shooting game.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Hex Bug Crab - micro robotic creature

Hex Bug Crab - micro robotic creature
The Hex Bug Crab is a small robot with some simple autonomous behavior. The Hex Bug crab will seek out dark places to hide, and change its direction at the sound of a loud noise (such as a hand clap).

Here's the link to the Hex Bug Crab

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Friday, September 18, 2009

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 - The Ultimate Toy?

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0
LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is the newest generation of programmable LEGO toys featuring a slew of new hardware and software features. This is arguably the ultimate toy available today -- combining your physical constructions with programmable electronic elements. Start by building one of 4 robots in the included instructions, nearly anything you can dream up.

This new generation of LEGO Mindstorms features:

• A 32-bit microprocessor
• A large display
• 4 input and 3 output ports
• Bluetooth and USB communications
• Three servo motors
• 4 sensors (Ultrasonic, 2 Touch Sensors, and a new Color Sensor)
• Easy-to-use software with icon-based drag-and-drop programming
• 612 pieces total

Here is the link for the LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 set.

Here are some LEGO Mindstorm 2.0 books to help you take your creations to the next level.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Metal Detecting Remote-Controlled Dune Buggy

Metal Detecting Remote-Controlled Dune Buggy
OK, so we've seen radio controlled cars for decades now, and they don't seem that exciting anymore. But...combine that remote-controlled car with a metal detector -- now we're on to something again. And hey...the four faux-gold doubloons are included!

From the product description:
This is the remote control dune buggy that can detect buried metallic objects when driven over suitable terrain, including backyards, dirt lots, low grass, or flat sand. The buggy can detect buried iron-based metals down to 4" and when it does, it flashes a red LED and begins beeping to alert you of potential treasure. The remote controls forward, backward, left, and right movement from up to 25' away. Metal detecting sensitivity can be modified to suit the terrain with a simple dial on the buggy.

Here's the link for the The Metal Detecting Dune Buggy.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

BotBrain Animatronic Head Kit

BotBrain Animatronic Head Kit
The BotBrain Animatronic Head kit lets you build a fully functioning animatronic head which can turn left and right, move its eyes and eyelids, and change its mouth expressions. Sensors allow the robot to react to changes in the environment.

Here's a link to the BotBrain Animatronic Head

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Scarab beetle robot kit avoids obstacles

Scarab beetle robot kit avoids obstacles
Here's a kit for making a nifty obstacle-avoiding insect-like robot.

From the product description
It comes with two touch sensors that look like insect antennas, and when they detect an obstacle, the Scarab will first step back and then automatically execute a two-step maneuver to avoid the obstacle. The maneuver is a combination of "left turn", "right turn", "reverse" or "stop". The Scarab Robot can be configured with different sets of movements. Easy assembly allows you to learn electronics, robotics and mechanical design. The kit comes complete with 2 sets of differently designed legs, which move in their own distinct way.

Here is the link for the Scarab Beetle Robot Kit

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Green Science Windmill Generator by Toysmith

Green Science Windmill Generator by Toysmith
I am pleased by the fact that many of the newer mechanical toys have "green" theme. Take this small scale wind generator. The Windmill Generator has a gear motor (which serves as a generator) and 6 inch propeller with a tail. After a bit of assembly you can watch the wind light up its LED bulbs.

From the product description:
How is energy produced by using windmills? Build this amazing wind generator and learn about renewable energy/ "green energy". Watch the LED glow as it is powered by free energy from the wind. No batteries required! Help save the planet by using a recycled plastic bottle to support your wind generator. Ages 8+

Here is the link to the Green Science Windmill Generator

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Dynamo Torch Science Activity Kit

Dynamo Torch Science Activity Kit
Here is a simple generator kit that allows you to power a small LED (AKA "Torch"). Assembly will require one small screwdriver that is not supplied with the kit.

From the product description:
Turn a simple toy motor to become a generator which converts hand motion to electric energy and powers a light bulb. No battery, no pollution, just amazement. The generator could be used as an awesome energy torch. Caution : High Voltage of inspiration and fun! Contents: 1 LED Lamp with holder and wires connected 1 toy motor 2 gears 1 set dynamo torch casing accessories (assembly required) 1 transparent torch cover screws detailed instructions with fun facts.

Here is the link to the Dynamo Torch Science Activity Kit

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Doodling robot / Vibro-bot mechanical kit

Doodling robot mechanical kit
This kit allows you to build a simple robot with pen for feet. Doodle robot's motor makes it shake, rattle, and spin which results in a variety of patterns being drawn on the paper below it. You can also remove the pens to transform it into a classic little vibro-robot that slides across smooth floors, tables, and countertops.

Here's the link for the Doodling Robot kit.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

i-Bird and Hornet remote control flying toys

 i-Bird remote control flying bird toy
Flapping-wing flying toys are fairly well-established now. I never thought I would see the day.

Product Description
Built-in Li-Poly batteries for long flying time. Easy to operate & control through slow speed fly. Unique material withstands crashes. Precision speed control and rudder trimmer. 3 Channel full function control. Incredible stability and complete control.

Here is the line for the i-Bird remote control flying bird toy

Want a flapping-wing flying toy, but birds not quite your thing?'s an equally cool remote control hornet...
 i-Bird remote control flying bird toy

Here's the link for more information (and color choices) for the WowWee Flytech Hornet

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Robotic woodpecker simulator sound sculptures

Here is a short video on a innovative kinetic sculpture that uses sound to great effect. A set of motorized robots mounted in trees effectively simulate the sound of woodpeckers tapping on trees. Very clever.

[ Thanks Falk! ]

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Husqvarna's semi-automomous sleath Automower

Husqvarna's semi-automomous sleath Automower
In case you missed this over on the BoingBoing Gadgets blog the other day, you've got to check out the latest totally stealth-looking autonomous robotic lawn mower from Husqvarna. I wonder if it can be detected by radar.

From the product description
The Automower 260 ACX is designed for semi-professional use in business or public environments as well as for demanding consumers. Like all Husqvarna's robotic mowers, it charges and operates itself without need for supervision. Should anything disturb the operation, 260 ACX sends a text message to your mobile phone. Thanks to 6000 sq. meter (1.4 acre) capacity, low noise level and no requirement of labour, Automower 260 ACX is perfectly suited for use in quiet environments such as hospitals, hotels and leisure facilities, and office locations. Day or night, rain or shine, it simply gets on with the mowing, leaving you free to get on with managing your business.

Here is a link for more info on the Husqvarna Automower.

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Palm-sized remote controlled hovercraft toy

The mini Hover-Q is a very small remote control hovercraft that skims over the floor on a cushion of air. You control the forward speed and right/left turns. on steering the hovercraft:
In typical hovercraft fashion the control is a bit like playing asteroids... thrust, over-compensate and then turn to reverse-thrust and correct. You'll be surprised how fast the Hover Q can go at full throttle so you'll either need to keep a gentle touch on the speed control or find a large smooth area...

Here is the link for more information on Palm-sized remote control hovercraft toy.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Remote controlled underwater manta ray toy

Remote controlled underwater manta ray toy
Here's a novel twist to the remote control toy: an underwater manta ray. The really cool thing about it is that you can perform tricks and moves in three dimensions (like a plane) but with much less concern for crashing the thing into the ground at high speed!

From the product description:
Forefinger triggers on the underside of the remote enable independent pitch for each thruster, providing control for steep, powered dives to the bottom of pools and rapid ascents. Thumb toggles on the topside of the remote allow for independent thrust operation of each shrouded propeller, providing the ability to move forward, backward, make left and right turns, barrel rolls, or complete underwater loops--even intricate submerged Immelmann turns.
I have no idea what "Immilmann turns" are, but the range of motion sure sounds like a lot of underwater fun.

Here is a link to more info on the Remote Controlled Manta Ray.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Robo-Q tiny remote control robot - UPDATE!

Robo-Q tiny remote control robot
Recently, we posted a video about this REALLY small remote-control robot toy. Some additional information is now available by way of ThinkGeek, who is now also offering these robots for sale.

From the product page:
* Amazingly small robots can avoid obstacles and play soccer
* Control your robot directly through the remote
* Two autonomous modes: chase the included ball, or avoid obstacles
* Full control with three walking speeds and right or left turns
* Magnetic charging coupler on remote
* Robot is powered by built-in rechargeable LI battery, charges from remote
* 20 minutes charge time, 5 minutes continuous run time
* Robot stores inside remote
* Remote requires 4 x AA batteries (not included)
* Includes Robot, Remote, Soccer Ball, and Manual (in Japanese)
* Four different robot varieties to choose from. Each is on a different channel.
* Imported from Japan
* Robot height: 3.4cm / 1.33in

Here's a link to more information, photos, and a video of the Robo-Q Tiny Remote Control Robot.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Kid Galaxy RC Bump-N-Chuck Bumper Cars

Kid Galaxy RC Bump-N-Chuck Bumper Cars
A fun looking set of remote control bumper cars. The object is to knock the other driver out of his seat. They are rated well by Amazon customers. I love the name.

From the product description
Bump...and watch your opponent's driver fly through the air! Hit your opponent's car straight on or sideswipe it and watch his driver eject or "chuck" through the air activating cool sounds. Cars are designed with fans that really work giving the illusion of wind power and adding to the effect. Set includes two remotes, two cars and two drivers. Cars are full functional. Requires 10 "AAA" batteries, not included. Measures 8.25" x 6.25" x 14.5".

Here's a product page with a short video of the Kid Galaxy RC Bump N Chuck Bumper Cars

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Teeny, tiny little remote-control robot with AI

Teeny, tiny little remote-control robot
In case you missed this over at the other day, you've got to check out this teeny, tiny little remote-control robot!

From the product description:
The World Smallest RC Robot with Artificial Intelligence (AI)!
The all-around control, you may never experience it! The 6 directions control plus 3 speed levels. Also the Robot can be controlled via Artificial Intelligence (AI) after you press the AUTO button, then the Robot can detect-and-escape from the barriers. What's more, after you press the AUTO button and Direction button, the Robot can detect-and-trace the objects. In the Trace mode, the Robot can be charged and run to the controller automatically! The controller as a Robot Station can be stored a Robot inside.

Here's a link to the product page with more images, varieties, and a somewhat hyper-active video of The World Smallest RC Robot with Artificial Intelligence.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Semi-automomous household robots store

Semi-automomous household robots store
It is now the year 2009. We may not have flying cars or ray-guns, but -- at long last -- we have personal robots that can actually do some useful things. They can vacuum your carpet, scrub your floor, clean you gutters, empty the cat litter, and monitor your home.

Take a look at a bunch of the household robots that are currently available. The future has finally arrived!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

SRV-1 Blackfin Mobile Surveillance Robot

SRV-1 Blackfin Mobile Surveillance Robot
The SRV-1 Mobile Robot is a palm-sized treaded robot sporting a mini video camera. This means you can control the robot via console software or remotely via web browser! The system appears to be very open, allowing advanced hackers/programmers/secret-agents to modify and enhance it.

From the product description:
Using 802.11b/g wi-fi, the SRV-1 connects wirelessly to a computer. The Java-based console software includes a built-in web server to monitor and control the SRV-1 via a web browser from anywhere in the world, as well as archive video feeds on demand or on a scheduled basis. Get programming with fully open-source software for robot and host computer.

Check out the extensive details on the SRV-1 Blackfin Mobile Surveillance Robot.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thames & Kosmos wind power experiment kit

Thames & Kosmos Wind Power Kit
Here is a cool mechanical model you assemble to make a wind turbine with a small electric generator.

It comes with a 32-page manual that walks you through how to conduct more than 20 experiments -- including ones using different numbers of rotor blades, different blade angles and profiles, different wind speeds, different gear ratios, lifting a weight, lighting up an LED, and charging a rechargeable battery.

Here's the product page for the Thames & Kosmos Wind Power wind power experiment kit

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