Archive for December 4th, 2007

VEXplorer Sale!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

We need to clear out some space in the shop to make room for all of the cool new products we’ve been bringing in.  Know what that means?  CLEARANCE SALE!  For a limited time only (or for as long as we want to) we’ll be offering a deep discount on the VEXplorer modular robot kit.  We’re selling the kit, which normally retails for $229.95, for the low, low price of $179.99 !

Here’s what you get with the VEXplorer kit:

"The Spycam" — see and hear what you want, and maybe in places you shouldn’t, with live color picture and sound transmission to your TV. 2.4 GHz, 4-channel. Range 150′.
"The Claw" — build it to pick up a soda can, or a feather. Mount it horizontal or vertical to grab what you want.  Great for terrorizing your pets!
"The Arm" — servo motors let you manipulate the action to reach high, low, and in-between.
All Terrain Tires — Go anywhere, inside or outside, with six heavy-duty, gear-driven wheels.
6-channel hobby-class transmitter — 4 analog and 2 digital channels offer maximum flexibility to control servos and provide exceptional stability to avoid frequency drift.
  The VEXplorer Kit also includes:
  • 4 servos
  • 24 gears
  • various coated heavy metal parts
  • cables / harnesses
  • tools
  • screws, nuts, bolts, etc.

There you have it, folks.  Don’t miss out!

Buy the VEXplorer kit today!

Surveyor SRV-UAV?

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Ok, this is just too damn cool. The Surveyor crew have integrated the SRV-1 controller with a quad-rotor helicopter.

The heli, called "X-3D-BL Scientific," is from a German company called Ascending Technologies GmbH.  I knew it was easy to use the SRV-1 controller for other wheeled vehicles, but seeing it on a UAV is pretty exciting.  They don’t have too much info up yet, but it sounds promising.  Here’s a video of the aircraft (without SRV-1 controller) in action:

Check out the original post, and keep an eye on the Surveyor Robotics Journal for updates!

NEW AND IMPROVED Surveyor SRV-1 webcam rover

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

The immensely popular Surveyor SRV-1 has just received some major upgrades!  The tracked base remains unchanged, but the electronics have gotten a complete overhaul.  Wi-Fi has replaced the slow and sometimes unreliable ZigBee wireless link, the camera can now grab video at a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024, an Analog Devices Blackfin processor has replaced the comparatively puny ARM7 processor, and they've even added laser pointers for distance sensing.

Wi-Fi:

The SRV-1 now benefits from the extended range and faster data rates of Wi-Fi.  All you need is an 802.11 b/g wireless LAN card and you're ready to start spying on the neighbors.

Camera:

Speaking of spying on your neighbors, this 1.3 Megapixel camera is roughly on par with most cell phone cameras, with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024.  Unlike your cell phone camera, this one’s going to be riding on tank treads.

Main Processor:

Here it is, fully assembled.  The red board on top carries the 1000MIPS 500MHz Analog Devices Blackfin BF537 processor.  [Editor's note: When I was 17, I built my first computer around the 500MHz Pentium, which was the top of the line at the time.  Now you can get all that power on a circuit board that's smaller than a playing card.  Crazy, huh?]

Lasers:

Fact: lasers make anything cooler.  The new SRV-1 uses two parallel lasers as a low-cost range-finding system.  Try not to blind your friends/family members/pets.

Links:

Purchase the new and improved SRV-1

More information (Manufacturer’s site)