Tag Archives: robot

How-To: Cardboard Robots and Rocketships

How-To: Cardboard Robots and Rocketships

We just had our son’s second birthday party. He’s already a geek-in-the-making, so the theme we decided on for him was Robots and Rocketships. He already loves both, thanks to a bounty of robot and rocketship toys he’s received in the past two years plus my own collection of both that I willfully share with him (yes, I’ve even let him play with vintage Transformers). Read More

Create Your Own Snap-Together Plastic Models

Create Your Own Snap-Together Plastic Models

Last week I had the opportunity to conduct a camp titled Beginning Electronics and Robot Building (BERB) to a group of 21 kids, ages 8 to 12. It went great, and I’ll be holding the camp again for another group in late July. In addition to learning some basic electronics skills (such as soldering and breadboarding), the kids also got to build a full-fledged Arduino-based robot that they took home. It was a great week, and it also gave me an opportunity to introduce the kids to some other concepts and tools, including 3D printing. Read More

Man vs. Machine: Ping Pong Champ Wins One for Humanity

Man vs. Machine: Ping Pong Champ Wins One for Humanity

There is heartening news for pro-humanity partisans. In at least one field of endeavor, human beings still reign supreme over our would-be robot overlords. A human ping pong champion has triumphed over an agile robot. But how long will it be before robots surpass us in every field, and what sort of world will that create for our grandkids? Read More

Back to the Lab: Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage

Back to the Lab: Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage

Robots. Say that word to kids and watch their eyes light up. Mine still do! I’ve had a fascination with robots since 1977 when I decided in the first five minutes of Star Wars that I wanted my own R2 unit. Now my workshop is full of them, and I’m even getting to teach a camp this summer for 20 lucky kids who are going to learn to build, program, and take home their own robot. My camp does have an age limit, however — we’ll be using breadboards, lots of small electronics components, and some coding will be necessary. I have an almost-7 year old son who is a bit upset that he can’t take the class, but I’ve got some other ideas in store for him this summer, and one of those includes reading through the latest book in the Nick and Tesla series from “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steven Hockensmith. Read More

SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition

SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition

SparkFun’s annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition is coming up in less than two months. I’ve been watching the competition, or results, online since their first year in 2009. It has been exciting to see how the robots have changed over time with faster, smarter, and flying autonomous vehicles necessitating more classes and bigger challenges. Read More

YouTube Geek: Buck the Trends

If you’ve spent much time on YouTube, you may have noticed that the company maintains a blog devoted to viewer trends on the video site. That’s a handy link to follow if you’re interested in watching natural disasters and revolutions unfold around the world, but if you spend as much time on YouTube as I… Read More

Bots High – A Documentary

Joey Daoud, a documentary filmmaker, takes a close look at the violent side of high school robotics. His crew follows three high school robotics teams as they compete in the metal bending world of combat robotics. Like myself, Joey recognizes … Read More

10 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes from a Paper Bag

Is it the eleventh hour and you still have no costume for the kiddos? No worries! Those brown bags from the grocery store come in handy for all kinds of things, but this time of year they’re the go-to material for last-minute Halloween costumes. You can have any of these costumes ready to wear in… Read More