Here's a round up of the news, posts and videos you might've not seen on the site - let us know what you think in the comments below about whether or not there's some news or activities you believe we've missed!
What's the Latest in Robotics?
July feels like the month of the robot, Catwell has been covering the latest that has been happening on robotic developments in the world, Erica will be the first AI robot to have a lead role in a science-fiction film suggests that while AI may not yet be ready to replace humans, they might have a good place in following a script for the purpose of acting, the question is, can they do so realistically? Meanwhile, the way I tend to learn about hardware is I will take a module, and isolate it with a microcontroller, learning how it functions by itself, its limitations and how it behaves, and then I'll start building upon it with additional parts to flesh out a project. I suspect that's what's happening with this little Sweating robot alerts when it’s too hot , as a proof of concept it can likely work well as a greater product, so long as it helps function similarly anyway.
It's not quite a puppy, though feels like it's still maturing with the final release of Boston Dynamics’ and LEGO release robots to the public, finally! Lego are no stranger to robotics, having already released components that can integrate into your Lego builds, even motors way back in the earlier Technic days and then later with the Brainstorm. While Boston Dynamics' creation is still curious as to its practical applications, at least Lego will potentially lead the next generation of Engineers into designing and producing robots such as the Iris Moon Rover to study the lunar surface in 2021 . At least with Researchers develop mobile robot lab assistant that outperforms humans we'll have free time to do other more important things, and I welcome playing with Lego.
Staying in Charge
What are robotics and automotive vehicles without a form of power? Batteries have been created and redeveloped for years as we try to push for longer life and rechargeable life without having to sacrifice volts, amps and uptime (where computers are concerned at least). With the advent of electric vehicles it's hopefully not a business model that they require hefty maintenance, current dinosaur burning versions already have that down, so it makes sense that CATL Gives Electric Vehicles’ Battery 16 Year Life in the best case scenarios. However there are many different factors that go into battery length, especially since most of us now carry one around with us wherever we go, it makes sense that how the technology works matters and we shouldReduce memory usage to reduce power consumption especially since RAM requires active electricity supply to retain it's contents, due to being volatile.
I feel like hydrogen has been the 'holy grail' of energy and energy storage since before I was young, particularly as it is in abundance in the atmosphere and all around us, wouldn't it be amazing if we could take advantage of it and have emissions which were mainly harmless? Perhaps we're getting a step towards it with Researchers develop a system that could store large amounts of electricity in the form of hydrogen , how stable and usable is it? Time will only tell, but perhaps it has to be used in conjunction with another method, and does it work at scale? Well, if the film The Matrix has taught me anything, it's that organic life makes the best batteries, so while Shrimp shells contain an ingredient that can be used for large scale batteries - is it really a good idea? Who knows.
What's going on inside?
Whether it's technology from your past, or it's modern enough that you bought it yesterday, The Electronics Inside brings together hardware comparisons and insights that hopefully provides inspiration for how your next project can come together - as it's taken apart. In the latest episodes we saw The Electronics Inside 23: DJI Drone Teardown rip apart the plastic outer shell to see how a quad copter is really put together, while the more retro visit took us to the simplest setup for The Electronics Inside 24: Vintage Tabletop Pinball Teardown . The pinball teardown certainly makes me wonder how easy it would be to put together my own!
Learning electronics for good measure
You may already be familiar with MOSFETs, they can be a crucial part of electronics projects. I used one in particular for my pet gecko, Meet Bernie, a Pet with an Affection for Arduino! , to help control the 12v fans from a 5v Arduino. To use them effectively though, it helps if you know more about them, such as the Miller Plateau, element14 presents delivers with baldengineer's Workbench Wednesday 25: Measuring a MOSFET’s Miller Plateau.
Talking of fan control, I ended up with two 120mm typical 'computer case' fans that were used to control the temperature and humidity in the vivarium, what would have been useful, was to quantify and measure the sound volume of the fans at full speed, and compare that with how much airflow it pushed, turns out there's hardware to help with that as demonstrated in Workbench Wednesday 26: How to Measure Sound with a Handheld Meter - it certainly would've helped explain why I kept waking up in the middle of warm nights even though the fans had turned off! (they would turn on briefly... do their job and turn off, but by then, I was awake...).
Digging for History
As a youngster, I wanted to be an archaeologist. It might have been the influence of the TV show Time Team, or it might've been the temptation to find treasure with a metal detector, either way I had a curiosity for buried history. It's been great to see the members of the Community pull together for a solution to the requested Archaeology Resistivity Meter , (such as High Level Solution Diagram for Archaeology Resistivity Meter Project which the image is from) you can follow the comments on the discussion, or you can keep track of the posts in the Open Source Hardware group with the tag 'armp'.
Keeping Current and Simple
When you're working with Internet of Things devices, the intention is to keep power consumption low until it's ready to wake up and then pull what power it needs - apparently measuring these levels requires some very particular equipment as shabaz helps to highlight with Using the INA210-214 for Current Measurement for IoT Devices
Insight into Up and Coming Hardware
Likely coming soon to a Farnell or Newark store near you, is a new method of harvesting electricity from your indoors environment. Intending to power your small devices electronically by using small solar-like panels. Our vigilant members, jancumps , dougw and lui_gough reviewed the epishine harvesting light kit. After sending out the hardware our top members put the hardware through its paces and produced a series of reviews of the equipment that's utilising super-capacitors to help to produce and store electricity, you can check out the number of parts: Solar Energy Harvesting with Epishine Flexible Solar Cell - Pt 1: intro , Solar Energy Harvesting with Epishine Flexible Solar Cell - Pt 2: Circuit Analysis , Solar Energy Harvesting with Epishine Flexible Solar Cell - Pt 3: Charge and Discharge , Solar Energy Harvesting with Epishine Flexible Solar Cell - Pt 4: Battery Backup along with Early-Access Review: Epishine Light Energy Harvesting Module Evaluation Kit , Early-Access Review (Pt 2): Epishine Light Energy Harvesting Module Evaluation Kit and the concise Epishine LEH Solar Cell Evaluation Kit Review (including cat tax).
What're your Highlights of the Community?
Let me know in the comments what content, news, blog posts or comments you've appreciated or found interesting on the Community lately
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