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Engineering Materials
DIY: Build Your Own Robotic Bug
10/2/2013

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A crowdfunded DIY version of the cockroach-like DASH robot invented by engineering students at UC Berkeley can run across different kinds of surfaces.
 (Source: Dash Robotics)

A crowdfunded DIY version of the cockroach-like DASH robot invented by engineering students at UC Berkeley can run across different kinds of surfaces.
(Source: Dash Robotics)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Sold out but there's a waiting list
Ann R. Thryft   10/17/2013 6:50:46 PM
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BTW, Dash Robotics exceeded their funding goal and pre-sold out the first production run. But you can still get on a waiting list for the next run at the company website.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: All the little robots
Ann R. Thryft   10/10/2013 12:28:09 PM
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Thanks, Rob, that makes sense.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: All the little robots
Rob Spiegel   10/9/2013 2:11:30 PM
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I'll bet glue sniffing was the problem. Legos snap together, so that's not a problem. I had the feeling that as the Lego models emerged -- they came in slowly -- suddenly Lego realized there was a real demand for instruction-based complicated toys. Then there was a whole wave of these toys.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: All the little robots
Ann R. Thryft   10/9/2013 1:00:37 PM
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Thanks, Rob. I find that puzzling. Maybe it was because of concerns about glue sniffing. I wonder what replaced them before LEGOs.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: All the little robots
Rob Spiegel   10/9/2013 12:48:11 PM
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Ann, I don't know why plastic models vanished. I would imagine you can still find some online, but they used be everywhere, from drug stores to grocery stores. There was a multi-year gap before Lego picked up the slack with their complicated toys that required detailed instructions to build. When I started buying them for my kids, I thought, "Wow, these are similar to the old plastic models."

Ann R. Thryft
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RE: DIY for future innovation
Ann R. Thryft   10/9/2013 12:35:42 PM
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AnandY, thanks for the laugh. I think it will be awhile before we'll have DIY kits for building *that* kind of bug. Or else they'll come with high-powered magnifying equipment. This bug is a beta version that will hopefully be improved by Dash Robotics' beta customers.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: All the little robots
Ann R. Thryft   10/9/2013 12:32:46 PM
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Rob, thanks for that info and perspective. That seems like a natural match: robotics and LEGO technology. It's also a forward-thinking move on the company's part. But...why did plastic models vanish?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Bug Off
Ann R. Thryft   10/8/2013 11:47:33 AM
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Nancy, you sound like me as a kid--I had lots of plastic horses and no dolls. But I also made things out of the cylindrical Quaker Oats boxes like airplanes and spaceships.

AnandY
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RE: DIY for future innovation
AnandY   10/8/2013 8:18:38 AM
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When I first heard of the word bug from your heading, the first thing that ran through my mind was the secret listening device used by secret agents and spies. I mean, the robot bug thing is inventive and fascinating but I hope in future it will be made into a more useful purpose other than being just a kids' toy.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Bug Off
Nancy Golden   10/7/2013 9:36:46 PM
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Agreed, Ann - I never played with dolls when I was a kid. I had quite a large collection of horse statues though - tiny horses have my vote. I'm a big NASA fan and like your space idea too. Accessories really aren't a bad idea - it adds to the creativity of the project and makes it kid friendly. It's funny how some people think science and art are independent of each other. It takes a great deal of creativity to be an engineer!

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