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

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Equipped with a variety of sensors, the Arduino-compatible robot lets users add more sensors and program new behaviors. A free app controls the completed robot from an iOS smartphone or tablet, and you can program it for various behaviors, or make it follow an obstacle course. (Source: Dash Robotics)

Equipped with a variety of sensors, the Arduino-compatible robot lets users add more sensors and program new behaviors. A free app controls the completed robot from an iOS smartphone or tablet, and you can program it for various behaviors, or make it follow an obstacle course.
(Source: Dash Robotics)

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Nancy Golden
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Bug Off
Nancy Golden   10/6/2013 5:01:42 PM
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While this is a great idea that could really help stir the imagination with a minimal effort to start - I would like to see a cuter version. I am afraid if I see anything going across my kitchen floor that even remotely resembles a cockroach - it will be smush first - ask questions later...

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: D.I.Y. robots and "skinning them.
Ann R. Thryft   10/7/2013 12:35:04 PM
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Earl, thanks for your comments and glad we can help expand your horizons on robots. Interesting to hear that DIY robotics is growing. It certainly seems so from what I've seen. I'll be interested to find out what Dash Robotics comes up with after they've gotten more input from their beta customers.



Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Bug Off
Ann R. Thryft   10/7/2013 12:35:45 PM
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Nancy, I agree with you about the "ick, a bug" aspect. OTOH, these don't really look much like cockroaches, though their movements are creepily similar. I'm sure a cuter body could be designed, but not using this cheaper fabrication technology. Perhaps some of Dash Robotics' beta customers will come up with a clever way to make them more attractive and still cheap to fabricate.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: All the little robots
Ann R. Thryft   10/7/2013 12:38:30 PM
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Rob, thanks for that link. How cool that LEGOs are a big part of this.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: All the little robots
Rob Spiegel   10/7/2013 1:18:56 PM
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Yes, Lego jumped into the future a few years ago. that's great for kids and great for Lego. They had already moved into the space left empty when plasctic models vanished, and now they're grabbing the fun of robotics.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Bug Off
Nancy Golden   10/7/2013 4:09:33 PM
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Ann, perhaps they could sell an accessory kit like Barbie dolls do so you can "dress up" your bug. For the guys - they could come with sports teams logos... 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Bug Off
Ann R. Thryft   10/7/2013 4:27:37 PM
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Thanks, Nancy, that gave me a good laugh. Although I'd definitely prefer something besides "dressup" doll accessory kits. How about making it look like a spaceship or like the Mars rovers?

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!

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.

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.

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