So, Altoids aren't just for your breath any more, huh?
I think you should have a column for what we can design into an Altoids box. That would be fun. I can see it now, "Engineers design first home generator in an Altoid box. Altoid stock rises fast!"
Charles, you're right on the mark! The LEGO NXT has wealth of free programning tools like NXC (NXT Not Quite C) and Python. The traditional programming tools like LabView, VB, and Visual C allow rapid prototyping of a variety of cool and innovative gadgets only limited by one's imagination.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.