Hey, Mr.Don, we're always looking for new gadgets to feature in Gadget Freak. If you or any of your students have gadgets, we'd like to see them. Design News will pay $500 if we feature your gadget. We often feature student teams. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send along the Gadget Freak details.
These slide shows are awesome. As you pointed out, its amazing how today's Makers are quite clever in developing cool and innovative products using ordinary materials. One item I'm always discussing with my Electronic Engineering Tech students at ITT Tech is to venture into the land of creativity. There are so many cool tools to develop personal technology such as the Arduino, the Basic Stamp, LEGO NXT, and the Propeller, to name a few, that the only constraining factor is time. I'm currently working on some cool robotic controller gadget projects for a book I'm writing for Apress. I'm using microcontroller platforms such as the Arduino, LEGO NXT, and a bunch of discrete electronic parts along with my Motorola DroidX smartphone to create wireless controls for robots. BTW, I do like the robotic hand and the Kindle products as well.
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.