This is a pretty big week for new products. We have a lot of new red boards, as well as some revisions, and other goodies. We will be skipping the Robotics 101 video this week, just because we had so many other products. But don’t worry, we’ll be back next week with the Robotics 101 series. First up, check out the product video for this week, complete with a couple of demos.
Mmmm, crisp romaine lettuce. I actually really want an intercom system for Chris, but for some reason, he doesn’t think it’s a good idea, strange. That being said, the BC127 has some pretty interesting uses for sending audio between two modules. And if you’re wanting to just stream audio from a single device, check out the RN-52 breakout.
We have a few new products for the RedBot this week. We now have a wheel encoder that utilizes the slotted discs that come with the magician chassis. The wheel encoder has two infrared sensors that allow you to read the slots in the encoder discs, thus determining how far and how fast the motors and wheels are actually moving. It comes with the hardware you need to mount it to the chassis.
The next sensor for the RedBot is the mechanical bumper or whisker sensor. This sensor attaches to the front (or back) of the chassis using the supplied hardware and uses a long piece of wire to detect a wall or obstacle. The wire simply presses against a nut to form a closed circuit, letting the controller know there’s something in the way.
The RedBot buzzer is a simple piezo buzzer that adds auditory feedback to your RedBot. Make it beep when it changes directions, buzz loudly when it hits and obstacle, or play the Mario theme right before it drives down a flight of stairs. It’s up to you. The buzzer just plugs directly into the RedBot Mainboard.
The last RedBot component we have for this week is a revision to the RedBot accelerometer. This new version has pass-through headers which lets you pass through the I2C pins for other sensors or components. The headers come pre-soldered and it simply plugs into the mainboard. The accelerometer can be used to detect bumps or a terrifying free-fall.
We have a new product similar to the popular MP3 Trigger this week, the WAV Trigger. It plays WAV files instead of MP3’s. One major significant difference however is that the WAV Trigger is polyphonic, meaning that it can play multiple CD quality audio tracks (up to 8) at the same time blending them together. You also might consider this product if you need higher quality audio than MP3s. Both triggers let you pre-load audio tracks on a microSD card, and trigger (play) them by adding a basic switch, or any other triggering mechanism. These are perfect for art installations, haunted houses, museums, or pranking your coworkers.
The BC127 is a Bluetooth 4.0 module that has a lot of interesting features. The Purpletooth Jamboree is a development board based around the chip. It has buttons for play, pause, tracks, and volume. It also breaks everything out and has jacks to make prototyping with this board easy.
If you don’t need all the buttons and jacks, and just want a simpler breakout, check out the BC127 Breakout. It gives you all you need, and nothing you don’t.
The Vernier Interface Shield allows you to use Vernier sensors with your Arduino. It has 2 BTD (digital) and 2 BTA (analog) jacks for connecting sensors. The simple interface and Arduino Library make reading sensors easy.
The new LCD bezels from 4D Systems allow you to cleanly integrate your LCD into an enclosure. They come in 2 sizes (4.3" and 3.2") in both black and white. The screw directly to the front of your LCD and have metal clips that attach to your enclosure.
Looking for an enclosed 4xAA battery holder with a switch? Sorry, can’t help you out. Just kidding, we have one for you. This is just like our other battery holders, but is for 4xAA batteries. It has wire leads coming out, and a screw to keep the cover closed.
We also have a new version of the MPR121 capacitive touch keypads. This one just went through a few minor cosmetic changes and footprint revisions, but works the same way. It’s an easy way to add a touch keypad to your project. Check out the hookup guide for more information on how they work. Or, if you want a blast from the past, watch the video, which was one of my first!
Lastly, we have a new version of the Sharp infrared proximity sensor. Not a lot has changed other than the model number. It still has the same range, 4cm to 30cm, and works well with a 5V microcontroller. These sensors are great for short-range object detection.
Phew! That’s the longest post I’ve done in awhile. If you made it this far, congratulations! Thanks for reading and watching and we’ll be back next week with even more new products and demos. See you then!