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Snow Photos and New Stuff

We're back to work and we've got more new: AVC 2010 now open, Vegas video, new robot competition, sensor kit, Simon PTH kit, motor driver, new robot kits, temperature sensor, MSP430F249, 7-segment display controller and a TFT128 ScreenKey development board.

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The October storm of 2009 has blown through, and with the wonderful weather in Boulder, it was 60 degrees over the weekend and all the snow melted! This is the view of my porch. The big thing in the middle is my gas grill with about 24" of snow on top. It was a fairly impressive storm! The snow football was particularly good. Checkout our Flickr page - we add photos every chance we get!

Checkout the new video covering our Vegas photoshoot. If you haven't seen the ad, you've got to see it!

The Autonomous Vehicle Competition is coming back for a second year. AVC 2010 will be happening on Saturday, April 17th 2010. If you'd like to compete, checkout the rules. Otherwise, get it on your calendar and get here. It was a blast last time around and we have no doubt 2010 will be another fabulous (and wet) year.

After getting back from Robothon, we just couldn't help but want to have our own little get together. So with a little brainstorming, we came up with RoboJoust. On Sunday December 6th, 2009, we'll be ramming robots into each other! We've created an event that combines remote control, driving, programming, pushing, line following, and destruction (of course). The idea was to create a 2-day robotics workshop to get beginners to a level where they can compete. To show beginners how much further they can develop their skills, we've invited advanced builders to come in on the second day. It's going to be another great chance for builders and spectators to get together and... well... let their geek shine. (Sorry, I had to say it)

We picked out or favorite sensors from each category and threw them (gently) into a red SparkFun box. The Sensor Kit is a great mix of sensors that will get you sensing acceleration, distance, compass heading, vibration, humidity, movement, ambient light, temperature, and more!

We've almost got all the photos posted for the new through-hole Simon kit. I'm pretty excited about this kit because it is so easy to put together, makes for a great gift, and makes for a surprisingly good microcontroller development platform: 5 outputs (4 x LED, 1 x Buzzer), 4 inputs (4 x buttons), and a serial bootloader to boot (compatible with Arduino). Teach soldering then teach programming! This is the kit we taught to 230 young women at the HerWorld conference.

This is the beefy L298N through-hole motor driver. Designed for high voltage motors (up to 46V), think power-window motors, not weenie RC toy motors.

Speaking of motors and control, we now stock robotics kits from INEX. These are low-cost development kits with all the parts, cables, and documentation to put together and program your very own robot. Above is the POP-BOT Robotics Kit based on the ATmega168.

This is the array of parts for the low-cost Robo-CIRCLE kit! Look at all that. This kit is programmable with the visual LOGO language.

We went out of stock and built more before I could even get a minute to post this board on the home page! This is a small breakout board for the miniscule TMP102 temperature sensor. With a digital I2C interface, this sensor from TI makes for an accurate temperature addition to any embedded system project.

New development board from Olimex! This board features the new MSP430F249 with 60k FLASH, 2K RAM, and all the support electronics to really push the feature set of this powerful microcontroller.

What do you do if you need a REALLY big 7-segment display? There are pre-packaged solutions out there, but they run hundreds, and some thousands of dollars! Why not make your own? Ocean Controls has developed a simple to use master and slave kits to enable simple control of these larger displays. They've even created a simple but well thought out software configuration tool to allow you to get the most from your bigger-than-life display.

And finally for today, we have a development kit for the large, full color TFT128 ScreenKeys. The TFT128 is a button with a full color LCD built in. Neat stuff!

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