Tuesday product awesomeness!


Quick update! There is an SMD soldering class tonight, August 17th, 2010. Sign up now to learn all the goodness that is SMD soldering!

Another week has gone by, so it's time for another new product post. Once again we have a few new products added to our ever-growing catalog of neat stuff. One day we might run out of new things to carry, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. So, here we go!

The sensor kit has been upgraded! This new version includes a soft pot and a flex sensor. We put almost every sensor we could think of in this kit so you'll be ready for anything. From accelerometers, gyros, touch sensors, light sensors, reed switches, humidity, temperature, and more - it's in there! The old kit is still for sale until we run out.

After years of research, we have developed the world's first invisibility cloak! As much as we all wish that were true, it isn't. Above you see another type of conductive fabric. This variety of fabric is a rip-stop material which is similar to a thin nylon rip-stop you might find in a tent. We also have the leftover remnants for sale if you want scrap pieces to play with instead. The stuff is really cool and we want to see some great uses for it! One of these days we might see the invisibility cloak for real.

The Podapter is a handy thing to have. Let's face it, Apple is just a few short strides away from taking over the world. We're going to need chargers to keep the uprising on course. The Podapter allows you to use any mini USB cable to charge your iPod, iPhone, or iPad. And in case anyone is wondering, yes, it works with the iPhone 4, zOMG!

We have a new version of our graphic OLED carrier board. We changed out the OLED to a more current version and changed out the boost IC. Overall, it's just a small tweak to the old version. We will also be selling the OLED separately in about a week or so.

What exactly is Bulbdial Clock Kit? Well, essentially, it uses the reflections from LEDs to create the hour, minute and second hands on a clock face. It updates the time every 2 seconds by fading the appropriate LEDs to 'move' the second hand to the next position. It's pretty clever and a nicely designed kit. Check out the video of it in action.

A little while ago we added the MPR121 capacitive touch sensor. We now have a breakout board for that little guy allowing you to touch away! You can control up to 12 physical touch electrodes over a single I2C interface. Touch sensors are very cool and we are eager to see someone put this to good use.

We've sold quite a few FTDI basic boards in our history. We recently added the smaller SMD version to our lineup in the classic 5V and 3.3V versions. We now have an FTDI basic without the right-angle header installed. This will allow you to hard-wire it into your application, or use your own header. We also sell the header separately if you wish to roll your own.

So, we've been selling this stepper motor (or some slight variant) for quite some time now. And it just recently dawned on us that a mounting hub might be a wise thing to carry. So here you go, a 5mm mounting hub that will allow you to mount wheels, gears, pulleys, or anything else you can dream up.

Here is another product that's infinitely useful. They call this the universal plate set and it's basically a perforated mounting platform for robots and vehicles. Add some motors, motor mounts, and electronics and you can easily build up a small vehicle.

We think the concept of the wheel has finally caught on. After thousands of years, you too can own your very own wheel (or set of wheels). We have two sizes,  70x8mm and 90x10mm. Each set of two comes with a black silicone tire for blingin' out your bot.

And lastly, we have some massive 3-row 40 pin right angle headers. They work well in the UAV boards we sell. They are break-away, so you can break off how many you need.

So that's all for this week. Some robotics stuff, some revisions of older products, and a few newcomers. Get your creative ideas flowing and start that next project today! We always like seeing what everyone is up to and do our best to make sure you have what you need to let your geek shine.


Comments 27 comments

  • While i do like the tamiya plate and tracks if you just want a basic robot chassis pololu offers a pretty good one with tracks and motors and gearbox all done. and its all cheaper in the end.

  • You’ve had the Tamiya tank treads forever, its about time you added the universal plate!
    If anyone’s interested, the tank treads, dual motor gearbox, and universal plate are all designed to work together

  • @Sparkfun,
    Could anybody tell me the accuracy of the clock? Like, how many seconds gained/lost per day? Its at the same price point as the Ice-tube clock on Adafruit and I am now considering which one to get…

  • The stepper motor link leads to the mounting hubs.

  • The sensor kit is pretty cool!
    I’m just thinking, when I was starting out, I got a great robot kit from Lynxmotion with a basic stamp, servo driver, servos, and plastic frame for a couple hundred bucks, and I was able to slap it together without understanding anything, just their instructions, and then slowly start to understand it after. I was just 14 years old or so, but it taught me all about microcontrollers, code, and how servos work. It was invaluable, and now I am an accomplished engineer!
    The sensor kit has the potential to do the same thing for people, but as of now, they’d still need to have a basic understanding of an arduino, and some power supply electronics, just to use it.
    What about making an even bigger kit that includes an arduino, breadboard, breadboarding wires, power supply, and clear idiot-proof instructions and code on how to get something working?
    Something clear enough that a 14 year old could follow without any prior knowledge of electronics?
    Just as the robot kits got me started when I was younger, and your tutorials keep me going (I learned Eagle here recently!), you could really provide a solid foundation for young kids (or anyone!) with a kit like that. Then lead them to a couple of your other tutorials for a more complete understanding, and you’ve got a clear learning path for interested learners!
    Thoughts?
    -Taylor

  • “What exactly is Bulbdial Clock Kit? Well, essentially, it uses the reflections from LEDs to create the hour, minute and second hands on a clock face."
    You mean shadows?

    • No they mean reflections.

      • Looks like shadows to me.

        • No, its relections

          • Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of your Bulbdial Clock Kit? The SHADOW knows.

          • reflections*

            • :) A (gentle tongue in cheek) Pox on both your houses;
              It is neither shadows or reflections, rather it uses Refraction, to reshape the light into this uniquely clock-hand-like shape.
              One of the many reasons this should be interesting to geeks, is that this is the same technique used to image DNA for the first time, and it is currently used to discover the shape of specific proteins and cellular structures.
              If you can see the patterns created in the refracted light, you can (with your very own supercomputer, or botnet, if you’ve been root-kitting random computers for the last decade) - deduce the shape of the thing which caused the refraction - even if it is very-wery small.

  • Love the mounting hub and all the other mechanical parts. A lot of sites don’t have those. Tough to find.

  • that’s a bit steep fir the sensor kit…

    • There’s 16 sensors!
      The first 3 sensors are $125 just on their own. Then there’s 13 more sensors for the last $75 in the kit.
      The first 3 sensors aren’t overpriced, and I’m inclined to think that the 13 other sensors for $75 aren’t overpriced, so what are you saying is overpriced?

    • *for


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