Another Gripping New Product Post

Yet another installment of our popular new product post where we talk about the new products for the week.

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Note: Emcee Grady wanted me to let you all know there'll be freshness on the blog once everyone has returned from Maker Faire New York and settled in. — Brennen in IT

Well, it's been a month, and I'm back. I had a great time in Thailand, but it's time to get back to work. Nick did a great job in my absence and I've read all your comments and will work on the suggestions in the coming weeks. We don't have a ton of products this week, but some of them might be pretty exciting for some of you.

It seems that Dave and Nick were pretty happy to see me come back, at least on camera anyways. It's good to be back and announcing new products for all of you.

littleBits is an educational electronics kit. It features color-coded bits that magnetically snap together so there's no wiring or soldering involved. The kit includes various bits like power, input, output, and wire. Combine them in various combinations to make lights light up or buzzers buzz.

Our robotic claw has been quite popular. But if you want to add some extra functionality, you should check out the pan/tilt bracket for it. This bracket connects directly to the robotic claw. It comes with one servo, so you can tilt the bracket, but you will need to add an additional servo for panning. It is a bit tricky to assemble so check out the assembly diagram first.

This module might look identical to the RN-42 module we use on the BlueSMiRF Silver and the Bluetooth Mate Silver, but it actually has different firmware. This is actually the RN-42-HID which uses an HID protocol (or "Human Interface Device," is the communication protocol used for computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice and joysticks) instead of the standard SPI. This means that it can talk directly to your computer (or other device) through the HID protocol which is universally recognized and doesn't need special drivers or software.

We have a new version of the Danger Shield. Some of our more astute readers will know that we've already released this version, but in the retail form last month. This is the non-retail version and, aside from packaging, is the same as the retail version. It now includes a cap-sense pad and a better temperature sensor. The Danger Shield is a great little prototyping board that has a lot of features and is great for learning how to interface various hardware with the Arduino. With slide potentiometers, lights, a 7-segment LED, buzzers, buttons, and more, you can use it for just about anything.

We found a box of these RJ45 jacks that were leftovers from production. They are a bit smaller in profile than our other RJ45 jacks, but they still fit our RJ45 breakout board. Use them for PoE, your very own Ethernet board, or just something to fidget with when you're bored at work.

So there you have it, another new product post. We'll have more products trickling in over the next weeks, so check back. Thanks for reading!

Comments 26 comments

  • Blueblast88 / about 13 years ago / 3


    • I find this hilarious, and I'm sure Dave does too. I think it's awesome for someone to be excited to get Dave's autograph. One of these day's I'll have to go to a Maker Faire and meet some of our customers.

    • Young Maker / about 13 years ago / 1

      OMFG me too! (well, not his autograph, but his approval of my project)

  • It's good to have you back Rob!
    Nick was great, but not the same.
    Looks like you trimmed your facial hair down some. lol.
    It's ok Dave it's really him, I Think?

    • Thanks everyone! It's good to be back, especially with this warm homecoming.
      And yes, I trimmed. I didn't think Thailand would be able to handle the moustache.

      • mmensinger / about 13 years ago / 1

        holy coincidence, i shaved my mustache off before I went to Thy-land too! I don't think the chinas are ready to accept defeat to western facial hair superiority.

  • MikeandIke / about 13 years ago / 2

    I went to the maker faire sparkfun booth! It was awesome!

  • jandirks / about 13 years ago / 2

    Thailand? Pics (like photo's, not the chip) or it didn't happen.

    • You asked for it! Here are the pictures so far. I'll be adding more in the coming week or so. I took a lot, but I have yet to process them all.
      EDIT: I'm trying to add descriptions for all of them, but if there's something you want to know more about, just ask.

  • ThatOtherOtherGuy / about 13 years ago / 1

    That grimace at 0:36... was that because Nick messed up your butt-groove in the chair?

  • SomeGuy123 / about 13 years ago * / 1

    "there'll be freshness on the blog once everyone has returned from Maker Faire New York"


  • tpobrienjr / about 13 years ago / 1

    Great pictures! Thanks for sharing.
    Comment on the pic from the elephant's back: In Africa, the guide told us the elephant was trained in 4 languages. All we ever heard the driver say was "HUT!". Don't know what language that was.

  • Young Maker / about 13 years ago / 1

    Yay to all that came to maker faire! it was a great show!

  • PresidentOfAwesomeness / about 13 years ago / 1

    You got an entire month vacation? In Thailand? FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

  • BB / about 13 years ago / 1

    It'd be nice if that robotic claw were sold as a complete package with all the parts for a pan-tilt-claw setup.

    • It's also worth noting that you can assemble the entire thing in minutes using a screwdriver and the tiny included spanner. The servos can be a bit finicky to line-up but I built that demonstration arm with code and wiring and all in part of a work day.

      • BB / about 13 years ago / 1

        Thanks, but my request is not prompted because it's hard to assemble the claw or track down the parts from the related products area. Rather it'd be nice to have a complete kit for parts that people would probably want anyway if they're going to buy the claw in the first place. It's like having a breakout board for an arcade stick, and then just telling people to order the arcade stick separately rather than just cutting to the chase and including it as a whole kit.
        I realize there are probably some people who would like a bare "claw" too, or maybe for some reason that pan/tilt mechanism specifically for the claw; however, I suspect that most people will want both together, along with the needed servos, mounts, etc. to jump right into having all the parts ready to assemble.

    • I think the easiest thing would be to make a wish-list for all the parts. It's the claw, the pan/tilt bracket, and an extra servo. You'd still have to build it, but that would always be the case.

  • SomeGuy123 / about 13 years ago * / 1

    Welcome back!

  • Renee2 / about 13 years ago / 1

    Welcome back!!

  • Young Maker / about 13 years ago / 1

    Ill see those who are coming @ makerfaire tomarrow!
    Yay roberts back!
    Yay nick for good posts the last couple weeks

  • Good to see you back, Rob. Nick did a great job in your stead! Any time you need sub, he'll do well.

  • htimmis / about 13 years ago / 1

    Robs back. Welcome back!!!!

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