Hello everyone and welcome to another Friday New Product Post. This week is a first for us - we had our first guest appearance by for our weekly video. Eric from Modular Robotics was kind enough to stop by and help me explain their new product. Check out the video.
Cubelets really are a blast and it's great to play with a wide assortment of them. There are a lot of possibilities and you can really come up with some amazing little robots.
Cubelets are miniature robots that magnetically (magically) snap together to create whatever you can imagine (within reason). Each one has a different function. Some are sensors, some perform specific actions (motors or lights), and others provide power or just help to connect others. There's really no wrong way to connect them. Because of their clever design, you determine their behavior by simply putting them together. If your robot is moving in the opposite direction, just reverse the sensor. Now you can intuitively build complex robots without programming or prototyping. Pretty neat.
It's everything you love about the Maple, just smaller. With the Maple Mini, you lose a few pins, but you gain the ability to put it in a breadboard. With an ARM Cortex M3 and 34 I/Os, this board has a lot of potential applications. And for everyone that's familiar with the Arduino IDE, you should feel right at home using the Maple IDE.
Unfortunately, not everything has USB. Many devices still rely on RS232, but most modern computers have done away with the DB9 connectors. Converters can be tricky because they don't always work. We have been carrying one for some time, but it hasn't been as reliable as we'd hoped. It works a good amount of the time, but not ALL the time. This new RS232 to USB converter uses a trusty FTDI chip to get the job done. It's a few more bucks, but if you had a problem with the old one, it will be well worth it.
I hope there's something up there that sparks your interest. If not, we'll be back again next week with more products. Judging from the pile of new stuff on my desk right now, there will be some good stuff, so be sure to check back. I sense it's going to be a bright week for new products.