New Product Friday: TRIAC or Treat

It's a special Halloween installment of New Product Friday. We've got some freaky cool stuff this week, check it out.

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Hello everyone! We've got a lot of new stuff this week and something resembling shenanigans in the video.


Vimeo version found here.<-

So, I think it's pretty obvious from the video that we don't really do much planning in the videos. We had the idea to dress up in somewhat matching costumes, dress the hexapod up like a spider, etc. But when we get everything setup and the camera in place, we kinda had this moment like "OK, Dave's a monkey, I'm a banana, and I'm lowering a robotic spider down from the ceiling." It was one of those moments where you just stop and think "what decisions in life led me to this place?" It was a fun video to shoot though.

We've been searching awhile for an inexpensive hexapod kit and we finally found one. The Hexapod chassis kit comes with everything you need to build a hexapod robot frame. It includes 12 servo motors, the base, joints, hardware, and feet. Add a controller and battery and you're good to go.

Need to control all those servos on your hexapod? The Spider Controller can control up to 48 servos from one board! The controller has an on-board 3A power supply, 70 easy-to-access IO pins, and the Arduino bootloader. It even comes with all the hardware you need to mount the board.

The Raspberry Pi has made quite an impression on the DIY community and we now have it for sale. We are playing around with it in the engineering department to see if we can come up with any cool hardware accessories and figured it might be a good idea to sell them as well. They are very versatile development boards with nearly endless possibilities.

Speaking of the Raspberry Pi, want an easy way to gain access to the IO pins? This ribbon cable plugs directly into the board and lets you run those pins out to an external board. We even have the mating connector so you can make our own little breakout board for the IO.

We are pretty proud to introduce the first of our "Learn to Solder" products. The Learn to Solder BigTime is a kit that includes everything you need to build a BigTime watch. It includes the BigTime watch kit as well as a soldering iron, some solder, tools and instructions. Looking to give a gift to someone just getting into electronics, check out this kit, there's nothing else to buy. Also, we made a pretty handy assembly video - check it out here.

Sphero is a round plastic ball that you control with your phone or tablet. Sure, the idea sounds simple enough, but there's a lot going on inside to make all of this happen. Essentially, the concept for Sphero started as a design challenge and ended up being a toy that's gaining a lot of popularity. Check out the developer site for Sphero.

The LogicBlocks kit is a great way to easily learn about digital logic. Plug the 'blocks' together, flip some switches, and teach yourself about basic digital logic! The kit includes input blocks, AND OR and NOT gate blocks, as well as some splitters and such. They also come with a comprehensive guide. We even have a tutorial for you to check out as well! If you're interested in digital logic but aren't interested in the LogicBlocks kit, check out the tutorial as well as the Experiment's Guide, both contain some useful information for beginners.

Following in the steps of the EL Escudo Dos, we now have the new version of the EL Sequencer! We've made it more robust and added a lot of new features. We've now opto-isolated all the triacs, added a 1.5A adjustable regulator and fully isolated the AC and DC sides. The EL Sequencer is like a standalone version of the EL Escudo Dos, complete with Arduino bootloader and headers for XBee and Nordic wireless options.

We now have an assortment of our quick-discconnects. The assortment includes 25 of each of the sizes, in both male and female.

We now have the Arduino Due for preorder! We haven't heard much else from Arduino than what's already on the Internet, but we should start seeing some stock in the next few weeks. We haven't even seen a sample yet, so your guess is as good as ours. If you aren't familiar with the Due, it's an Arduino based on an ARM processor. It's powerful, works on 3.3V logic only, and has a lot of inputs and outputs. This won't replace the current Arduinos, but rather it will be a more advanced development board.

We've got a new version of the Nordic Serial Interface Board this week. We corrected a silkscreen error and made the boards red. Use this board as an easy way to interface your Nordic transceivers.

Well, that's all the new stuff for this week. We'll be back again next week with more new products, and less costumes, I promise.

Comments 44 comments

  • Earlz / about 12 years ago / 6

    Please someone tell me more people than just me recognized this. In the video everything close up is shown with a green claw... but he's not wearing claws.. but the transitions are so seemless. I can't stop laughing about this.

  • I know it's dry in Colorado Robert, but come on! Lotion man!

    • chartle / about 12 years ago / 1

      Didn't Robert just come back from vacation? Did he happen to go to some exotic location? Hope he didn't pick something up? eek!

  • TECH GEEK / about 12 years ago / 5

    Most awesome Friday I will have in my life. No question there.

  • Wow! That is one hairy banana!

  • Is this an attempt to give Robert more public a-peel?

  • eewestcoaster / about 12 years ago / 3

    Just wanted to say that I love you guys.

  • It was one of those moments where you just stop and think “what decisions in life led me to this place?”

    And perhaps the most humbling moment of my life.

  • CowboyBob / about 12 years ago / 3

    Looks like its peanut butter jelly time!

  • I can't seem to find the part of the video in which you state "something resembling shenanigans"......... hmmmm....can't seem to put my finger on it.....bannanna? in a spider suit?

    Oh I got it!!! The Raspberry Pi!! Yep--best part.......lolz

  • Joi F / about 12 years ago / 2

    Split. Made my day!

  • MacJohnMcC / about 12 years ago / 2

    Furry talking bananas... I think I've seen everything now.

    • l0gikG8 / about 12 years ago / 3

      The banana costume and monster hand was cool but I'd leave out the fake pirate beard.

    • TheRegnirps / about 12 years ago / 1

      Oh really? Have you seen a man eat his own head?

  • rougeaux / about 12 years ago / 2

    Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring BANANA ROBERT.

  • icyfyer / about 12 years ago / 1

    This was fantastic!

  • Blacklab1 / about 12 years ago / 1

    RE: LogicBlocks - I realy like the LEDs on the Logic !!!

  • Why does this always happen to me? The DAY after I ordered an R-Pi from farnell you guys start carrying them. I could have waited and ordered some more bits that I need from you.

    Also props to Rob for keeping a straight face shooting a video dressed like a banana. I'd lose it after a few minutes.

  • OddBot / about 12 years ago / 1

    I think Stampy had the best costume.

    Beards and bannanas don't really work and Dave's too skinny to be a bear although he might be a bear with a sore head after being hit in the head with a robot spider.

    Good job guys.

  • Ichbinjoe / about 12 years ago / 1

    Lots of cool stuff this week guys. Thanks.

  • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 1

    For some reason, the Nordic Serial Interface Board isn't showing up in New Products.

  • Ted M / about 12 years ago / 1

    For the quick disconnects, it would be really awesome if you carried the 0.110 and 0.187 sizes. These can be hard to find and are needed to fit some Sparkfun products, like the arcade push buttons.

    • The 1/5" fits the arcade buttons perfectly. We got them specifically for that.

      • Ted M / about 12 years ago / 1

        Ahh, there are two arcade buttons. The longer ones probably do fit 1/5", but the shorter ones don't -- I ended up buying some .110" disconnects for them -- COM-09179.

  • chartle / about 12 years ago / 1

    Its Demopalooza Day!

  • North Alabama PC / about 12 years ago / 1


    No solder in your demo box for the Big Time kit??

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