Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shadow Robotic Hand

No, the Shadow Robot Hand is not a futuristic martial arts stance, but is an actual robot hand that boasts a pretty dextrous disposition, enabling it to perform previously unimaginable feats (for a robot at least) such as picking up small coins from the floor and holding a tomato gently. This high level of dexterity is achieved by using compressed air in 36 of its 'muscles'. These air reservoirs are refilled by a foot pump. Currently, the Shadow Robot Hand's limitation depends on the creativity of the programmer who codes under GPL. No idea on how much it costs, but you can be sure it ain't gonna be cheap.

See more details at

Monday, May 25, 2009

SRV-1 Blackfin Mobile Surveillance Robot

Explore the dangerous terrain of your home or office with the SRV-1 Mobile Robot. This palm sized bot packs tank-like treads a 1000MIPS 500MHz Blackfin BF537 processor and a mini video camera. Using 802.11b/g wi-fi the SRV-1 interfaces wirelessly with a remote PC. The Java-based console software includes a built-in web server to monitor and control the SRV-1 via a web browser from anywhere in the world, as well as archive video feeds on demand or on a scheduled basis. Get programming with fully open-source software for robot and host computer.

Important Note
The SRV-1 Mobile Robot comes fully assembled and ready to use, but requires some technical knowledge of Java, networking and the command line to set-up the software. If you feel comfortable tinkering and have had experience configuring a basic web server you should be in fine shape. Read the 
SRV-1 Set-Up Instructions and you'll have a good idea if you've got what it takes.

Product Features

  • Mobile Robot is controlled via web browser with live video feed
  • Teleoperate mode to drive robot around via console software or remotely via web browser
  • Open Source design with full access to source code (GPL) and schematics
  • Robot is fully programmable for autonomous operation
  • Extensive software support through 3rd party applications
  • Host software has built-in web server and video archiving
  • Robot can run programs written in interpreted C and stored in onboard Flash
  • Wireless remote control or viewing up to 100m indoors and 1000m outdoors (line of sight)
  • Robot can be controlled from a terminal/console for easy testing
  • Linux 2.6 support as well as "bare metal" programming with GNU bfin-elf-gcc


  • Processor: 1000mips 500MHz Analog Devices Blackfin BF537, 32MB SDRAM, 4MB Flash, JTAG
  • Camera: Omnivision OV9655 1.3 megapixel 160x128 to 1280x1024 resolution
  • Robot Radio: Lantronix Matchport 802.11b/g WiFi
  • Range: 100m indoors, 1000m line-of-site
  • Sensors: 2 laser pointers for ranging, support for up to 4 Maxbotics ultrasonic ranging modules and various I2C sensors
  • Drive: Tank-style treads with differential drive via four precision DC gearmotors (100:1 gear reduction)
  • Speed: 20cm - 40cm per second (approx 1 foot/sec or .5 mile/hour)
  • Chassis: Machined Aluminum
  • Dimensions: 120mm long x 100mm wide x 80mm tall (5" x 4" x 3")
  • Weight: 350gm (12oz)
  • Power: 7.2V 2AH Li-poly battery pack - 4+ hours per charge
  • Charger: 100-240VAC 50/60Hz (US plug)


  • Robot Firmware: easily updated, written in C language under GPL Open Source, compiled with GNU bfin-elf-gcc and bfin-uclinux-gcc toolchains
  • Onboard User Programming: interpreter for "small C" language with special robot-specific commands are provided for running user programs from onboard Flash memory
  • Development Tools: GNU toolchains via
  • Console Software: Java based application, runs on Windows, MAC, Linux. WebcamSat web server module built into console software, allows multiple simultaneous remote viewers via Internet
  • Robot Control Protocol: Published here. Easily used from other applications
  • Third-party Software Support:
    • RoboRealm - - The SRV-1 can now be directly controlled from RoboRealm, a very popular Windows-based machine vision software package for robots. The RoboRealm extensions for SRV-1 allow creation of scripts that combine image processing on live video feeds from the robot, e.g. color filtering, blob detection/tracking, edge detection/outlining and feature extraction, with decision processing and robot motion control, making it easy to create behaviors such as object location and tracking, obstacle avoidance, motion detection, notification, etc, with a web interface, and control can be scripted from C/C++, Python, Java, C#, Lisp, Visual Basic, WScript and COM through the RoboRealm API.
    • Microsoft Robotics Studio - - Drivers for the SRV-1 in Microsoft Robotics Studio are now available. MSRS is a Windows-based environment for academic, hobbyist and commercial developers to create robotics applications across a wide variety of hardware. Key features and benefits include: end-to-end robotics development platform, lightweight services-oriented runtime, and a scalable / extensible platform. 
    • Webots - - SRV-1 support is now included in Webots mobile robotics simulation software. Webots provides a rapid prototyping environment for modelling, programming and simulating mobile robots under Windows, Mac OS/X and Linux. The 3D modeling and physics are outstanding.

More detail at

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 - Test Drive

Finally we got VS 2010 Beta! I have just installed it and had a test drive of it. Look and feel is relay cool, seems more productive with lot of built-in functionality.

·         Aims to become a tool for everyone involved in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) – from architects to developers, from project managers to testers. Not just for developers.


·         Unified Development and Database product editions.

Design & Architecture

·         Architecture Explorer – to discover and identify existing code assets and architecture in number of ways including graphs, stacked diagrams and dependency matrices.


·         Ability to create and share various types of diagrams like use case, activity and sequence diagrams.


·         Modeling tools that are tightly integrated with code and thus helps in keeping model and code in sync.


·         Architectural Validations - Ways to put constraints on code using models and doing validations at the time of check-ins and builds.


·         Architecture Layer Diagram – One of the most useful and simple tool getting introduced. It allows representing your application architecture in form of layers and showing dependencies between them. It also allows to map physical components like classes, namespaces etc. to map to these layers. After all mappings you can validate whether the code meets the expected mappings and constraints.


·         Microsoft joins OMG and UML gets introduced in Visual Studio 2010.


·         Support for UML 2.1.1 – 5 out of 13 diagrams – use case, component, activity, class and sequence diagrams.


·         Ability to keep all the UML diagrams in sync so that a change in one automatically reflects on others.


·         UML design tool is developed using DSL toolkit.


·         Will be interoperable with Visio 1.1 templates.


·         Supports Top to bottom design approach.


·         Supports Bottom to top design approach – reverse engineer. Filter based on namespaces, number of level deep.


·         Model Explorer – Similar to Solution Explorer, this allows you to explore all the models you have created which includes objects created as part of various UML diagrams – logical view.


·         Ability to create a Sequence Diagram from existing source, simply by right clicking in the VS code editor and selecting "Generate Sequence Diagram..."


·         Parallel Programming: To better utilize power of multi-processor and multi-core machines, .NET 4.0 will add support for parallel programming using PLINQ, Task Parallel Library and Coordination Data Structures. The debugger has been enhanced to identify concurrency issues. Two new features added are MultiStack and a Task List views. Introduction of concurrency analysis report for performance analysis of applications.

Quality/ Testing

·         Test Impact View - Identify and run only the tests impacted by a code.


·         Eliminating ‘no-repro’ bug  i.e. bugs that can’t be reproduced by providing tools for better collection of test data.


·         The Microsoft Test Runner Tool – a standalone tool that a tester uses to guide them through a series of steps to complete a test case. During the test run, this tool can take snapshot of test environment, application screenshots and even capture full video for assisting in reproducing bugs.

Source Code Management

·         Enhanced version control capabilities including gated check-in, branch visualization and build workflow.


·         Ability to perform constraints check on code during check-in based on Architecture Layer Diagram.

Project Management

·         Integration with Project Server for enterprise wide project management and new features for Agile project scheduling with Excel.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Firefly Cellphone in Ireland (from O2)

The new Firefly wireless phone is designed for kids. It is easy to use. Just press a couple of buttons to place a call. There is no need to remember numbers or dial. The special phone book makes this possible. It can hold up to 22 pre-programmed numbers. Use parental control options to limit incoming and outgoing call to the numbers in the phone book.

With just 5 (front) keys, it brings mobiles back to what they were originally designed to do - keep you connected. Firefly phones also keep it fun with lights, sounds, colours and animations.

Most importantly, it has PIN-protected features so you can control who the user receives calls from and, who they speak to.

Firefly Fireworks™ display flashes when making and receiving calls, during standby, and when charging.

The user also has:

12 ringtones

5 animations

7 LCD screen backlight colours

A huge range of accessories to choose from.

visit for latest news.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Color Picker Pen

With color picker, all range of artists will be able to cerate a more sensorial and visual insight of their surrounding nature’s colors. This is amazing innovation by Jinsun Park. Color Picker is an great design of a concept pen that can scan colors from anything around and instantly use the color for drawing. After placing the pen in front of an object, the user just presses the scan button. The color is being detected by the color sensor and the RGB cartridge of the pen mixes the required inks to create the target color. This superb device will help people to observe the changing colors of nature. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tahoe-II Development Board

Finnaly i got Tahoe-II Development Board today, thanks to my boss
Dr. Ahmed Javad, who has alway encouraged me to
welcome the new technology. Next couple of weekends will be very
interesting working on it.
The Tahoe-II development platform is the ideal place to start when developing small, smart, connected devices. Featuring the .NET Micro Framework, you have the hardware and software tools to get your project done faster than ever before.
Through its fully integrated Visual Studio experience, the .NET Micro Framework brings a reliable and productive development environment to the world of embedded development. Complex applications can be developed and debugged faster by leveraging the powerful emulator and Visual Studio’s debugging capabilities. The familiar development environment also enables .NET
 desktop programmers to work easily on embedded projects.
The Tahoe- features a 3.5” touch-screen LCD, wired and wireless networking, USB function for interfacing to PCs, an accelerometer for innovative sensing and user interface applications. When you need to prototype a new device, the Tahoe-II has easy access to an array of expansion options; including serial ports, I2C, SPI and plenty of GPIO.   
The Tahoe-II is built around the Meridian CPU, while features a Freescale i.MXS ARM9 processor, 4Mbytes of Flash, 8Mbytes of RAM. Moving from prototype to production is simple with the Meridian CPU. The Meridian CPU and the .NET Micro Framework are ideal for applications such as; industrial automation, home automation, healthcare, consumer devices, retail point-of-sale, PC peripherals, and automotive applications.
Specifiaction of Tahoe-II

  • Meridian CPU (ARM920 @ 100MHz, 4Mbytes Flash, 8Mbytes SDRAM)
  • 3.5” Landscape TFT LCD with touch-screen
  • 9 user input buttons
  • RS232 serial (DB9)
  • USB Function
  • Ethernet
  • Accelerometer, with support for event notification including free-fall detection
  • SD Card interface
  • Temperature sensor and 2x ADC channels
  • Interface for XBee wireless module (and additional ADC channels if fitted)
  • PWM output
  • Expansion connectors that expose GPIO, I2C, SPI and UART signals

The Tahoe-II supports version 3.0 of the .NET Micro Framework.  A Board Support Package (BSP) for use with the Porting Kit is under develpment for advanced users.
You can find out more detials about it on ...

Meccano Spykee Wi-Fi Spy Robot

I heard of this robot few month earlier and it really attracted me.
You all know about good feature of skype and if those are plugged into robot you can imagine how 
interesting it would be. Many people have Wi-Fi network at home now a days, and this robot is connected to Internet using your home or office Wi-Fi, you can remotely operate this robot via internet and talk to you your family, kids especially.

The Spykee Robot is spy robot kit that stands at approximately 1 foot tall. 
Once built, this remarkable robot acts as your walking, talking spy, a wireless VOIP phone, 
a webcam, a digital music player for your MP3s, and personal video surveillance thanks 
to Spyke's motion detector. The Spykee comes with 210 parts and is compatible
 with other 
Meccano sets for customization.

• Spy robot - Spyke moves, watches, speaks and listens 
VOIP phone - Use your Spyke as a wireless VOIP phone (compatible with Skype 3.0 PC technology) 
• Digital Music Player - listen to your own music over Wi-Fi with Spyke 
• Video Surveillance - When a movement is detected, Spyke activates an alarm on your computer or sends you a picture by email
• Other play functions include snapshot, sound and video recording, light, voice and sound effects and video filters 
Wi-Fi card included 
• Motion sensors activate automatically when something happens 
• Returns to recharging station automatically when battery is low 
• Control on local Wi-Fi connection or remotely via internet 

Run the comprehensive software and you have a Wi-Fi enabled robot that can be controlled on a 
local connection or remotely from the Internet on a well-crafted and easy-to-navigate MMI or 
Machine Man Interface. This page can be opened using the CD ROM provided.

See how it looks like before you purchase.

For further details and to purchase this item you can go to

Need Robot Parts

There are lot of online stores from where you can get the robot parts but i really like the for this purpose, they support variouse payment methods including money order and wire transfer. you can also use paypal. Following are some caretories fromar

get some electronic items from Peats and Maplin, 
but they dont have a wide range of robotic items. so you many need to order online.