Labor Day 2018 @Adafuit #Holiday #LaborDay


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As we soak in the last rays of summer Adafruit would like to send a huge thank you to all the employees that make Adafruit what it is!

Today the team gets a day off in recognition of Labor Day. In the mantra of “Be excellent” Adafruit is always looking for ways to give workers more. We recently added a new paid day off for Election Day, and will keep looking for ways show gratitude and encouragement to the workforce!

Because of the great community and teamwork we are able to do what we do.

Thank you!


via Adafruit

Wearable Baby Monitors May Miss Key Vital Signs


via Wareable

Wearable baby monitors are meant to give parents peace of mind. However, that peace of mind relies on trusting the device to actually deliver accurate information.

These wearable baby monitors may be missing key vital signs, according to a new study by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read more.


via Adafruit

Giant Button Build


This project was sent in by Zach. Find out if you are a winner with a great build and write up! Via Build Cool Stuff:

The conversation went something like:

If you wanted to build an interactive art object what would it be like?

It would grab peoples attention from far away.
It would make people smile.
It would make people feel good about themselves.
It should take people on an emotion journey. In other words, make them feel good and then take that away.

Hmmm… What is something kind of universal that almost everyone likes to do? PUSH BUTTONS!

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Learn more!


via Adafruit

Researchers Use Biomimicry and 3D Printing to Develop Robotic Fish


3DP robotic fish prototype

Via 3DPrint

3D printed robotic fish have all sorts of applications, from underwater data acquisition and detecting toxins in the water to studying and saving real fish, or just adding a new pet to the family. A group of engineering researchers from the University of Firat in Turkey are using biomimetic design to come up with flexible solutions for different marine applications, like observing organisms, examining underwater resources, finding and combating pollution, coastline security, surveying submerged areas, and fault detection in pipelines.

Detailed mechanical configuration of the 3D printed robotic fish.
The researchers, inspired by the carp fish for their 3D printed robotic fish, recently published a paper, titled “Mechatronic Design and Manufacturing of the Intelligent Robotic Fish for Bio-Inspired Swimming Modes,” about their use of 3D printing, robotics, and biomimicry to develop an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV).

The abstract reads, “This paper presents mechatronic design and manufacturing of a biomimetic Carangiform-type autonomous robotic fish prototype (i-RoF) with two-link propulsive tail mechanism. For the design procedure, a multi-link biomimetic approach, which uses the physical characteristics of a real carp fish as its size and structure, is adapted. Appropriate body rate is determined according to swimming modes and tail oscillations of the carp. The prototype is composed of three main parts: an anterior rigid body, two-link propulsive tail mechanism, and flexible caudal fin. Prototype parts are produced with 3D-printing technology. In order to mimic fish-like robust swimming gaits, a biomimetic locomotion control structure based on Central Pattern Generator (CPG) is proposed. The designed unidirectional chained CPG network is inspired by the neural spinal cord of Lamprey, and it generates stable rhythmic oscillatory patterns. Also, a Center of Gravity (CoG) control mechanism is designed and located in the anterior rigid body to ensure three-dimensional swimming ability. With the help of this design, the characteristics of the robotic fish are performed with forward, turning, up-down and autonomous swimming motions in the experimental pool. Maximum forward speed of the robotic fish can reach 0.8516 BLs-1 and excellent three-dimensional swimming performance is obtained.”

Two of the most important things to consider when designing a 3D printable, biomimetic robotic fish are its body structure and swimming modes, so the researchers spent a lot of time observing and examining fish to get the design right. According to the paper, over 85% of fish swim by bending their bodies and/or caudal fins, also known as BCF, while the rest swim with their median and/or pectoral fins (MPF).

Cangiform carp fish swimming patterns

See more!


via Adafruit

How engineers, roboticists can learn from nature #Biomimicry #Biohacking


Hamid vejdani

Via Designworld

I recently spoke with Dr. Hamid Vejdani, an assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering department at Lawrence Technological University in suburban Detroit. Vejdani’s research interests include bioinspired robotics, behavior design and control design of robots, and dynamical modeling. Before joining LTU, he was a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University, where he studied dynamical agility of flapping flight in hummingbirds and bats.

Vejdani has developed and implemented control strategies for walking and running bipedal robots and he has been exploring the mechanics of flapping flight systems inspired by stability, maneuverability and agility of natural fliers. We chatted about the main thrust of his research in robotics, “Bio-inspiration.” This concept means getting inspiration from nature and applying the lessons learned into designing and controlling capable engineering products and, in his research, robots.

DW: Biomimicry receives a lot of press, especially in the robotics field. You’ve said you’re more focused on bio-inspired designs. How do these two approaches differ?

HV: Basically, in biomimicry you try to mimic nature as close as possible. Although it is a fantastic way to start, it will not be that helpful when you want to expand the findings to other scales or purposes. In bioinspired designs, we try to understand the fundamental physics behind the phenomena (which can sometimes start with mimicking in the beginning) and therefore those principles can be expanded and used for any scale or application because the laws of physics. Once you understand them and apply them appropriately, they are the same for all of our engineering products.

DW: What are some examples of bio-inspired designs that you are working on?

HV: I am currently working on two bio-inspired robotics projects here at Lawrence Technological University. One is inspired by agility and maneuverability of kangaroo running (a kangaroo running robot) and the other is inspired by the efficiency and stability of hummingbird hovering (hummingbird-scale hovering robot).

Although it seems diverse in the first glance — running and flying — when you study the principles of animal locomotion in more detail, you notice that there is a common trace in all animal locomotion types. That is the use of their natural dynamics (mechanical design of the system) in providing help to achieve the desired motion. My research is to understand how these natural dynamical characteristics — like mass distribution and sizes — can be used to enhance the stability and maneuverability of locomotion in each case.

DW: Do you see practical applications of bio-inspired design for industry? What are some examples?

HV: Basically, the industry (and in a broader sense engineering) is full of bio-inspired design products and ideas from architectural designs and materials for cooling and force resistance to airspace industry and defense. For example, look at airplanes; we do not mimic the wings from birds, we found out that wings and tails are necessary for flight. Now we have airplanes that are basically fixed winged vehicles, in contrary to natural fliers, which have flapping wings. So, we got inspired from nature and developed the airplane industry.

I think the robotics industry will continue to grow much faster in developing robots that can get outside of the structured labs and help human in real world. And guess who can be the source of the inspiration for designing such machines? Probably those who have been operating in real world for millions of years: animals.

See more!


via Adafruit

What is Cyberpunk: A Brief History #SciFiSunday


via Polygon

A woman doing her makeup as the camera slowly pulls out to reveal she’s missing the bottom half of her face, a gaping cybernetic maw in its place. A cable jacked directly into a businessman’s skull, sparking and smoking as it fries his brain. An elevator the size of an apartment, crawling up the side of a high-rise towards the sky.

These are just some of the fragmented vignettes studio CD Projekt Red put on display in Cyberpunk 2077’s debut trailer earlier this year. As an introduction to Night City, it promised one of the most distinctive game settings since Rapture or City 17 — but not much of its neon-soaked imagery is original. And that’s by design.

With this game, CD Projekt Red is drawing from a long tradition, one that — unusually — is named right there in the title: cyberpunk. But what exactly does that mean, and where did it come from?

Read full article here!


via Adafruit

Listen to the Sound of the black Widow Pulsar #Space


From SYSTEM Sounds on YouTube:

The Black Widow pulsar (PSR B1957+20) rotates at a frequency of 622.1 Hz, producing a radio signal can be heard as an Eb note when converted into sound. The pulsar gets its name from the fact that it is slowly destroying its partner, using its wind to blow material off the surface of the brown dwarf. This creates a clumpy comet-like tail of plasma that passes between the pulsar and Earth every 9.2 hours. The tail acts like a giant magnifying lens (or amplifier) causing the series of irregular flickers you can hear in the pulsar’s signal. Is the brown dwarf trying to signal S.O.S.?

See more


via Adafruit