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Adafruit Weekly Editorial Round-Up: July 16 – July 22


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ADAFRUIT WEEKLY EDITORIAL ROUND-UP


We’ve got so much happening here at Adafruit that it’s not always easy to keep up! Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. Each week we’ll be posting a handy round-up of what we’ve been up to, ranging from learn guides to blog articles, videos, and more.


BLOG

Thailand’s ESP-32-based Educational Board: KidBright

Via our friends over on CNXSoft, we hear about Kid Bright which is a Thai educational program revolving around the KidBright32 board manufactured by Gravitech. The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) part of Thailand’s Ministry of Science and Technology designed KidBright32 board and courses to teach STEM to Thai students.

The board is based on Espressif Systems ESP32-WROOM-32 WiFI and Bluetooth module, and comes with large holes for power (5V/GND) and 6 digital inputs/outputs, smaller through holes for I2C and more I/Os, as well as an I2C header.

Check out the full post here!

More BLOG:

Keeping with tradition, we covered quite a bit this past week. Here’s a short list of highlights:


LEARN

Using Crickit and Adafruit IO together

NewImage

This guide will explore using Crickit with Adafruit IO together. Crickit provides various ways to take measurements and control other hardware. It’s a natural fit with Adafruit IO which lets you store data and manage events.

More LEARN

Browse all that’s new in the Adafruit Learning System here!


via Adafruit

Magnets Control These 3-D Printed Robots #Robotics #3DPrinting


Via National Geographic:

With just a wave of a magnet, the robots can roll, jump, and crawl around in confined spaces. In the future, the MIT team hopes to build a stronger, more intelligent version of this robot that can be used for tasks such as medical procedures or cleaning up radioactive waste.

Each robot is designed with a unique shape and structure to match its function. A 3-D printer then uses a silicone-based rubber material to bring that design to life. The printing technique has been crucial to the robots’ design, says Zhao, because it allows magnetic microparticles to be deliberately embedded throughout the material.

A computer program aligns each microparticle in a specific direction in a certain part of the robot, which allows magnetic force to trigger a desired response. For simple functions, Zhao is able to power the robots simply by waving a magnet over them. For more complex tasks, he says, the robots will need to operate inside a magnetized chamber that can apply pull simultaneously in different directions.

Learn more and check out the video on YouTube!


via Adafruit

Jupiter’s Moon Total Hits 79


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International Astronomical Union reports that Jupiter now has 79 known moons, Via Scientific American

How many moons does Jupiter have? If you said four, you might be Galileo. If you said 69, you were right. Until the announcement this morning by the International Astronomical Union of the discovery of an additional 10 moons about the gas-giant planet. Bringing the currently known total to 79. That’s a lot of moons.

A research team from the Carnegie Institution for Science, the University of Hawaii and Northern Arizona University was looking in 2017 for very distant objects in our solar system, well beyond Pluto. Jupiter happened to be in the same field of view, so they also looked for any as yet unknown moons. They found 12, two of which were announced last year. Confirmation of the moons required multiple observations, and those data enabled a calculation of the moons’ orbits.

Nine of the dozen moons are well away from Jupiter and have retrograde orbits, meaning they go around the planet in what we’d think of as the “wrong direction.” They take about two Earth years to complete their circuits.

Two new moons are closer in, go the right way, and take about an Earth year for one orbit. Those eleven moons are probably remnants of larger bodies that got broken up in collisions.

The remaining moon is less than a kilometer across, further out than the two conventional moons and has a 1.5-year orbit—and the orbit is inclined. That tilt has the weird little moon crossing the paths of those outer retrograde moons. Which means an increased likelihood of a big smash-up one day.

Depending on what survives from any such collision, Jupiter may then have even more moons. Or a couple fewer.

See more!


via Adafruit

Jupiter’s Moon Total Hits 79


AD1CC91C 8DB8 4935 B5E5F9797EBAE16E

International Astronomical Union reports that Jupiter now has 79 known moons, Via Scientific American

How many moons does Jupiter have? If you said four, you might be Galileo. If you said 69, you were right. Until the announcement this morning by the International Astronomical Union of the discovery of an additional 10 moons about the gas-giant planet. Bringing the currently known total to 79. That’s a lot of moons.

A research team from the Carnegie Institution for Science, the University of Hawaii and Northern Arizona University was looking in 2017 for very distant objects in our solar system, well beyond Pluto. Jupiter happened to be in the same field of view, so they also looked for any as yet unknown moons. They found 12, two of which were announced last year. Confirmation of the moons required multiple observations, and those data enabled a calculation of the moons’ orbits.

Nine of the dozen moons are well away from Jupiter and have retrograde orbits, meaning they go around the planet in what we’d think of as the “wrong direction.” They take about two Earth years to complete their circuits.

Two new moons are closer in, go the right way, and take about an Earth year for one orbit. Those eleven moons are probably remnants of larger bodies that got broken up in collisions.

The remaining moon is less than a kilometer across, further out than the two conventional moons and has a 1.5-year orbit—and the orbit is inclined. That tilt has the weird little moon crossing the paths of those outer retrograde moons. Which means an increased likelihood of a big smash-up one day.

Depending on what survives from any such collision, Jupiter may then have even more moons. Or a couple fewer.

See more!


via Adafruit

Carnivorous plant inspires sustainable mosquito-control device


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Via Cornell Chronicle

Cornell researchers are biting back at deadly mosquito-borne illnesses, using nature’s own tricks.

A team in the College of Human Ecology is a winner in a global competition that asked innovators to create radically sustainable environmental solutions inspired by the natural world. The Cornell team created a mosquito-control device that functions like a carnivorous plant.

The device, dubbed the UPod, was inspired by the carnivorous Utricularia vulgarisor common bladderwort plant, which creates a water vacuum through its trap bladders by pumping water out and sucking in small insect prey in the blink of an eye. The device was created by graduate students Anna Gannett, Joey Sun and Paulina Villacreces, and their adviser, professor Kathleen Gibson, from the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis in the College of Human Ecology.

Similar to how the Utricularia vulgarisplant traps prey, the solar-powered UPod pulls water and larvae into a tightly-sealed water chamber through a trap door that functions through a smart sensor mechanism. Larvae are suffocated in the water chamber, then pumped out as new water and larvae are pulled in.

The UPod is one of eight project winners of the Biomimicry Institute’s Global Design Challenge, an international design competition that invites innovators to learn how to use biomimicry – the process of looking to nature for design inspiration – to develop solutions to climate change.

“In the scoping process of our project development, we identified the expansion of mosquito-borne illnesses as a global human health problem related to climate change,” the team said. “Through our research we were able to find out that most of the mosquito control was in the form of vaccines or costly medicine, insecticides, fumigation, awning screens and others, but realized many people do not have access to these options and that these represent only short-term solutions.”

According to the team, higher average temperatures and increased precipitation due to climate change are contributing to the expanding threat of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, malaria and chikungunya. Current mosquito-control strategies can be harmful to people and the environment.

The UPod was developed to be an environmentally friendly, self-sustaining, reusable and affordable solution that helps individuals, communities and nations take control of larvae populations and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

See more!

Biomimicry Challenge – UPod Submission from Joey on Vimeo.


via Adafruit

Carnivorous plant inspires sustainable mosquito-control device


0713 upod 1

Via Cornell Chronicle

Cornell researchers are biting back at deadly mosquito-borne illnesses, using nature’s own tricks.

A team in the College of Human Ecology is a winner in a global competition that asked innovators to create radically sustainable environmental solutions inspired by the natural world. The Cornell team created a mosquito-control device that functions like a carnivorous plant.

The device, dubbed the UPod, was inspired by the carnivorous Utricularia vulgarisor common bladderwort plant, which creates a water vacuum through its trap bladders by pumping water out and sucking in small insect prey in the blink of an eye. The device was created by graduate students Anna Gannett, Joey Sun and Paulina Villacreces, and their adviser, professor Kathleen Gibson, from the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis in the College of Human Ecology.

Similar to how the Utricularia vulgarisplant traps prey, the solar-powered UPod pulls water and larvae into a tightly-sealed water chamber through a trap door that functions through a smart sensor mechanism. Larvae are suffocated in the water chamber, then pumped out as new water and larvae are pulled in.

The UPod is one of eight project winners of the Biomimicry Institute’s Global Design Challenge, an international design competition that invites innovators to learn how to use biomimicry – the process of looking to nature for design inspiration – to develop solutions to climate change.

“In the scoping process of our project development, we identified the expansion of mosquito-borne illnesses as a global human health problem related to climate change,” the team said. “Through our research we were able to find out that most of the mosquito control was in the form of vaccines or costly medicine, insecticides, fumigation, awning screens and others, but realized many people do not have access to these options and that these represent only short-term solutions.”

According to the team, higher average temperatures and increased precipitation due to climate change are contributing to the expanding threat of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, malaria and chikungunya. Current mosquito-control strategies can be harmful to people and the environment.

The UPod was developed to be an environmentally friendly, self-sustaining, reusable and affordable solution that helps individuals, communities and nations take control of larvae populations and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

See more!

Biomimicry Challenge – UPod Submission from Joey on Vimeo.


via Adafruit

Nintendo Labo Contest Winners Include a Zelda Piano


via The Verge

Last month, Nintendo announced a contest that tasked fans with creating musical instruments and games out of its Labo kit. Today, the Japanese developer revealed the winners of the contest, and, naturally, Nintendo fans went all out.

Released in April 2018, the Nintendo Labo is aimed at children to teach concepts such as programming and engineering. Players take kits to build things such as cardboard robots and toy fishing rods, though the Labo can also be used for experiments and new creations.

Take the Labo piano decked out with Zelda decorations up top, for example. Not only do the decorations include a Master Sword, but there are also tiny Koroks hiding in the landscape as well. Its creator, Chris Brazzell, says that various pieces adorning the set were constructed with clay and origami. It also includes an IR sticker that makes it possible for the Labo to do something special when the Master Sword is pulled out. (Brazzell has not set a specific functionality for it yet, but it’s a nice touch.)

See and hear more!


via Adafruit