By Chris Bruner
Well I went to the Consumer Electronics Show this year, and I kept Kwartzlab in mind, as I looked at the displays.
In general the CES was a disappointment, and I probably won’t make a special effort to go again. There were a lot of 3d TV and it looks like Sony is going into it in a big way. I also saw 3d Software which will take two pictures and merge them into one 3d image, (presumably to use on your 3d tv).
The Parrot AV drone blew me away. The display was a cage mesh (which appeared to be for keeping the drones from flying off into the neither regions of the show, but were probably more for keeping people from putting their grubby hands over the drones). Two drones floated in the center of the cage, and would randomly jump up or down 2 feet or so, in sync. I asked the fellow there about it and he explained that the drones run Linux, and were running a pre-programmed routine. They go for $299. I’m seriously thinking of getting one.
There was one item that I thought would be useful in particular for Kwartzlab to sell as kits.
Ladybug robots. These little kits go for around $20, and are from Japan, although the creator’s family lives in Ottawa so there are possibilities of importing from there. The robots run on a toothbrush drive system, (vibrating motor, attached to a brush) and run surprising ly well, doing line following and music beeps. programming is done by running them over black and white bar code things, which can be printed, and rearranged as needed. Advanced programming can also be done via the USB port. A closer look can be seen at http://js-robotics.com/ and http://js-robotics.com/PDF/JX-TTM-Flyer-English.pdf Pretty impressive tech for $20. Looking on the site, the retail looks to be 4980 yen or about $60.
I’ll bring in the info I collected next time I come in, and leave it in the reading area.