Friday New Product: LilyTwinkle, Teensy and Trinkets

April 11, 2014

Posted By Yana

It’s Friday again, and it’s been a busy (two) weeks since there was a new product. Wait no more, here it is.

4-Conductor LED Strip Clamp
Reduce the crazy soldering mess with these super useful RGB LED strip clamps!
LilyTwinkle ATtiny85
A preprogrammed controller board that can make your wearable project sparkle and shine. You can control up to 4 LED’s with ease!
Adafruit Trinket – Mini Microcontroller – 3.3V Logic
Need an Arduino compatible board that’s smaller than small? Look no further because the Trinket has got you covered.
Adafruit Trinket – Mini Microcontroller – 5V Logic
Need an Arduino compatible board that’s smaller than small? Look no further because the Trinket has got you covered.
Teensy USB Board, Version 2.0 w/o Header Pins
This platform is like an Arduino but smaller… Oh and with almost twice the amount of digital I/O and more than double the amount of analog inputs. In short this platform is super cool!

We also posted some (relatively) new laser videos (one and two), in case you have some lasers to play with.

Heartbleed & Solarbotics

April 10, 2014

Posted By Chris G

As I imagine most of you out there have heard by now, there’s a pretty serious vulnerability in the OpenSSL that was announced on April 7th called CVE-2014-0160, better known as Heartbleed. For those of you wondering what the heck this “Heartbleed” thing is, awhile back OpenSSL added a “heartbeat” feature which allowed servers and computers with a secure connection to “ping” each other regularly, in order to keep the connection open. The problem comes from a bug in OpenSSL which lets a computer without the secure connection to still ping this way, and that connection could be exploited to include up to 64K chunks from the server’s RAM, which unfortunately can include recently decrypted usernames, passwords, etc.

What Is Solarbotics Doing About it?
We’ve already taken steps to patch this hole on our own servers, and have reissued our EV SSL certificate (if you take a peek at the cert, you’ll notice the validation date has been bumped up to 4/9/2014) which has already been installed. We’ve also cleared all existing sessions on the server as those were at risk as well. The unfortunate side effect of that is that anyone who had been building a cart without logging in will need to do so again.

What Should You Be Doing About it?
You should be giving strong consideration to resetting & updating all your passwords (yes seriously), particularly for the important things in your life like email, banking, facebook/twitter/reddit etc. This vulnerability was announced Monday, and if someone happened to pick up your login credentials before this was patched on one of the sites you visit, the attackers could still have your login credentials. We recommend opting for two-factor verification where ever possible. Of course, not using the same password for everything becomes an important part as well and for those of you worried about keeping track, we’re big fans of Keepass here at Solarbotics.

Wednesday Links: Tetris, Tattoo Music and Seeing Sound

April 9, 2014

Posted By Yana

Wednesday’s here and we are back with the links of death and depression. I mean, sunshine and happiness, of course.

Tetris on the Face of Skyscraper
Now the next step would be to play Tetris using skyscrapers… (via Designboom)
Robotic Instrument Plays Tattoos as Musical Compositions
This is the first time when the musician’s repertoire will be limited by the square footage of their skin surface. (via Designboom, by Dmitry Morozov of ::vtol:)
Seeing Sound
…and other things that are normally invisible. (via Gizmodo)
What Robot Behavior Makes People Feel Uncomfortable?
When they stare straight at us and start quoting Nietzsche backwards while worshiping goddess Kali? No, just starting. Gah, humans are so sensitive… (via IEEE Spectrum)

Please do not confuse the two: Wednesday means rainbows, flowers, chirping birdies and links!

Wednesday Links: MarshmallowMatic, Etch a Sketch and Bionic Kangaroo

April 2, 2014

Posted By Yana

So there’s one link today that makes my artistic soul happy – it is the laser-controlled Etch A Sketch. Although I never owned an Etch A Sketch (some smarty pants might say right here that in Russia we used rusty nails to draw on cardboard instead), but the idea to draw with a laser beam seems extremely attractive.

Smiley Face Screws by Yuma Kano
This needs to be a standard, eventually expanding the range of screws to :< (sad)ಠ_ಠ (sad in Kannada) and ~(_8^(I) (Homer Simpson). (Via Colossal)
Smiley faces toasted on marshmallows – there’s potential , except for I don’t know exactly how much toasting is involved in this one… (By Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories, via Gizmodo)
An Etch A Sketch Laser Cutter Makes Your Crappy Drawings Permanent
Folks at Just Add Sharks hacked Etch a Sketch to control a laser. (Via Gizmodo)
Japan gets serious about 3D printing using titanium
Would be nice to see 3D printers work period, and then work using titanium. Maybe Japan will make it happen… (Via
Bionic Kangaroo
Compared to the kangaroo produced by nature this little fella looks a bit wobbly, but still pretty impressive. (By Festo, via IEEE Spectrum)

So does the marshmallowBot: devouring your artwork and getting it destroyed with stomach acid – you cant get more conceptual than that!

Wednesday Links: Lasercut Robot, Animation and Thinking Cap

March 26, 2014

Posted By Yana

Now we definitely need these. Spring had died somewhere along the way up north, so sunlight in pills would be awesome.

Awesome Tiny Lasercut Robots
…made out of bamboo and fluorescent acrylic (By Junichi Tsuneoka of CHIBIPOCKET, via Ponoko).
3D Printed Candles
A likeness of oneself in a shape of a candle – who wouldn’t want to see that burn down on a birthday cake? (By [Christian Lölkes], via Hackaday)
Thinking (Brilliantly or Poorly) Cap
While it looks more like a achy tooth bandage, scientists at Vanderbilt proven that it does affect learning speed. (Via Gizmodo)
Animated Laser-Engraved Wood
It is getting progressively harder to find what hasn’t been made with laser cutters. Animation seems to be one of those things. (By Nando Costa, via Ponoko)

I wish there was also other pills, like food pills (to not waste time on eating), moose pills (just because) and glow in the dark pills. Oh wait, these already exist…

Motors Are Back!

March 24, 2014

Posted By Yana

Just a quick note to announce that we have GM3 and GM9 motors back in stock, which means that Yellow Drum Machine Bundle and Let’s Make Robots Start Here Kit are both available again.

Friday New Product: MaKey Deluxe, Tiny LED, PIR Sensor

March 21, 2014

Posted By Yana

New stuff! See? Here it is, in the neat little boxes below:

MaKey MaKey – Deluxe Kit
You may be the greatest living banana-pianist, but how will you ever know if you don’t make yourself a banana piano? Good news, that project and countless others are easier than you think they are with MaKey MaKey.
Pololu Pushbutton Power Switch LV
The Pololu Pushbutton Power Switch is an alternative to bulky mechanical switches. Small switch with big current ability!
Tiny LED – Clear Blue
These amazing little LEDs glow brilliantly on 10mA, and are still visible on only 3mA current!
Parallax Wide Angle PIR Sensor
Check out this awesome PIR Motion Sensor, complete with infrared goodness!

PS. We are great at stating the obvious.

Wednesday Links: Flashlights, Lanternbots and Butterflies

March 19, 2014

Posted By Yana

Spring this year seems to be short on sunshine. To compensate for that, today’s post is full of shiny things. And butterflies. Butterflies are always a good addition.

Tilt Beam Flashlight
Cute build, a diffuser of some sort would be a nice addition though, unless used for interrogation purposes. (by [Zach DeBord], via Hackaday)
Soft Squeezable Flashlight
… for all the nightwalkers. Never step on a cat and blind the sleeping. (Molli, by Jung Soo Park)
Robot Garden Lights
There’s something creepy about the idea of a garden secretly rearranging itself while you are not looking. (Via IEEESpectrum)
Macro Butterfly Wings
…look like miniature versions of wings. Fractals everywhere! (By Linden Gledhill, via Designboom)

Rainbows, unicorns and pixie dust coming next.

Wednesday Links: Sorting Algorithms, Walker Beests and BEAM

March 12, 2014

Posted By Yana

Finally, the freezing temperatures are somewhat over, and the outside seems almost livable, as opposed to run-for-your-life-or-else-you-freeze-able. Our links also, no matter the season, stay well-selected and non life-threatening.

Photosynthesis-based Table
Table that harvests energy of the sun by Dutch designer Marjan Van Aubel, via Designboom.
Visualizing Sorting Algorithms
Sorting algorithms are always interesting to look at, just wish there was more of them on the maker’s website. (Via Gizmodo)
Building The Mountainbeest
Fascinating leg geometry inspired by Theo Jansen‘s Strandbeest, would be so awesome to see at MakerFaire. (Build by [Jeremy], via Hackaday).
Rocket-powered cats
This is not what it looks like, but against all odds, I so wish it was the farting pigeon and a rocket cat… (Via
Another Strandebeest version, now in miniature and with some electronics added, via IEEE Spectrum.
BEAM creatures
The BEAM mailing list is still chugging along, and user Conner_ramsey shared a link he tripped over of a Russian builder named MegaBIZON. Wow. Mad props to the building skills using paperclips and solder. This is building robots “old school” out of recycled technology.

They look good under microscope and from space; their pixels are always sharp and focused, and suits tailored to perfection. They are well laundered and clean, just sometimes you might spot some laser dust and cookie crumbs.

MakeFashion 2014: Inputs and Outcomes

March 11, 2014

Posted By Yana

So what happens when Solarbotics meets up with a local fashion duo just 4 weeks before a techno fashion show? Some insanity. Some long hours. Lots of fun. Solarbotics helped several designers prepare for the MakeFashion Gala 2014, but there were a few we really worked closely on for the event.

Pumping Fashion Lit by Dee Fontans, Eric Willis and Maya Lewandowsky deserves a separate post because we spent many hours on construction and fine-tuning of this costume, and know it inside out.






Remember Me

Forgot Your Password?

Don't Have an Account?
Sign Up!