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Makers Turn to XBee for Wireless Projects at World Maker Faire 2015

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Another year. Another Maker Faire. And more wireless XBee projects! The Digi team was on the ground at this year’s World Maker Faire in New York and found some impressive XBee projects during the weekend. Here’s a quick recap of the event.

Telemetry for Land and Air
The first XBee project found at Maker Faire was created by Kerron Manwaring. Starting out as just a hobbyist, his passion for electronics drew him to a career in engineering. He was showing off a rover and drone powered by microcontrollers.  As you can see in the pictures below, both of the land and air vehicles had XBee onboard, which he used for sending telemetry.


Tobor – The Giant Robotic Arm
The next project we came across was Tobor, a 12-foot haptic robotic arm. The arm has haptic ability, which means it can be controlled by a glove using movement sensors and motors.  When the user wearing the glove moves his or her hand, Tobor responds by mimicking that movement. How was XBee involved? Commands from the glove telling the arm how to move are sent wirelessly over XBee.


Digi Connections at Maker Faire 
Digi Internship Alumni Jonathan Young showed off his automatic drum machine as well as the Sentry Gun he built using the experience he had over two summers at Digi. Also, Chief Innovator Rob Faludi posed for his annual photo with young maker Quinn of Qtechknow. Quinn has been mentioned in several previous blog posts, he’s been using XBees for at least four years now! Learn more about what he’s up to at his website.


World Maker Faire NYC was as crowded as it’s ever been and we’re already looking forward to the next one. If you didn’t make it out this year,  you can click here to check out Maker Faire’s slideshow of highlights from the weekend.

All-Terrain Rover

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All Terrain RoverBy Deepankar Maithani

This all-terrain vehicle is able to navigate over difficult environments. A complex servo system allows the treads to actuate in order to climb stairs. Like many robots, this rover uses XBee for wireless control, but Deepankar took the project one step further by equipping the robot with sensors.

Onboard the robot are temperature and gas sensors. Additionally, there is a camera that relays a live video feed into the GUI running on the user’s computer. The GUI shows, in real-time, the sensors values and other information. Users can even illuminate the camera’s view by activating a set of LED lights. The robot also logs data during the trip such as RPMs and distance traveled. After the robots trip, a CSV file is generated for analysis.

All Terrain Rover 2

Click here to get more details about the project on Deepankar’s blog.



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Ever wish Star Wars was real? Well, Chris James of the R2 Builders Club has been working on just that. With the help of XBee technology he has created compact hand held remotes that control a workable R2-D2 robot. The remotes, programmed with gesture control, give the user control of servos, motors, sound playback and more. Star Wars may not be real, but R2-D2 has finally come to life. May the force be with you.


Visit this article for more information.

XBee Visits World Maker Faire New York 2014

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Maker Faire is one of our favorite events of the year. We get to meet everyone that’s making with XBee, introduce others that may not be familiar, and see amazing projects like giant robotic giraffes and connected motorcycles. We’ve got tons of pictures to share with you from what was a great event.

XBee Projects

And if you stopped by our booth and looking to build any of the demos we had on display, visit examples.digi.com for instructions. Or if you’ve built a project with XBee, be sure to submit it to the XBee Gallery.

Thanks again to everyone that stopped by to hangout with us. Have photos or videos from Maker Faire that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter!

Highlights from Robotics Week 2014

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Happy National Robotics Week! This week, we came across tons of fun stories and articles showcasing robots and the amazing things they are doing for us. Here are some of our favorites from a week filled with tons of robo-stories, which include an update on NASA’s Robonaut, a kangaroo robot, and even robots made out of paper!

Festo Bionic Kangaroo

10 Heroes of Robot History | Enable Education

[Video] How Robots Are Making Us Happier | FW Thinking

NASA’s Robonaut Scrubs Up for Space Surgery | BBC

Pneumatics Give This Robot Kagaroo a Bounce | Wired

MIT is Destroying the Cost of Robotics by Building Robots out of Paper | Business Insider

Let us know what you enjoyed most about Robotics Week by tweeting us at @DigiDotCom and check out the hashtag #RoboticsWeek for more news and articles.

A Remote Controlled Robo-Arm

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Robo Arm

By Easton LaChappelle

Easton has created a robotic arm that converts hand movements into robotic motion. The motion of the arm is controlled by a modified Nintendo Super Glove, which sends a wireless signal via XBee’s to the robotic arm. The arm can even be controlled by the user’s brain waves using a hacked controller from the board game Mindflex. Easton’s invention was featured on Figure it Out this past November and you can watch the video below. The project earned him second place at the international science fair in 2012 and has even shaken hands with President Obama!

The Q4 and Q2: An Xbee Handheld Controller

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By Quantum Robotics Inc.

Quantam Robotics has developed two controllers named the Q4 and Q2. These controllers use XBee radios to control various robots remotely. In the video below, you can see a demonstration of the controllers with a hexapod robot, a robotic arm, and a rover. The controllers have multiple joysticks, push buttons, and dial controls. For more information, visit www.quantumri.com or follow the Kickstarter campaign here.

This Week in the Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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The Internet of Things is developing and buzzing all around us. Throughout the week we come across innovative projects, brilliant articles and posts that support and feature the innovators and companies that make our business possible. Here’s our list of favorites from this week’s journey on the Web.

Study Shows Impact of Mobile on Fitness on Connected World Magazine

Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas Adds Digi International to Line Card on Digital Signage Connection

Why 2013 will be the year of the Internet of Things on The Next Web

The Internet of Things: Robots, RFID & Co-operation on Tech the Future

The Government Plans An Internet Of Networked Cars on Fast Co.Design

Do you have a link to share? Please tell us in the comments below or Tweet us, @XBeeWireless — we would love to share your findings too. You can also follow all of the commentary and discussion with the hashtag #FridayFavorites.

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