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Thanks for the donations!

This past weekend we got some great equipment donations in:

  • A functioning laptop with XP installed from Sheetal at Social Dynamx, which now has BASCOM and Processing installed (thanks to Jerry and Robert).
  • A functioning oscilloscope from Phu at Social Dynamx.
  • A bunch of microprocessors (including the much coveted Beagle Board), various cable converters, a portable DVD player, a mutimeter, a circuit tester, and other miscellaneous items from Phu at Social Dynamx.
  • A pile of 10 or so broken weed whips from the DeWalt service center (great source of 120v motors, gears, and switches – these could be excellent parts for some really interesting robots)
  • Some broken and some working consumer electronics (printer, cd/radio, etc) from Jules
  • An old electric kid sized toy car, from which the Solar Car team scavenged a good strong motor…

We’re still on the lookout for a more powerful source of solar power for the Solar Car.

Donate (broken) Stuff!

Unlike most groups who ask for equipment from you, we don’t even require that it be working!  In fact, we’re quite happy if it’s NOT working, as that way we don’t feel the least bit worried about stripping it down into its component parts – a process these kids seem to attack with glee!

We especially like dead printers (lots of good gears and motors in those!), non-working CD drives, hard drives, and floppy drives (motors!  lasers!  magnets!), even some kitchen appliances (just think of the motors and gears that might be in a blender or can opener!)  We even have a special request for an office copier!

We’ll take working equipment as well.  In fact we could use a working laptop and other old working computers to help with programming.

Or if you have a pile of LEDs, Atmel chips, old Roombas, DVD players, or whatever, it might be of interest to us. (No CRT monitors, please!)

Over the summer the kids have reduced a 4 1/2  ft high pallet of old equipment (and then some) into a bunch of components that they’ll likely be putting to use in the near future.  But we’ll be happy to take more, as there seem to be new kids coming all the time who have never been given permission to just rip into a piece of equipment to see how it works.

Solar RC Race Car

Our first group build project:  To build a solar powered racer (or two, or three, depending upon time and materials) to race at the Roundup in Fredericksburg on September 29th!   A group has started working on the racer already – many of the materials used will likely be pieces and parts pulled from old printers and computers in some of our earlier meetings, which definitely plays into the reuse/recycle theme of the Roundup.

Hello world!

In June of 2012 we started up a kids learning group as an alternative to The Robot Group (TRG), specifically for kids at ATX Development Center.   Join our email list or watch this space for times and locations.

Though Kidbot is separate from The Robot Group, many TRG members like to help out with the event. Kids must be supervised by a parent at all times. Activities will vary based on age and skill level but some of the following ideas are planned:

  • Take stuff apart… How does it work?
  • Electronics introduction
  • mechanics
  • designing circuits
  • building circuits on solderless breadboards
  • soldering skills
  • computer programming
  • NXT, XO, Arduino, Windows, web, etc
  • and of course, robotics.

If you’re bringing kids, please let us know their ages when you RSVP so we can be sure to have some appropriate activities.

*Important Note: KidBot has been on hiatus since our last meeting in January 2013. ATX Development Center moved into a new space which could no longer accommodate us. 

Kidbot may return if someone or a group of people are willing to take responsibility to make it happen.  Contact us if that’s you!

The First Austin Kidbot Session