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Next-Gen Robot

8ae513f143c2125d14469bec810ff2cf_largeWhen Birdbrain’s Duo kit comes out later this year it will have been worth the wait. The system is being funded by a KickStarter campaign that has exceeded its goal and should be available in November. Like other Birdbrain kits, Duo combines the ability to program a sophisticated processor with input sensors and output actuators with arts and crafts. In other wrods, everyone’s bot is different. The robot is tethered to the controlling computer and can be programmed in Scratch, Snap or Create Lab Visual Programmer.

 

Gauging the Wind

Vaavud-iphone-red-200px1Every school serious about science should have a weather lab, but if yours can’t afford one, Vaavud’s Wind Meter for Smartphones is a good start. At $50, it is a fraction of the cost of a full weather center, but is accurate to within 4 percent and was developed using the wind tunnel at the Technical University of Denmark. The two-cup anemometer snaps into an iPhone or Android’s earphone jack and communicates with the phone via a Bluetooth link; it works with all recent iPhones and some Android phones. The app not only shows current speed, but averages and a histogram of recent wind movement; it works with metric and English units.

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