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Meet Obsidian, A $99 Plug & Print 3D Printer

Kodama Inc is a new company that delivers a new generation of FDM 3D printers that increase the possibility of affordable 3D printing. Recently, Kodama launched its new 3D printer “Obsidian“, the first 3D printer made for professional applications starting at under $100.

Kodama, Inc. (PRNewsfoto/Kodama, Inc.)

Most additive manufacturing machines in this price range are not aesthetically designed, nor engineered for accurate printing. Many consumers who are eager to upgrade their skills set are unable to because there is no affordable 3D printer that boasts high-quality printing.

“We wanted to create a 3D printer that defies what’s on the market. A sleek design, high-quality printing, and customizable, all starting at under $100,” said Michael Husmann, the ex-Apple employee and founder of Kodama Inc.

Obsidian is designed to deliver 3D printing functionality and features are more commonly found in devices that cost at least $1,000. It also can print in very high accuracy with a layer thicknesses between 50-350 microns. Obsidian’s design provides a stable printing experience, while the customized internal components decreases the need for frequent maintenance and recalibration.

Obsidian’s features include:

  • Printing volume: 120 x 120 x 120 mm
  • Printing Resolution: 50-micron at a steady 70mm/s speed
  • Plug and Play: Obsidian comes fully assembled, making it easy to get printing started in a few minutes.
  • Smart Display: Obsidian’s UI was tailor-made for Kodama by automobile UX designers to be inviting for beginners while packing all the controls a power user needs.
  • App Control: Obsidian’s Pro’s display runs on Android, allowing a myriad of new features. You’ll be able to remotely monitor and adjust your print settings while recording time lapses and receive prompts when your print is done or if something needs your attention.
  • Wide Filament Compatibility: Obsidian works with most filaments on the market, making it the ideal 3D printer to complete a variety of projects.
  • Heated Bed: Expands printing options by allowing the user to print with ABS, PETG, and other filament types. Only available with Obsidian PRO.
  • Exclusive Obsidian PLA: Obsidian is a naturally formed volcanic crystal. This filament contains real crushed Obsidian powder stones, and is only available through Kodama.
  • Camera: Record time lapses and monitor prints remotely.

Kodama is planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign in June 2017, and it will offer limited Early Bird deals at $49 for the basic version of Obsidian.

Last year, Kodama raised over $1.6 million for Trinus, an all-metal 2-in-1 3D printer and laser engraver for under $500. Successfully shipping their breakthrough product to over 3,100 backers in 80 countries helped solidify Kodama, Inc. as an up-and-coming leader in affordable, high-quality 3D printing.

µduino, The Smallest Arduino Ever

A new member to Arduino compatible devices is just here, the newest yet the smallest Arduino ever created, µduino!Believing that it is enough to include some bulky devices in our applications, the team behind µduino is trying to provide a shrinkified device that can be included anywhere. With the size of  12mm (0.5 inches) x 12mm, µduino is considered the smallest Arduino compatible device that compete with other similar microcontroller boards with power saving .

The µduino makes use of the power of the ATMEGA32U4 chip found in the Arduino Leonardo (a board over 20 times larger), offering 20 I/O ports, including PWM and ADC ports! In addition, the µduino can be powered by batteries or directly by micro-USB.

A list of µduino specifications is here:

  • ATMEGA32U4 microcontroller
  • 6x Analog I/O ports
  • 14x Digital I/O ports (including Rx/Tx)
  • Status LED
  • 5V voltage regulator (accepts up to 16V DC)
  • 6-pin ICSP programming ports (load custom bootloaders, program other boards, etc)
  • 2x 5V ports
  • 2x ground ports
  • 1x Analog reference voltage port
  • Reset button
  • 16 MHz precision crystal oscillator
  • MicroUSB port for easy programming and prototyping
  • 2x mounting holes (can be sewn into clothing)

Despite its small size, µduino is still powerful and capable to be included in many applications performing as full size Arduino boards. µduino team are planning to run a crowdfunding campaign on CrowdSupply but it is not launched yet. You can sign up here to receive more updates about µduino once launched.

AMY Robotics, Multifunctional Autonomous Mobile Robots

Earlier this month, the multifunctional autonomous mobile robots “AMY A1” and “AMY M1” had been launched as the first batch of products of AMY Robotics. Amy Robotics is an innovative technology company focusing on research and development of service robots that enhance quality of life with robotic technologies, products and services.

Both AMY Robots are intelligent mobile-service robots characterized with speech interaction, autonomous navigation, home automation, SDK and Cloud platform service that is powered by sophisticated AI technology and cloud computing. They can understand speech and make conversation with people in noisy environment, recognize specific people, follow a person in front of them and move to a place autonomously.

Features of AMY Robots:

  • Cloud Platform Service
    AMY Robots capabilities are empowered by cloud platform and can be upgraded and extended continuously.
  • SDK, Open platform for developers
    Android development environment access to robot hardware and capabilities. Amy can provide remote healthcare consultation service via telepresence, daily health tips, health data management, medicine reminder and more.
  • Home Automation
    Amy robots provide environment perception, security patrol and monitoring, and smart home management enabling you controlling home appliance with voice commands.
  • Autonomous Navigation
    Amy knows well at indoor positioning. She can move from a location to another autonomously and safely with obstacle avoidance.
  • Telepresence
    You can control the robot with video communication through Amy’s client application. It provides you boundless connection with your family, colleagues and friends through virtual presence at any time anywhere.
  • Speech Interaction
    Amy is powered by intelligent language processing engine which support multi-lingual speech interaction, far distance (5m range) recognition in noisy environment. Amy can help you access massive on-line knowledge base with speech. You can have hand-free robot operation (play music/video, take picture, set volume, robot movement control, intelligent reminder etc).

AMY A1 and AMY M1 are 1.1 meter robots weighted 15 kg with 10.1″ screen head and up-to 0.5 m/s moving speed. They are running based on 8-core ARM CPU+4 core Intel CPU using 20Ah 14.8V battery, which can last for 8 hours. With its 5 meters pick-up range microphone, AMY can be controlled using voice commands like “Hello Amy, follow me” and “Hello Amy, go to the kitchen with me”. However, The M1 has an additional laser sensor, wider detection range, higher localization accuracy, and supports function customization.

Amy A1 robot was presented at the Innorobo 2017 trade show in Paris. For more information and details visit their official website.

Spectrum Next, A New of ZX Spectrum

In 1982, the UK’s best selling computer, ZX Spectrum, was released by Sinclair as 8-bit personal home computer highlighting the machine’s color display. And today, a group of makers are introducing the Spectrum Next, an updated and enhanced version of ZX Spectrum.

The Spectrum Next is fully compatible with the original one. It enhanced to provide a wealth of advanced features such as better graphics, SD card storage, and manufacturing quality control. It also comes with a new software to make use of the new hardware, including new graphics modes and faster processor speeds.

As it is implemented with FPGA technology, it can be upgraded and enhanced using special memory chips and a clever design, while remaining compatible with the original hardware. It has a Z80 within, clocked to a blazing-fast 7Mhz, and an optional 1Ghz co-processor.

Technical Specifications:

  • Processor: Z80 3.5Mhz and 7Mhz modes
  • Memory: 512Kb RAM (expandable to 1.5Mb internally and 2.5Mb externally)
  • Video: Hardware sprites, 256 colours mode, Timex 8×1 mode etc.
  • Video Output: RGB, VGA, HDMI
  • Storage: SD Card slot, with DivMMC-compatible protocol
  • Audio: 3x AY-3-8912 audio chips with stereo output + FM sound
  • Joystick: DB9 compatible with Cursor, Kempston and Interface 2 protocols (selectable)
  • PS/2 port: Mouse with Kempston mode emulation and an external keyboard
  • Special: Multiface functionality for memory access, savegames, cheats etc.
  • Tape support: Mic and Ear ports for tape loading and saving
  • Expansion: Original external bus expansion port and accelerator expansion port
  • Accelerator board (optional): GPU / 1Ghz CPU / 512Mb RAM
  • Network (optional): Wi Fi module
  • Extras: Real Time Clock (optional), internal speaker (optional)

Spectrum Next has three graphical modes; “Radastan”, “Layer 2” and Sprites. Radastan is a 128 x 96 with 16 colours per pixel from an enhanced palette. “Layer2” is a Next exclusive mode that supports a “layer screen”, a 256 x 192 with 256 colours per pixel. Sprites are exclusive to the Next too and can be used over the other modes. A “sprite” is a 16×16 image with 256 colours per pixel that can be drawn anywhere on screen, including the border area. Sprites can also be moved incredibly fast over the screen, because the job is done by hardware, not software.

ZX Spectrum Next in action

Next is a “esxDOS ready” that uses the system designed by Miguel Guerreiro, and it’s one of the most powerful OS available at this time, including support for the .TRD format widely used in Russia and required for some of the most advanced programs currently available for the Spectrum.

Three days remaining of Spectrum Next crowdfunding campaign, where they already reached 215% of their goal. The current cost is about $225 and you can pre-order your board through the kickstarter campaign. More details about Spectrum Next is available on the official website.

PandwaRF, A Portable Radio Analysis Tool

PandwaRF, is a portable low-power RF device that captures, analyses and re-transmits RF signals via an Android device or a Linux PC. It uses Bluetooth (BLE) or USB connection to transmit data in a simple and fast way, comes in the form of a controllable housing from a smartphone or a computer.

This pocket-size device operates at sub-1 GHz range, and it replaced the ‘standard SDR Grind’ of capturing, demodulating, analyzing, modifying and replaying by hand with a simple powerful interface.

The PandwaRF consists of a capable hardware device, tailored for beginners and advanced users, with an application that runs either on an Android device or on a PC. The Android interface provides full functionality to control and customize the PandwaRF easily using JavaScript.

Technical details of the PandwaRF:

  • Bluetooth Smart Module ISP130301, based on nRF51
  • CC1111 Low-Power SoC with Sub-1 GHz RF Transceiver
  • Multi frequencies (from 300 MHz to 928 MHz)
  • Multi modulation (ASK/OOK/MSK/2-FSK/GFSK)
  • Transmit and receive in half duplex mode
  • Support data rates up to 500 kBaud
  • Open hardware
  • Full speed USB: 12 Mbps (Linux or Android)
  • Bluetooth Smart 4.0 (Android/iOS)
  • USB charging & battery powered
  • 4 buttons to assign codes
  • 4 Status LEDs
  • 16 Mbit Flash Memory to save custom RF protocols
  • Rechargeable battery powered for stand-alone operation
  • Battery fuel gauge
  • RX amplifier for improved sensitivity: +13dB from 300MHz-1GHz
  • TX amplifier for higher output power: +20dB @ 433MHz & +17dB @ 900MHz
  • SMA connector for external antenna
  • Antenna port power control for external LNA
  • 22-pin expansion and programming header
  • Included: Battery and injection molded plastic enclosure

PandwaRF features are not fully complete yet, the developers had finished captured data processing offload, radio scripting (JavaScript & Python), RF packet sniffer, and spectrum analyzer. Other features are still in development process.

The device is available in three options, the Bare version is about $120 and comes without housing and without battery, the standard version is about $142 with battery and black case, in addition the extended version with enhanced features.

You can reach more information and order your PandwaRF on the official website.

Helios4 – The World’s 1st Open Source NAS

Build your own PrivateCloud: Store music & movies, share photo albums with friends, protect your files and never fear losing data again.

Helios4 is a Network Attached Storage or NAS – a smart box with up to 4 hard drives designed to store Family Photos, Music playlists, and Movie collections by connecting to your Home network.

ULINKplus, A Debug Adapter With Power Measurment

While building an ultra-low power application, sensitive hardware and software validation is required to reach system and long battery life. Testing will need an interaction with the tested parts, like simulating input pins of the target application.

These difficulties could be solved with ARM’s new debug adapter “ULINKplus“. It connects the target system with the PC through USB port using a 10-pin Cortex Debug connector. Its power measurement technology allows developers to program, debug, and analyze their applications and their power consumption.

Main features of ULINKplus are:

  • Integrated power measurement synchronized to event tracing which makes it easy to optimize the overall energy envelope of a system.
  • Isolated JTAG/serial-wire connection to the target hardware is essential for testing applications such as motor control, power converters, or systems with sensitive analog processing.
  • Additional test I/O pins are accessible from the debugger and debug scripts to interact with the target and control automated test stands.

ULINKplus, together with MDK, provides extended on-the-fly debug capabilities for Cortex-M devices. You can control the processor, set breakpoints, and read/write memory contents, all while the processor is running at full speed. High-Speed data trace enables you to analyze detailed program behavior.

In addition to downloading programs to your target hardware, you will be able to examine memory and registers, single-step through programs and insert multiple breakpoints, to run programs in real-time, program Flash memory, and to connect to running targets (hot-plugging).

Live data from power measurement

ULINKplus offers a high speed connections that reach 50 Mbit/s for data and event trace for Cortex-M, 20 MHz JTAG clock speed, and 3 MBytes/s high-speed memory read/write.

ULINKplus technical specifications:

  • Compact case 62 x 44 x 11 mm (dust-protected)
  • JTAG/SWD: 20 MHz JTAG clock, 50 MHz serial-wire trace, 10-pin Cortex debug connector, 1 kV isolation
  • Memory access 3 MB/sec, serial-wire trace up to 50 Mbit/sec
  • Power measurement: 2 x 16-bit A/D, 400 KSamples/sec, 3-pin connector, 1 kV isolation
  • Test I/O: 9 digital in/out, 4 analog in, 1 analog out, 3.3 V switchable output voltage (11-pin connector)
  • Debug connection: USB2.0 (to host PC), CMSIS-DAP protocol

According to ARM, ULINKplus will be available from this month.

Paperino, The ePaper Display Shield

ePaper displays  (EPDs) are becoming a trend in application, just like the display used in Amazon Kindle,  for their low power consumption due to the  to the underlying ‘bistable’ display technology. These displays can continue to show information without any power at all. It is only required while updating the display with new information, otherwise there won’t be any power consumption.

Providing such revolutionary displays to your applications will be a professional approach. For this, a new crowdfunding campaign is providing Paperino, an easy-to-use, micro ePaper shield for the Particle & Arduino community. Paperino simplifies driving ePaper displays with clean, simple, and short script examples.

Thanks to the plug-and-play shield for particle family, Paperino can be used with the following boards: Photon, Electron, or Bluz without manual wiring. It can also be wired easily to be connected with Arduino and other compatible boards.

Paperino Features

Glass-free Display

Paperino is lightweight and thinner than other ePaper products because it uses a glass-free ePaper display from Plastic Logic. It weighs 1.2 grams and is only 0.5 mm thick.

Supports Four Gray Levels

Unlike many other ePaper products out there, Paperino can support four gray levels instead of two (black and white).

Fast, Partial Updates

You don’t have to wait for slow, full screen updates to load. With Paperino, you can quickly update only parts of the screen.

Accelerometer

The integrated accelerometer lets you interact with your Paperino in all sorts of ways, including tap sensing. Tap sensing capability can trigger screen updates or wake up your microcontroller.

Paperino Specifications

The Paperino breakout board can be used for manually wiring your favourite, Arduino-compatible microcontroller with 3.3 V and >4kb of free RAM.

  • Resolution: 148 x 70 px
  • Pixel density: 150 ppi
  • Grey levels: 4
  • Weight: 1.2 g
  • Thickness: 500 µm
  • Power consumption: 4.5 mA (mean current for typical image update)
  • Operating conditions: 0°C .. 40°C
  • Storage conditions: -25°C .. 50°C

You can pre-order your own Paperino for $20 and with a driver board for $30. The crowdfunding campaign still has 16 days to go, and you can learn more details by checking it out.

Embedded vision development kit targets mobile & ‘edge’ applications

by Graham Prophet @ eedesignnewseurope.com:

Lattice Semiconductor positions its Embedded Vision Development Kit as the first of its type, that is optimized for mobile-influenced system designs that require flexible, low cost, and low power image processing architectures, by which the company refers to Robotics, Drones, ADAS, smart surveillance and AR/VR systems

Embedded vision development kit targets mobile & ‘edge’ applications – [Link]

Add WiFi & Bluetooth Easily With Koala® Connect Modules

Clarinox Technologies Pty Ltd was formed with the aim of providing cost effective and innovative wireless embedded systems solutions to business. Due to the experience of the Clarinox team, more embedded systems are designed to develop leading edge solutions. In addition to delivering flexible and robust wireless protocol software for embedded systems developments.

Clarinox hottest products are Koala® Connect Modules! A compact option for adding Wi-Fi® and / or Bluetooth® to new and existing projects.

These modules will give you a stable environment while used with Koala® EVM, the first and only development board to support development for all major wireless technologies. It enables embedded systems developers to create both low and high power wireless systems communicating over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy. It provides a fast and cost effective way to commence embedded wireless development with all major wireless technologies.

Each module features a single onboard processor to drive the user application in addition to multiple wireless protocols. The modules available are:

Koala® Connect Modules
KM-141201 (20 x 30mm BT/BLE)
KM-153101 (20 x 34mm Wi-Fi+BT/BLE)

Carrier Board for Koala® Connect
KC-018102

Sensor Modules
KM-990501 Sensor Board

The Koala EVM and wireless module family will help shorten development time, reduce development costs, and open the door to new possibilities for wireless device features.

And these are the specifications

Hardware Specifications

MCU: STM32F411 (Bluetooth/BLE), STM32F412 (Wi-Fi + Bluetooth/BLE)

Wi-Fi Radio: TI WL1831MOD / WL1837MOD

  • 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz
  • -96.3dBm RX Sensitivity
  • STA, AP & Wi-Fi Direct Modes

Bluetooth / Bluetooth LE Radio: TI WL1831MOD / WL1837MOD

  • Dual-mode Bluetooth & Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Bluetooth v4.1 Compliance and CSA2 Support
  • Host Controller Interface (HCI) Transport for Bluetooth Over UART

I/O Signals: ADC, GPIO, I2C, I2S, SPI, UART, USB

Industrial Temperature Grade: -40°C to +85°C

Software Specifications

Supported Technologies: Wi-Fi WLAN, Wi-Fi Direct Concurrent Operation (Multichannel, Multirole), Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE

You can get your own products from Clarinox by filling this inquiry. More details about Koala Connect Modules are available here, also a start manual for KoalaEVM is available here.