Power Beaming at ISDC 2016 this May

ISDC 2016 Schedule

Seems there will be a Power Beaming session at the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) this year in Puerto Rico in May.


Car style steering RC car robot drive train for Bentcreek Robotics Studio


Found a R/C car drive to make a robot drive train using the Ackermann (“car style”) steering mechanism! In this type of drive, all the wheels move in the same direction: forward or backwards.  Steering is accomplished by turning the front wheels such that all the robot turns in an arc around a single turning point.

Most of the robots (including those built at the Bentcreek Studio) have been the common skid steer type of competition robotics drivetrain sometimes referred to as “tank drive” (since it is commonly used on tanks).  Wheels on the right side and the left side of the drive are powered by separate motors and wheels are locked pointing forward/backward and do not steer.  Steering is accomplished by varying the speed of the different sides (i.e. if the right side goes forward very fast, and the left side goes forward slowly – the robot turns left).

You can learn more in a book I still find is a good resource for newbie’s building their own robots from the old Tab ‘Robot DNA Series’ still available on Amazon:


Arduino and the Taos TSL230R Light Sensor: Getting Started

Interesting little device here that will detect light levels similar to a light meter…

The Roaming Drone

The TSL230R light sensor IC is an interesting package: a light sensing circuit wrapped up in a clear plastic casing. This neat little device will convert irradiance (the light energy on the surface of the sensor) into frequency. Working with a simple input concept like a frequency means that we won’t have to build any extra circuitry to get the full range of information from the circuit, and having an accurate measure of radiance means that we’ll be able to convert easily over to illuminance, which is how the light looks to us. Obviously, once we can answer the question about how light looks, we can use this information to control other things. (Some great examples are: camera exposure, dimming displays, machine vision, etc.)

This guide is intended to walk you through the basics of interfacing the TSL230 series of chips from Taos with your friendly Arduino microcontroller. The…

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Raspberry Pi B+ debuts in Bentcreek Studio!!!


The Raspberry Pi is a series of credit card-sized single-board computers developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools.[4][5][6]

The original Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi 2 are manufactured in several board configurations through licensed manufacturing agreements with Newark element14 (Premier Farnell), RS Components and Egoman. These companies sell the Raspberry Pi online.[7] Egoman produces a version for distribution solely in China and Taiwan, which can be distinguished from other Pis by their red colouring and lack of FCC/CE marks. The hardware is the same across all manufacturers.