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Rob Russell
Works at Google
Attended University of Windsor
Lives in Cupertino, CA
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Rob Russell

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Not cool Amazon.
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Hmm. Don't step into that beartrap!
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Wandered around the Stanford campus today to play some  #Ingress . Gorgeous day, I may have got a little too much sun.
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Better get some sunblock. Gorgeous views.
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Rob Russell

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It just occurred to me the I'd like to wake up to music that I have on my phone. And I don't know an obvious way to do that. Is there something I'm missing?
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+David Dailey no I remember something about a need for another spec because the audio tag doesn't cover more advanced cases but I haven't been keeping up. 
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Rob Russell

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National Robotics Week - my new excuse to play with robots.
Here's the 2014 Robot Trading Cards to help celebrate the USA's National Robotics Week. 

I did not know most of these. I'm not sure which is my favourite: maybe Da Vinci, maybe EKSO, maybe Keepon. I definitely feel more drawn to the robots-for-health vs. robots-for-dust-bunnies. Then again, cutting down on dust bunnies is vital to health for someone with allergies.

So far we're celebrating Robotics Week by charging batteries for our new Sparki robot. I found someone selling their kickstarter reward on local kijiji. Such luck! Much robot!
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More robots for more kids! The Dagu Mini Robots Kit has a few things going for it imo:
1. Remote control means you can have interesting different interactions without reprogramming every time.
2. Arduino environment for programming means you're either transferring skills in or building transferable skills.
3. Servo motors are more useful parts for later projects than what might drive a typical wheeled bot.

Still, the ATMega8A MCU it uses seems pretty tiny compared to the 328 I've gotten used to seeing.

Anyone else have robot starter kit suggestions? Difficulty level: ships to Canada.
tl;dr: Can you recommend a first robot kit for me and my 13yo kid?

After spending Friday & Saturday watching the regional First Robotics tournament, then this afternoon at The Robot Garage, we've caught the robot bug. I'm looking for a first kit to build with my kid (13yo) that's not so complicated that we can't figure it out, but yet has the potential to grow as we learn. I'm looking at this one, but don't know enough to say if this is too much to start with. I also don't want to break the bank.

I've done some basic wiring before and plenty of intro level programming (C, Python); he's got basic Python. We're both handy with a toolbox, but the mechanical side is new territory. Does this sound like a good place to begin, or should we stick with something really straightforward like this beetle?

I'd love any advice that anyone wants to share.
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+Annika O'Brien should have good suggestions. She teaches robotics and has posted about products for kids.
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In their circles
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Rob Russell

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Flexible circuits, batteries and displays. Looks cool. I have to wonder how well the solder holds chips on when it flexes though.
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+James Williams I think you're the person they want building with it.
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If only they'd kept developing this thing. What would be on the road today?
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+bruce chia Zorb is looks like fun . But I can't imagine trying to commute to work in one. Well, I can but I imagine I would also die.
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Drive more than LEDs with your Arduino. This is my favorite kind of kickstarter: simple plan, useful parts.
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RedBot looks like a cute extensible platform, but compare the line following to how quick the Pololu 3pi moves .

Are there competitions for these little line followers? Races & mazes could be pretty entertaining.
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If you edit stuff in the Chrome Developer tools then this could save you a lot of alt-tab, ctrl-s, and ctrl-r time. Did not notice this feature before.
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Oh this is very nice! 
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In their circles
758 people
Have them in circles
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Don Loeb's profile photo
  • Google
    Developer Progams Engineer, 2010 - present
  • Late Night PC
    Owner, 2008 - 2010
  • General Motors
    Software Engineer, 2001 - 2008
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Cupertino, CA
Mountain View, CA - Nepean, ON - Windsor, ON
Engineer on Google Play game services
  • Engineer at Google
  • Canadian transplant in silicon valley
  • physics spectator
  • into DIY anything
  • occasional amateur photographer
  • ENTJ
  • University of Windsor
  • Holy Names High School
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