Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A few new things at HiTechnic...

Hey all, here's a quick update on the latest HiTechnic actuivity:

Sensor Multiplexer (sMUX)

The long awaited Sensor Multiplexer has arrived! We first saw this product on the HiTechnic Development page before it was scrapped, and now the dream of many has become a reality! My main query is whether or not the new product will live up to the hype surrounding it - I see it being useful to the tertiary student/teacher community, but general users will probably remain unphased by the new release, it really depends on how many sensors you own and if you can create a model that uses them all! Still, I can't wait to see someone create an amazing robot using this!

Xander over at NXTasy has posted a list of the sensors that the sMUX supports, as well as a brighter picture of the multiplexer here.

Price: USD$57.95


Another addition from a few weeks back is the IRReceiver. This sensor allows users to use the #8879 Power Functions IR Speed Remote Control or the #8885 Power Functions IR Remote Control to interact with your NXT creations! From the HiTechnic website:

The IRReceiver decodes commands from a Power Functions Remote Control and your NXT program can use the commands to directly control NXT motors or to control other functions in your program.

Price: USD$49.95

IR Beacon

Not much to say on this; here is HiTechnic's description:

The IR Beacon for the FTC Hot Shot game generates Infrared (IR) signals to assist in target alignment. The IR Beacon signals can be accurately detected with the HiTechnic IRSeeker sensor. For more details refer to the FTC Hit Shot Game Manual.

This product is only available to FTC (First Tech Challenge) competitiors. If you are looking for an IR emiitting device, HiTechnic have an IR Ball (USD$79.95!!) usually used for robot soccer competitions. There are loads of other (cheaper) options as well if you are good at electronics (or want to learn quick!)

Price: USD$27.00

Building Instructions!

Another new addition I just noticed is the Building Instructions menu tab! HiTechnic have stated that they will release models with building instructions and sample programs every few weeks. So far, the Ball Shooter has been released, which requires a NXT 2.0 kit and a Hitechnic Acceleration Sensor to build.

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