What really makes my day? What really fulfills me and why does this company SMINKS LABS exist? It's because of this: getting out there, inspiring and being inspired by REAL people, doing REAL things. I don't actually have a lot of time be be blogging my life away about what we do, but this is a snippet of what I have been up to the last couple of days.
Here we have Mrs Walker of Forrest View High School, Tokoroa, with some of the students who refused to leave the class because they were having too much fun with me waffling away and challenging them with things they can do with the mBot the school recently purchased for them.
They particularly liked the "Hack the Terminator" challenge! My favourite game challenge invented so far. Just in case some some really silly people really did make robots to destroy the human race, I am teaching our kids to hack them and SAVE the human race.
Te Rangihakahaka Centre for Science and Technology
What an honour to be invited to present briefly at a Hui-a-whānau. We aim to contribute our engineering knowledge to this initiative and expect to see some great things. Find out more here: https://terangihakahaka.school.nz/
The following is me demonstrating the mBot singing our NZ anthem "God Defend New Zealand", showing the lyrics in Maori on the LED matrix.
Latest tips and tricks
1. ALWAYS UPGRADE THE FIRMWARE ON YOUR BOTS.
How? Go here to our support page: https://www.sminkslabs.com/faq
I've got a Mac, and it doesn't work!
Ok, calm down. To be honest, I've given up mucking around with it. Every time Apple releases a new operating system, they introduce layers of securities which affects the ability for us to use the USB cable to upgrade the firmware. I don't see the point, as you only have to search on youtube how to hack anything and you will find out in 5 seconds.
Most practical solution: Use a chromebook or a windows based pc, and upgrade the firmware using that. If you DO have time to muck around, use the time to develop better programs. If however you have an OCD about it, you can try to disable those security measures by following the steps in our support page.
2. Sometimes it just "crashes" and stops working!
After you have done all the usual stuff like checking your ports, program, wiring, connections, etc, and especially your own attitude (if you are feeling angry, it's never going to work no matter what I say to you), maybe you are using cheap, low capacity batteries.
Solution: get the rechargeable batteries, minimum 2000mAh capacity.
3. mBot soccer game.
Ok, let's face it, everyone loves this game. Before you start, remove the line follower! Why? You don't need it (unless you designed a game that really needs it). But the plastic housing around the leds and photodetectors tend to get knocked off when the game gets a bit rough.
Director of SMINKS LABS Ltd.
No silly gimmicks, always straight up.