New Robot Website on Street Tech

There’s also a small companion website for my book at This site includes larger project images, information not available in the book, bug fixes on the projects, reader hardware hacks, robot news, and will eventually include downloadable versions of the "Heroes of the Robolution" trading cards that Mark and I did.

After you’ve read through the projects in the book, you’ll definitely want to read the online project notes before actually starting to build the bots.

My book is OUT!!!

I just discovered that my book is now listed on Amazon as being available. It jumped from a sales rank last night of 2,317,260 to a current rank of 1,921,760 and it says there are only three copies left (with more coming). Of course, they may have only started with five, who knows.

Hey you, order my damn book so I can obsessively watch the sales rank change!

My Robot Book is Coming Soon!

My latest book, the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots, should be shipping in a week or so. Part of Que’s best selling Absolute Beginner’s Guide series, my book leads the newbie into the fascinating world of robots and do-it-yourself bot building.

The book contains projects that detail how to build three cool robots out of a coat hanger, a trashed computer mouse, and those AOL CDs that seem to breed on your desktop. I’m not kidding. Junkbots R Us.

Ilustrations for the book were done by bOING bOING’s amazing Mark Frauenfelder, with photos by Street Tech’s very own Jay Townsend.

Pre-order the book on Amazon.

personal data transmitters

p.d.ts have been in use since approx 1980. origanlly they were installed in tooth molars but as the tech became smaller they are put into any tooth. with the p.d.t. the brain literally becomes a reciever/transmitter. approx 20 million people have dentaly wired to date. behind the scenes this is known as a silent epidemic. i’m looking for people to help make this situation newsworthy. i have proof.

[webmaster note: Doug is not a regular contributor to Street Tech, but I couldn’t help approving this post. Oh yes, Doug, we’d LOVE to see your proof! Go ahead and post it in the comments!]

Superhero, Take 2? – Student saves peers from PeopleSoft!

I thought I’d post this story I discovered today because it is an interesting tale of big corporate and institutional failure, and how a 1st year student saved himself and his fellow students a whole lot of time with a little skill and imagination.

To make a long story short, It seems the system the Univerisity of Alberta had paid big coin to manage its students (allegedly and tellingly hacked together from an inventory control system) was a mess, and the U was planning to ditch paper altogether, dooming people to hours of pointing, clicking and swearing.

So, one enterprising student decided that something had to be done, and he was the guy to do it. His first cut took 5 days and was already a big help at that point. He was initially hosting it on his own tab, but now the Student Union handles that, though the University still can’t take a helpful position due to contractual requirements. For some more details the student union discussion board is interesting reading.

I could take the position that we’re all doomed by megacorporate control of computing (and I usually do), but this time, I’m just plain tickled to see one guy do a good job with what he had before him and help everyone in the process.

(if you can’t get the first link, sorry – the show was not yet posted when I wrote this so I had to make an educated guess)

Superhero Frees Booted Motorists…

From the Oddly Enough column, reports of a British man with a power tool who responds to calls from people who have been booted by the cops for illegal parking, and frees them of their shackles. Using an angle-grinder (hence this self-styled superhero’s name: Angle Grinder Man) this guy will cut the boot off any stranded motorist’s car for free. And he actually wears a blue bodysuit with AGM on the chest while doing it. Brilliant. Unfortunately only people in the England can call on this hero, as he does not seem to be able to fly at super-sonic speeds, but people all over the world can enjoy his “money shots” on his website, if a naked man with a power grinder is your cup-of-tea. I don’t know how long this guy is going to be able to continue doing this though, since he doesn’t seem to get the whole “secret identity” thing…

What’s up with Boing Boing?

One of Street Tech’s favorite blogs, Boing Boing, seems to have removed all of the discussion links from their entries. I know the “discussion” had gotten pretty critical of Cory, Xeni (oy! how mean they are to Xeni!) and pals, did this lead to just eliminating the fairly active feedback system altogether? Anyone know anything about what’s up? Our comment system’s open.