Sunday Mar 05, 2006

Sun's surprising entry into the robotics market. Yippie!

This morning's news is a dream come true for me: Sun Microsystems Laboratories Unveils Sun(TM) Small Programmable Object Technology. I have been enamored with the future of robotics for a few years now as can be seen on my blog about experimentation with Lego Mindstorms. I had chosen the Mindstorm as my platform since it was Macintosh compatable and it could be flashed with a Java programming environment called Lejos. Suddenly, as a complete surprise to me, Sun is providing a Java programmable board with these specs:
  • 180 MHz 32 bit ARM920T core - 512K RAM/4M Flash
  • 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 radio with integrated antenna
  • USB interface
  • 3.6V rechargeable 750 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 48 uA deep sleep mode
and these sensors:
  • 2G/6G 3-axis accelerometer
  • Temperature sensor
  • Light sensor
  • 8 tri-color LEDs
  • 6 analog inputs
  • 2 momentary switches
  • 5 general purpose I/O pins and 4 high current output pins
I can't wait to get my hands on one of these Sun SPOT's. My son Ian has been begging me to build more robots. He currently has two career choices in mind, dog trainer or robot designer. Hopefully Sun's surprise entrance into the robotics market and my rekindled desire to tinker will help cement his decision :)
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