Reimagined ‘Robot Repair’ Art Installation planned for Pittsburgh International Airport

PITTSBURGH, April 29, 2015 – After a 2 year hiatus, Artist Toby Atticus Fraley has announced plans to bring back the popular public art installation Robot Repair, reimagined for Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT).

Fraley today announced the launch of a website,, and Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to raise money for the installation. Fraley must raise $10,000 thousand between May 19 to June 17, 2015 in order to fund the project. Individuals who donate, or backers, of the project will receive tokens like stickers, pins, signed prints, or even an art piece from Fraley’s previous installation.

The artist says the Allegheny County Airport Authority is supplying the space at no charge on a temporary basis, but public support is necessary for the creation of this new piece of artwork.

“While Pittsburgh International Airport has shown a commitment to public art and featuring regional artists, there currently aren’t funds available for additional projects,” Fraley said. “However, the temporary vacancy of the space provides an opportunity to showcase regional projects to visitors from across the country and across the globe.”

The PIT installation will be three times larger than Fraley’s original Downtown Pittsburgh site. Situated in Concourse A near Southwest Airline’s busiest gate, A15, construction is slated for July with an opening scheduled for late August or early September 2015.

Fraley added, “While visitors may recognize a few components of the original installation, this will be an entirely new work. I hope plans for non-ticketed individuals to access the airside terminal of PIT come to fruition allowing the general public to see the project first hand.”

The original installation was part of Project Pop Up Pittsburgh, a collaboration between the mayor’s office, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Department of City Planning, and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to fill vacant storefronts with start-up businesses, art installations, or performances as a means to attract permanent tenants. After an 18 month run in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Fraley’s Robot Repair and the adjacent vacant restaurant later became the restaurant Butcher in the Rye.

“The response to the Downtown location of Fraley’s Robot Repair was overwhelmingly positive from daily commuters, occasional visitors, and even out-of-towners who,,” said Fraley, who received the 2012 Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and City of Pittsburgh ‘Mayor’s Award for Public Art’ for the project. “I still hear from people asking me to bring it back and I’m excited to do so in partnership with Pittsburgh International.”

“The Allegheny County Airport Authority is pleased to support Mr. Fraley’s fundraising efforts and offer a new space for The Robot Repair Shop as part of the expanding Art in the Airport program at Pittsburgh International Airport,” said Richard Belotti, Vice President of Planning. “We know that the original installation in Downtown Pittsburgh was very successful, and we are delighted that millions of travelers each year will once again be able to experience this unique and playful piece.”

Toby Atticus Fraley is an artist born in Washington, PA in 1977. Currently, he lives in Bridgeville, PA where he maintains a studio as a full time artist. His work consists of mixed media sculpture, public art pieces, electronic/interactive sculptures, and Americana themed oil paintings. Toby’s most recent project, The Artwork Forge was just shown in Scottsdale AZ, commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art and Arizona State University. Recent exhibitions featuring his work include The Pittsburgh Biennial, Art in Odd Places: Indianapolis, SOFA in Chicago (Represented by the Pittsburgh Glass Center) and a solo show at SPACE gallery in Pittsburgh entitled, The Secret Life of Robots.

RoboSnap – Vision for your Robot

Truckee, CA, May 22, 2015 – 10 Imaging Inc. launched their debut product on Kickstarter, RoboSnap.  RoboSnap provides “Vision for Your Robot”, by detecting objects in the environment by their color, location, shape and size.  The creator of RoboSnap, Shari Vedovato says, “We created RoboSnap to add a new dimension to your robot to allow it to have more understanding of the environment and be more autonomous.”

RoboSnap currently works on the LEGO® Mindstorms EV3 as well as the Raspberry Pi with the BrickPi add-on board.


Not only can RoboSnap add vision to your robot, it can be programmed with Snap!, a Scratch extension or with the Python and C programming languages.  Shari says, “We provide many choices to program RoboSnap in order to support our youngest customers to our most experienced.  We received a lot of positive feedback about the ability to program the EV3 with Snap! at our demonstrations at the San Mateo Maker Faire.  Many kids are learning Scratch at school and it is comfortable for them to continue to program with this language as they move into robotics.”  Kickstarter backers can select to receive the “JUST THE SOFTWARE”  reward if they are interested in programming their robots with Snap! on the EV3.

Riley Breuner, a high school student who recently competed in the FIRST Robotics League competition said, “It’s great that there’s a new sensor that can detect colors accurately and reliably. It’s almost impossible to use the existing Lego sensors because you can run the same program and get different results or it just detects the wrong color. RoboSnap is a much better option.“  Shari agreed, “When watching the recent FIRST LEGO League missions I noticed that it was difficult for the robots to perform the ‘Search Engine’ mission in one pass.  It was necessary to use the ‘eyes’ of the players to determine the color.   We have shown that RoboSnap can do this mission in a single pass.  Although RoboSnap is not currently sanctioned to be part of the FIRST LEGO League competition, we are working on having it accepted.”


RoboSnap will be available exclusively on Kickstarter from May 13 to June 12, 2015 with the first shipments of RoboSnap cameras in October 2015.

MyoWare™ | Harness the power of your muscle signals!

Raleigh, NC, May 13, 2015 – The bionics wizards at Advancer Technologies just released their fourth generation muscle sensor, the MyoWare. This new Arduino-compatible and wearable sensor harnesses the power of your muscles to control robots, video games, prosthesis, and much more. To show off the power of the MyoWare, these mad scientists have built two amazing projects, the Bionic Iron Man Glove and the 3D Printed Wolverine Claws, and are publishing the steps to build them for free online.

Maker Faire Hannover 2015

Mit offenen Mündern staunen, mit leuchtenden Augen ausprobieren: Am 6. und 7. Juni verwandelt sich das hannoversche Congress Centrum zum dritten Mal in ein Mekka der Selbermacher und zieht wieder Groß und Klein in den Bann. Dann nämlich findet in der Niedersachsen- und Eilenriedehalle sowie dem idyllischen Stadtpark die Maker Faire statt, die sich als buntes Kreativfestival für die ganze Familie einen Namen gemacht hat.

Technikbegeisterte, Tüftler, Bastler, Erfinder und Do-it-Yourself-Künstler zeigen auf der Maker faire ihre Ideen und Projekte. Von originell bis skurril ist alles dabei.

Ob Roboterbau, Arudino-Basteleien, Steampunk, 3D-Druck oder klassisches Handwerk: Alle Aussteller zeigen, wie kreativ man mit Technik und unterschiedlichen Materialien umgehen kann, wie man Bauteile originell sowie nachhaltig recycelt und welchen Spaß man beim Tüfteln haben kann. Das Mitmachen und Ausprobieren steht eindeutig im Vordergrund.

Neben den vielen Exponaten werden etliche Mitmachworkshops für große und kleine Besucher , unter anderem Löten, Drechseln, Sägen, Schweißen, Schmieden, angeboten. Vorträge über alle Facetten der wachsenden Selbermachkultur runden das Angebot am ersten Juni-Wochenende ab.

Als besonderes Highlight wird der Performance-Künstler Lyle Rowell seinen feuerspeienden Roboter-Hund präsentieren. Der Gigant aus Motorrad- und Autoteilen ist ein beeindruckendes Stück „Do-it-yourself“-Technik und ein starkes Foto-Motiv.

Mit LRRY-1, den man „Larry“ ausspricht, sieht halb aus wie ein riesiger Roboter-Hund, halb wie ein mechanischer Saurier. Der feuerspeiende Roboter besteht aus Teilen alter Motorräder und Autoschrott, ein reparierter Citroën-Motor erweckt ihn zum Leben. Der Clou: Sein aus einem Getriebekasten gefertigter Kopf gibt auf Kommando Feuerstöße ab. Als Baumaterial dienten unter anderem die Hinterachse eines VW-Käfers, der Rahmen eines BMW-Motorrades und die Linsen eines Radargerätes für die Augen. Ein Sattel auf dem Rücken ist die Kommandozentrale, von der aus man die Kreatur steuert. Die Teile für die laufende Tier-Maschine hat ihr Konstrukteur Lyle Rowell fast alle selbst gefunden: vier Monate hat er dafür gebraucht, seine Wunschteile vom Schrottplatz zu retten und zusammenzusetzen.

Tagestickets für die Maker Faire gibt es ab 11 Euro im Online-Shop oder an der Tageskasse. Weitere Infos unter

Rokit Smart: Build and Program Robots the Easy Way

On May 14, 2015, Robolink, Inc is launching a campaign on Kickstarter for Rokit
Smart, an innovative and affordable robot kit that teaches kids how to program and
build robots in as little as one hour. With Rokit Smart, kids as young as 8 years old
can program these robots to autonomously follow a track, be controlled by remote
and many other exciting tasks. Rokit Smart includes instructions to build twelve
different robots, but the only limit to what kids can build with this kit is their
imagination. Until now, there has never been a robotics kit with so many potential
options for such a low price point. Rokit Smart will bring the excitement of robotics
to kids who never before considered the idea that they could build and program
their own robot.

Thousands of elementary school students across Southern California have tested
prototypes for Rokit Smart and they have all been amazed at how easy it is to build
and program their own robot. “When I see how much fun kids are having as the
robot they just built dribbles a ball or navigates a maze, it always brings a huge
smile to my face,” says Hansol Hong, Robolink’s CEO. Discovering how the
motors, sensors, linkages and software of a robot interact with each other has
proven to be a fantastic way of introducing young students to science, technology,
engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM education.

After building and programming the out-of-the-box robots, kids will be able to apply
what they learned and make their own robot. Rokit Smart is compatible with
Arduino, a programming language designed for robots that they can download for
free. “Learning to program our robots is a perfect stepping stone into languages like
C and C++. That’s going to be an incredibly valuable skill as these kids get older,”
says Hong.

The Kickstarter campaign for Rokit Smart has a goal of $50,000 by June 16th. The
money will pay for the manufacturing of the first run of Rokit Smarts. The first 100
backers will have the opportunity to secure a Rokit Smart for $99, a savings of 32%
off of the retail price.

For more information, visit the Kickstarter page here.

The Robolink community has already posted some very helpful resources for robot
builders at

Meet Tinker: Friendly Robot Teaches Kids to Code

Los Angeles, CA – May 4, 2015:​Introducing “Tinker” the
programmable toy robot that teaches kids how the basics
of computer code through its insertable command playing
cards. Ex-Mattel engineer, Kay Yang, developed the
adorably-designed robot as an alternative for kids to
code devices without having to learn a specific software


Build. ​Kids start by assembling Tinker from head to toe
with the basic pack of arms and LEDs. Beginners plug the
arms into the toy’s sides and the LEDs into the ear
sockets. Programmers will also be able to attach
motorized tracks to the bottom of Tinker to allow the
device to move freely. Future accessories include a
microphone, tilt sensor, and bluetooth capability.

Program. ​To program Tinker, kids simply insert a one of
the brightly colored cards that corresponds with the
action they want Tinker to take. Then insert the “if” card
to activate the sensor. Finally, they insert the key card to
activate play mode. Tinker is also Arduino-based and
open source, allowing beginners to graduate and move
into more complex coding using Scratch.

Graduate. ​While programming typically requires a computer application, Tinker is the first toy to teach coding without software. This rudimentary system breaks down the steps so that children can understand the basics of coding by illustrating how a sequence of actions activated affects the play experience. Once users graduate from the cards, they program the toy through the USB plug hidden behind Tinker’s tummy.


Tinker the Robot will be available exclusively on Kickstarter from May 4 – June 4,
2015, with the first shipment delivered to customers by Late 2015/Early 2016.



MakerBloks Launches Four New Games, Including iOS App

MONTREAL, May 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Today, MakerBloks introduces four new games, including a new iOS tablet app, to empower the next generation of makers and inspire STEM education. With MakerBloks, more than 40 million children across North America can now create, build and design real electronic circuits, without any prior technical knowledge.

MakerBloks Logo / MakerBloks Launches Four New Games, Including iOS App (PRNewsFoto/MakerBloks)

MakerBloks are reactive color-coded, magnetic blocks that guide children through the basics of electronic circuits in a simple, fun and immersive way. To keep kids engaged, MakerBloks is introducing four games to pre-order on Kickstarter, including:

  • Light and Sound Intro Kit – featuring the basics to building circuits
  • Music Kit – featuring keyboard, microphone and flute games
  • Spy Kit – featuring voice changing and burglar alarm games
  • MakerBloks World – an interactive tablet game that combines the virtual and physical worlds

MakerBloks World is a state-of-the-art tablet game that combines the virtual and physical worlds. The tablet’s front camera uses unique MakerBloks visual recognition software to read and react when a child assembles the blocks correctly, all in real-time. With MakerBloks World, the child advances through an educational game that uses puzzles, rocket launchers, and imaginative settings such as candy land, water world and outer space, creating a truly immersive way to teach kids how to build and use electronic circuits.

“With over 15 years specializing in designing children’s games and toys, I understand how games should look, function and feel,” saidFrancois Poirier, CEO and founder of MakerBloks. “I also know how important longevity is. Parents want their kids to use games and toys for as long as possible. The best part about MakerBloks is its ‘hack-ability’ – the instructions are just the beginning. Teaching kids about science and technology is a great start, but helping them to be more resourceful, more creative and to feel empowered is what MakerBloks is really about.”

Founded in 2014, MakerBloks was inspired while Francois was shopping for a game or toy for a six year old that was fun, easy-to-use and educational. Since everything was either too complex or had no educational component, MakerBloks is designed for children starting at six years old. Each kit features:

  • Colorful blocks that magnetically connect together on all four sides
  • A guide that explains what each block’s electronic symbol means
  • A set of instructions that is optional! Follow the instructions or troubleshoot your way to success!
  • A hacking hint: every game can be assembled multiple ways – the possibilities are only limited by your imagination

MakerBloks is available for pre-order today on Kickstarter, with intro kits starting at $45 and advanced kits, including intro kit and additional blocks, begin at $85. The MakerBloks iOS tablet app will be available for download once the kits begin to ship in Fall 2015.

For more information about MakerBloks, please visit

About MakerBloks

Francois Poirier founded MakerBloks in 2014 after he realized that there are no simple ways to teach young children about electronics. Pairing beautiful design with functionality and fun, MakerBloks gives parents the tools to set their child up for successful learning in science, technology, engineering and math. Easily identified and connecting flawlessly every time, MakerBloks start with a battery, but are powered by imagination.

Create, Share, & Teach with SnapCAD

Information about SnapCAD just appeared on the VEX Robotics website. You can now sign up with your email to get informed as soon as SnapCAD is available for download.

So, sign up and while you wait for the download to become available, read the information that is on their official website:

Create, Share, & Teach with One Easy-to-Use Program

SnapCAD is a community-built solution for designing virtual VEX IQ models and creating printable, shareable instructions for them. Use SnapCAD to test out a novel idea in the virtual world before building it physically, or to share your creations with the world in the form of step-by-step build instructions!

Transform your VEX IQ Classroom

SnapCAD is a FREE download and available to anyone with a PC running Windows 95 or newer (see below for full system requirements). Students can even install it on their home computers and bring their models (saved in the lightweight .ldr or .mpd file formats) into class the next day.

A Community Effort

The SnapCAD vision began when some members of the VEX IQ community began converting VEX IQ CAD files into the popular open-source LDraw format. This made them available for use in a number of publicly available LDraw editors.

Built for VEX IQ

Drawing from community expertise, SnapCAD is a new LDraw editor designed specifically for VEX IQ. Students can use SnapCAD to learn the fundamentals of computer aided design (CAD) and create new VEX IQ robots!

  • Comes pre-loaded with the entire VEX IQ part library
  • Supports colored VEX IQ parts
  • Includes pre-built models of the Autopilot, the Clawbot IQ, and V-Rex
  • Adapts to new products ported into SnapCAD soon after public release
  • Creates step-by-step instructions for your custom builds

And feel free to join our VEX IQ discussions in our VEX IQ Robotics Fangroup on Facebook

VEX IQ SnapCAD Screenshot


RoboCup German Open 2015 Magedburg Live Streams #2

Here you find the LiveStream provided by the TU Eindhoven for the RoboCup @Home League:


This year, the HTWK Leipzig StreamTeam ( will stream all SPL matches in this year’s Robocup German Open Competition:

The finals in the RoboCup@Work league will start at 14:00 and will be live streamed:

Pictures of VEX Worlds 2015