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December 8, 2014 AT 12:30 am

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Robotics

“… you just can’t differentiate between a robot and the very best of humans.”

― Isaac Asimov, I, Robot

We’ve gotten a great new batch of robotics products over the last year. Choosing our favorites for this gift guide was really difficult! But we made a list. We checked it twice. And we did our very best robot voice in the process.


Available at Adafruit!


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Sparki – The Easy Robot for Everyone: Sparki by Arcbotics is a new affordable, easy to use, and fun intro to programming, electronics, and robotics. It is geared towards kids elementary-age and above, educators looking for an easy intro to robotics, parents eager to find something affordable but educational and fun, DIY enthusiasts, and more. It is simple enough for beginners, while being feature-packed enough to be a must-have for pro-users. Sparki is your chance to have your very own robot, completely open source and available to do your bidding. Watch the ArcBotics video demoing Sparki. (read more)


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Hexy – Programmable Hexapod Kit: ArcBotics’ Hexy the Hexapod is a fully articulated hexapod robot kit. Hexy has six legs, 19 servo motors and is powered by Arduino, while maintaining a price 4-10x less expensive than current hexapod robots. It makes complex robotics less costly, easier to learn with the tutorials and documentation, while being radically more fun (and cute!). At the same time its built with completely open source hardware and software, making discovery and extension as easy as building it in the first place. Hexy has been featured on Engadget, Wired, New York Times, MAKE, and more. (read more)


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OpenBeam Starter Kit – Silver Aluminum: Get cracking on your robot, fixture or gantry with this luxurious extruded aluminum starter kit. You get tons of stuff, so you won’t end up frustrated and missing a component. The pieces are also pre-cut so for many small projects you won’t even need to get out your hacksaw. All extrusions are 15mm by 15mm square (read more)


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Mini Pan-Tilt Kit – Assembled with Micro Servos: This fully-assembled pan-tilt kit is the perfect way to give your project full range motion with two micro servos. The pan-tilt can rotate roughly 180° from side-to-side and can tilt up&downwards around 150°. It also comes fully assembled with two Micro Servos included and a 38mm x 36mm space to mount a camera or sensor or whatever you like. (read more)


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Zumo Robot for Arduino – v1.2: The Pololu Zumo robot is an Arduino-controllable tracked robot platform that is less than 10 cm × 10 cm—small enough to qualify for Mini Sumo. It includes two micro metal gearmotors coupled to a pair of silicone tracks, a stainless steel bulldozer-style blade, an array of six infrared reflectance sensors for line following or edge detection, a 3-axis accelerometer / 3-axis magnetometer / 3-axis gyroscope, and a buzzer for simple sounds and music. Just add 4 AA batteries and an Arduino (or compatible controller) and you are ready to push! No soldering or assembly is required. (read more)


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“3 Laws of Robotics” poster: This glossy poster featuring ADABOT and Asimov’s three laws of robotics measures 18 x 24 inches. Comes packed in a cardboard tube for shipping. MADE IN THE USA! (read more)


Available Elsewhere!


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HEXBUG Nano V2 Black Hole: This nano robotics toy from Hexbug makes an awesome gift for any young robotics enthusiast! You can customize the structure, control the flow of the hex bugs, and it comes with batteries! This product is made for ages 3 and up.

From hexbug:

Features a spiral tube accessory for the Nano V2 to climb through as it explores its environment
Includes a crow’s nest for a more expansive view from the tallest point of the set
Nano V2 can free fall from one of the tubes through the black funnel, emerging out of one of three exits
Control the flow of traffic by filling the attachment points on the two HEX cell bases with accessories such as fixed pegs and rotating flags (read more)


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Scribbler 2 (S2) Robot – USB: This pre-programmed robot from Parallax comes with various pre-installed functions.

Parallax has a great breakdown on their site:

The S2 robot is suitable for a wide range of programming skills. The Scribbler robot arrives pre-programmed with eight demo modes, including light-seeking, object detection, object avoidance, line-following, and art. Place a Sharpie marker in the pen port and it will scribble as it drives. Next, use the Graphical User Interface (S2 GUI) tile-based programming tools, or modify the Propeller source code in our BASIC-like Spin language. Through the use of third-party tools you can also program the S2 on a Mac or under Linux, in PropBASIC and C using PropGCC. (read more)


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Mint Automatic Hard Floor Cleaner, 4200: This is the gift for the person in your life who needs things spic and span, tidy, orderly (or else!). The floor cleaner operates smoothly and quietly, navigating throughout rooms, avoiding furniture and other obstacles. (read more)


Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2014

Here are your 2014 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control.

Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. Last year UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 12, 2014 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive in time for Christmas.

UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Wednesday 11am ET – December 17, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 18, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 19, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for UPS or USPS.

Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.

United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday– December 12, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner.

USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 21, 2014. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/14.

USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 5, 2015. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner.

Gift Certificates are always available at any time.

When in doubt contact us!


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