Earlier last month the city of Dallas was kept awake on a Friday night from 11:40PM until 1:20AM Saturday morning, with a constant flood of siren sounds emanating from the city’s emergency alert system – what amounted to 156 sirens going off simultaneously, for nearly two hours! What’s really fascinating about the incident is that the system was triggered using radio control, explained in this segment of the Rachel Maddow Show where she interviews Boing Boing co-editor Xeni Jardin. For various reasons a lot of news outlets aren’t reporting that intriguing feature of the system used in Dallas, but Xeni does a good job of relating the Dallas radio hack to DTMF technology that anyone over 30 should have some vague (if not acute) familiarity with. (Aside: if you’ve watched a recent episode of Ask an Engineer you know we have our own payphones!)
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.