Let's Make Robots!

Components on boards, cheap, convenient :)

if you, like me, just want components to work, and do not care about making prints, this is a great way to get many little smart micro-boards ready to plug in!

If you ever shop in something like www.robotshop.ca

and you (like me) would really like components to be just hooked up & ready, I can strongly recomend anything from "Inex": Say you want an IR-thingey, or a magnetic sensor that just provides you the analouge signal, really do not care to read the manuals and what leg of the component should have an resistor or whatever hooked up..

These things even comes with wires, ready to hook up on Picaxe (possibly others).

At one point, I wanted a sensor to be on a wire, not on the board, it was still easyer to de-solder the component, attach wires, and hook up again - it saved me all the trouble that I hate :D

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Featured example: USD 8,-

(Main picture)

• Interface for the Nintendo Wii Nunchuck remote control
• I2C interface

Use the INEX ZX-Nunchuck to interface with the Nintendo Wii Nunchuk remote control. Modification the remote control is not required. The board uses a two-wire Interface and is easy to interface with any modern microcontroller.

inex-zx-nunchuk.jpg

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there are other brands with the same concept:   ;)

http://www.phidgets.com/

http://tinkerkit.com/  (still under development)
Beat me to it with Phidgets, also a robot construciton set in a simlar way could be Microbric .

Huh? I don't follow you, guys?!

Where has these vendors say a LDR & LED on a board just ready to plug in, for a price lower than the individual components?

Deep links?

Phidgets, Microbric, and Tinkerkit apparently, all have a "simple - plug-in" concept similar to the Inex stuff you've pointed out. They aren't as cheap, as Phidgets intends you to plug everything into USB which incurs that added cost of interface, and Microbric wants you to buy a kit of their stuff. Phidgets is perfect for all those programmers out there that want to use a laptop as a robot controller, they "just plug it in" as you say.

 And I can build items cheaper than Inex sells them for, just have to build them in quantity, like they do. 

They seem a bit expensive and you must first log in to see the prices.

i found that buying the parts individually was more expensive!

Take this:

inex-magnetic-field-sensor.jpg

Magnetic Field Sensor board - Can you assamble that (including wires, board, solder, components..) for less than the USD $6.49 it costs @ http://www.robotshop.ca/inex-magnetic-field-sensor-1.html ?

Even if you could, then think of the time used on finding the parts, understanding what goes to where etc (the things I hate :D)

I think it's cheap, I love them :)

Also just knowing it works.. oh so nice! And as said, it can just be taken apart and used in parts, did I say I love them? :D

I agree, why reinvent the wheel? Little breakout boards can be cheap and convienient and I have bought a few mini boards from Futurlec for that reason. I also buy some electronic kits for the same reason although I like to assemble them myself. It helps me learn more about electronics and the kit in particular.

Fet_servo_controller.jpgThis FET servo controller was cheaper to buy as a kit than buying the parts individually and will dirve motors of up to 24V @ 20A or more like an RC servo.

I've mounted a trimpot on this board so that the motor will act like a continuous rotation servo.

Wow, they have more, check out something cool like this:

http://www.inexglobal.com/products.php?type=addon&cat=sensors&model=zx-metal

Wow, love this series of products:

http://www.inexglobal.com/products.php?type=addon&cat=sensors&model=Sciencesensors

(You may have to create an account to follow links, takes 10 sec)

Found the Inex webpage:

http://www.inexglobal.com/