Synapse and BrutusBot Kits
Familiar with XBee? Of course! How about Synapse — not so much? The geeks at Solarbotics have been
playing with the new Synapse 802.15.4 modules and feel
they’re more handy than the venerable XBee. Since
Synapse modules offer more I/O, embedded
microcontroller Python, A2D converters, and I2C, they offer
a great way to upgrade wireless projects, especially with
communication ranges up to 1,000 ft indoors and three
miles outdoors (line-of-sight). To easily harness the new
features offered by the Synapse
RF100, Solarbotics is now
offering two interfacing
module to a PC
with an FTDI USB
converter, breaks the
pins spacing out to 0.1”,
and generates the 3.3V power
necessary to drive the module. Price is $22.95 USD.
The Synapse-to-FTDI kit features:
• Fuse-protected USB-TTL interface (FT232RL chip).
• 3.3V 1A onboard voltage regulator.
• Tx/Rx/Power LEDs.
• Breadboard-compatible breakout headers.
• Reset switch (handy when erasing SNAPpyscripts or
• #4-40 mounting holes.
The Synapse-to-Xbee Adapter Kit
to a drop-in
Xbee RF nodes.
Since the Synapse has
extra I/O the XBee doesn’t
(and with embedded python),
the adapter breaks out these
points to LEDs and header pins for increased hacking
power. Users can convert Arduino XBee projects to
Synapse with this converter. Price is $7.50 USD.
Solarbotics also introduces a new, more useful
platform based on the Tamiya Bulldozer technology called
the BrutusBot Tank Platform.
20 SERVO 12.2011
The BrutusBot features the Tamiya Gearbox and Tread
set, anodized aluminum frame, and Arduino-compatible
acrylic top-plate. Being just a motorized base, users can
add any controller platform desired, from something as
simple as an analog modified “Herbie” brain to as complex
as a wireless Synapse networking module. Price is $52 and
• Rugged anodized aluminum chassis with skid plate.
• Grippy Tamiya rubber treads for excellent traction.
• Tamiya twin motor gearbox configurable for high
speed (indoor/smooth environment) or high torque
• Acrylic top-plate with cutouts for pass-through
wiring ports and mounting a sensor-sweeping servo.
• Interfaces with Solarbotics S.A.F.E. enclosures to
protect electronics in off-workbench environments.
• Six-cell ‘AA’ battery pack for excellent motor power
For further information, please contact:
3440D 11A Street NE, Suite #101
Calgary, AB T2E 6M6, Canada
866•276•2687 Fax: 403•226•3741
Blocks and Mounts
ServoCity introduces their all new patented ServoBlocks™ that
increase a servo’s load-bearing capabilities by
helping to isolate the
lateral load from