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25 Aug 2017, 8:32

10 technology stories you might have missed in August

Postman Pat has got a new van!

The iconic red van of the Royal Mail postal service in the UK is getting an electrc vehicle upgrade. Announced this month.


The new EVs are from Arrival and join an expanding range of vehicles on test by the organisation including some from Peugeot to total over 100. 

See more pictures at


Look out Patrick Swayze, the Robots are Dirty Dancing too!

Ok, so the cast of the iconic film don't need to worry about their legacy just yet. These robots aren't going to win a dance off anytime soon but they did enter the Guinness World Record book for the "most robots dancing simultaneously".

Watch the video below to see 1069 of the Dobi robots strutting their stuff, but if you want my advice, don't go copying their moves on the dance floor!

 "I bet that you look good on the dance floor" 


Is the pen mightier than the Terminator?

If the Terminator franchise taught us nothing else it’s that killer robots are bad news. This month 100 robotic experts wrote to the United Nations to express their concern about their future. With the benefits that robotics and technology bring to commercial ventures, it’s not surprising the military would be interested in gaining an advantage on the battlefield.   

Not a killer robot

This follows a letter sent in 2015 by more than a thousand tech experts, did that warning register? Or do we still need our very own John Connor?

Read the whole story on the BBC


Visit the Robotarium

Sticking with robots, fancy a visit to the Robotarium? A Robotarium? Yup, the University of Georgia Tech has $2.5 million lab complete with 100 rolling and roving robots for you to upload your own code to. Democratising technology, attack of the robots, or the start of Skynet I don't know but the chance to upload my own my own code and control a robot halfway around the world? I'm in!


Read more from the man himself, Magnus Egerstedt


The IoT is getting a makeover

Or is it the other way round? The global cosmetic company L'Oreal is hosting a series of IoT hackathons aimed at disrupting the industry with digital technology. On the 26th and 27th, August RS Japan supported 50 people in 10 teams to hack the beauty industry with raspberry Pi, Arduino and Intel Realsense technology. 

The IoT has never looked so good!

Keep checking DS over the coming days to find out more!


Pirates are not what they used to be

There was a time when the mention of pirates summoned an image of swashbuckling pirates, eye patches, and the Jolly Rodger. Now it seems pirates could potentially hijack a ship without even leaving dry land or cherry picking the vessels and crates they want to target.


 The changing face of piracy

 Read more on the BBC


Jesse is dead, long live Stretch

The latest Debian 9 Stretch release is coming to Raspberry Pi via Raspbian, the official OS for Raspberry Pi. Sound good? Should do, besides the recent updates to Sonic Pi for different input and output options the new OS uses Bluez-ALSA package rather than Pulse Audio for Bluetooth audio. Besides running Chromium 60 there is also a fix for the Broadpwn vulnerability which also affected Apple and Samsung.









Raspberry Pi + Debian = Raspbian OS

You can download the updated OS on the Raspberry Pi download page.


When I grow up I want to be a robotics engineer

In a galaxy far far away Anakin Skywalker fixed a robot called C3PO. Must have had some education in robotics then you’d assume? Much closer to home robots and automation is becoming increasingly prevalent, who will build and maintain these? Robotics engineers of course, so how do you become one?


Why and how to become a robotics engineer

On your marks, get set, programme!

Which is faster, programming a Microchip MCU with an ICD3 or a brand new ICD4? The new ICD4 is almost twice as the ICD3, don’t believe us? Read this post!

Source: Microchip

ICD3 vs ICD4 - RACE!



Fitting a scissor lift in a small hatchback isn’t easy

When a 9 year old has some ideas for better in car entertainment (ICE) Kids Invent Stuff come to the rescue. (What’s wrong with an updated Kenwood head unit from Halfords?)

Project checklist

  • Small hatchback
  • 300kg scissor lift
  • Two awesome engineers



Seen a story we've missed? Let everyone know in the comments below!

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25 Aug 2017, 8:32