Phidgets (Physical Widgets)

Phidgets are cool.

I’ve been really busy at work, our office is moving, and I have been busy moving our phone numbers and servers, so I haven’t had too much time to spend on robotics. I spent Sunday though trying to catch up on what’s new in electronics, especially as it relates to robotics.

I came across

Phidgets are cool. It’s short for physical widgets. The idea is that for every hardware engineer their are hundreds (maybe thousands, I will get the right number) of software engineers, so let’s make it easy for the software engineers to construct hardware the same way that they do software. For instance a software engineer that is designing a web site or a Windows form,  can save a lot of time by simply dragging and dropping some pre-built controls on to the form. This not only saves a lot of time, it also reduces errors, since they don’t need to worry about writing code. It’s already written and tested. A software engineer can create a simple data entry form by simply dragging a few text box controls on to a form, drag a submit button, write a few lines of code to hook it all up, and they’re done.

Phidgets are prebuilt hardware modules that can be quickly connected together in the same way.


It’s about PC based robots. The PC is the brain. (A PC is a generic term it could be a Mac or Linux machine) 

Pictured above in the center is an interface board, sometime called Bridgeware. It bridges PC technology with technology that is used in robotics, gathering information from sensors, and controlling motors and such.

What is cool about this is that the robot developer doesn’t need to know anything about electronics. The main interface board connects to the robot controlling PC via a USB cable, and the sensing modules justs plug in. Pictured above is a temperature sensor (1) .

I will explain this in more detail when I have more time.

I plan I appoaching this company and having Roslyn-Robot be a distributor for Phidgets.  This is a breakthrough.

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