Browsing as freetrial
★★★ Open House ★★★
You are logged in as our guest
Already a subscriber? Log in here.
Did you know that CTREX Pro Subscribers can “bookmark” reviews for future reference?

While logged in, click on the star next to any title. This will save the review to your profile page. You can view your profile by selecting the icon with your username in the top-right.

Bookmarking has been available for a while now, but now you can create your own folders to organize your bookmarks into as many lists as you want. You can even print these lists or export their data.

Need to find a handful of titles on a certain topic? Create a new folder and move your bookmarks to it. The next time you need to compile a list, your old bookmarks will remain separate. Using this new tool, you can use CTREX to manage your research more flexibly.

Check it out, and let us know what you think! We're always looking for ways to improve the CTREX experience.
CTR Weekly 1/30/2019
A Look Into the Future at CES, plus Miku Baby Monitor
"Someday it will be the olden days, when I will be a man." A curious preschooler once said this to me. I wrote it down because it helped me understand how preoperational children think about time.

One of the great things about being a old codger like me is that you get to be an eye witness to an unfolding future that is quite remarkable. That future was on display during this year's Consumer Electronics Show, and I had my camera. Here are three items -- not in CTREX -- but posted unlisted on YouTube that I thought were pretty cool. Check 'em out...

1. My Waymo Self Driving Car video lets you see what your autonomous car sees, as it sucks up the information from your town's streets to make itself smarter.

2. The Wall by Samsung lets you build screens out of HD 6 by 8 inch blocks. This could have huge implications for classrooms or libraries. Why? You can make your big screen match your space, rather than the other way around.

3. Philips Avent Smart Baby Bottle is one of several cool baby gadgets I sent to the mother of my Grandson (aka my daughter). She'll never use such a thing because she doesn't even have a microwave. But this bottle can send information about the liquid inside the bottle to your smart phone via bluetooth, so you can check the temperature or track amounts and feeding times.

If you have a child or grandchild you're probably already aware of the current generation of smart home baby monitors. See the Miku Baby Monitor, that tracks breathing patterns.

And coming next week in our February issue of CTR -- a view from the front seat of the Bell Helicopter flying taxi.


The winner was Play and Learn Science, produced by PBS Kids. The committee selected two honor recipients including Coral Reef, produced by Tinybop Inc., and Lexi’s World, produced by Pop Pop Pop LLC. Here's the release with all the winners We're proud that CTREX expert review Katie Paciga was one of the jurors.

KEYi Tech, , ($call), for ages 10-up.
This snap-together modular robotics system follows a human body metaphor. The idea is that just like the cells in our bodies work together to create life and function, CellRobot is made up of individual robotic "cells" (round balls) that are put together to form functional robots. The HEART, CELL, Functional Cell and X-Cell are the four types of cells that make up each CellRobot. Cells can be attached together by the connectors on each cells’ surfaces. To connect, face two cells together and gently twist. The HEART supplies power to the entire robot and provides a signal connection to your smartphone or tablet. It has eight connectors for you to choose from on its surface. The CELL is the basic module of CellRobot. Every CELL is a servo rotation system with an independent MCU (Microprogrammed Control Unit), which makes variable morphology possible. The two hemisphere of the BASE can do a 360 degree relative rotation, once connected to HEART, each cell can be directed to move in any direction and angle you wish. Functional Cell enables your CellRobot to become more practical. They act as add-ons to regular modules, allowing the robot to evolve and accomplish any task with the invention of these functional parts. Wheel is created for movement. It enables CellRobot to move faster. With Wheel, you are able to create a vehicle; Vision contains a wide angle wireless surveillance camera, and the X-CELL is the functional module you can create by yourself using an open hardware and software API.
Video Link:

Miku Baby Monitor
Miku,, ($400, for ages 0-3.
This baby monitor can track sound, motion, breathing and sleep patterns using a down-facing camera. An app is required, along with your smartphone. Parents can watch or listen in on their child from their smart phone. Technology includes a quad-core processor, two Ole Wolff speakers and a two-way microphone interface allowing you to sing or talk to your child from any location. The device tracks room temperature, humidity, motion, sleep patterns, breathing rate and sound.
Video Link:

Sphero, , ($65), for ages 7-up.
What if you could hear colors? Specdrums are small expensive silicon rings with embedded motion and light sensors that can transmit sound information when they touch a color. The sounds come from your smart phone or tablet. The rings use bluetooth to interact with your phone, and the apps use Bluetooth MIDI -- so just about any sound is possible as long as your phone or tablet is nearby. The rings cost $64.99 for one-ring and $99.99 for two-rings, with product shipping the week of January 15. Each ring contains a small rechargeable battery that lasts about 2 hours. The app is called Specdrums Mix, and it runs on iOS or Android. Customizable sounds that allow users to explore the beats of a drum, the pings of a keyboard or the unique sounds of 100-plus other instruments, all with their fingertips.

Save the date for the 19th Annual Dust or Magic Institute -- November 3-5, 2019 in Lambertville NJ. More information, at