C-3PO, WALL-E, Robbie, Bishop, the T-800…there are so many robots out there, and everyone has their favorite. Personally, I’m a big fan of R2-D2. But he may have just been dethroned, in favor of the QuadBot. The 3D printable walking robotics platform from EngiMake is an educational, animal-inspired robot. The company just launched a Kickstarter campaign called “QuadBot – Real Robotics, Made Accessible.” Their mission is to create the best robotics experience and transform making for everyone.
The two co-founders of EngiMake, Jack Scott-Reeve and Josh Elijah, met in college and set up a campus Robotics Society together, and both taught engineering and robotics in several London-based FabLabs after graduation. They decided to finally team up just a few months ago, to focus all their energy on engineering education. They founded EngiMake in March, with the goal of opening up the amazing world of robotics to all makers.
In July, they moved their startup to Makerversity, a co-working space that’s specialized in supporting maker businesses, and was also home to nine other successful Kickstarter companies. They created the QuadBot in September, due to their frustration at the lack of expandable, exciting, low-cost robotic kits on the market. They showcased the QuadBot at Maker Faire Rome last month, and won a Maker of Merit award. They’ve been working hard to improve the QuadBot since then. They’ve made all the design files open-source, in the hopes that people will create and share their own robotics designs for the QuadBot.
The look of the QuadBot reminds me of the Roboeve Xpider robot we told you about last month; both have a body shape that’s inspired by the animal kingdom. It has stable, robust joints that are fairly easy to put together; the QuadBot only takes an hour to assemble. Its Arduino-compatible brain is totally programmable, and the QuadBot was designed in Autodesk Fusion 360, “specifically so that you can customise and change the design.”
Some of the examples on the Kickstarter page are pretty impressive: one person built the QuadBot so it’s capable of firing a laser from the top of its head, and another integrated holes for light sensors into the 3D design, so it follows the light! EngiMake used LabVIEW to write the core code for QuadBot and are creating a LabVIEW driver, so users can simulate the movement before trying it out on the actual QuadBot. It has a microcontroller on board, and is compatible with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The QuadBot can be programmed using graphical blocks, which is ideal for young makers, thus continuing the EngiMake company’s mission of robotics education. You can make the QuadBot walk, dance, and interact with the real world!
The QuadBot has four kits available on Kickstarter: the £135 Maker Kit, the £199 Full Kit, the £219 Full Kit plus Bluetooth, and the £1999 Mystery Bot (“There can be only one”). The rewards are pretty great, too. If you pledge just £10, you get early STL 3D design access. On the more expensive side of the scale, if you pledge £999, you can actually donate a set of six QuadBots and a training workshop to a school to help continuing STEM education!
EngiMake’s initial plan is to only ship the black and white version of QuadBot (which they affectionately call Panda), but may later offer other colors based on feedback. But if you have your own 3D printer, you can print your own in whatever color you want! I’m going to go write my letter to Santa now, because this user-friendly QuadBot looks pretty awesome.
Check out the video of three QuadBots on the move:
Discuss in the QuadBot forum at 3DPB.com.