John Villwock and Mikhail Stolpner met at Cornell University, and while they were there, the pair say their introduction to the cutting edge of research and development got them excited about bringing technology to the maker community.
That led them to being thinking about a kit robot based upon open source designs.
The pair then teamed up with Aubra Taylor, a behavioral studies and learning systems expert with more than 10 years of experience in child development. Villwock’s experience in product research, development, and marketing, and Stolpner’s experience as a technologist and entrepreneur led them to create Roby, a 3D printed robot kit aimed at teaching programming, robotics and 3D design to users.
So the three formed Socially Shaped to get the word out on how their 3D printed parts kit can help youngsters build their very own robot, and they say the project has been designed to provide tech experience.
“Remember,” they say, “Roby is not just a robot. It’s a learning platform. When you build Roby, you will have fun, learn valuable skills, and gain first-hand experience in programming, robotics, and 3D design. These skills will allow you to make highly advanced products based on your own design and engage feedback of other makers around the world. Completing our projects will truly give you skills to invent the future.”
The group’s Kickstarter campaign to fund the project has some ambitious goals like teaching users how to build robots; the use of the Raspberry Pi computer; basic skills in Linux-based operating systems; WiFi and Bluetooth communications; how to use sensors, stepper motors, and other electronics; and how to leverage 3D printing for design.
They say that rather than build their robot with aluminum alloy, they chose to build the Roby device with 3D printing technology from environmentally-friendly, biodegradable plastic.
According to their campaign, the team say they designed Roby’s body to be simple to allow users to add their own artistic spin via 3D printing, and through SociallyShaped.com, share those designs with the community.
The plan calls for three different version of the kit: Roby Junior, Roby Standard, and Roby Genius.
The Roby Junior is an autonomous, remote-controlled robot driven by the Arduino platform. It includes the Arduino board, two DC motors, a shield to drive DC motors, an ultrasonic sensor to help Roby avoid obstacles and even a remote control. That kit also include a set of 3D printed parts and all hardware required to build Roby. Using a step-by-step guide and a set of batteries, users can complete the working basic version of the robot. They say there will also be upgrade kits available for the Roby Junior which will allow backers to transition their device to the Roby Standard or Roby Genius as their skills advance.
The Roby Standard is a self-balancing robot capable of ‘walking’ on two wheels. It includes two arms to help it stand up if it falls and includes a total of four wheels for track-based or off-road use. The Roby Standard kit includes an Arduino board, a shield board, ultra-sonic distance sensor to help Roby avoid obstacles, a gyroscope, NEMA17 stepper motors for precision, servo motors to drive the kit’s arms, and additional electronics.
The Roby Genius includes a powerful on-board computer capable of voice recognition and voice commands, the latest Raspberry Pi, a WiFi/Bluetooth module, a graphical screen, a video camera, a microphone, and a speaker.
Roby is currently on Kickstarter and hoping to raise $25,000 in funding by June 19th to go into manufacturing.
Will you back the Roby campaign on Kickstarter? Let us know in the Roby forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the backing reward levels below.