Trending on Kickstarter: ‘MOTI’ is your personal robotic companion for building healthy habits

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. —  Emerging from an industry saturated with apps and wearables, San Francisco based startup MOTI ( is seeing tremendous support on Kickstarter, exceeding a goal of $50,000 within the first five days of launching. At 23 days left on the campaign, MOTI has over 700 backers, and has now released additional “stretch goals” for their little robot. These goals include adding a wild card color that backers can vote on, integrations with Fitbit, Evernote, and Google Calendar, as well as a new top secret feature – should the campaign reach $175,000.


Who is this little robot and why is everyone so intrigued by him? First, MOTI is a physically present smart companion for building better habits. The device combines insights from behavioral science, social robotics and human-centered design, and is built to learn and react to human beings’ psychological triggers with the purpose of getting them to start practicing healthy habits (such as jogging, hydrating, meditating, etc). Second, what makes him different is that unlike a standalone app, MOTI’s very physicality, presence, and emotional AI contributes to his ability to effectively influence behavior. Standing at just under three inches tall, MOTI acts as an ever-present environmental queue that is meant to interact with you in the moments and places where you would normally start forming your habit (i.e. your kitchen, your work desk, your yoga space,etc.).


The science and design behind MOTI’s habit-forming influence draws from the habit-loop theory, which explains that in order to build any habit, three things are required: a trigger, a routine, and a reward. To help you form your habit, MOTI supports all three things through a combination of lights, haptics, human-like intonations and other sounds. In order to have the best effect on behavior, MOTI is also designed to form a bond with the user, and his personality is continually adapting to the users’ needs.


“What we found in early research is that apps and wearables rely on data, graphs, and tracking for motivation,”  says Kayla Matheus, Inventor and Co-Founder of MOTI. “But we’re human – we need more than just numbers. We need our technology to understand how we work at a psychological and emotional level. That’s why MOTI isn’t another device – he’s your friend, or your cheerleader, or even your mom.”


Live demos are available today at BulletProof Bio-Hacking conference, and customers can now pledge an order for their own MOTI at , on sale for $99 each and available in light grey, dark grey, and turquoise.  


About MOTI

MOTI is a behavior change company combining science and design to create transformative products that help people live better lives, one habit at a time. Established March 2015 in New York City, the company is led by Founder and CEO Kayla Matheus (Yale BA’11) and Founder/COO Laura Day (Vanderbilt BE’02, Harvard Business School MBA ‘09). MOTI is an alum of Google 30 Weeks and Highway1 Accelerators. Connect with MOTI via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@habitMOTI) or visit to learn more.

Robo Wunderkind raises $500,000 and announces a new mobile application

Vienna, Austria, Sept. 20, 2016 — The Vienna-based hardware startup Robo Wunderkind, which develops modular programmable robots for young children, announced today a $500,000 funding round with participation from Arkley VC as lead investor, business angel Juergen Habichler, and the Austrian Federal Promotional Bank (AWS). The funding will go into the widening of their retail reach and the expansion into new markets. The plan is to build a worldwide distribution system and to give young customers from everywhere a chance to learn coding and robotics in a fun and simple way.

The startup already raised $250,000 from backers from 58 countries on Kickstarter in October 2015 and by now collaborated with more than 50 schools around the globe to bring Robo Wunderkind to the classroom. Its vision is to revolutionize the way children interact with technologies through developing educational hardware and software products.


Piotr Wasowski, Managing Partner of Arkley VC:

“I expect Robo Wunderkind to transform how our kids interact with technology. Even very young children will be able to learn the basic principles of programming, which are vital for their future careers and for understanding the world around them.”


Juergen Habichler, Business Angel:

Robo Wunderkind is the future of education. I have been looking for a long time to find a visionary team, which combines robotics with education. I strongly believe that Robo Wunderkind has the potential to become the education platform for kids, students as well as adults.


Today, the startup is also announcing its new application to remote control electronic devices: the Robo Play App. Its simple programming interface will allow users to easily create personalized virtual dashboards to control the robots they will build with Robo Wunderkind modules, remotely via Bluetooth or Wifi. In the next step, the team is going to make the Robo Play App compatible with other Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as cameras, lights, motion and light sensors.


Rustem Akishbekov, co-founder and CEO at Robo Wunderkind:

“In the beginning, we wanted to create an interface that will allow even a 5-year old to control our robotics kit. Eventually, we created a platform that will allow us to expand our target audience and reach older users. With our app, everyone will be able to control their IoT devices with the help of a very intuitive and customizable app. The way our robots prepare young kids for the digital world of the 21st century, our app will open the world of IoT devices to everyone.”

Yuri Levin, Chief Design Officer:

“With the help of our user-friendly and intuitive design, we are making interaction with IoT devices seamless and accessible for the wider audience.”


Robo Play App is free and will work on both Android and iOS devices. It will be compatible with all Robo Wunderkind kits, which are already available for pre-orders on their website with shipping planned for later this year.


About Robo Wunderkind

Robo Wunderkind was founded by Rustem Akishbekov, who brought Anna Iarotska and Yuri Levin on board in 2013. The company is based in Vienna, Austria, and maintains an office in Shenzhen, China. In the last three years, the founders have gathered a team of passionate engineers and designers dedicated to the vision of making coding and robotics accessible to everyone. Their first product is an educational robot that syncs with intuitive mobile applications to help children understand the basics of programming. Robo Wunderkind was part of the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator HAX in 2014 and Finalist of TechCrunch Disrupt SF Startup Battlefield in 2015.

GadgetBox – Affordable, Open-Source Robotics for Children 9 – 15 years

The GadgetBox crowd-funding campaign runs until October 14th 2016 with a required minimum target of $50,000 US. You can help by making a contribution. More importantly, please spread the word to others who may wish to support.

GadgetBox is an educational robotics kit, which will enable children 9 – 15 years to participate in a variety of hands-on activities linked to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Pre-university STEM education has been identified as one strategic approach to preparing children for active participation in the changing technology landscape.

The requirement for GadgetBox, became evident while using commercial educational robotics kits in pre-university STEM activities such as construction, programming, and operation of a simple robot.  Price, maintenance, availability, and support requirements were cited as key reasons why successful initiatives have failed to gain widespread traction and visibility.


GadgetBox was created to address these issues; specifically by:

  • selecting the smallest sub-set of components that could facilitate basic activities when supplemented with items/materials readily accessible to children;
  • selecting, where possible, components readily available in local hardware stores;
  • providing guideline(s) to adapt/re-use sensor/actuator elements from local e-waste;
  • programming using a smartphone instead of a computer

Campaign funds will allow Edubots Engineering to produce a minimum of 20 kits, while concurrently testing curriculum exercises, and developing learning activities for upcoming school trials and robotics workshops in early 2017.

“We want to test GadgetBox, alongside commercial educational robotics kits in 2017. To do so, we must replicate and distribute the prototype – that takes funds.” – Cathy Radix, Robotics in Education, Edubots Engineering

GadgetBox was created using Open Source Hardware and Software to minimise development time, but also to enable children to design, build, and share designs for GadgetBox accessories.

“Because we believe that there is always room for improvement, we anticipate further modifications to GadgetBox based on feedback from users.“— Jeevan Persad, Fasove, Edubots Engineering

The improved GadgetBox designs, and online support forums, will be available to the public by early 2018.

Crowd-funding Campaign:

Onion Launches the Omega2 to Bring Innovation to the Internet of Things (IoT)

July 29, 2016 – Onion announces the Omega2, the IoT development board aimed at bringing innovation back into the IoT space. The Omega2 launched on Kickstarter last week and is currently more than 1,100% funded, with 25 days left to go in the campaign. Campaign Link:
IoT never really gained mainstream status. Most „smart“ products on the market are nothing more than ordinary products with a screen slapped on it. These products don’t bring true value, so as soon as the novelty factor wears off, consumers move on to try the next „smart“ thing. Innovation in IoT is driven not by the needs of the market, but by the need of product companies to create new products and turn a profit. To bring innovation to IoT, the products need to be repositioned to address real pain points in everyday life. Onion aims to do that with the Omega2 by making hardware development accessible so everyone can start solving problems in their lives with IoT technology.

„We created the Omega2 to be the most accessible hardware development board,“ says co-founder and CEO Boken Lin. „We do this in two ways, by making it extremely affordable, and by making it very beginner-friendly. There is always a risk involved with trying new things, and by reducing the price to starting at just $5, we hope to minimize that risk so more people can make the plunge. Making it beginner-friendly means that even users with no electronics experience can do something with the Omega2 on day one.“

With a myriad of hardware development boards already on the market, the Omega2 is uniquely positioned as having the advantages of single-board computers such as the Raspberry Pi as well as microcontrollers such as the Arduino. It is much smaller than the Raspberry Pi (less than ¼ the size), and it is much more power-efficient, yet at the same time, it is much more powerful and robust than the Arduino, allowing it to be used in applications such as video/audio streaming, etc.

Because the Omega2 runs Linux, and for inexperienced developers, developing on it will feel much like using a regular computer. An added advantage to supporting Linux is that the Omega2 supports many programming languages. This capability makes the Omega2 approachable for existing programmers who are new to hardware development, allowing them to build hardware projects with familiar languages and programming environments. Finally, for users with absolutely no experience in programming, the Omega2 integrates Node Red, a programming environment developed by IBM that allows users to program IoT devices by simply dragging and dropping block diagrams.

„Everything around us is becoming smart.“ says Lin. „It started out with the smartphone movement in 2006, and now everything from thermostats to televisions, from cars to light bulbs are becoming smart. We want to create the tools that give everyone the power to reinvent their environment. And that’s why we have worked so hard to make the Omega2 so simple and affordable for everyone.“

Onion is a startup that aims to create “The Invention Platform for the Internet of Things”, a collection of hardware and software development tools that simplifies the process of creating and manufacturing connected products. The company is based in Boston, Massachusetts, with operations in Toronto, Canada, and Shenzhen, China. Onion completed a very successful Kickstarter campaign last year to launch the first generation Omega. Onion is backed by Techstars, and went through their 2014 Winter program in Boston.

3D Printed Robot Arm for STEM Created by Idaho Startup

Boise, ID – Slant Robotics has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a 3D printed robot arm, LittleArm. LittleArm is low cost kit for teaching engineering and robotics to students in STEM courses.


The LittleArm began as a weekend project for Slant Robotics founder, Gabe Bentz. “I didn’t want to pay the 100-plus dollars for an existing arm kit,” said Bentz, “So, I did a little design and let my 3D printer do the work.”

Bentz eventually showed his creation to colleagues and friends in the area. Many asked him to make them one. But when several STEM teachers expressed interest in the arm for their classrooms Bentz decided to turn the kit into a product, at Slant Robotics.

Thanks to rapid prototyping techniques the LittleArm was ready for production within just a few weeks. It utilizes high strength metal-geared microservos, and is controlled with a standard Arduino Uno allowing it be programmed using graphical software such as Blockly. When connected to a computer, Slant has created a simple graphical app which allows the arm to be trained to execute a set of motions.

The entire project is open-source, allowing anyone to download the 3D designs and software and build their own LittleArm.

At the time of this release, the LittleArm Kickstarter campaign has passed the halfway point, after being live for just 2 days. Over the next few months the team at Slant Robotics will be developing software and producing teaching materials so that students and teachers can easily use the LittleArm when it arrives.

About Slant Robotics

Slant Robotics is a startup located in Boise, ID. Its mission to to develop consumer robots for the home, school and business. The LittleArm is the fourth product that Slant has released.

BuWizz – The one brick to steer them all

BuWizz is a high performance LEGO® compatible remote control system and battery, seeking to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter. Why we made BuWizz? The original LEGO® Power Functions control system allows lesser speed, power and agility than users would like to have for their models. Created as an enhancement to the existing LEGO® remote control system, BuWizz is better than anything available on the market until now. Paired over Bluetooth with an iOS or Android device, BuWizz brick is made to control the motors and lights of LEGO® Trains and LEGO Technic models. Besides motors to power movement, BuWizz users will be able to add light effects and other special functions to their models.

While one BuWizz brick can control up to four motors or lights, several bricks can be controlled in parallel, from either one or more smart devices. Users can control a huge model with 8, 12 or even more motors and lights. It’s perfect for having fun, like racing against each other using several cars. One BuWizz brick inside the model replaces 3 LEGO components: a battery box and two infrared receivers, while only occupying the space of two receivers.

Connected inside a LEGO model or train, BuWizz brick offers precise control and provides eight times more power than existing solutions. It operates in three speed modes, pushing any LEGO model to it’s limits in “Fast” mode. Until now, LEGO models were mostly limited to indoor use. With BuWizz they come alive, zoom around two times faster and are ready to defeat the most difficult outdoor terrains.

In a later announced stretch goal, BuWizz team will offer “Ludicrous” mode, the next generation of speed and power levels, which will dwarf even the currently highest-performance “Fast” mode.

Users will be able to write their own Apps to control BuWizz and integrate BuWizz into platforms of their choice, the communication protocol will be open.

The reason for success is design and clever engineering solutions, which made BuWizz powerful and simple to use. Several benefits of BuWizz are due to the embedded Li-ion battery, which provides power for hours of fun. BuWizz can be recharged with any Micro-USB charger. The App will alert users when power is running low. For extended play time, BuWizz can also be charged on the go, with a standard Powerbank charger.

The price of single brick will be $119. And shipping will begin in November.



SubPos Ranger: Indoor Positioning System

The SubPos Ranger is as an open source indoor positioning system to be used for robotics applications in the education and hobbyist markets. It has primarily been designed as a flexible radio frequency platform for experimenting and tinkering, that allows you to not only obtain positioning and perform distance measurements, it can also be used for passive motion detection as well as communication between embedded devices.

While there are many positioning systems on the market, the Ranger has been created to be extremely cost effective, easy to use and develop for. While other systems are usually locked down in one way or another, whether that be functionality or availability of source code, the Ranger is completely open and flexible. Perfect for the budding hobbyist to invent the next big thing.

The Ranger is fully operational and ready for manufacture, and a complete system can be had for $274AUD (~$210USD), which gives you 3D positioning in a room, as well as a receiver to output the position. Once set up, the system can give up to +-10cm of accuracy. Other options are also available to experiment with too, such as a cheaper option for two nodes to perform distance measurements and motion detection, or a Wi-Fi support add-on.

Key Features:
•        Supports 2D and 3D Positioning – not just x and y, but z also.
•        2.4GHz ISM Spectrum – supported worldwide.
•        Standards Compliant Hardware – supports 802.15.4 and can also utilise Zigbee or 6LoWPAN communication protocols.
•        Reconfigurable RF Chipset – enables many different 2.4GHz ISM applications.
•        Firmware Updates over USB – no need for any extra programming hardware.
•        Open Source Hardware and Software – hack, repurpose and play to your heart’s content.
•        Modular Design – the Ranger allow all sorts of connectivity options. You can connect it to anything such as a Raspberry Pi via USB or GPIO, Arduino or to your smartphone via Wi-Fi.
•        Low Level Raw Data and Parameters – access to all low level measurement data and parameter tweaks are available to discover interesting new applications (such as motion detection).
•        Node Position Calibration – get the position of nodes automatically; no manual fixed node measurements required.
•        9-Axis Accelerometer – the client expansion board contains a 9 axis accelerometer for increased positioning accuracy.

Board Image –
Client Image –

Old and new VEX IQ Chickens

Here are pictures and videos of the VEX IQ Chickens I built some time ago for VEX Worlds. You can see the progress from the first version to the latest version with colored parts.

These robot chickens can each be build out of one VEX IQ kit.
But if you add parts in other colors it looks more realistic.

It is moving using only one motor!
The program to make it move is really easy and a great start for robotic beginners.

2014-04-22 14.57.50 (Large)

20160402_002049 20160402_003535


Innovators offered chance to develop their ideas with world leading robotics manufacturer ABB Robotics

London, U.K. – 1 May 2016 –Innovation platform, The IdeaHub, is once again recruiting robotics and software innovators worldwide to take on the challenge of improving the way we work and interact with the next generation of industrial robots. Working on behalf of ABB Robotics, IdeaHub will help successful applicants pitch their ideas and secure uniquely tailored support packages to maximise their venture’s commercial potential, including investment, mentoring and access to cutting edge hardware.

The IdeaHub is a cross sector, open innovation platform that connects visionaries worldwide with funding and support from global corporations. In 2015 they ran their first programme for ABB Robotics, attracting over 130 applicants with 12 finalists selected for a pitch day in London, with 6 entrepreneurs receiving an offer of support. For 2016 they are partnering with ABB Robotics once again to bring more solutions to solve three core challenges in the world collaborative industrial robotics:

1.) Simplicity: How to simplify robotics

2.) Intelligence: How to enable robots to learn and apply that learning

3.) Digitalization: How smart connectivity will enhance digital factories.

Much more information can be found at


The IdeaHub platform launches today and is open for applications until 30th July 2016. Successful applicants will get the chance to pitch their ideas directly to ABB Robotics at an IdeaHub event in August 2016. There is no limit to number of offers that might be made, which can include funding, access to robots, technology and commercial support as appropriate to the needs of their business.

Simon Blair, from the IdeaHub said, “This is a great opportunity for robotics and software innovators and entrepreneurs around the world to collaborate with a leading robotics company and take their idea to the next level.  All negotiations are directly between successful applicants and ABB Robotics, so outcomes can be structured to the specific needs of each successful venture. Our programme aims to compliment your business and not restrict it in anyway – we don’t operate an incubator period, we don’t set any pre-defined terms and we don’t insist on equity sacrifice as part of any deals borne out of the programme.”

Applying to the IdeaHub takes a few minutes and only requires information already in the public domain. Visit for more information and further contact details.

Kamibot Programmable Papercraft Robot Launches on Kickstarter

Daegu, Korea – February 16, 2016 – Kamibot, the first robot that makes learning to code truly fun for kids (and kidults), will launch on Kickstarter on Tuesday, February 16.

Kamibot is a cute, programmable edtech robot, about the size of a coffee mug. It is based around Arduino, so kids can easily program it by using a drag-and-drop programming language like Scratch. The programming skills kids learn with Kamibot are easily transferrable to real-world applications.

“Unless we make programming fun, kids are never going to stick with it,” said Alvin Chae, co-founder and CEO of 3.14, the company that makes Kamibot. “That’s why we put so much effort into the fun elements of Kamibot, creating colorful papercraft skins that let kids dress up Kamibot, and included the ability to control Kamibot with a smartphone or tablet.”

Papercraft Skins

Kami (紙) is the Japanese word for paper, and is at the root of the word origami (折り紙), literally folding paper. The Kamibot team have already created about half a dozen unique papercraft skins that kids can print out, color, and fold to customize Kamibot and give it character. These include The Count, Frankenstein’s monster, a warrior robot, a tank and a missile launcher tank. The company is also working on striking licensing deals for popular cartoon characters.


While Kamibot is undeniably fun to play with, it also packs some serious hardware. It’s brain is an Arduino compatible board, based on the open-source standard widely used by the maker community around the world. It also includes front-facing ultrasonic sensors that help it recognize and avoid obstacles and navigate through mazes or around a room. Downward-facing IR sensors allow Kamibot recognize and race along a black line on the floor. DC motors power the wheels, and a servo motor allows the heads of the papercraft characters to rotate from side-to-side. Color changing LEDs brighten up Kamibot and make it even more colorful.

Programming Kamibot

Kids can program Kamibot to follow complex courses and do complex actions, using all of its motors and sensors. One example of how to program Kamibot is a treasure hunt. Kids can set up a table-sized treasure hunt map that includes obstacles like plastic alligators and a treasure chest. Then, using Scratch, kids can program Kamibot to wind its way through the course toward the treasure chest. Several programming project plans, including the treasure hunt, are included with Kamibot. Others will be released on the company’s website in the future. Kamibot can be programmed wirelessly via Bluetooth or while plugged in via micro-USB.

Launching on Kickstarter

Throughout 2015, Kamibot was tested in Korean classrooms and earned high marks both from students aged 10 to 17, and their teachers. Now Kamibot is ready to launch on Kickstarter on Tuesday, February 16 at 7:00 a.m. EST. Super earlybird prices start at $79 plus shipping. Pre-orders close after 30 days and Kamibot will ship to backers in June. For more information, visit Kickstarter and search for Kamibot.