Tanky Drone Introduces an Insanely Fast FPV Racing Quadcopter

Los Angeles, CA — October 25, 2016 — Tanky Drone, a start-up drone design company in Southern California today introduced Tanky, a first person view (FPV) racing drone — at just 460 grams all-up-weight, Tanky features a remotely tiltable camera for ease of landing, tough-as-nails impact-resistant injection molded plastics, sleek aesthetics, and an aerodynamic design. Tanky delivers incredible performance. It can reach speeds upwards of 100 mph with 2305 motors and 1.0Ah 4S battery, a combination that delivers an amazing power-to-weight ratio. With its streamlined aerodynamic shape and obstruction free thrust column, Tanky performs on par with any custom made competition-bred craft.

“Tanky is a new generation of ready-to-race fpv drones. It’s not a toy. It’s a true speed machine, just like a sports motorcycle or a Formula 1 racecar. We optimized it for speed, minimized the weight, without compromising on design,” said lead designer, Bogdan Ryabyshchuk.

“One of the problems with drone racing today is the limited selection of ready-to-race crafts. This means that if you want to get into the hobby and sport of drone racing you need to build it yourself. This process usually takes a few weeks, rewards the naturally mechanically inclined, and does not guarantee a fast craft. After building your craft, you also run into another problem—learning to pilot it. So what do you do if you don’t have time to build a fast racing drone, but want to get into the sport? We decided to eliminate this barrier.

With Tanky, you have the option to buy it ready-to-fly, so you can start learning how to pilot it right away and become a drone racer,” said Yuki To, co-designer of Tanky, “So anyone can enjoy the exploding hobby of FPV flying and racing.”

“FPV drone racing is an immersive experience, enabling you to experience flight, speed, and exhilaration, without compromising on personal safety. When you inevitably crash, Tanky’s major components are protected with tough as nails polycarbonate. A polycarbonate skin not only protects the vital components, but also hides unsightly wiring. If the plastics do break on harsh impact, they are easily replaceable. This gives you the added benefit of being able to switch up your plastics to a different color, for a different feel, and to upgrade your components to stay on the cutting edge of innovation.”


Harvard University Based Startup Launches New Robot, Root, That Teaches Anyone To Code

All ages and skill levels can learn coding in an intuitive, interactive way.

 CAMBRIDGE, Mass. October 26, 2016 – Scansorial, a startup emerging from Harvard University, is on a mission to bridge the coding gap with the launch of their newest invention, Root: a fun, easy-to-use robot which teaches coding to anyone ages four to 99. Root has over 50 sensors and actuators with which it can draw, erase, play music, explore its world, and even defy gravity by using magnetism to drive on wall mounted whiteboards — making coding activities applicable to a range of topics, social, and way more cool.

With its interactive nature and easy setup, Root is the perfect tool for learning from authentic coding experiences at home, with teachers in classrooms, and has a social platform to share programs around the world. Root appeals to children as young as four and grows with them as a familiar and consistent platform — offering years of learning opportunities rather than days. As their coding skills improve, they’ll advance from programming with a blocks-based graphical interface (a child can use it even before they know how to read) to programming with fully text-based languages like Swift, JavaScript, and Python.

Another thing that makes Root special is the interplay with iPad. Not only is it programmed from an iPad, with Root’s app the iPad sensors can be used to interact with Root in real-time (for instance, the iPad can be programmed to act as a steering wheel.) Programs can be modified even while they’re running which facilitates the real-time debugging of code as children flexibly pause, step through, or add instructions at any point. Root also promotes agent-based thinking by showing exactly what the robot sees on the iPad.

“We have a big problem in our country, nine out of 10 parents want their kids to learn computer science but only one out of 10 elementary schools actually teach it. This leaves 58 million kids stuck in the middle not knowing how to get a computer science education,” Zee Dubrovsky, CEO of Scansorial.

“We are thrilled to support Root as it heads out to change the world of education. iRobot is committed to STEM learning and excited to see one of our alumni carry this passion forward in a startup aimed at bringing robotics and programming into homes and classrooms.“ Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot.

About Scansorial, PBC

Founded in 2016, Scansorial is a Public Benefit Corporation on a mission to make coding accessible for learners of any age. Scansorial makes robots, apps, and curricula that allow people to instantly set up, create, and share interactive coding lessons. Robots are the best way to engage in the journey of learning how digital stuff really works. Scansorial is a privately-held company headquartered in Cambridge, MA.

Root Team

The Root team has over 50 years of collective experience in launching and building consumer products (iRobot, Sonos, Apple) and software/education services (Microsoft, Disney, PLTW, Harvard, MIT). This includes launching four coding robots (Create, Kilobot, AERobot, Multiplo), launching two graphical coding environments (MIT App Inventor, Minibloq), and launching three consumer robots (Roomba, Scooba, Looj).

It is now possible to pre-order Root exclusively through Kickstarter through November 30. A limited number are priced at $145 which is only a fraction of its retail value. With a pledge of only $10, the campaign will put that money aside for schools in need that can’t afford Root. For any backers with deeper pockets, a pledge of $10,000 will put 60 Roots in a school of their choice and the campaign will promote these backers as a School Hero. Follow #SchoolHero to see who out there will step up to the plate and join this cause.

Kickstarter page: http://kck.st/2exTJN8

Video showing LEGO MINDSTORMS booth at Legoworld Utrecht 2016

Pictures from Legoworld Utrecht 2016

Plobot is a colorful coding companion that takes programming beyond the computer screen

A revolutionary robot toy helps your kids learn computational thinking through physical play

An educational robotics startup is pioneering a new way of teaching computational thinking and programming through physical interactions with command cards.

How the Plobot platform works

Plobot is an Arduino-based robot learning companion designed for four to eight year-olds. It’s designed to be a child’s first encounter with coding concepts – using cards and storytelling versus syntax and computer screens.

Each command card represents a block of code, directly triggering actions for the robot through its built-in RFID scanner. Kids can make Plobot navigate a maze of obstacles, play music, light up with different colors, sense nearby objects, and much more.

Swiping the cards in sequence strings together a ‘program’ the robot follows, with the „Play“ card working as an execute function. Amplifier cards mimic loops and conditionals, changing the effects of the other cards.

A headstart in computational thinking

By breaking down each task into a sequence of steps, kids exercise problem solving and creative thinking abilities, while picking up core coding concepts such as variables, conditionals, and loops. This helps pave the way for a foundation in computational thinking, and sparks an early interest in computer science.

Plobot can take up to 50 instructions in one sequence. With card expansion packs, Plobot provides countless possible combinations that make it one of the most versatile screen-free coding platforms in the market.

In addition to command cards, Plobot works with ‘stations’, circular pads with labels like ‘school’, ‘ice cream shop, or ‘home’ which serve as goal posts during programming activities and adds a storytelling element to the lessons.

Plobot’s exterior is made of easy to clean plastic, and kids can customize Plobot using stickers, clay, and or attaching Duplo blocks on its back.


A Maker’s Journey

Plobot began in 2013 as Rodolfo Cossovich’s side project. Rodolfo is an Argentinian robotics engineer and inventor who teaches robotics at New York University.

“We started with the idea that children learn best through physical play,” Cossovich shares, “The challenge was fundamentally how to make the code-learning experience more interactive and engaging without getting kids in front of computer screens.”

Plobot participated in Make in LA’s hardware tech accelerator to move the project forward. The edtech startup has developed a custom curriculum around Plobot which it has pilot-tested with hundreds of kids in international schools and coding bootcamps in Shanghai, Taipei, Buenos Aires, Washington DC, and other cities over the past year.

“Computational thinking is becoming core literacy for the next generation. Plobot gives kids a headstart. Many parents have described Plobot as a physical version of Scratch. We use this physical coding approach to help kids become better thinkers through play.”

Plobot is set to launch on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter the third week of October at a retail price of $159. An introductory price of $79 (50% off retail price) will be offered to early backers.

The Kickstarter campaign can be found here.

Anki launches critically acclaimed Cozmo robot

A Little Robot with a Big Personality, Cozmo Marks a New Era for Consumer Robotics

Anki’s Cozmoments Marketing Campaign Highlights the Emotional Connection Possible Between Robot and Human

October 17, 2016 – San Francisco, CA — Anki, the consumer robotics and artificial intelligence (A.I.) company, today announced it has launched Cozmo – one of the most sophisticated consumer robots on the market. “Unlike its less sophisticated predecessors in the toy market, Cozmo has advanced software to backup its smarts,” notes The Verge. Tech aside, Cozmo is a small bot with a big brain and an even bigger personality. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Cozmo has more personality and charm than any other robot toy I’ve played with,” and Gizmodo opines, “You can play with Cozmo for twenty minutes and forget all about it being a toy. It feels…real.” Cozmo is charming, a bit mischievous, and unpredictable. He recognizes and remembers people over time through games and playful interactions. Priced at $179.99, Cozmo is available in the U.S. at major retailers including Toys”R”Us, Apple Store, Best Buy, Amazon.com and Anki.com.

“Cozmo not only represents a significant engineering milestone, but is a physical manifestation of robots that have a deep personality and character like the ones we’ve come to love in Hollywood films,” said Boris Sofman, co-founder & CEO, Anki. “We are setting a new standard for the types of emotional experiences people can expect from consumer robotics products, and we are incredibly excited for everyone to meet Cozmo. Our robot is more than a breakthrough in entertainment as the technology within Cozmo will play an integral role in shaping other aspects of our lives.”

Always Game. Cozmo refuses to sit tight and wait for fun. He’s ready to play. The more Cozmo and his human friend get to know each other, the more skilled he’ll become as new activities and upgrades are unlocked. The free Cozmo app, which runs on compatible iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices, comes packed with gameplay content and constantly introduces new ways to play. Cozmo even brings his own toys to the game — three interactive Power Cubes that he’s always willing to share. So whether he’s playing with his Power Cubes or challenging players with his favorite games of speed and skill, he’s always ready for action.

Similar to Anki’s robotic battle-racing hit, Anki OVERDRIVE, new content and game modes are introduced via free software updates, which ensures that the relationship with Cozmo will stay fresh and exciting year round. A software update, which includes new game mode and features, will be rolled out in December in time for the holidays.

Hundreds of Emotions. A Few Tricks Up His Sleeves. Cozmo’s emotions aren’t random. His personality, driven by powerful A.I., is brought to life with complex facial expressions, a host of emotions, and his own voice and emotive language. His vision system, which includes a camera on the front of his OLED face, allows him to constantly scan his environment and recognize people. His eyes even light up when he sees a familiar face. Cozmo also comes with his own dynamic soundtrack that matches his mood and corresponds with the games and activities, elevating playtime to a uniquely cinematic experience. This merger of robotics, deep A.I., game design, and a film-like approach to developing Cozmo’s character, brings to life an experience that has never been thought possible or implemented outside of a movie screen.

The Little Bot with Super-powered Smarts. There’s more to Cozmo than what meets the eye. His powerful technology lets him survey the world, explore it, and make decisions based on his mood. He is the product of over six years of steadfast research and development by a team comprised of some the best and brightest people across a variety of disciplines including PhD roboticists, world- class animators, renowned game developers, and a lead designer of the Batmobile. Powered by advanced robotics, A.I., and computer vision, Cozmo has a brain that processes more data per second than all the Mars rovers combined. More than three-hundred parts make up Cozmo, but his deceptively small size means he can fit in the palm of your hand.

Anki is also introducing the Cozmo Software Development Kit (SDK) Beta, a free, intuitive and connected robotics platform that’s as useful for makers and hobbyists as it is for educators and researchers. With the SDK, Anki is giving consumers unprecedented access to robotics in a highly versatile package. It’s powerful but easy to use, complex but not complicated, and can be used in industries ranging from entertainment to academia.

Cozmo retails for $179.99 and ships with one base charger and three interactive Power Cubes. For a full list of current device compatibility, visit here:

Keep up with @Anki news & connect with us at: Twitter.com/Anki, Facebook.com/Anki, YouTube.com/Anki, and Instagram.com/Anki!

WiLoader: The WiFi Programmer for Arduino & AVR

WiLoader is the new generation of programmers that uses WiFi instead of cables to Program, control and monitor Arduino boards and AVR based Robots over WiFi.

Introducing WiLoader, The new generation of programmers:

WiLoader easily connects to existing WiFi network, so developers can program their AVR microcontrollers, Arduino boards and Robots over WiFi. It doesn’t need any kind of cable for computer connection, especially USB ones. Because it employs WiFi, even smartphone can be used to configure, communicate, control and monitor targets via a WiFi-UART bridge.

WiLoader is embedded inside Arduino IDE

WiLoader is easy to set up, use and control. Since Arduino is an open source software and also has a lot of cool features and rich libraries, PetuniaTech will release a software patch for Arduino IDE to support and handle all WiLoader capabilities. WiLoader can be chosen like any other programmers inside the Tools menu. It is compatible with all operating systems and it performs flawlessly.

WiLoader has a WiFi-UART bridge called WiCOM. Users can send and receive serial data over WiFi by connecting WiLoader dedicated serial pins to AVR UART pins (RX, TX). Just like other COM ports that Arduino serial monitor uses for communicating and debugging MCUs.

Robotics is easier with WiLoader !

WiLoader is wise choice when developers and hobbyist are working with robots or any kind of portable devices. It can program target boards on the go without stopping and connecting it to a computer every time. Users can even create a customized app for PC or smartphones to control their robots by sending commands over WiFi. Also this WiFi-UART Bridge can be used to monitor robot status and sensor values.

PetuniaTech has launched WiLoader campaign on Kickstarter. WiLoader is selected as “Project We Love” by Kickstarter too. Backers can pledge to this project until November 7th and choose different rewards such as single WiLoader pack and WiFi Robot Kit. A free eBook named “Connected Robots” will be available for Robot Kit backers too.

WiLoader Campaign Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/petuniatech/wiloader-the-wifi-programmer-for-avr

Erle Robotics creates a new robotics standard

Erle Robotics announced a new platform that provides manufacturers tools for building interoperable robot components that can easily be exchanged between robots

Erle Robotics announced during ROSCon 2016 in Seoul, Korea, a new game-changing standard for building robot components, H-ROS: the Hardware Robot Operating System. H-ROS provides manufacturers tools for building interoperable robot components that can easily be exchanged or replaced between robots.

Powered by the popular Robot Operating System (ROS), H-ROS offers building-block-style parts that come as reusable and reconfigurable components allowing developers, to easily upgrade their robots with hardware from different manufacturers and add new features in seconds.

With H-ROS, building robots will be about placing H-ROS-compatible hardware components together to build new robot configurations. Constructing robots won’t be restricted to a few with high technical skills but it will be extended to a great majority with a general understanding of the sensing and actuation needed in a particular scenario.

 H-ROS was initially funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through the Robotics Fast Track program in 2016 and developed by Erle Robotics. The platform has already been tested by several international manufacturers who have built robots out of this technology. This is the case of H-ROS Turtlebot, which was presented during the conference in Seoul.

H-ROS is now available for selected industry partners and will soon be released for the wider robotics community. Additional information can be requested through its official web page at https://h-ros.com/.

3D printing will be super easy with Doodle3D Transform, now on Kickstarter

Doodle3D, based in The Netherlands, is working on their second crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. They are launching their new 2D-to-3D design app called Doodle3D Transform, which makes 3D-design and 3D-printing childsplay. The campaign runs until the 21st of October and has currently achieved 50% of its target.

In the application, simplicity is key. What makes it stand apart from the many other 3D design applications, is the fact that the user designs 3-dimensional shapes based on flat (2D) drawings.

Because of its accessibility, anyone can use the app to create their ideas, no matter their age or background.

Doodle3D Transform runs on Android, Apple and Windows tablets and computers. Designs can be 3D printed with your own 3D printer, or by using one of the many 3D printing services. The Doodle3D WiFi-Box, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2013, can be used to wirelessly print your designs. For more information visit www.doodle3d.com.

Robelf – Your Moving Monitor Guardian

As of last week, Robotelf Technologies Co. has announced their IndieGoGo campaign for their home robot, Robelf. They launched the campaign on October 4th, 2016 in hopes of raising $100,000. The team behind Robelf is hoping to bring recognition to their first project. Although there are currently a few different Home Robots on the market today, Robelf has been designed to stand out with various features not yet seen. Mainly, Robelf flaunts their multi-camera design with detachable back camera (known as their Elf Eye). This gives you an extra IP camera to use. Now with Robelf, you will be getting the only home robot where you do not need to crouch down to utilize it. With an adjustable camera that can move up and down to fit the needs of everyone in the family. With Robelf’s built in iBeacon positioning system, you can setup the patrol time for Robelf to automatically survey your home. The ultrasound and infrared device located on Robelf can accurately dodge any obstacles around and Robelf, with sound detection and a face recognition system; you will be notified of anything out of the ordinary. Many times home owners are nervous when leaving their home alone, especially in certain areas; with Robelf those worries are a thing of the past. The indoor tracking features allow Robelf to roam the house and alert home owners or authorities of any issues. Robelf is the perfect design for non-tech users including both older adults and children.

Since 2014, Robelf Inc. has been perfecting their first product and ensuring they release a home robot that is above and beyond anything out today. The size of Robelf was perfected to ensure a home robot that could easily maneuver around the home without an issue, while still being large enough to present a comfortable presence. There is also the ability to adjust the head so children and adults can use Robelf easily. Moving forward, Robelf Inc. is hopeful to reach their goal to be able to mass produce Robelf and bring their amazing home robot to families across the world. Robelf has also made clear they will be shipping by the middle of 2017, and if they do not accomplish this they’ll be offering a full refund to all backers.

About Robotelf Technologies: After spending 15 years of developing learning software for children, the idea of Robelf came with confidence. Having Robelf in your home will allow learning and education to continue in the home which is one of the most important reasons Robelf was built. The Robelf team, which has a strong background in both OEM and ODM has been able to reduce to the pricing to aro und $400. Their early bird pricing on IndieGoGo will be around $349.

For more information, please check out our website www.myrobelf.com