The Duckietown Foundation announces the AI Driving Olympics (AI-DO), a self-driving car competition to debut at NIPS 2018

The Duckietown Foundation is excited to announce the The AI Driving Olympics, a new competition focused around AI for self-driving cars. The first edition of the AI Driving Olympics 2018 will take place December 7, 2018, at Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the premiere machine learning conference, in Montréal. This is the first competition with real robots that will take place at a machine learning conference.

The competition will use the Duckietown platform, a miniature self-driving car platform used for autonomy education and research. The Duckietown project originated at MIT in 2016 and is now used by many institutions worldwide.

The AI Driving Olympics is presented in collaboration with 6 academic institutions: ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Université de Montréal (Canada), National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (USA), Tsinghua University (China) and Georgia Tech (USA), as well as two industry co-organizers: nuTonomy (a self-driving car company) and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

About the competition: The competition comprises 4 challenges of increasing complexity: 1) Road following on an empty road; 2) Road following with obstacles; 3) Point to point navigation in a city network with other vehicles; and 4) Fleet planning for a full autonomous mobility on demand system.

Competitors will have access to a suite of professional development tools (simulators, logs, baseline implementations). Real environments called “Robotariums” will be remotely accessible for evaluation. The highest scoring entries in the robotariums will be run during the live event at NIPS 2018 to determine the overall winners.

Scientific goals: The competition aims at directing academic research towards the hard problems of embodied AI, such as modularity of learning processes, and learning in simulation while deploying in reality.  

Social goals: The competition also promotes the democratization of AI and robotics research by using an inexpensive platform, and offering a common infrastructure available through the use of remote testing facilities. Competitors can also build or acquire their own testing facility (Duckiebots and a Duckietowns), through either open-source DIY instructions, or as rewards obtained in our kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/163162211/duckietown-a-playful-road-to-learning-robotics-and?ref=dwrnb2)

 

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Smartibot launches the world’s first A.I. enabled cardboard robot

London, England – June 26th 2018 The Crafty Robot today launches its new robot kit Smartibot which is aimed at letting users get hands-on experience with A.I. and get creative through building their own robot out of anything, even a potato. Created by product designer Ross Atkin, who is part of a team of inventors in the BBC’s flagship technology program ‘The Big Life Fix’, Smartobots are available for pre-order on Kickstarter from £30 ($40).

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/460355237/338515758?ref=1k04h4&token=994114b3

Smartibot takes The Crafty Robot’s ‘build a robot out of anything’ ethos and adds the latest A.I. technology and smartphone connectivity. This allows you to build robots that can recognise and respond to objects they can see such as people, animals and vehicles, or be driven around the home and office using your smartphone as a remote control.

Smartibot comes with cleverly designed cardboard parts, and can be re-used to easily create new robots out of almost anything from porcelain to parsnips. The first three cardboard robot designs include;

  • A.I. Bot: The fun robot that can chase you, your pets or toy vehicles around the room.
  • Teabot: Which can carry two full drinks around the room, giving you a fun way to deliver your favourite person their beverage of choice.
  • Unicorn: It’s a freakin’ Unicorn!

Working with two groups of London-based craftspeople who use traditional processes, Smartibot has grown from a simple robot to something more. Artists at Turning Earth Studios have been able to craft robots using various clay and ceramic techniques whilst regulars at Wild and Woolly Yarn Shop have found knitting a series of robots was more their style. In an East London Makerspace, Machines Room, Smartibot robots have been made using the less traditional materials including potatoes and other vegetables in order to pit them against each other in a race and arena combat in the inaugural ‘Botato Wars’.

“I build technology for a living and I know that the best way to avoid being replaced by a robot is to be the person making the robot” explained Ross Atkin. “We believe building your own robot should be affordable, easy to understand and exciting for everyone. Because of this we created Smartibot in order to allow everyone the opportunity to experiment with the latest A.I. technology in a fun and inventive way.”

Unlike most education technology products, Smartibot allows you to learn all of the disciplines required to create new inventions, from coding and machine learning, to mechanical design and development through iteration.

Akram Hussein, Smartibot software lead, said  “What I love about Smartibot is it allows me share my love of technology and machine learning with my young nephews in a way that is both fun but educational. I’m hopefully they will be excited to pursue STEM careers and believe Smartibot is just the right level to get them started in learning how robots and programming work.”

About The Crafty Robot

The Crafty Robot is a technology education brand, founded by Ross Atkin that has manufactured and sold cardboard robots since 2015 when it was successfully Kickstarted and delivered to over 1,600 backers.

Ross, a London based designer and engineer specialising in internet of things and smart city products, and is part of a team of eight inventors who create one off pieces of technology to solve problems for disabled individuals in the primetime BBC2 TV program ‘The Big Life Fix’.

The Crafty Robot is focused on allowing people to get creative with technology in the most fun and accessible ways possible.

New TacoBot toy makes learning coding skills easy for young children

Indiegogo campaign lets early adopters grab TacoBot toys for home or school at best-ever pricing
XIAMEN, FUJIAN, CHINA –There’s a new robot in town, and it’s about to become the hottest tech toy around. That toy is TacoBot. Designed to help children learn to code, this colorful stacking toy was developed by RoboSpace to facilitate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education.
RoboSpace has launched an Indiegogo campaign to accelerate the launch of TacoBot, which is sure to become the new “must have” toy for children starting at age four. TacoBot teaches children to code with screen-free or drag-and-drop coding that allows them to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills while they are playing.
With TacoBot, children can simply stack pieces to create their own special robot. Because stacking is the “most intuitive and simplest construction method,” TacoBot enables children to explore, create, and code a variety of robots and then play with them immediately. This stacking method suits both the hands-on capability and comprehension levels of children from very young ages.
The TacoBot was designed to “minimize complication and maximize exploration.” A basic TacoBot includes four body parts with built-in sensors that control separate functionality:
  • The hat controls perception.
  • The head controls expression.
  • The body controls interaction.
  • The base controls movement.
Once built, the TacoBot gives children instant voice feedback to help them better understand and interact with their toy.
In addition to the basic parts, children can add shovel, plate, and catapult extensions to their TacoBot to expand what their robot can accomplish. With the basic parts and add-ons, children can program their robots with a wide array of functions, from going on patrol, to storytelling, catapulting, and dancing and singing. They can send them into battle or have them clean up toys. TacoBot will even interface with and assemble Legos to create hours of fun. That is to say, one TacoBot quals to a coding robot, a modualr robot, a accompany robot and more.
Two different TacoBot kits will be available for delivery in November. The basic kit includes the programming hat, head, body, base, and a free app. The Happy Kit includes the basic kit along with two additional sensor hats and the shovel, plate, and catapult extensions.
Parents and teachers can visit the TacoBot Indiegogo page right now to pre-order individual or classroom kits and support the toy’s development. Early pricing of the TacoBot through the Indiegogo campaign provides savings of 40% or more:
Basic Kit Early Bird: $34 USD + Shipping. Regularly $59 (42% off)
Happy Kit Early Bird: $44 USD + Shipping. Regularly $75 (41% off)
2 X Basic Kit Family Package of 2: $69 USD + Shipping. Regularly $118 (41% off)
2 X Happy Kit Family Package of 2: $89 USD + Shipping. Regularly $150 (40% off)
6 X Basic Kit Classroom Package of 6: $199 USD + Shipping. Regularly $354 (43% off)
For an additional $5, grab a USB Bluetooth adapter to allow control and programming of the TacoBot by PC (supports Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP). The adapter will be regularly priced at $10.
Visit the just-launched Indiegogo campaign to support the project and grab your TacoBot: www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/9e736306#.
To learn more about TacoBot or see it in action, visit www.tacobot.net or watch our product video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed6IEVK982A.

automatica beats all records again

  • Exhibitor, visitor and area records
  • More international than ever
  • The tangible Workplace 4.0

automatica 2018 (June 19 to 22) set new records: more than 46,000 visitors (+ seven percent) and 890 exhibitors (+ seven percent). Trade Fair Managing Director Falk Senger: “automatica addresses the future topics of human-robot collaboration, digital transformation in production, and service robotics. The strong results show: The history of automation and robotics is being written here in Munich!” Mr. Senger considers the growing internationalism of the trade fair as particularly impressive: “There was a 20 percent increase of visitors other countries. This shows that the automatica is becoming increasingly important on a global level.”

Industry Representative Dr. Norbert Stein, Chairman of the Board of VDMA Robotics + Automation and Managing Director of VITRONIC GmbH, is convinced by the trade fair concept: “automatica has once again set standards. It shows the future of automation and provides knowledge for orientation at the highest level. Visitor quality and quantity: outstanding!”

Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director of ABB Robotics, explained the importance of automatica for his company: “automatica is the most important trade fair in the area of robotics and automation. A lot of value is put on future-oriented technology here. This is the main reason why we are here in Munich.”

Networked production is already a reality today
New names, products and concepts enriched the exhibition portfolio. The motto is: Digitalization, easy operation and greater flexibility in production with the aim of opening up new application areas.

Ralf-Michael Franke, CEO of the Factory Automation Business Unit at Siemens AG, commented on the trade fair premiere of his company: “Our digital enterprise portfolio fits ideally to the automatica motto ‘Optimize your Production’. Siemens provides end-to-end software and hardware solutions, with which the entire value chain can be integrated and digitalized. As a result, machine manufacturers and users can already use the benefits of Industry 4.0.”

Wilfried Eberhardt, Chief Marketing Officer of KUKA AG, sees a decisive advantage for the trade fair in the networked production world: “The topic IoT is part of intelligent automation. automatica is the only trade fair in the world that focuses on it. That is why it stands quite clearly for innovation. Trade visitors get a glimpse into the future here.”

Highlight: IT2Industry
With new exhibitors, specialist lectures and demonstrations, the topic “IT” plays a central role at the trade fair. Sixty-four companies exhibited from the IT environment within the framework of the IT2Industry area. Dr. Christian Schlögel, CEO of connyun GmbH, stated: “automatica 2018 has shown the technological opportunities that companies have for implementing their digital transformation. It is impressive to see the great range of industrial loT developments and which potential is still available.”

Machines speak a common language
A major growth driver for the future: the connectivity between machines. The decisive factor for this is the standardization of communication interfaces. The importance of collaboration between industry participants was demonstrated by the OPC UA Demonstrator from the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, in which 31 companies are participating. “Interoperability is the key to differentiating our products in the networked world of Industry 4.0. OPC UA is the designated standard to let machines speak the same language in the intelligent factory of the future,” Dr. Horst Heinol-Heikkinen said, Chairman of the VDMA OPC Vision Initiative.

Collaboration—the dominant topic
Collaborative robotics is conquering the market at rapid pace and opening up almost unlimited automation possibilities. From the sensor via the cobot to a complete installation, direct interaction between man and machine is gaining increasing acceptance.

The technological developments are thanks to close collaboration between science and industry. Munich is the international meeting point for this. Prof. Oussama Khatib from Stanford University explained: “automatica, this year, opens a wide window on the emerging applications in the robotic industry. Robots with increased capabilities working in closer proximity with humans are being built for real world applications, a testimony to the fruitful collaboration and technology transfer between research and industry.”

People in the Smart Factory
The question that goes beyond the trade fair: How will people work in the future? With the special exhibition “People in the Smart Factory”, the professional association VDMA Robotics + Automation made the work world 4.0 tangible: digital assistance systems as supporters in manual assembly, augmented reality, gesture control, exoskeletons and wearables that simplify interaction between man and machine. Patrick Schwarzkopf, Managing Director of VDMA Robotics + Automation, explained: “Jobs will be more attractive and ergonomic. The respective strengths of man and machine are complementary! This opens up a great opportunity for a better workplace design. This topic sets the tone of automatica as hardly any other fair.”

What lies ahead—Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next technological leap. automatica communicated relevant expertise with numerous talks on this topic. AI-based data analyses can give industry an enormous increase in growth. Interdisciplinary dialog is crucial here. “To use business potential successfully, automation and IT providers must collaborate much more closely together with AI experts in future,” Ralf Bucksch said, Technical Executive of Watson IoT Europe, IBM Sales & Distribution, Software Sales.

Start-ups and the promotion of young people
Twenty-three young entrepreneurs from all over the world presented themselves at the Start-up Arena. With that, automatica promotes exchanges in the industry and supports young entrepreneurs on their way to success.

With the Makeathon, Integration Islands and Escape Game formats, the trade fair addresses young people in a targeted manner. More than 120 Makeathon participants and 200 students brought a breath of fresh air to the industry. Trade fair Managing Director Mr. Senger sees an important issue in this respect: “The shortage of skilled workers is unfortunately a daily reality in industry and SMEs now. To address this problem, we will continue to strengthen our commitment in the area of promoting young, talented people.”

Top grades from visitors and exhibitors
The positive mood in the industry could be felt everywhere: Ninety-six percent of the exhibitors and 98 percent of visitors evaluate the trade fair as excellent, very good or good. automatica is the business platform for making concrete investments, and 97 percent of the visitors confirmed this.

The next automatica will take place In Munich from June 16 to 19, 2020.

Meet and greet service robots at automatica Demo Park

Interact with the world’s leading robots and see them in action at the dedicated Service Robotics Demo Park at automatica 2018. From June 19 to 22 in Hall B4, over a dozen exhibitors will be showcasing a wide range of professional service robots, in applications from detection and individual picking of objects, cleaning and transport to rehabilitation, personal assistance and public relations.

“Hey, I’m Paul, I’m a mobile service robot. Can I guide you through the park?”

Making its premiere at automatica’s Demo Park this year, Care-O-bot 4 is a mobile robot assistant that actively guides and supports humans in environments such as retail stores, hostels, offices and, as in this case, exhibition spaces.

If visitors give a positive answer to its question, Care-O-bot 4 will ask if they are interested in a particular application area and will offer to guide them there or provide alternative suggestions.

Care-O-bot 4 aka “Paul” is already guiding customers in several retail stores. Dr. Ulrich Reiser, CEO and Director of Care-O-bot 4 developer Mojin Robotics, expects the number of Care-O-bots operating in public to increase significantly in the next years: “The goal of Mojin is to support qualified personnel by taking over simple tasks, thereby increasing their productivity and satisfaction”.

Rehabilitation robots and more
Providing a different kind of assistance, in physical rehabilitation, the RIC (Robotic Interactive Care) system, a product of the company BEC, combines a lightweight KUKA iiwa robot to enable re-learning of motor skills after neurological injury. The robot’s end effector is fitted with a baby shoe, ready for a game of football. The patient grasps the shoe and plays the game on the big screen in front of them. The level of assistance can be adjusted and, says BEC Project Manager, Oussama Benfarah, “the system provides real-time tracking of biofeedback data and an interactive gaming aspect that keeps the patient motivated.”

Mobile, lightweight and focused on personal assistance applications (it can complete 30 different tasks altogether), Lio is a human-friendly collaborative mobile robot with a robotic arm, voice control, sensory skin and internet functions, developed by the Swiss company F&P Robotics. Lio can help elderly and handicapped people, support nursing staff, serve food, clear the table, clean, and more.

Another robot that’s equally at home both in a domestic and factory environment, is the “KINOVA Ultra lightweight robotic arm”, designed by French-Canadian company, Kinova. Originally intended to aid people with upper-body limitations, this is a six-axis robotic manipulator arm with a two or three-finger hand that can individually grasp different kind of objects. Whereas in assistive applications it might be used for adjusting a thermostat or brushing one’s teeth, at automatica 2018 it will be shown in an industrial application where visitors can ask the robot to pick up specific tools from a table. “Kinova’s mission is to further the human cause by empowering people to achieve the extraordinary,” says Olivier Pharand-Allard, Regional Manager for Europe. “Our robotic arm solutions are very safe, versatile and power-efficient, allowing people to be more autonomous, more efficient, and to achieve more. There is no need too small, no task too great.”

Flexible, interactive and easy to use
In today’s professional service robotics sector, complicated programming and tricky interfaces are a thing of the past; “easy-to-use”, “versatile” and “human-friendly” are the buzz words not only at this year’s automatica. These are qualities also to be found in the plug and play smart automation product of the Belgian company Pick-it. Integrating with all leading robot brands, it is a 3D camera and software to detect individual parts’ positions, even in poor visibility, when items overlap or come in varying sizes and materials.

Whether visitors are investigating pick-and-place options or want to meet Care-O-bot 4 “Paul”, the Service Robotics Demo Park should be on everyone’s priority list at automatica 2018. Never before has there been such a wealth of service robots to watch, learn about and interact with.

The exhibits will be showcased daily in shows presented by an emcee. The shows start every full hour.

Enterprise montratec presents world premiere on leading trade fair automatica: the self-propelling “shuttle carrier”

(Niedereschach/Germany) – At the leading trade fair automatica 2018, from 19 to 22 June in Munich, montratec GmbH with headquarters in Niedereschach, Germany, is showcasing five new product developments of their future-oriented automation and transport system montrac®. Product highlight is the new “shuttle carrier” – connecting rail-bound workstations without rail.

 Sven Worm, chairman of the board of montratec GmbH informs: „At our first attendance at the automatica we are directly starting with a world premiere. With the development of the “shuttle carrier” we are at the same time optimizing the applications of our intelligent automation and transport system montrac® and offering solutions for customers with extremely limited installation spaces.” Worm is convinced that the new innovation of montratec will succeed in various industrial areas.

Using the self-driving “shuttle carrier” allows for the first time to interrupt the monorail track system without interrupting the entire manufacturing/production process and enables open spaces between track-bound workstations for escape paths, transport routes, and passages for employees.

The self-propelling “shuttle carrier” acts as a connecting robot on the floor: with the aid of integrated sensors it recognizes the respective route based on stripes drawn on the floor and follows them at speeds of up to 25 meters/min.

A height-adjustable track on top of the “shuttle carrier” carries transport shuttles, either empty or with cargo of up to 50 kilogram, from one track section to another track section and gets the transport shuttles back on the monorail. Battery charging takes place during docking which ensures a permanent availability.

With the innovation of the „shuttle carrier“, the modular automation and tracking system montrac®, so far consisting of a monorail system and self-propelling transport shuttles, is extended by another active component.

The use of shuttle carriers will further reduce the low space requirements of montrac®. The already low space requirements of montrac® result from combining electrical track switches, crossings, very tight radii (of 220 millimeters), overcoming gradient angles of up to 12 degree, and integrated lifting elements. Based on smart logistic technology, the shuttles know precisely where the products need to go. The transport shuttles move with speeds of up to 55 meters/min and communicate via infrared with both the track sections and the route.

“Due to continuous power supply of all shuttles, montrac® always ensures total reliability and extreme high availability”, explains Worm and he adds: “At any time, each shuttle can manually be replaced or removed from the running system without stopping the system.”

Among the new montratec product developments to be presented at the fair are:

  • Shuttle variation including integrated robotics
  • Cleanroom Shuttle MSH4 CR,
  • New version of SmartRouter
  • New shuttle generation MSH5

Please join us at our fair stand (booth 320/hall A5) and see how our new innovations can support your company.

Company informationen about montratec GmbH

The high-tech company montratec GmbH is clearly focused on its core competencies in the industrial intralogistics and process automation. The montratec GmbH has 130 employees and company locations in Niedereschach (Headquarters Germany) and Solothurn (Switzerland). Direct sales are located in Europe, North America, and Asia. International agencies are operated by dealerships.

The latest generation of Mecademic robots at Automatica

The automation industry innovates at Automatica with the presence of Mecademic’s ultra- compact and precise robots, at stand B5.514.

Montreal, June 04, 2018 – Mecademic is pleased to present the newest generation of its Meca500 six- axis industrial robot at booth B5.514 at Automatica in Munich, June 19-22, 2018. The latest generation of the Meca500 now includes absolute encoders, no mechanical limits on joint 6, faster joint velocities and a safety module with integrated power supply.

Continuing to push the boundaries of compact industrial robotics, Mecademic will also unveil an extremely small SCARA robot. Thanks to their ultra-compact design and integrated controller, Mecademic’s robots allow precise manipulations in the most confined spaces, which has enabled the development of new concepts and highly integrated solutions.

For further details regarding the Meca500, you can download its brochure and manuals.

About the Meca500

The Meca500 is one of the few industrial robots with an integrated controller in its base, and the only industrial robot arm that fits in the palm of your hand. This six-axis robot can handle payloads up to 500 g with an unmatched accuracy of 0.005 mm. The Meca500 is designed as an automation component, of high quality and accuracy, affordable and easy to use; there is no proprietary robot programming language to learn, but a simple set of instructions. Introduced to the public in May 2015, the Meca500 has been commercialized since July 2016 and is used for testing, inspection, micro-assembly, dispensing and transfer of materials in small confined spaces. It is already put to work in twenty countries, generally in the electronics and medical device industries.

About Mecademic

Mecademic was founded in 2013 in Montreal, where its head office is located. The company designs, develops and manufactures the most compact and precise small industrial robots on the market, in order to achieve its main mission, which is to extend flexible automation to the most confined, delicate and complex tasks and applications. Its young and dynamic team is continually growing, with a great passion for creativity and innovation. As a proactive partner, Mecademic deals directly with companies and academic institutions. The company also has distributors in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania, where the robot is already in use.

https://www.mecademic.com/

iRobot CFO to Speak at Upcoming Investor Conferences

BEDFORD, Mass.May 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in consumer robots, today announced that Alison Dean, iRobot’s chief financial officer, will discuss the company’s achievements and financial outlook at the following upcoming investor conferences. The Baird and Nasdaq conference presentations will be accessible live on iRobot’s investor relations website. The Citi Conference will not be webcast.

Baird 2018 Global Consumer, Technology & Services Conference
June 5, 2018 at 10:15 a.m. ET
Webcast link: http://investor.irobot.com/events/event-details/irobot-corp-baird-global-consumer-technology-services-conference

Citi 2018 Small & Mid Cap Conference
June 6, 2018 at 8:45 a.m. ET

Nasdaq 38th Investor Conference
June 12, 2018 at 10:15 a.m. GMT
Webcast link: http://investor.irobot.com/events/event-details/irobot-corp-nasdaq-38th-investor-conference

About iRobot Corp.
iRobot, the leading global consumer robot company, designs and builds robots that empower people to do more both inside and outside of the home. iRobot created the home robot cleaning category with the introduction of its Roomba® Vacuuming Robot in 2002. Today, iRobot is a global enterprise that has sold more than 20 million robots worldwide. iRobot’s product line, including the Roomba and the Braava® family of mopping robots, feature proprietary technologies and advanced concepts in cleaning, mapping and navigation. iRobot’s engineers are building an ecosystem of robots and technologies to enable the smart home. For more information about iRobot, please visit www.irobot.com.

SOURCE iRobot Corp.

MIMIC educational robots introduces robots you can code

Cincinnati-based Entrepreneur launches Kickstarter campaign to launch ‘mimicArm’, your own programmable A.I. robot arm

Cincinnati, OH (April 14, 2018) – mimicEducationalRobots (a division of Robomotive Laboratories LLC) is changing the way coding is taught with mimicArm. The Cincinnati-based small family business launched a new Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/713401305/662798422?ref=455790&token=e4d4249c) on April 24th to help advance the development and production of the new technology.

mimicArm is a desktop sized robot arm that represents a new approach to teaching programming. mimicArm is a collaborative robot, or “cobot”, designed to interact with human users.  Unlike other educational robots mimicArm teaches children to program robots to work in tandem with humans. Using the mimicArm controller children as young as 5 are immediately able to interact with mimicArm.  When they’re ready, users can begin coding using mimicBlock, a graphical coding interface.  mimicArm is also programmable using actual C code and includes simple pre-written functions to allow the quick creation of complicated programs. The provided programming experiments start simple, but build to complex interactive artificial intelligence programs. Paired with the inputBox and other sensors the user can create a truly interactive artificial intelligence robot arm.

Brett Pipitone, the Founder of mimicEducationalRobots is no stranger to Kickstarter.  “After a successfully-funded Doorbell Phone campaign on Kickstarter, I began to indulge in my love of robotics and introduced the Cortex:Robot Arm controller,” said Pipitone. “We continued to develop the technology by adding joints, cameras and motion and soon realized that we had developed something truly unique: The mimic immersion robot was born.  While mimic’s Kickstarter campaign didn’t reach it’s goal, the technology developed allowed us to build mimicArm, which we think could really make a difference in the world.”

The key to bringing mimicArm to life is the mimic arm controller with patent-pending Posi-Feeltm grip controllers. The user grips a simple scissor control and moves his or her arm and hand in natural ways.  mimicArm will “mimic” these motions. A series of joints, pivots and sensors are built into the mimicArm Controller to make this possible.  When the user is ready, easy to use programming software and robust examples walk them through the process of learning to program their own robot.

This assemblage of new technologies allows the user to see immediate frustration-free results without the risk of outgrowing the robot in a short time.  The infinite expandability and endless programming possibilities will keep even expert programmers captivated.

mimicEducationalRobots realized early that a single package would not fit all users needs, so backers have a choice of three packages, each with a unique user in mind.

  • The mimicArm kit version includes the robot and manual controller. This version is great for those who want to ease into robotics coding, or those that already have sensors that they’re ready to integrate with the robot.  Perfect for beginners and experts, this package is the most affordable option.
  • The mimicArm Super Fun Kit is centered around manual mode, with a set of accessories to maximize the fun factor. Users can stack the stacking blocks (included), or program the robot to do it for them.  The Great Big Button is also included, and offers additional capabilities for those honing their coding skills (or for those with younger siblings that really want to touch something). “mimicArm Super Fun Kit is targeted towards younger users, but is also a great way for beginners to make coding interesting as well,” says Pipitone.
  • The mimicArm Deluxe Kit is the most complete kit offered. Including everything from the mimicArm Super Fun Kit, the mimicArm Deluxe Kit adds the input box and IR Distance Sensor for maximum interactive possibilities.  The inputBox incorporates buttons, a microphone and other sensors, and a microSD card.  “Programmable with both mimicBlock and Arduino, the Deluxe kit really expands the possibilities. With this kit the user can truly program their own interactive robot,” says Pipitone.

MimicArm is a great educational tool, and users can be a part of it now by backing mimic on Kickstarter. According to Pipitone, „We’re teaching those who will deliver the personal robot of the future. We’re still working on flying cars and jet packs.“

For more information, please visit: http://www.mimicrobots.com/.