Cubelets® robot blocks by Modular Robotics are a fast and easy way to inspire kids to become better thinkers. Simply snap Cubelets together to easily create your own robots, no programming required. The behavior of your robot is determined by your construction. How your robot behaves emerges from what blocks you use and how you orient them.
Cubelets are unique in that you can code any Cubelet to do something new. Programming the various parts in parallel helps you learn about how systems work. It provides intuitions about how parts interact to become something bigger than themselves.
More on these interesting Cubelets and the modular robots you can build with them will follow soon on robots-blog.com as we have a kit in our hands and have just started to play with it!
With $10M in Series A+ funding, Vincross launches MIND Kit, first robotics-only makers kit, available on Kickstarter
San Francisco, February 19, 2019 / PRNewswire / — Vincross <http://vincross.com/>, a developer of accessible consumer robotics, announced the launch of MIND Kit, a robotics developer kit for makers, developers, robotics enthusiasts, and even first time students of robotic development, which is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter starting today.
The launch of MIND Kit is opportune in an environment when robotics is garnering greater visibility of its future impact to society, but in reality the opportunities to learn about or even develop complex robotics doesn’t exist outside of the laboratory or children’s robotics development kits.
In fact, 90% of Americans believe learning about robotics will ‘future-proof’ their professions, but just 5% of Americans have attempted to develop a robotics program, according to a Harris Poll commissioned by Vincross. The crux of the problem lies in 62% of Americans today feeling that robotics hardware is inaccessible, according to the poll. MIND Kit comes in at a time when too few public or community-based resources are available, while robotics kits with drag-and-drop programming merely cater to children, but offer nothing modular and sophisticated enough to build practical, complex robots.
Driven by a mission to make robotics accessible, which started with HEXA, Vincross’ six-legged all-terrain robot, MIND Kit takes Vincross vision a step further. As the first and only robotics-optimized makers kit that’s highly customizable, MIND Kit sports 54 programmable pins and six USB-C ports, suited for building experimental IoT devices and robots that makes access to robotics development closer to a reality where it’s no more challenging than building mobile applications.
MIND Kit is the sum of three fundamental hardware modules that make up the base of the kit including the CEREBRUM, the central processing unit enabling complex AI computations including computer vision AI or Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM); the SERVO CONTROLLER, which powers as many as 20 servos motors simultaneously; and ENERGON, a battery optimized to run both servo motors and AI algorithms with an output rate of 480 watts.
Under the hood powering MIND Kit, is MIND OS 2.0, Vincross’ updated robotics-specific operating system that can be accessed through a simple SDK, making it easier than ever to build your MIND Kit robot’s skills, movements and applications, without requiring deep robotics development skills. In addition, MIND OS is supported by the Vincross Forum, a community of robotics developers sharing the knowledge and skills to support other developers in their robotic builds.
For added functionality, users can attach additional plug-and-play modular hardware accessories including lidar, mountable sensors, speakers, mic arrays or even a tank base that allows your robotics build to drive over uneven terrain.
In fact, early beta testers have transformed MIND Kit into lifestyle accompaniments including a voice controlled IoT device with motorized arms that act on command to passing the salt and pepper at your dinner table or to assist with infant feeding; a consumer robotics product like a vacuum cleaner that uses SLAM and computer vision to navigate around your floor while brushing up dust autonomously; or even an eight-legged all-terrain robot akin to HEXA.
“HEXA was the most sophisticated all-purpose consumer robot that empowered even software developers to manipulate HEXA, but we saw a demand to make robotics development just as easy for both developing hardware and software,” said Tianqi Sun, CEO and Founder of Vincross. “MIND Kit was a natural evolution from HEXA and hope to inspire more aspiring roboticists out of the classroom and building real world use cases for robotics.”
CEREBRUM – The ‘brain’ or CPU that powers the MIND Kit ecosystem including its modular accessories, runs on an ARM Cortex-A53 Quad-Core 1.2GHz processor.
SERVO CONTROLLER – The module that enables MIND Kit to run up to 20 servos motors simultaneously. The Servo Controller along with the Cerebrum, when clipped together, form the basis of MIND Kit as a robotics-optimized makers kit.
ENERGON – a Lithium-ion battery that’s optimized to run both AI and robotic motors efficiently.
MIND OS 2.0 – The first and only operating system on the market that’s exclusively designed for robotics, has been updated and now makes it easier than ever to develop software applications for your robot.
Customizable – With 54 programmable pins or 6 USB Type-C outlets built into Cerebrum, hack MIND Kit to build highly sophisticated robots customized to your desire.
Modular Accessories – With plug-and-play accessories, clip accessories together to add more functions to your robotic build including Lidar, 4-Axis Robotic Arm, Tank Base (wheeled module with caterpillar track), Speaker & Microphone Array, and Rover Base (four wheeled module).
Robotics-Optimized – The only robotics-tailored makers kit, MIND Kit can control up to 20 servo motors at once, while also running SLAM, real-time video processing, and reinforcement learning.
MIND Kit’s basic kit is available for on Kickstarter for $99 USD, including Cerebrum, and will later retail for $150 USD. A combo kit, comprised of Cerebrum, a Servo Controller, and Robot Battery, will be available for $199 on Kickstarter.
CellRobot allows anyone to build hundreds of different functional robots or toys using robotic cell modules
Beijing, China – CellRobot (http://cells.io) just announced a Kickstarter campaign to bring their product to market, in time for Christmas.
Just like the cells in our bodies work together to create life and function, CellRobot is made up of individual robotic cells that can be put together to form practical and functional robots.
At the core of the robot, lies a HEART, which communicates with the other frame/muscle cells that are connected with it. Inside each CELL, there is a servo motor, a sensor and an independent MCU (Microprogrammed Control Unit). Once connected to the heart using easy-to-connect snap joints, each cell can be directed to move in any direction and angle desired. These cells will come in sets of 2, 4, 8 and 12, and can be configured in any way. Additionally, there will also be functional cells (called x-cells) for things like: spotlights, wheels, connectors, and cameras.
CellRobot will launch with its own supporting mobile application (that works with iOS and Android based phones). The app will have two modes: GUIDE mode and CUSTOM mode. The guide mode directs users on how to assemble different robots and helps to check whether they’ve done it correctly. The custom mode allows users to create any shape or movements they want. Irrespective of mode, the app immediately recognizes what has been created and shows a 3D visualization of it through the app.
The app will also include a shape library for an initial set of ideas on what to create. The shape library will expand over time as the community adds new configurations, ideas, and experiments into it. Once a robot is setup, it can then be controlled using the app. The robots can be assembled and disassembled rapidly and with ease.
The company will also be offering an open platform to enable other technology providers to develop applications and new types of x-cells on top of the CellRobot solution.
The Kickstarter campaign will go live on October 13, 2015 for a duration of one month. Product prototypes and demo units are being tested at the moment, whereas actual manufacturing has also initiated. The heart, cells and x-cells (connector, spotlight and wheel) will be ready to ship to Kickstarter backers in December in time for the holiday season, whereas the camera related functional x-cells will be shipped out next quarter.
The costs will vary from $169 to $600 USD for different kits, depending on how many cells are included in the package.