The Crafty Robot launches the most accessible telepresence robot ever

London, England – July 21st 2020 The Crafty Robot today launches Smartipresence, a low cost telepresence robot that works with a smartphone, based on their Smartibot robotics platform. Created by product designer Ross Atkin, Smartipresence kits are available for pre-order on Kickstarter from £50 ($62).

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rossatkin/smartipresence-cardboard-telepresence-robot

Smartipresence builds on top of the existing Smartibot app-connected cardboard robot platform, adding extra components to create a dedicated telepresence robot. Slide a phone into the cradle, put the robot online then send a loved one a link to the pilot webpage allowing them to appear on-screen just like a video call, except they have the additional ability to move themselves around. Using controls on the pilot page your friends and family members can drive forward, backwards, left and right and they can tilt the phone to look up or down.

Smartipresence comes as a kit combining cleverly designed cardboard parts with re-usable electronics, allowing owners to build their own telepresence robots by hacking battery operated toys, using LEGO, radio controlled vehicles or 3D printers.

“It’s awful not being able to visit loved ones right now and I wanted to make something to help” explained Ross Atkin. “I thought telepresence might be useful, but not the robots designed for corporate environments that cost thousands. I realised that the Smartibot kit already had most of the parts you’d need to make a really accessible telepresence robot that would work in people’s homes. So I designed the extra cardboard parts to make the experience as good as it could be, and worked with Altrubots to put together the software. It’s turned out great. It’s not quite as good as actually being somewhere but it’s a whole lot better than a video call.”

As Smartipresence is an expansion for the Smartibot the kit, it also includes everything from the previous set, including parts to make the A.I. bot, Unicorn and Teabot. The kit includes 10 hours of telepresence using Smartipresence service with additional 10 hour usage codes available at £5 each. There are no accounts and the system collects no personal information from users.

The telepresence system has been created in partnership with Altrubots, creators of the ‘RC Everywhere’ system used in publicly controllable robots that perform helpful functions like trash collection.

John Stewart, Altrubots software lead, said  “It’s amazing to be creating a world wide communication system that’s going to allow normal people to use robots to communicate, it’s the closest thing to Princess Lea coming out of the R2D2 that we’re going to get right now.”

Smartibot Technical Specs

Kit contentsHardware FeaturesSoftware Features
1 x Smartibot Circuit Board3 x DC Motors + Gearboxes1 x 4AA Battery Box1 x Cardboard Smartipresence Parts1 x Cardboard A.I. Bot Parts1 x Cardboard Unicorn Parts1 x Cardboard Teabot Parts2 x Glass Marbles2 x ScrewdriversStainless Steel Fixings Rubber BandsRobot can move forward and back, rotate and tilt the phone to look up or down
NRF 52 series ARM Cortex-M4F based Bluetooth system-on-chip
Espruino runtime
USB/Bluetooth programming
Smartipresence system comprising pilot webapp and robot iOS app and webapp
iOS and Android app for remote control mode and A.I. mode (YOLO A.I.)
Programmable with JavaScript or code blocks from a web browser using Espruino

Smartibot can be found on Kickstarter starting at £50 ($63) for a limited time.

CircuitMess STEM Box – Learn the skills of the future with electronic projects delivered to your doorstep

Technology has become an integral part of our lives, but just a small number of people on the planet actually have the tools, access, or knowledge to create new technology. CircuitMess is here to change that with the STEM Box

CircuitMess STEM Box is a unique learning experience that will teach you the skills of the future. Autonomous driving, Sound synthesis, Voice Recognition, Wireless communication, Gaming, and Machine learning – these are just some of the topics you’ll learn about with STEM Box.  Every three months, you’ll get a new interesting product based on a different topic delivered at your doorstep. 

CircuitMess announced the following 6 products that will be a part of the STEM Box: 

Spencer – a codeable DIY voice assistant similar to Amazon Alexa that will show you the technology behind speech recognition and AI 

Jay-D – a DJ Mixtable that will teach you how sound synthesis works 

Wheelson – a DIY robot car that will show you how autonomous vehicles work 

ByteBoi – a build-it-yourself game console that will explain what video game engineering is and how microcomputers work 

Chatter – CircuitMess’s unique communication devices that will teach you about wireless communication 

Clockstar – a machine-learning -powered smartwatch 

STEM Box’s Kickstarter campaign is launching on Monday, June 29th 2020 with a goal of 15.000,00 USD  The estimated delivery date for the first STEM Box is November 2020. (Just in time for Christmas!) 

Third Kickstarter project for a Croatian ed-tech startup 

This is CircuitMess’s third crowdfunding campaign, following two very successful ones. 
CircuitMess started with a Kickstarter campaign for MAKERbuino – a DIY game console. The first campaign raised more than $100,000, followed by a Kickstarter for MAKERphone – a DIY mobile phone that raised more than $300,000 in 2018. 

Since then, CircuitMess has delivered more than 15,000 devices to customers all around the globe. 

“We’ve figured out that our customers really like our work and want to learn even more. That’s why we decided to create the STEM Box. I am really proud of our Trustpilot page where we invite all of our customers to post honest and unfiltered reviews”, says Albert Gajšak, the CEO of CircuitMess. 

About CircuitMess 

CircuitMess is a technology startup founded in Karlovac, Croatia in 2017 by Albert Gajšak and Tomislav Car after a successful Kickstarter campaign for MAKERbuino. 
Currently, CircuitMess is employing 15 young ambitious people and have recently moved to a new office in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, in search for more smart people that will help them create new electronic products and bring technology to the crowd in a fun and interesting way. 

Nabot by Ximpatico

Nabot is a programmable robot that can autonomously perform tasks such as sanitizing packages, mopping the floor, vacuuming, collecting small objects, and playing with pets. Nabot is both the robot to play with and a tool to explore the world of AI and coding. Nabot was previously marketed as a remote control robot but we upgraded it with artificial intelligence and a coding interface and turned it into a smart and autonomous robot. Nabot can introduce children to the coding concepts and make them interested in STEM fields. It can also be a great assistive technology for the disabled and elderly and help them with activities of daily living. That has been the topic of Ph.D. research of the founders.

How does it work?

Nabot’s coding interface consists of blocks, which users will drag, drop, and attach them together to write a code for Nabot. These coding blocks enable the user to move the robot forward/backward, rotate the robot left/right, move each of the joints individually or all together, create custom categories of objects and write code for when the robot detects an object from a certain category, mark/assign objects to one of these custom categories, create variables and use them in various math equations, and other basic programming logic blocks such as if, else, repeat, loop, while. There is also a more advanced Python API for hackers to program complicated and useful tasks.

User’s privacy is our priority. Nabot does not send or store any information outside the user’s phone. All the processing is done on the phone and the application doesn’t even need an internet connection (except for logging in).

About Ximpatico

We are Ximpatico, a venture-backed startup based in the US with offices in San Jose, CA and Orlando, FL. Founders are a couple of Ph.D. graduates in computer science and engineering behind the state-of-the-art in AI and robotics. We developed a cutting-edge AI technology back in 2016 in our research lab.

Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ximpatico/nabot-ai-trainable-and-programmable-robot?ref=brgm6n

Norby

In development for over 3 years, Norby is an interactive learning companion for kids aged 5+. He teaches English, Math & Coding through stories, games & puzzles. 

Norby helps build confidence through positive feedback and encouragement whilst keeping kids emotionally engaged in learning. He delivers new content every week, lessons that are built to establish the fundamentals today while preparing kids for tomorrow.
His intelligence software is constantly adapting to the child’s interests and his lessons are all guided and self-paced. So kids feel comfortable and not under pressure.

Norby is currently available for pre-order and due to be released in late 2020. 

Norby’s Specifications

Norby’s more than just a cute face, he’s got some fancy hardware under the hood too

  • High-performance quad-core processor
  • Full-color HD touch screen
  • Secure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • High-resolution front camera
  • Stereo speakers and microphone array
  • High capacity Li-ion battery pack
  • Motorized mechanical head movement
  • Emotive RGB LED lights
  • High capacity light, touch, proximity & motion sensory Li-ion battery pack
  • Dimensions: 265mm (H) x 170mm (W) x 110mm (L)
  • Weight: 900g

LittleBot Buddy 3D Printed Arduino Social Robot Launches on Kickstarter

LittleBot Buddy is the 9th robot to come from the Slant Concepts line of LittleBots STEM kits. This addition is the most personable of all. Buddy is an interactive robotics kit that is simple to build and designed to help kids get excited about creating a robotic companion.

Buddy is the culmination of nearly 2 years of work. LittleBots has been experimenting with variants of Buddy since the first LittleBots kits were released. They finally found a design that was both highly interactive and simple to build.

Buddy works by observing the world around him. When something changes he generates completely unique reactions, just as a living creature would do. He is completely spontaneous. This helps Buddy to maintain kid’s attention longer as they build and work with him.

The kit can be built in under an hour, does not require any soldering, and has fewer than 15 screws. This makes is simple to build even for the most inexperienced users. 

The main chip is arduino and can be reprogrammed using standard or graphical programming tools, such as the Arduino IDE or Makeblock.

Adding to the uniqueness of Buddy is the fact that he is 3D Printed. LittleBots made this choice to both create a cleaner design with fewer parts and to invite kids to edit and build on the robot. “When the robot is 3D printed kids know they are allowed to 3D print more parts using the printer in a classroom,” stated Gabe Bentz, lead designer of the LittleBots Project.

All together Buddy is a very interactive robotics kits that is simple to get started with but packs a good amount of complexity into a simple little package.

The kit is currently available for preorders on Kickstarter and was 25% funded within it first 12 hours of going live. Preorders are expected to start shipping in December 2019.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/slantrobotics/littlebot-buddy

These guys turn puzzles into robots

ActivePuzzle is a robot-building game where blocks are puzzle pieces

TEL AVIV – February 26, 2019 – ActivePuzzle, an innovative technology company that develops imaginative and educational products for the early advancement of children, announced the release of the ActivePuzzle game, an interactive robotic puzzle for kids. Designed to harness children’s enjoyment of puzzles and robots, and turn it into constructive learning experiences, ActivePuzzle teaches kids STEM concepts, logic and problem-solving skills in an innovative method. Through puzzles and robots, kids maintain a sense of spatial and tactile awareness rather than the tunnel vision that accompanies standard 2D puzzles or video games.

“Technology should be taught in a language children understand,” said Meir Sela, the founder of ActivePuzzle. “I got together with a team of creative people who shared the same vision; we wanted to teach children technology using their own language, one that they learn before they even start talking… Puzzles!”

Expressing technology ideas using puzzles makes ActivePuzzle the simplest robotics on earth. ActivePuzzle doesn’t rely on coding or computer screens — simply snap puzzle pieces together to form robots. That makes ActivePuzzle a great platform for invention and innovation. ActivePuzzle is easy to get the hang of — if you can build puzzles, you can create robots.

ActivePuzzle comes in two different sets:

∙        ActivePuzzle Invent ($145 US retail)

16 puzzle pieces included: LED, motor, buzzer, voltmeter, IR transmitter, light sensor, temperature sensor, proximity sensor, potentiometer, IR receiver, logic-not, logic-and, logic-or, insulator, wave and battery. Also included are one USB cable, one wheel and one propeller.

∙        ActivePuzzle Advanced ($175 US retail)

22 puzzle pieces included: LED, motor x2, buzzer, voltmeter, IR transmitter, light sensor, temperature sensor, proximity sensor x2, potentiometer, IR receiver, logic-not, logic-and, logic-or, insulator, wave, arduino, conductor, A2D and battery x2. Also included are one USB cable, two wheels and two propellers.

Each puzzle piece implements a certain function: the battery piece supplies electric power to the circuit, the proximity sensor “sees” objects, the motor drives a wheel or fan, etc. ActivePuzzle robots are based on the Braitenberg Vehicle principle: input pieces trigger adjacent output pieces. For instance, when a light sensor puzzle is connected to a motor puzzle, the motor will run faster as the light on the sensor gets more intense.

ActivePuzzle is for children aged 8+ and for those with young minds who want to build robots and to learn how they work. Additionally, educators can use ActivePuzzle to teach STEM: the game is very intuitive and simple to learn, and there are a large number of scientific and technological concepts that can be taught using ActivePuzzle. One important characteristic of ActivePuzzle is its being a gender-neutral game: the puzzle language makes girls feel natural and confident, and the game activities strengthen their self-efficacy.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/activepuzzle/activepuzzle

Say Hello to Armz, Gearbugs Corps.’s Latest Smart Toy Invention


NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 27, 2019
Gearbugs Corp. just announced that they are raising funds via Kickstarter to finish the development and production of Armz, a smart toy that can be customized to play various types of game modes. The company set out to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter to finish development and produce the first batch of their latest smart toy invention.

Armz is a new, smart toy that is designed to be highly customizable. The heart and soul of Armz is the Smart Core™ which contains the motors and mechanisms that allow it to move, speak, and light up. In addition to the Smart Core™, Armz also comes with five different arm attachments that can transform the core into a personalized toy.

Gearbugs Corp has also developed an app that will be available on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. By syncing the app to the Armz via bluetooth, players will be able to access multiple game modes that match one of the five attachments. The current lineup of game modes include the following: Remote Control Racing, Steering Wheel Racing, Sumo Wrestling, and Tank Battle.

While the gaming feature is one of the main features of Armz, it also meant to be much more than just a simple toy. When Armz is not out on the field for matches, it can be placed on its charging dock to serve as a mood lamp or night light. Users can also customize the voice of Armz with their own recording and program it to act as a virtual home assistant. Finally, a blockchain coding mode is also available to act as an educational tool to teach basic coding.

With all of the available features, Armz users are able to put their imagination to the test by referring to the blueprint on the application and creating their own side attachments via 3D printing technology. As users get more accustomed to Armz’s capabilities over time, people may find that there are certain attachments that are not yet available that may enhance the performance of Armz.

Armz is now available on Kickstarter with exclusive early bird prices starting at $95 (40% off retail value). After the campaign, Gearbugs Corps. anticipates manufacturing and delivery to be fulfilled by the end of August 2019. Any influencers or journalists interested in receiving a sample and reviewing Armz are encouraged to submit an inquiry through its Kickstarter page.

VTech® Makes Debut in Robotics Toy Category with Myla the Magical Unicorn™

New Interactive Toy Features Enchanting Play Experience, Letting Kids Customize Myla with a Magical Color Palette

NEW YORK, February 14, 2019 — Today VTech® announces the introduction of Myla the Magical Unicorn™, a colorful robotic unicorn toy that glitters with lights as she talks and sings, while introducing early concepts of color combination in a fun way. Marking VTech’s entry into the robotics toy category and remaining on-trend with the continuing popularity of unicorns, this majestic interactive friend encourages kids to use the magic brush to choose a color from the butterfly palette and magically apply the color to her eyes, wings and horn. Myla the Magical Unicorn is on display at the 2019 North American International Toy Fair®.

“We’re so excited to make our debut in the robotics toy category with such an innovative product,” said Andy Keimach, President, VTech Electronics North America. “Myla will be a must-have toy. Myla’s interactive features and her amazing accessories make her more than a toy, she’s a fun friend!”

To customize Myla, simply touch her magic brush to the butterfly palette to choose a color. Then touch the magic brush to her eyes, wings and horn to decorate Myla in a variety of colors and even practice color combinations. Kids can also braid Myla’s mane, brush her tail and complete her look by adding her crown and hair clips. For interactive fun, kids can sing a rocking duet with Myla and her microphone. When it’s time to go solo, pull the microphone away and Myla will stop singing but continue to play music.

Myla the Magical Unicorn is recommended for ages 4+ years and will be available in May exclusively at Walmart stores nationwide and on Walmart.com, with expanded national retail availability this Fall.#

About VTech®

VTech is a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children. As a pioneer in the learning toy category, VTech develops high-quality, innovative educational products that enrich children’s development and make learning fun. With a rich 40 year history, VTech has not only established itself as a learning authority but also consistently remains at the forefront of innovation with multiple award-winning products, including prestigious Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award winners. The company also has a broad range of award-winning infant, toddler and preschool products available in 31 different languages worldwide, with more than 100 new products introduced every year. In order to further strengthen VTech’s position as a learning authority, new products are developed with critical insights from a dedicated team of in-house learning experts.

VTech Electronics North America, L.L.C. is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. VTech Electronics Limited is headquartered in Hong Kong with distribution globally.

For more information about VTech’s electronic learning products, visit www.VTechKids.comwww.facebook.com/VTechtoys on Facebook or follow @VTechToys on Twitter.

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.

LEGO Ideas Voltron – der grösste LEGO Roboter aller Zeiten

Fünf mächtige Löwen vereinen sich, die Plasma-Düsen werden aktiviert, und der neue LEGO Ideas Voltron“ entsteht

Mit dem neuesten LEGO Ideas Set „Voltron“ werden Fans zu einem Paladin und verteidigen das Universum. Dieses riesige Set stellt die Hauptfigur aus der klassischen 80er-Jahre-Zeichentrickserie „Voltron“ dar und ist der größte baubare LEGO Mech aller Zeiten.

Sobald die fünf brüllenden Löwen aufgebaut sind, können sie getrennt aufgestellt oder aber kombiniert werden, um so den hoch aufragenden Roboter zu bauen, der in der klassischen Zeichentrickserie „Voltron“ das Universum verteidigt. Das neueste LEGO Ideas Set ist ab dem 23. Juli 2018 exklusiv in allen LEGO Stores und im LEGO Online Shop unter shop.LEGO.com erhältlich – mit aktivierten Luftschleusen, verbundenem Dynotherm, gestarteten Infrazellen und Plasma-Düsen.

Mit diesem LEGO Ideas Set Voltron können sich Fans zurück in die 80er-Jahre katapultieren – das Zeitalter der Superroboter. Für Voltron haben die Fans abgestimmt, und das Set wird so zur neuesten von Fans eingereichten Idee, die es in die Herstellung schafft. Mit 2.321 Teilen ist es das größte LEGO Ideas Set aller Zeiten.

Das Modell ist imposante 40 cm hoch, 14 cm lang und 21 cm breit. Mit den beweglichen Teilen können spannende Szenen aus der ursprünglichen 80er-Jahre-Serie nachgespielt werden. Fans nehmen die Rolle von Keith ein und führen den „legendären Verteidiger“ Voltron in die Auseinandersetzung gegen König Zarkon.

Das Set besteht aus fünf baubaren und beweglichen Löwen mit speziell entwickelten, besonders robusten Gelenken, die kombiniert werden, um so den Voltron-Superroboter zu schaffen. Vier Löwen bilden zusammen die Arme und Beine, bevor der mächtige schwarze Löwe hinzugefügt und so der Oberkörper und der Kopf von Voltron fertiggestellt werden. Sobald das beeindruckende Schwert sowie der entsprechende Schild am Modell befestigt sind, ist dieser Superroboter vollständig.

Das LEGO Ideas Set Voltron bietet LEGO Fans eine nostalgische Erfahrung und gleichzeitig ein lohnenswertes Bauerlebnis voller Spaß. Im Set enthalten sind Informationen zum Fan-Designer des Modells wie auch zur Superkraft der LEGO Ideas Designer, die diese Idee zum Leben erweckt haben.

Erhältlich direkt in LEGO Stores und online ab dem 23. Juli 2018.
www.shop.lego.com/voltron
Unverbindliche Preisempfehlung: 179,99 EUR