Little Droidles with lives of their own. Fun for all ages. The Social Network of Robots. Open Source Platform for the Internet of Things.
Jay Hurley
Email Verified
Aromas, California
United States
7 Team Members

Update, Droidles in the News, on the Radio, Being called "Adorable", "... the next Pet Rock...", "Hilarious"


Droidles are cute little robots with personalities, and more:

  • Pocket sized little Droidles that can wander around, make friends, and learn on their own.

  • Free mobile apps to program and remote control Droidles wirelessly using your Bluetooth 4.0 smart phone or tablet.

  • Each Droidle has their own web page at droidles.com, just like people use Facebook!

The Droidles project aims to inspire the imaginations of curious people of all ages. Droidles are simply fun to watch, but also give an opportunity to be creative. Finally, Droidles has the potential to be the worlds largest computer intelligence experiment because it's the first time a distributed multi-swarm of autonomous robots will be inherently connected over the internet with a common api.

What We Need & What You Get

The Droidles project is completely self-funded. We're not a traditional venture-capital based startup. Sorry our videos are not as slick as some others, we made them ourselves. The good news is we're not obligated to grip tightly to our technology. Droidles is not just "Open API" or "Open System", Droidles will be 100% Open Source from top to bottom including hardware, firmware, mobile apps, and cloud system. We have been able to create a fascinating robot and a mobile+cloud environment in which they can live and grow. But to find out what the little Droidles will do when they have lots of friends around the world, We have to take it to the next level, and We means the Droidles Team and You Too!

Here's what we need:

  • We need to build about 1,000 Droidles in order to reduce the costs of each Droidle.

  • To buy parts, mold plastic, FCC / Bluetooth certify, assemble, and ship Droidles on time, we need $50,000 in addition to the continued investment from the Droidles Team.

Here's what y'all get:

  • Get Droidles for $89 each or less depending on quantity, only available until the IndieGoGo campaign expires, then we will start taking orders on the website at the normal price, which will start at $119 (depending on quantity).

  • You get the first production Droidles ever made, with a serial number with 3 digits or less, so your Droidle's web page will be something like droidles.com/B2B, or droidles.com/A3X, or droidles.com/FUN. Watch your Droidles post their experiences to their own pages!

  • Free phone and tablet apps for Android and iOS that use Bluetooth 4.0 to program, remote control and monitor your Droidles.

  • Your Droidles come with a user login to the droidles.com website where you can view, edit and experiment with their personality programs, share programs with other users, and try out programs made by other users, created by other Droidles, or generated by the cloud service!

  • If you're not an engineer, no problem, Droidles are loads of fun for all ages right out of the box, USB rechargable, and make friends with other people’s Droidles on their own.

  • However, IF you are an engineer / developer, at any level, you will have the chance to hack on one of the most interesting platforms to come along, including all open source: hardware, firmware, mobile apps, and server-side "intelligence modules" that make up your Droidle's three-part distributed "mind". We can't wait to find out what the little Droidles will do when their intelligence is being developed by everyone!

The Team:

To pull off an idea as big as Droidles, you need thousands of developers, which is why it has to be completely open source, but to get the project kicked off right with professional hardware design and software code bases for the device, mobile apps, and cloud, we've put together a team of highly experienced individuals that know Internet of Things product design and design for volume production through and through.

Jay Hurley 
Project Manager / Lead Developer

I've worked as an engineer for small and medium sized companies for 15 years doing embedded systems, back-end systems, user interfaces, and manufacturing systems. To date Droidles is 100% self funded. But now it's time to open up to support from the rest of us, so I'm trying to make it fun for everyone and open source through and through. Thank you!

Tom Poliquin 
Computational Intelligence Instructor at University of California Santa Cruz Extension

Tom has been at the forefront of electronics and software development for over 30 years and in addition to leading the electrical design of Droidles, Tom is building course material for a new robotics and swarm intelligence course around the Droidles platform.

Greg McCullough 
Mobile-Cloud Architect

An engineer and tinkerer at heart, I started writing code as a teenager and majored in CS. I spent a number of years at eBay in its major growth years, and have worked at numerous startups and bootstrapped ventures.

Ryan Orosz 
Manufacturer, President at Surface Mount Solutions

Having Ryan Orosz on the Droidles team is a huge relief when it comes to manufacturing risk. Ryan will be building the IndieGoGo Campaign Perks right here in San Jose California at his company Surface Mount Solutions (more below in the partners area).

Jacob Martinez 
Founder/Executive Director, Digital NEST Inc.

Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) creates sustainable and scalable technology centers in vulnerable communities all over California, creating economic equality for the residents of low income and rural communities by breaking down the "Digital Divide," teaching them the technology skills needed to become competitive and self-sufficient in the digital future. Jacob will be introducing high-school students to robotics technology using the Droidles platform.

Glenn Wallis 
PCB Designer, Manufacturing Engineer

Glenn Wallis designed the prototype Droidles PCB, which worked 100% the first time (doesn't always happen!). The team has worked together with Glenn on dozens of other projects and Glenn is known as "The Artist" when it comes to PCB design; we could not be in better hands.

Frank Hurley 
Videography, Graphics and Video Production

Frank is an accomplished videographer and has filmed, photographed, generated artwork, edited and produced all video and graphical assets for the Droidles project.

The Partners / Suppliers:

Having solid relationships with key partners and vendors is vital to getting a complex project like Droidles done right and on time. Please review our corporate partners that are on board and dedicated to the project's success.

Arrow Electronics 
Full Service Product Dev / Launch Partner

Working with Arrow Electronics is allowing Hurley Research LLC to stay small and focus on creativity, while leveraging the vast resources of major suppliers and industry service providers. The team at Arrow Electronics has sourced components for the Droidles project that are up to date, lowest possible cost, and 100% available and ready for volume production.

Nordic Semiconductor
Main Processor and Bluetooth LE Radio

The Nordic nRF51822 Bluetooth Smart multi-protocol System-on-Chip is at the heart of the Droidles design. This flexible, powerful, ultra-low power, yet low cost chip allows Droidles to last longer and boast more features at lower cost than other robots. The support and "dev zone" at www.nordicsemi.com have been instrumental in getting Droidles to the place they are today and we look forward to working with Nordic as we go in to production with Droidles using the nRF51822. Nordic Semi also provides low-to-no-cost pre-qualification for FCC and Bluetooth wireless certifications which relieves one of the biggest risk factors in a crowd funded wireless design.

Solid Concepts
Plastic Prototypes and Production Injection Molding

Solid Concepts has brought the Droidles solid design along well past what was possible with our PLA 3D printer at Hurley Research. We are already teaming up with Solid Concepts on design review and preparing the Droidles body and other parts for suitability for volume injection molding. Getting the DFM phase out of the way early eliminates one of the most problematic areas for crowd funded electronics projects: plastic!

Surface Mount Solutions 

SMS has been manufacturing high tech products since 1997 and is headed by Droidles Team Member Ryan Orosz. Please visit surfacemountsolutions.com  to learn more about precision volume assembly in the San Jose California area. Our personal relationship with the local manufacturer that will be assembling the Droidles PCBAs eliminates the #1 source of risk in crowd funded projects. Let's see how many Droidles Ryan can make this year!

Royal Circuits 
PCB Manufacturer

Royal Circuit Solutions is located in nearby Salinas California and has delivered consistenly on myriad projects with Droidles Team members in the past, and fabricated our prototype Droidles PCB that you see operational in the videos. This local, proven vendor relationship assures the Droidles PCBs will be fabbed professionally with the highest quality.

The Technical Details:

This section is for DEVELOPERS ONLY! Droidles are the coolest gift this year because the capabilities are endless because it's an open source project and owners will be able to update their Droidles with amazing new software from all over the world. But if you are an engineer, please read on about the details of the system.


By Hurley Research LLC  http://droidles.com   jay@hurleyresearch.com  831.251.5389


Open Source Robotics Toy and Product Development Platform

Droidles is a three-component system consisting of cute little robots, mobile apps, and a cloud service and website.

Droidles is fun out of the box for all ages. For engineers, Droidles is a rich open source development environment. This document centers on the appeal to developers.

The Robot: the little Droidles robots are compact and feature packed, remote controllable and programmable over Bluetooth.

  1. Nordic nRF51822 Bluetooth Smart multi-protocol System-on-Chip, built around ARM® Cortex™ M0.
    1. Droidles communicate with mobile and desktop apps over Bluetooth Low Energy.
      1. Remote Control.
      2. Wireless programming of scripts and complete firmware.
  2. 9 DoF Motion Processor.
    1. 3 axis accelerometer
    2. 3 axis gyroscope
    3. 3 axis magnetometer
  3. Lattice ICE40LPXX FPGA
    1. The FPGA is used primarily to generate asynchronious high resolution accurate PWM signals that relieve the CPU to conduct higher level tasks.
      1. motor control
      2. colored LEDs
      3. range finder output and control waveforms
      4. musically pitch accurate tones
  4. Motors / Drivers
    1. Two independent bi-directional motor H-driver circuits.
  5. Range Finder
    1. Custom IR LED range finder circuit design accurate from 2 inches to 6 feet
  6. Peer Range and Direction Beacon
    1. Custom IR based beacon
      1. Droidles know the direction and distance to peer Droidles.
  7. Audio
    1. Audio amplifier
    2. On board speaker
  8. USB Charging System
    1. On board long-life battery charges over USB
  9. Color LEDs
    1. Red, Green, and Blue LEDs to mix any color through difuser
  10. PCBA
    1. All together on one compact PCB with mostly surface mount components.
    2. Designed for low cost volume manufacturing.
    3. Debug and expansion headers.
  11. Open Source
    1. All design files including schematic, gerbers, pick and place data, and bill of materials, etc. are open source and available to developers.

The Software: the Droidles system is comprised of four code bases.

  1. Device Firmware - All Open Source
    1. Drivers for hardware features
      1. Range Finder
        1. Interfaces to FPGA to continuously manage range finder hardware and makes range-by-angle mapping data available to program interpreter and firmware.
      2. Audio tone generator
        1. Interfaces to FPGA to set simple synthesized sounds and musical tones.
      3. Motion Processor
        1. Talks TWI/I2C to MPU and continuously updates local data sets with all mpu data.
        2. Maintains averaged and filtered data for easy consumption by firmware and interpreter.
      4. Bluetooth LE robotics services and characteristics.
        1. Maps Bluetooth 4.0 characteristic writes to a simple command set by which the host BLE device can…
          1. Remote Control the Droidle in real time
          2. Download interpreted Droidle programs
          3. Update low level firmware over the air including BLE soft device.
          4. Allow communication between multiple Droidle robots through the host.
          5. Allow communication between multiple Droidle robots over the internet using the host BLE device as an internet bridge.
      5. Motor controls
        1. Interfaces to FPGA to generate high resolution pwm signals to the motor drivers
    2. Droidles Program Interpreter
      1. Droidles run scripts in their own simplified language. The on board interpreter is also open source.
      2. Droidles programs are generated by
        1. Users using a simple mobile app interface
        2. Users using a PC app
        3. Other Droidles
        4. The Cloud Service
    3. PID motion controller
      1. Included PID controller uses MPU data to manage motor driver PWMs to accurately maintain speed and heading.
    4. Music Engine
      1. A musical system is included that allows Droidles to sing melodies and improvise within standard jazz theoretical rules.
      2. The fundamentals of Jazz Theory are known to the Droidles.
      3. Allows Droidle A to send a radio message to Droidle B saying: “Here’s my song, sing along with me.”
      4. And then also say, “Now sing along with me using 3rds harmony, and my song is in the key of E minor”. etc.
  2. Droidles Programs - Super Open Source
    1. Super Open Source because every program that runs on a Droidle is automatically posted to the Droidle’s own web page at droidles.com/serial-number for use by other Droidles and all users.
    2. The Droidles program language allows sophisticated programs behaviors to be built by users of all ages.
    3. Gives access to all low level firmware features.
  3. Mobile Apps - All Open Source
    1. iOS and Android apps exercise all Droidles features and provide examples so app developers can build new apps that create all new unforeseen behaviors quickly and easily.
  4. Cloud Service and Website - Open Source
    1. The droidles.com website and cloud services are open API so that mobile app developers can take advantage of the programs and other Droidles data stored in the cloud.
    2. Product Developers can now easily create sophisticated M2M applications using the Droidles platform and their devices will inherently have a home on the internet.
    3. The Cloud Service includes simulation and machine learning systems that analyze Droidle robot sensor data and generate Droidles programs that are then available to the Droidles for use in solving problems.

The IP: The Droidles concept and network are in the process of being protected so that developers can have confidence that products built on the Droidles platform will have lasting support.

  1. The term DROIDLE has a pending trade mark application filed with the USPTO in a broad category of robots including personal use, educational and industrial.
  2. The Droidles network is patent pending under provisional application titled “Infrastructure for Society of Autonomous Machines”. The patent covers thoroughly how the Droidles network and overall system allows for evolution of intelligent autonomous machines. Any product built on the Droidles platform will be able to share code with the network and benefit from code built elsewhere in the network by human users, the cloud service, or other Droidles based products.

The Impact

The really cool horizons in software and robotics are in what we call "emergent behavior". That's when a group, or "swarm" of independent robots each has a simple little program, but then the behavior of the whole group is something amazing and often unpredicted.

  • Bring the excitement of robotics programming and swarm research down to everyone, including kids!

  • Take away the big-institutional / government / defense monopoly on major multi-robotics research. Droidles is open source for everyone!

Other Ways You Can Help

If you want to help, but can't afford a Droidle of your own, don't worry, you can still help in a HUGE way! Any donation size adds up, and the success of the Droidles Project hinges on awareness, so talking about Droidles, liking on Facebook, and anything else you can think of really is a big deal. Thank you!

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raised in 1 month
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$50,000 USD goal
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This campaign ended on August 29, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $15USD
    Support the Droidles Project!

    Want to see the the first connected network of robots be Open Source and built to benefit the public? Thank you for your contribution of any size!

    0 claimed
  • $25USD
    International Shipping

    Please also choose this perk if you need your Droidles shipped outside the United States.

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2015
  • $89USD
    One Droidle

    One complete production Droidle at the early-bird, pre-production price, ready to play out of the box. Includes USB charging cable. These first Droidles will be the only ones to have a 3 character serial number and website url like droidles.com/AB3

    13 out of 1000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $176USD
    Set of 2 Droidles at $88 each

    Two Droidles playing together is far more than twice the fun of one, especially at the pre-production and discounted price! Each come with USB charging cables, and each has a 3 character serial number and web site URL like droidles.com/AB3

    8 out of 500 claimed
  • $435USD
    Set of 5 Droidles at $87 each

    Now you're playing with 5 Droidles at the pre-production and discounted price! Each comes with USB charging cables, and each has a 3 character serial number and web site URL like droidles.com/AB3

    1 out of 200 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $850USD
    Set of 10 Droidles at $85 each

    Your own mini-swarm! 10 Droidles at the pre-production and discounted price! Each comes with USB charging cables, and each has a 3 character serial number and web site URL like droidles.com/AB3

    0 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $4,150USD
    Set of 50 Droidles at $83 each

    Research or investment collectors batch of 50 Droidles at pre-production and discounted price! Each comes with USB charging cables, and each has a 3 character serial number and web site URL like droidles.com/AB3

    0 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $8,100USD
    100 Droidles at $81 each!

    Swarm research or educational batch of 100 Droidles at pre-production and discounted price! Each comes with USB charging cables, and each has a 3 character serial number and web site URL like droidles.com/AB3

    0 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $19,750USD
    250 Droidles at $79 each!

    Distributors or co-branders can choose this perk, which can be repeated. If 1000 or more Droidles are ordered we will work with your company to brand the product in various ways including special shipping dates, packaging, and even custom plastic with your logo embossed directly on the Droidle! 250 Droidles at pre-production and discounted price.

    0 out of 4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2015
  • $39,500USD
    500 Droidles at $79 each!

    Distributors or co-branders can choose this perk, which can be repeated. If 1000 or more Droidles are ordered we will work with your company to brand the product in various ways including special shipping dates, packaging, and even custom plastic with your logo embossed directly on the Droidle! 500 Droidles at pre-production and discounted price.

    0 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2015
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