Hello, Friend of RoboBrrd!
RoboBrrd is a robotic bird character that has an entertaining personality! When you build a RoboBrrd, you get hands-on experience of mechanical and electrical engineering, programming, and add a dash of your own creativity.
The ultimate dream for RoboBrrd is to get more people interested in science and engineering. RoboBrrd provides a way to learn about science and engineering in a creative way. What happens afterwards is magical, by being creative in technical fields, new inventions will appear, there will be better solutions to problems, and even more.
RoboBrrd, the cutest educational robot around, aims to get everyone interested in robotics!
What people have been saying:
"RoboBrrd is designed to give kids and other beginners the hands-on experience of mechanical and electrical engineering, and programming, with room for your own imagination." - Kathy Ceceri, WIRED GeekDad
"From start to finish, building a RoboBrrd will walk you through some basic but essential robo-skills, such as soldering and wiring. Once it's assembled and wired, you will be able to have it to flap its wings and work its beak, but that's just the start." - Kevin Hall, DVICE
"RoboBrrd fully embraces the Maker philosophy that you don’t really own something unless you can tear it apart and customize it. We need to let kids know that it’s OK to do this, that it’s not off-limits. The best way to learn is to tinker. If kids are afraid to touch a robot lest they break it, how can we expect to them to ever build up confidence that they can create something on their own?" - Robert Lysik
"[...] kids absolutely love them. It's a great way to get started on both the hardware and software of robotics" - Evan Ackerman, IEEE Automaton
NEW Funding Stretch Goal #1!
We have met our initial funding goal, but let's soar further! Fwooosh!
If we meet Stretch Goal #1, we'll add in:
• 1 Piezo speaker to each RoboBrrd Kit (make chirping sounds!)
• 1 Customized 'mood changing' pencil (plan taking over the world by RoboBrrds, using this pencil)
• 1 Special not-seen-before RoboBrrd token for the occasion (hint: it will have lots of drawings of stars on it!)
This will happen if we reach: $15,494
It's possible, we can definitely reach it! This is a great opportunity to try and get even more people interested in robotics.
RoboBrrd is Great Fun for Education
We have shown RoboBrrd at various Maker Faires, and kids are instantly attracted to its soft and friendly appearance. They observe how it works, ask questions about how it functions, and they can envision themselves building one.
The hands-on learning experience of building RoboBrrd is important to establish problem solving skills that can help in future robotic projects and STEM related studies. RoboBrrd is a great project to bridge the real-world lessons to the theoretical side.
For example: the beak on RoboBrrd is able to open because of a scotch-yoke mechanism, which translates rotational to linear movement.
The real fun begins once RoboBrrd is built and it is time to add on more and modify it! RoboBrrd is quite expandable, and can use various different sensors and actuators. If kids want RoboBrrd to react to sound, they will be able to do that. It is a great way for kids to be creative with science and engineering.
For example: different hats on RoboBrrd to control its behaviours. A modification that uses a NFC shield, some additional code, and NFC tags on hats. This is really fun for kids to play with!
The possibilities and ideas for RoboBrrd are only limited by your imagination. Will you make your RoboBrrd have jet packs? Or act delighted (or angry) when someone enters the room? Go for it!
You can have a lot of fun building a RoboBrrd!
This is what the RoboBrrd kit looks like!
This is what the RoboBrrd Brain Board functional prototype looks like
The RoboBrrd Kit contains:
- 15 Laser cut interlocking pieces
- 3 Micro servos for beak and both wings
- 2 RGB LEDs for the eyes
- 2 Light sensors
- 1 Temperature sensor
- 1 RoboBrrd Brain Board pack (includes board and all components)
- Online tutorials and resources available
Tools and supplies that you will need:
- Hot glue & wood glue
- FTDI cable / friend
- Solder, soldering iron, wire
- Screw driver
- Cutters and pliers
- Googely eyes
Here are photos of all of the pieces:
Only 15 pieces to create an entire RoboBrrd!
You won't be left confused during the build of RoboBrrd, as we have very handy video tutorials! Here is part 1 in the series!
RoboBrrd’s kit design has been streamlined for simplicity in every way. Almost every piece for RoboBrrd serves three purposes for the entire structure. When glued together properly, the structure is very rigid. The wings and beak can withstand minor forces applied and not damage the servos directly. The Brain Board (pcb) fits in the back of RoboBrrd, with adequate room to access the plugs.
We have stress-tested our kit at Maker Faire, by having kids pick up and shake the RoboBrrd, sometimes accidentally dropping it on the table, or pulling its wings and beak around. It survived the entire weekend!
Our RoboBrrd Brain Board intrinsically encourages a closer look. We included fun doodles of RoboBrrds on the silkscreen. This will encourage kids to look more closely at the board, where they can also investigate the traces and pins, to understand how all of the electrical connections are made!
Additionally, the board has jumpers to select what power source to run the processor off of and for the servos as well. There are screw terminals that are great for making sure the wires stay plugged in.
As for programming, we have plenty examples online of how to extend the RoboBrrd to communicate with Google+ Hangouts, the Internet of Things, your iOS devices, Android devices, your computer, and we plan on making many more in the future as well!
Getting more people interested in building robots is extremely important to us. We want more people to be excited about building robots!
Each week I host a celebration of robotics on Google+ Hangouts called the Robot Party. A group of robot hobbyists from around the world get together, talk about and demonstrate their robot creations. It’s a great way to meet more friends and get interested in robotics. RoboBrrd will be on the Robot Party, and if you want to join in or watch, check it out here!
Additionally, RoboBrrd is open source hardware (pieces and pcb) and open source software. You can download the files and get started building one today! There is also an Instructable for building a RoboBrrd out of popsicle sticks.
We are working on building the number of tutorials in RoboBrrd's Learn section. The tutorials will cover interesting and cool hacks that you can do with your RoboBrrd, ranging from simple to quite advanced! We recently created one for our Google+ Hangout Extension control, check it out!
Here is the most fun part of it all! Tell your friends about RoboBrrd, spread the word! There are bonus points for the best catchphrases, we'll be highlighting them on our blog!
As a backer of the project, we'll be listing your name on our website as a tribute to this! We are also going to have a very special backers-only party on Google+ hangouts. It will be tons of fun to meet other RoboBrrd builders, and ask any questions you want! Of course, everyone is invited to the Robot Party as well!
Here are some of the rewards you can receive.
These are little RoboBrrd character tokens that can be used as a keychain, necklace, hang it on a tree, accessories for RoboBrrd, etc. They are laser cut out of 1/8th inch mdf/hardboard, with the drawing etched on them.
This is a RoboBrrd top hat. You can put it on your RoboBrrd to make it more fancy! This will come in slices, so you will need to hotglue it together (an excellent opportunity to add pom-poms to it).
A very special token, the together forever with RoboBrrd friends. It will be personalized with your name will be engraved onto it!
Next up are the rewards for various RoboBrrds. Some are assembled and some are not, so be sure to pick the one you want! ;)
The pieces to create a RoboBrrd skeleton. This does not include any of the electronics, and it is not assembled.
The entire kit of RoboBrrd. This includes the pieces, servos, components and board. Not assembled.
Kit + Assembled Brain!
This includes the pieces for RoboBrrd (unassembled), as well as the brain, which is assembled.
Ready to go Brrd!
An entire RoboBrrd, assembled, tested, working. All you will need to do is plug it in and it will flap its wings, open and close its beak.
Custom Brrd Pieces!
Theme your RoboBrrd with some special pieces for it! These can be laser cut with your choice of a theme, such as lightning bolts, flames, water, etc. Pieces not assembled, comes with unassembled electronics.
Custom Brrd Assembled!
Same pieces as above, but chassis and electronics are all assembled, and it is working!
A cuddly RoboBrrd, fully assembled and covered in felt! Plus the googely eyes and pipecleaner legs. It's ready to go, flapping its wings and opening and closing its beak!
The coolest of all the RoboBrrds. Designed for our #1 fans with an interesting birds nest style. Completely assembled and working. It kind of will look like Fancy RoboBrrd's front face.
We will try our best to get the rewards shipped to you in time for the holidays/Christmas, however we cannot guarantee that date. We will be getting them out to you as quickly as possible. Although there may be some delays out of our control, we are aiming to make the ultimate deadline March 15th, 2013. Your support and patience is much appreciated!
We have given much thought to RoboBrrd kit prior to launching it. Here is a run-through of our current status and plan:
- The production prototype of RoboBrrd is complete. The pieces and board design are done.
- The bill of materials has been researched and numerous component suppliers have been found.
- A manufacturer for the laser cut pieces has been found, with a background in other popular DIY kits using laser cut pieces.
- The initial video tutorials for the RoboBrrd kit are done and posted.
- We need to raise the initial amount of funds through this Indiegogo campaign to cover the cost of buying the inventory and manufacturing costs.
- When we receive the boards and laser cut pieces, they will be inspected for quality based in adherence to our design specifications.
- When we receive the electrical components, our well-trained team will be packaging them in my lab.
- When packaged, each box will have a visual and checklist inspection as well as a predetermined weight specification that must be met.
- Boxes will then be shipped out.
- The inventory system is closely synchronized with the manufacturing and the kit assembly processes.
RoboBrrd has been an inspiring project to work on, and now with this opportunity I can’t wait to get it into the hands of more people eager to try robotics! I’ve had a lot of help from friends along the way, from pointers, to spare servos, to learning board design, to traveling to Maker Faires without having a plan to travel back, and even more. It’s been great fun and a great experience so far!
From all of us humans and robots at the RoboBrrd Brrd Nest, thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for this opportunity to allow us to fly off into the future!
Be sure to tell all of your friends and teachers/professors about RoboBrrd. Becoming inspired to build robots is great!
For more information, please check out robobrrd.com! If you have any questions or comments at all, don’t be afraid to say it. We look forward to hearing from you!
About & History
I am known to RoboBrrd as “chirp-squawky-chirp”, but elsewhere known as Erin RobotGrrl. Building robots is my passion, and sharing this excitement with others is fantastic! Check out my blog for past robots that I've built. Here is a really nice interview done at RoboGames 2012 for more info about me, how I got started in robotics, and my thoughts about RoboBrrd!
RoboBrrd has a long history. This is what the first RoboBrrd looked like, back in March 2011! If you’re interested in reading all the details of how RoboBrrd evolved, check out the website here.
Thanks for checking out our project! Chirp chirp!