Bring on the Bot building Multiplo kits that anyone can use to form fun and roving open source robots for affordable prices.
The Multiplo makers wanted to be able to teach robotics at any level, school, or age group and make them not just easy to build but completely customizable, and now the Kickstarter project has doubled the funding goal of Multiplo Robot Building Kits!
How else does the Multiplo bot differ? Well folks, the educators and engineers-turned-creators wanted damn near unbreakable board pieces that could be added to by outside components and still work as friendly robotic arms, walls, or bodies; they wanted the parts to make a functioning robot in forty-five minutes without tools, and they wanted the basic brain and software to be awesome.
The DuinoBot brain is an Arduino compatible open source board, engine, and brain that will run on three rechargeable AA batteries and automatically convert the power to 12V and 5V for the moving wheels. If you remember we covered an Arduino-powered bot hacked to take commands from an iPhone in July.
Are you impressed yet? Let’s take a closer look at the DuinoBot animal and its nervous system.
The creators believe DuinoBot to be easier to use and also more capable than Arduino’s robot board, as it includes:
- Easy to use colored sensors and motor connectors
- 2x DC Motor control outputs (thanks to a built-in motor controller)
- Dual voltage booster (from 3.6V to 12V and to 5V) allowing for the usage of common 12V DC motors and 5V standard sensors that can be powered by as little as three AA NiMH batteries or a LiPo cell
- Improved user interface that includes an integrated buzzer, user button, On/Off power switch
- Extra serial port and Arduino(R) shield connectors
- Plastic case that is open source
Multiplo LLC’s Kickstarter campaign has raised just under thirty grand, to date, by only 198 eager fundraisers!
As Multiplo states:
The concept is that you get a box that has a kit inside. We took care of all the technical details in order for each single part to be compatible. Everything you need to build a robot is inside of the box. But you can also add your own parts…
As cool as robot building is, one of the most daunting detriments has always been the very expensive components and software (that is too often constrictive and unyielding to programmers’ modifications).
For less than $240 a Robot Building Kit can be yours (and it gives you everything to build a completely customizable roaming bot).
The robot possibilities of the Multiplo are infinite, and we can hope that all of our schools will be able to get their hands on these affordable but invaluable robotics learning tool kits in the near future. So get a Multiplo and mod it to the teeth, bot hackers!