Tag Archives: kickstarter

ZeroBorg: teeny tiny robotics from PiBorg

via Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi robotics aces PiBorg are known for quality robots and add-ons, from the tiny PicoBorg board to the somewhat terrifying DoodleBorg. Now they’re bringing their magic to the Raspberry Pi Zero with ZeroBorg, a small but powerful motor controller and sensor board. We weren’t surprised to see their Kickstarter campaign hit its target quickly; there’s still time to jump on board.

ZeroBorg robot

ZeroBorg costs from £15 and is barely larger than a Raspberry Pi Zero, and a Zero + ZeroBorg + 9V battery weigh as little as 65g, but it doesn’t pull its punches. You can control four motors independently, or more if you stack multiple ZeroBorgs over I2C (ideal for animatronics projects or CNC machine servos); I2C communication also means you can connect it to other add-on boards to pile on extra functionality, and there are two analogue inputs so you can connect any sensors that your project demands. It’s available with an infrared module, so you can control it via a TV remote, and a DCDC regulator for powering the Pi Zero. And, as with PiBorg’s other boards, they will provide open source software for controlling the board, so you can set up your robot exactly the way you choose.

ZeroBorg

PiBorg told us,

We love making boards and kits for the Raspberry Pi, mainly because the Pi community is like one big growing family. The support we’ve received so far with this Kickstarter has been phenomenal and we can’t thank the community and the Raspberry Pi Foundation enough.

Many people are learning about programming, electronics and robotics with the Pi. Every day a new Pi project appears, and the community jumps in and helps develop ideas and solve problems.

Already there are really awesome projects such as a Zero that makes tea in the morning, and a robot that feeds your cat while you are away. We can’t wait to see what people build with the ZeroBorg!

Neither can we. Take a look!

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Fail of the Week: OpenMV Kickstarter Project Hits Manufacturing Snag

via Hackaday » hardware

Making stuff is hard, especially when you are making lots of stuff. The OpenMV Cam project knows this, because it has hit a problem while putting together their cheap machine vision module. The problem is with the BGA solder balls that connect the image sensor to the main board.

openmv-thumbWe’ve covered this intriguing project before: the aim is to build a small, cheap module that can run image processing algorithms to easily give robots sight. The sensor is a Ball Grid Array (BGA) package, which means there are a grid of small solder balls on the back that form the electrical connections. It seems that some of these solder balls are oxidized, preventing them from melting and fusing properly with the board. This is called a head-in-pillow defect, because the ball behaves like your head when you lie down in bed. Your head squishes the pillow, but doesn’t merge into it. There are 38 balls on the OV26040 image sensor and even a single bad link means a failure.

The makers of the project have tried a number of solutions, but it seems that they may have to remake the ball links on the back of each sensor. That’s an expensive process: they say it will cost $7 for each, more than the actual sensor cost initially.

A few people have been posting suggestions in the comments for the project, including using solvents and changing the way the sensors are processed before mounting. We’d like to see them overcome this hurdle. Anybody have any suggestions to quickly and cost effectively move the manufacturing process forward?

Thanks to [eDgE] for the tip.


Filed under: Fail of the Week, Hackaday Columns, hardware

Meet my Pixel Pals from Soldering Sunday

via Raspberry Pi

I’m always on the lookout for fun physical computing gadgets to teach young people basic electronics, soldering skills, and of course how to code. If they work with a Raspberry Pi then I get even more excited. Some time last year I happened across a Kickstarter campaign that ticked all my STEAM boxes from a small company called Soldering Sunday established by a group of adventurous makers from Monroe, New Jersey, USA. Their campaign was called CHIP – an electronics kit with character and immediately grabbed my attention. Thankfully I was not alone and the campaign was successfully kickstarted.

Thanks to @solderingsunday for my #chip kit. I upgraded his leds to multi colour!

A video posted by Miss Philbin (@missphilbin) on

Chip is part of a group of ‘Pixel Pals’ designed to grab the attention of young makers, encouraging them to explore new skills and to play with technology in a new way. He consists of a circuit board, two LEDs, two resistors and some connecting pins. I had to build him myself before connecting him to the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins and programming his eyes with Python. I enjoyed the activity so much that Chip now accompanies me everywhere.

File_002 File_001 Carrie Annd with Pixel Pal Chip

In fact, he has made many a long trip. He appeared in Australia for PyCon as part of my Physical Computing talk to teachers and has even featured in the background of a BBC Technobabble episode back home in Cambridge! I’ve been worrying that during my travels, Chip might be getting a little lonely. Lucky for me then that Soldering Sunday have launched their latest Pixel Pal, called Buzz!

Buzz – A New Pixel Pal

Soldering Sunday is raising funds for Buzz – A New Pixel Pal on Kickstarter! Buzz is an easy and fun educational kit that builds STEAM / STEM skills and grows from a project to a friend you can program.

The latest Pixel Pal kit includes a Buzz kit (like Chip but with a buzzer), a Pixel Power Kit, and a Pixel Pal Pi adapter kit. Its creators say:

When you plug Buzz into a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino, you can control his eyes and his sounds with programming. Buzz is an excellent way to get kids involved in Computer Science and take part in the Hour of Code initiative. We already have Arduino and Raspberry Pi tutorials online for Chip and with your support we will have the Buzz tutorials available shortly.

Please help to support the Buzz Kickstarter campaign so that I have more toys to play with. You won’t be disappointed!

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RePhone kit: World’s first open source and modular phone

via Dangerous Prototypes

rephone-ks-1

Seeed Studio has announced that RePhone, an open source and modular phone kit  is now being offered on Kickstarter!

With Rephone you can:
1.Create your own phone in minutes with the slim MODULES, accessible SOFTWARE, and customizable Phone Enclosures.
2.Hack anything around you, giving inanimate objects the power of cellular communication. Have a conversation with your pets, plants, toys, motorcycle helmets, robots, or drones through RePhone’s GSM and 3G functions.

RePhone is a set of tools and components that allows everyone including students, teachers, makers, hackers, geeks, artists, developers and engineers rethink, remix, redesign and remake the phone.
RePhone comes in three kits RePhone Core Module GSM + BLE, RePhone Core Module 3G and RePhone kit Create.

You can visit the Kickstart page for more info.

Check out the video after the break.

 

Dobot: Robotic Arm for everyone, Arduino & Open Source

via Dangerous Prototypes

dobot

Here’s an interesting open source project on Kickstarter the magical robotic arm, Dobot:

Designed for DESKTOP. Arduino-powered, 4-axis parallel-mechanism robot arm with High Quality. For makers, educators, and everyone!
We are six engineers who built a 4-axis high accuracy, high repeat precision, stepper motor, Arduino-based, desktop robotic arm called Dobot.

You can visit his Kickstart page for more info.

Also check out project’s Instructables and Github page.

GoBox: A Robotics Subscription Service

via Raspberry Pi

Kit maker Dexter Industries pulled the wraps off their latest Kickstarter, GoBox, the first-ever robot subscription service. It’s aimed at kids age 7 and up along with the help of an adult. No prior knowledge of robotics is required and step-by-step guides and videos will be provided.

In the first month of service, kids will receive the popular GoPiGo kit to act as the core of their robot. This kit includes a Raspberry Pi, chassis, battery pack, motors, motor controller board, and wheels. Each subsequent month, they’ll receive a new component such as a sound sensor, servo, light sensor, and many more. Each month, they’ll also receive step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish a particular mission. See their Kickstarter page for details on the different backer rewards and a sample draft mission.

Of course, we’re delighted that Dexter Industries uses Raspberry Pi in their robotics kits. Why do they like our computer? I’ll let John Cole, Dexter’s Founder & CEO, speak for himself:

We’re using the Raspberry Pi because it’s the most open, flexible, and easy to start with hardware for learning programming. We can use Scratch to start with, which is super-easy for young learners to use. And we can walk learners all the way up to command line programming.

There are two interesting and important aspects to what makes GoBox different. The first is that we are starting with little to no background assumed. When we looked at other platforms for starting robotics, they assume you know something (maybe something about coding, about electronics, or about computers). We really wanted to minimize that, and make starting with robotics and programming as easy as possible. So that is why the Raspberry Pi is a perfect platform — because we really start the story from the beginning.

The second is that we’re trying to design the program to keep learners engaged over a long period of time with the subscription service. We’re helping learners gradually, and encouraging open-ended design problems, but with a new delivery every month, you keep learning over the course of a year, rather than rush in, try a few things, lose interest, and throw the program in a corner. A new box every month really encourages people to keep going, and to keep trying new things without overwhelming them all at once.

We think this is a powerful formula to learn some of the most important skills needed in the world today. We also are seeing the creative projects (“missions”) we have developed appeal to girls and boys alike, which is really encouraging.

Check out the GoBox Kickstarter for more details.

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