This project's funding goal was not reached on August 14, 2013.
About this project
Last Minute update! Equal International shipping on the Robots, and a really good price! :-) Don't ask how I negotiated this one (Its a bit complicated). I just better submit this before anyone changes their mind. :-)
Who told you educational toys are boring??? Someone who's boring! That's who! Build this and learn something, or get it for your kids, and spark their imagination. Get them interested in science and awesome robots!!
A while ago I made a video showing what I called "The Greatest Toy in The Universe" (Yes, I was feeling very modest that day. :-P) That toy is now coming out in stores, winning awards, and doing amazingly well.
The thing is I originally designed that toy to be a robot kit that people could put together themselves! ...complete with inspirational messages on the insides of some parts.
After pestering the toy company I'm working with for years, they've finally agreed to give me a shot at selling a kit version!
Now you can assemble your own Spider Tank mark 6 (Yes, there's a 1,2,3,4, and 5), and learn some great stuff about engineering, and science. Get it for your kids to get them interested, too! If you like to tinker with electronics, this is a great walking platform for all kinds of projects. :-)
I'm offering an optional toolkit for anyone who doesn't have tools. It will include: --Custom Adventure Builder Screw Driver, --Custom Adventure Builder Multi-tool (the cool kind with pliers), --soldering iron, and solder, --Also, made right here in my workshop, a little poseable action figure, and a chair that fits in the robot. Kinda like this...
Does the robot come painted yellow?
No! The armour pieces come in flat grey. ...so its easy to paint. Paint it how you like, and name it something cool! Its your creation, after all. Here's a picture of my yellow "Vanguard Strider", and an unpainted and unnamed Spider Tank Mark 6.
Does "Wowstuff!", the marketer of a similarly awesome toy know about this?
No! Its a secret! Don't tell them! Just kidding. Yes, they fully support my crazy ideas here, and I am very thankful to them for letting me do this with an invention I licensed to them. Oh, and they're totally the evil overlords of the Attacknid empire, and need to be blasted!!! (...but only in a completely safe, and non-toxic way.) This image should explain.
OK, how hard is this to put together, really...???
The main robot itself has mechanical parts that are easy to assemble as long as you're patient. That's what I did at the beginning of the first video. The robot's electronics are pre-assembled, so you don't have to worry about any of the radio controlled stuff. The controller is also pre-assembled.
There is some soldering to do in the accessories. Here's a photo of the guts of the Disc Blaster.
What am I getting, here?
Here's what you make with the basic kit, and the deluxe...
Dude! Does that say custom Accessory!???
Dude, yes. I'm making a crane. You can get a first prototype that I'm making here in my workshop. Like... a grabber arm kind of... oh, just look at this quick shot of it from the Adventure Builder Video game. What??? Yes, there's a video game too. ....still in the works. OK OK, I'll show some action, too. Look at those evil Attacknids senselessly attacking at the end! Sheesh!
How did this all come to be...???
Here are 2 videos that document things from the very beginning of my first prototype to when the first fully operational robots were manufactured. After that, it was just a matter of convincing the guys at Wow! Stuff to let me do my own version where people get to put it together themselves! ....with extra cool armour. :-)
How is this all happening?
I have an agreement with the toy company, and factory that are building the original toys that if I can sell 5000, its a go. The factory will set up production of my version of the robots in a plain box with Adventure Builders symbol on it. Most of the parts are the same as the original toy parts. The armour is different, but even the molds for my armour were made before the toy company decided not to use them. Everything is there, and ready to go! Orders will ship in the order they're taken, so if you want yours early, be some of the first to order. I've even managed to negotiate minimal plastic bags inside the box. The factory wanted to bag every part in order to guarantee no scuff marks, but I told them that its a robotic vehicle! It should have scuff marks! ....and nobody wants a pile of plastic bags to throw out. Only the smaller internal parts will be bagged so they don't get lost. We're using as much recycled plastic in the parts as we can without weakening them. That was one reason to use black as the main body colour. Black can take more recycled material without problems.
What's the next step?
After the project is successful, the factory that makes the regular in store robots will set up a line to make as many kits as have sold. I can't say who, or where the factory is because the owner tells me that competitors get very snoopy when the know you're manufacturing an award winning item. ;-)
They can make as many as are ordered. Seriously, its like thousands per day if they're going full blast. The robot kits will then be bulk shipped to the countries with the biggest orders. From there, Wow! Stuff will use their fancy connections to get shipping distributors to send them out to individuals. You'll get a spiffy box in the mail with an Adventure Builder symbol on it, and jump around in excitement!
The optional tool kits will be sent out by me. I've already tested several samples of everything. I'll order as many as needed complete with fancy logos on them. Ok, I'll get a couple extras because I want some too!!! I'll print out the little chairs, and action figure pieces, pack them up, and mail them out to you! If for some reason, there are a bajollion orders of these, I'll have to hire someone to help pack and ship. I added a bit of cost into the toolkits to account for this. I thought about limiting the numbers of them, but then I thought it would be a big bummer if you really really wanted one and they were all sold out! These will be sent out in the order they're uhh.... ordered. So, order first to get them sooner. :-)
So, I need to sell 5000 Robots to get this going. What if I sell more??? What is this whole thing blows up!?
OK, in a nutshell, if this goes really well, and is super successful, I'll create a new robot kit asap. I've got one in mind, too! Its very cool, and I've got a prototype made, and uhh... well, lets see how these first ones go. :-) OK, I'll give you a clue. It also walks. ....but totally different style.
Risks and challenges
At this point, the challenge is getting sales of something I've been told by business big wigs isn't financially viable. The production capability already exists. I just need to pay the factory for a minimum order of 5000 units.
After that, the toy company is going to work with me to ship things to individuals. Shipping is a fairly minor challenge.
The biggest challenge was getting "Wowstuff!" to agree to let me do this. I am so appreciative of their openness to my "crazy ideas", and hope to go through with many more! :-)
The basic, and deluxe robot kits have shipping anywhere included! (On earth) How cool is that!?
There is extra shipping on the tool kits because I'll have to send those from here. (Vermont, USA)
Yes! They're 2.4ghz radio controlled. You can have hundreds in the same place with no interference! :-)
Hi, this thing is made for hacking! That was a major consideration I had in mind when designing it. There are 2 ports specifically for over riding the existing electronics with another micro controller. I'm pestering the electronics guys right now to get the specs on that.
Also, the accessories are easy to remove, leaving a couple standard plugs that deliver power that is controlled by the controller. I plan to show how to make some custom accessories, and am excited to see others build custom accessories of their own!
Kickstarter has a policy that doesn't allow me to offer more than one robot as a reward. I've requested that they make an exception since the robots interact with each other, but its up to them, and I'm told exceptions are very rare.. I'm sure there's a good reason for the rule.
Yes! The main Spider tank body is the same as the store counterpart. I am still the one designing the spider tank chassis, and am very stubborn in my assertion that future accessories be compatible with current models. :-)
- (30 days)