It’s a robot... It’s a speaker dock... It’s Shimi!
The first smart musical robot that digs music as much as you do.
This project's funding goal was not reached on October 10, 2012.
Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
Saw you on TED Talk, it would be amazing to see this in stores for us to purchase one day.
Looks like Shimi will be released this summer. :)
Any news for a possible relaunch?
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
- Quote from either Dr Seuss or Gabriel García Márquez, depending on who you ask.
@nick I agree it should be" Master evolving with the Bot" in fresh launch
While it is sad to see that this project - short of a possible major influx of new backers in the next 43 hours - will not reach its goal, I hope that Tovbot will make a new attempt. My suggestion is to wait for a little while, rethink the product a bit, go over the input given by backers and via social media, and come up with an improved offer. Some of the stuff that you have reserved for Shimi 2.0, such as wireless connectivity, is clearly something that people want and that would increase marketability and attraction by non-iPhone users. Seek partners and consider integration with non-musical approaches - IFTTT and SmartThings, just to mention two. While the first half of this Kickstarter was pretty silent as far as communication from Tovbot is concerned, the second half was quite the opposite. I hope we'll see more of that in your second attempt - you clearly have ideas beyond the "musical robot" concept, and I hope that we'll see the product evolve even further the next time around.
Will be rebacking may be will reach the goal in first few days
Forget about kickstarter, launch a page and pre-sell them from there at a rock bottom price for the first X. No need to pay the 10% overhead to kickstarter, this product will do well enough on its own.
@Tovbot, will you relaunch this project?
With 52 ours to go , this project is doomed... -___- , I really hope that they relaunch this project...with a lower pledge goal..
I think it was a big mistake to post the photos of the white plastic prototype. Pledges were canceled and new pledges slowed to a trickle. I came close to canceling my pledge because it did feel a little like a bait and switch, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt and hung in.
@Paul - Yes, most project that relaunched, have a lower pledged goal, better rewards, better pledge levels. 2nd time around most project gets funded fast because of great communication with backers post. Unfortunately the communication from this project has been so so. Responses to backers take days.
Does Kickstarter allow "RELAUNCH"?
Tovbot: If it doesn't make the funding, please relaunch it, and this time, do this from the start:
- First and foremost it is a speaker, and noone can hear over the web how good it is. It MUST be submitted for review by an audio website or people won't trust it's primary purpose. It will help justify the cost for most people if you can believe that it will at least sound good. It's the difference between it being just a toy gathering dust after the first few weeks, and something that will become a permanent fixture of your living room!
- The lightning connector debacle has brought home for everyone how quickly devices become outdated at the whim of the manufacturer. It is essential that from the outset this device be marketed as "works with every mobile, forever" rather than "works with this year's iPhone" which is how it was first pitched.
Early Kickstarter backers are your loyal customers, You should offer some incentives to them no matter this project is funded or you will put it on retail shelf later .........
55.000 in 1 week? , this project needs a miracle....
Spread the word via Twitter, FB, Google + and it should bring a few more people in.
If we're not funded in time, we'll do our best to still make Shimi. The level of interest we've received from backers, non-backers, press, retail customers, and investors has been overwhelming. BUT, first of all, let's try to get this project over the finish line. That's the best way to make sure we can make the product the way we want to.
If the all 330 of our current backers reached out to a few friends who backed, we'd have this thing wrapped up today. If you want to see Shimi on store shelves soon (and want to be the first on your block with one), spread the word right now!
-The Shimi Team
this won't get funded if nothing big will happen or some great changes will be announced within the next 2 days
i agree with kris
One $129 spot is open... :)
What if this project is not funded in time? , wil you try it again? , can we still buy a Shimi?
Rich - thanks or your support!
What I mean is this project specifically is quite interesting! I love the passion you guys clearly have for what you do! I hope I can get up the extra money to buy one before the project ends!
Hey! This is the 100th project I've backed on Kickstarter!! I love the idea on these!
Time is ticking... only 11 days left. The more *Updates we heard from you and a prototype that we can see, we can help push this project to its funding stages.
One of the many issues that certain projects don't get funded is *communication. The lack of responses from the creator. Some creators won't respond until the project is almost over, with that... backers are not willing to back a project and risk in the end with nothing.
There is still time to funded this project's goal, but we need pictures or videos that can prove to us what we will be expecting at the end of the project. This way we can *share this project on our facebook and other places to get more backers.
Ian here again from Shanghai (headed back to the states tomorrow - will be good to get back home!)
We looked at Wifi - it's something we'll include on future versions if this "Shimi v1.0" is successful. It does add a bit of expense, but it could really add some amazing capabilities to "Shimi v2.0) and other awesome robots for the home. My personal goal (don't tell the rest of the team) is to build a Rosie the Robot (from the Jetsons). I'm a bit of a clutter bug, so I need a robot to straighten up, do my laundry, wash my dishes, walk my dogs, etc. But that's another story - let's focus on this first product and make it a success.
I think we jumped the gun a bit posting pics of plastic prototypes - if you've never seen a plastic rapid prototyped part, it does come off as cheap (but trust me, every company makes plastic rapid prototypes - I'm sure some version of the iPhone 5 that you'll never see looked similar). Our guys here in China are going to put together an incredibly sexy robot that we'll all be proud to own. Our ID firm will send some new renderings soon, so we'll post those for your collective approval.
Regarding API/SDK - yes! That's one of our goals for this project. We want to do more than just make one robot product, we want to build a platform that we and others can use to make exciting personal robots (and one day Rosie the Robot).
In fact, that's the topic of today's update - what apps, services, etc. can we build for Shimi to add extra value to the robot? In other words, what do you want Shimi to do beyond just dance and play music? What would make him a real "companion" for you? Hop over and post some comments - we love the feedback!
And, regarding which devices Shimi will support, please see the FAQ for that very answer.
Thanks again for your support,
Ian and the Shimi Team
Re-addressing what I wrote further down regarding IFTTT, and the potential use of Shimi as a notification visualizer - here's a Kickstarter that went live just a few minutes ago, that does something roughly similar: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/leifp/visualight
I don't see why Shimi couldn't do the same thing, given it got a wifi-connection - and be so much more.
I too would pay more for WIFI. New update is better, glad the team is taking us backers (investors) of the project seriously. We want Shimi to succeed, but don't produce cheap quality materials or Shomi will be just like the rest of the "toy" robots at Toys-R-Us. To me, Shimi is not a toy, he's a really cool gadget.
Try and keep Shimi original look as possible, keep his original movements. If adding new movements, try to still keep his original functions, as that is what attracted all of us backers / investors to support this project, but we will be the 1st in the market to have a Shimi robot :)
I say the team has about 5 days left to prove and show us the new design in order for us to help push this project to its funding stages.
2 more questions :
- Any info on ipod touch support / specs?
- If this project is not funded in time , what will you do?
As far as looks go, I'd say that the latest update - just published as I was typing this - looks promising. Yeah, you took one step backwards with the previous design, but sometimes you need to take a step back in order to take one step forward. Bottom line - you guys are on the right track as per the latest update. And thanks for listening!
Re functionality, I think that Shimi can be so much more than a "speaker with personality", but I would be ok if that was "all we got" in version 1. An open SDK that would allow others to interface and create stuff would add plenty of potential.
Take a look at IFTTT - they have built an awesome platform for allowing different services and products to work together. Belkin added that to some of their hardware, and it has been a huge success for them. The LIFX Kickstarter project is looking into integrating IFTTT with their product, and I think that Shimi could really benefit from that and function as a "messenger", e g blink if there if you were tagged by someone on Facebook, or whatever crazy rule you could define in IFTTT.
In order for that to work, wireless - or some kind of online - capabilities would be a godsend and allow for so many cool things to be added to Shimi. Maybe just a USB port to allow a wifi-stick to be plugged in? I'd gladly add another 20-30 dollars for a wifi-capable Shimi.
Just some thoughts...
Dear Shimi Team,
Please don't build and offer a cheap plastic reproductions of what was initially introduced. Most of us here want Shimi to go to market, but making it cheaper and hoping it will appeal to the masses is not the right answer. Good luck in the lab, and we eagerly await your updates.
Kind Regards - James Dantow
It seems all of us here wants Shimi to succeed. Can we pull it off with 13 days remaining?
Great questions. We at Tovbot are experienced product developers who have launched other successful products (like RageGage).
We intimately know the product development process and steps necessary to bring a product to market. We have already identified our contract manufacturer and most of our vendors for Shimi (Ian is actually meeting our manufacturer outside of Shanghai today).
Producing Shimi at a reasonable price and in mass quantities is quite possible. The questions are: (A) do people want Shimi (I think you in the Kickstarter community are answering that question for us in the affirmative), and (B) what do people want Shimi to look like and do? (Again, something we're asking you to help us with).
Thanks for your support!
I have seen too many projects here not delivered because they are just not realistic in
terms of schedule, labor or budget to produce the rewards. I wish all the projects would explain how they
would produce the product with a simple cost analysis. For example, what is the basic cost,
number of hours required to assembly etc. Are they willing to lose money in return Kickstartter provides the free advertisement that money cannot buy?
For example, one project that I backed has so many backers that overwhelmed the poor guy.
I did a back of the envelope calculation, it will take him a couple hundreds of hours to assemble the product.
He ended refunding some of the backers.
Oh, this is a bit of a tough one... On one hand I have to agree with Tovbot that sometime there is a discrepancy between what is shown in the feature videos and the actual finished product - but on the other hand I think that the questions raised by Kris and Wouter are valid.
See, Kickstarter *is* unique in the sense that us backers are not customers or investors in the traditional sense - we are both. As investors, we back the project because we too believe - and are willing to invest - in the dream, as you so aptly put it. As consumers, we are betting our hard-earned cash that we will receive a product that meets our expectations of the vision we were initially presented with.
No, Kickstarter is not eBay, but I think that the good people behind Tovbot need put down their tools and blueprints and invest a little time in other Kickstarter projects and see what have made them popular. Projects like SmartThings (backed!) and LIFX (backed - to the extreme! I have pledged for $2500 worth of bulbs, that according to Reuters should be vaporware! But I have faith!) were successful not only because the product showed great promise, but because the people behind them saw Kickstarter as a great chance to ballpark their product with their backers, both as customers and investors, and feedbacking on the input they got -startting a dialogue and keeping it alive.
Having worked with a few venture capital firms myself, I love to see projects like this one flourish and succeed. But what has sent huge warnings signals was the fact that Tovbot let half of their time on Kickstarter go by with almost no interaction with their backers. Not only was that a big missed opportunity to evolve the product but it also gave me flashbacks to a few projects - both on and off Kickstarter - where developers have gone into "deep crunch mode", both during the investor phase and the development itself, and remained unresponsive while their investors and customers have become furious with the lack of response. I hope that this is not the case with Tovbot, but to me those first two weeks cast a shadow that will be hard to forget during the second half of Shimi's time on Kickstarter.
I have not lost faith in Tovbot - or Shimi - yet. I hope you guys make it to your goal and that you deliver a product that we all will love and can look back upon and say "we were there..." when every household has its own musical robot.
As far as ideas and suggestions go, I think that it is pretty clear that your audience want to be platform agnostic. Consider a wireless solution that won't marry Shimi to connection standards that are specific to different vendors. That alone will increase the lifetime of Shimi. Make sure an open SDK is made available as soon as possible, and consider getting a few Shimis in the hands of some other cool Kickstarter projects - make alliances that will enrichen both your own project and others.
And chin up - we still love you! Just don't forget about us and *our* dreams about Shimi.
I think what many of the people here want to see is something similar to the video. It's our job as consumers and backers to help Tovbot make this a reality. So together our ideas and pledges can shape the product that Tovbot will create. So on that note, let's all keep in mind that to make this affordable to consumers we need to move away from a metal Shimi.
It is cheaper to mass produce plastic Shimis' so lets take a look how we can make it affordable by using plastic, but at the same time attractive. A black Shimi body with white feet and trim for example may be appealing to some. Let's put our heads together to come up with ideas on how we can make Shimi lifelike with personality without looking like a cheap toy. I would prefer the same size as the one in the video, not slimmed down. I would love it to have a little weight so it can't be knocked around. I would prefer high grade motors since some people may use this for their everyday office system. We would have to have a motor go out and have to spend another $200 to get another one. The higher end motors will add to the weight. Just some ideas.
Uhm , I have to agree with Kris here , i ALSO made a pledge to support this great project but mainly for the great robot in the video , I thought we would get one of those... , but now you clearly said that is NOT the final version... , so i'm really dissapointed and I deel mislead.
I think many other backers think the same way.....
I think the term "Bait & Switch" is really in order here , sorry.
Thanks again for your support.
We don't know how we could have been more clear in our project description that we are trying to commercialize the Shimi prototype.
The commercial Shimi will have all of the same capabiltiies as what you see in the video. It will not be made out of aluminum, because that is cost prohibitive. Our goal is to make Shimi a product.
We would love to post videos of the "PRODUCT" version of Shimi, once it is complete. That is what this Kickstarter project is all about, and it's why we need your help. If we had a product already, we wouldn't be on Kickstarter asking for support.
The videos we post are not "Ads", but examples of what we, as a team, are capable of.
When you, or any other backer, backs our project, you're backing more than just Shimi. You are backing a dream of highly engaging, highly capable, yet affordable home robotics.
Kickstarter is about promoting projects, not products. Kickstarter is not eBay - it's a chance for backers like yourself to fund development efforts that will bring you cool things that will eventually show up on eBay.
Most Kickstarter projects begin with a concept (as we have), and the projects themselves fuel additional interest and R&D into those concepts. Often times, the final product differs from the concept based on market feedback provided by Kickstarter.
For anyone out there reading - we understand completely if you want to wait and buy the Shimi product on eBay. IF, however, you want to back us on the ground floor development effort, we greatly appreciate your support in our Kickstarter project.
The Shimi Team
@Tovbot - First I want to thank you for designing Shimi and trying to bring it into the market for consumers like myself to enjoy.
What made me and many backers here backed up this project is the video of Shimi. Shimi is such an awesome DJ Robot to have. He moves and respond to the music with his feet tapping and head turning. We are all hooked on what we saw in the video and that is our perception that is what we will be supporting and receiving with our pledge.
Now that you have clearly stated that the Prototype of Shimi from the video is NOT for production, since that prototype will cost in the thousands. I hope to contact you later in the years to purchase of the original Shimi. :)
I know that the term I used "Bait & Switch" is a bit harsh. But reality is, we are consumers, Shimi is a product, we see ADs of Shimi, videos of Shimi. We expect to get what we see, its human nature. Now that you have stated that "Will the final Shimi product look exactly like the one in the video? Probably NOT. Will it still be awesome? We'll do our very best to make sure it is!" There is no guarantee it will even function the same at all.
Basically its time to update your videos and signature image to an image of what your planning to market. Original Shimi is not what your marketing at this moment, it wont be anything close to the original design in the video.
Many kickstarter projects have a design that is very much like the final design, this project has a design, but the final project design is far from the original design. Many backers here don't read the comments or the updates. So they will get a surprise Shimi in the mail, hoping what they saw in the video is what they are getting, they will be surprise for sure, just they wont be pleased with the results.
Will this project be funded in time? Maybe, maybe not. If not, then its time to design a unit, show what it looks like, how it function in a demo video of the *actual product and resubmit to Kickstarter, I have seen projects get submitted twice and the 2nd time around got funded because the item is what is listed.
As of now, my hopes on the Shimi from the video is no longer there. There are 14 days left for me to remove my pledge and to see what designs you can come up with and a new demo video of how its going to function.
But please, remove the original Shimi demo video, its really misleading to the consumers as they will not be receiving that Shimi in the end, nor will it function the same (no head movement, not feet tapping, no head turning and looking at phone, no wake up with its head down then moving up)
I feel bad for those who back this project and think they will be getting the Shimi from the video.
To avoid any confusion, the focus of our Kickstarter project is to transition our existing Shimi prototype (which costs thousands of dollars in parts and even more for our labor) into something we can put onto store shelves and sell for a reasonable price (like $150-200). The Shimi Product is a work in progress -- it's why we're doing Kickstarter, and we are looking to you, our backers and friends, to help us refine the product into something we can all enjoy and be proud of.
We think the comments and suggestions we've received so far have been great! They will definitely help us make a better Shimi that more people will want. We will do our very best to try to incorporate the feedback we receive into our final product designs. That's what this project is for, after all!
Will the final Shimi product look exactly like the one in the video? Probably not. Will it still be awesome? We'll do our very best to make sure it is!
Thanks again for all of your support,
The Kickstarter Team
Thanks for replying @ Tovbot.
Where can I and a few of us purchase the Shimi from the video, I like how all of its parts shows, that design is what really captured all of our attention.
Can you confirm if the Shimi in the videos are NOT for sale? or we will NOT be getting a Shimi that even looks exactly like the videos.
Please confirm, I would be glad to pay more just to have the one in the Video, not the redesign ones that has been posted in the "Update" section.
Sorry you feel that way about the early prototype. That's why we're making prototypes - to see what customers like you will want. If customers want a nice silvery finish, that's what we'll do!
Right now, we're trying lot's of different industrial designs and mechanical designs. In the update, we showed one design (the same one we show in our rendered pictures and in my comment picture). Since this is a project to commercialize the prototype we showed on our video, the design will go through many iterations to get to a design that customers want and one that is manufacturable for the price point we are selling Shimi at.
Thanks again for your support and feedback!
The new design just posted in "Updates" looks like a cheap Toy. Nothing like the Original Design that is shown in the videos. The Original Design is what interest me in backing this project. If the final design looks like the one in the *Update, then I like many here will back out of this project.
It's like a "Bait & Switch", show us the Original Cool Design, then switch us with a cheap looking toy type of a look, nothing like the one in the video. SAD.... : /
Thanks so much for your support. We apologize for being unresponsive - we've been busy designing and prototyping robots!
Gil is busy running our R&D team in Atlanta, and Ian is schlepping all around Asia working out the manufacturing details. BUT, we hear you - we'll do a better job with updates. We promise!
Also, we hear you on Android support. We are looking into support for specific Android phones, like the Galaxy IIIs.
I really would like to see this funded. With a little over two weeks to go and 60K needed, we really need to push.
nick is right - some updates, comments, news, answers would stir it up a bit
if it goes on like this the foal won't be reached - maybe just 50% or more
Making a simple adapter for Android would get more people on board. Is there anything to do to make that happen before launch? I'm an iPhone guy, but my wife owns a droid. It would be great if we both could use Shimi.
I pledged too , but I have to say , the lack of Android support is really bad AND the cause that so many other potential backers are not pledging .... , I know for sure that if they DO support android in a future update then there will be a LOT of pledges , I even might want to double my pledge ^_^
Not sure what I am more worried about, the declining trend of pledges or the lack of comments from both backers and Tovbot in the comments thread. I feel that this Kickstarter - and the product in particular - deserves a bit better.
With 18 days to go, my suggestion to Tovbot is to stir it up a bit: Inspire us existing backers to ensure that we have done the right thing to pledge - give us something new about the product, maybe design insights or just *something*(or at the very least, throw in an update every now and then to spark the conversation).
Here's hoping we reach the goal.