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$22,787 pledged of $30,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By for Our Kids Inc.
$22,787 pledged of $30,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

77fa39785050018436b041dda0550c20 original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About this project

 The first learning kit for girls and boys

PETS is the first learning kit for girls and boys
PETS is the first learning kit for girls and boys

PETS is an intuitive, physical experience-based programming learning kit. Kids can program its movement with tangible command blocks by inserting them into the top of PETS. (Patent Pending)

Command block on top of PETS
Command block on top of PETS

PETS doesn’t require any PC or tablet. Kids can touch the command, move the object, and learn the basic of the programming. All you need to program PETS movement is the wooden blocks which fit to the top holes of PETS. 

PETS is suitable as the first step in learning to program and developing computational thinking, even before visual programming. 

Why is PETS suitable as the first step?

We strongly believe that the first learning kit children use should be Simple/Intuitive and Fun.At the same time PETS could be a long lasting solution for teaching a variety of Curriculum topics. In addition, PETS is Open for everyone who wants to use it in their own way.

PETS is Simple / Intuitive

PETS is Simple and Intuitive!
PETS is Simple and Intuitive!

To start learning the basics of programming or computational thinking, PETS doesn't need any PC or Tablet. 

PETS provides a Tangible User Interface which makes it easy for users to tell whether when their command blocks have been correctly set. PETS does not merely appear on a flat screen but physically moves in front of the kids.

PETS goes forward, and turns right, then which is the next move? Kids examine the 3D map in their head to find the prospective paths to the goal. PETS shows the answer right after the execution button is ignited. In this way PETS combines computational thinking, spatial thinking, and immediate physical feedback so that Kids can learn programming with their whole body.

PETS is FUN!!

PETS is Fun!
PETS is Fun!

Simply, it is fun. 

When playing alone, kids can be attracted by the feeling of the tangible blocks and PETS movement. Deep consideration and the achievement makes them happy.

When kids play with their friends, interaction makes PETS curriculum more exciting.

When kids play with their parents, there is always something new to discover with each other. We are sure that parents are going be tought by their children. 

PETS comes with a variety of Curriculums

Since the middle of 2015, when we have completed the 2nd working prototype, we have been developing its curriculum, and holding workshops for over 1.5 years.

Now we have many curriculum topics with different learning aims.

Basic - Learning Structured Programming  
Sequence  
Iteration  
Selection (under development)

Variety - Learning STEM  
Arithmetic  
Binary number  
Dress-up 

PETS is Open

PETS is Open!
PETS is Open!

We want you to make your own PETS by your hand.

We want you to make your own PETS by your hand.
These information is available for our contributors. (CC BY 4.0)

  • MDF Layout design  
  • BOM List  
  • Design materials for curriculum

New design, new material, new curriculum, and new functions.
Please give PETS the new possibility with you and your kids creativity.

Our Wish

In the beginning of this project, we imagined how our own kids should begin learning programming.

After some thought and consideration we came up with three main requirements: It should be fun to learn programming. It should be very easy for kids to begin. Kids should be able to learn on their own and with friends, brothers & sisters, and parents

Now we strongly feel our product “PETS” meets the requirements we imagined then. We wish that all kids will have fun while learn programming with PETS.

what we imagined in the beginning
what we imagined in the beginning

How PETS has been developed

PETS hardware has been developed by our related company, TheDesignium Inc. based in Aizu, Fukushima, Japan. Here a beautiful castle stands and best in class Japanese Sake is produced.

The very first prototype was not for girls and boys, but was for professional web engineers who wanted to learn about physical computing. 

Tsurugajo Castle of Aizu, Fukushima with full Sakura bloom
Tsurugajo Castle of Aizu, Fukushima with full Sakura bloom

However we found that programming moving objects in the real world is so fun!!

The very first prototype without the block interface
The very first prototype without the block interface

 

1st Sketch for prototype
1st Sketch for prototype

At the same time, our community had numerous inquiries about conducting workshops and exhibitions for school kids to learn (through experience) about Technology in Japan. To begin with we were using established programming learning tools, but we wanted to make things more fun, something that would let children learn through play.

The next question was “how can we get young girls and boys to learn physical computing without using keyboard and mouse?”

1st Version of Prototype  

Eventually we came to an idea to use a Tangible User Interface. What if the kids can touch the code, and plug commands directly into the robot?
Sound fun, does't it?

PETS 1st prototype with tangible programmable interface
PETS 1st prototype with tangible programmable interface

PETS does not rely on experience or ability at using a standard computer, but can be used by anyone who can pick up the small command blocks.

To create a kid-friendly user experience, we carefully design the block and interface board to achieve a satisfying and unambiguous woody-clicky feeling.(Patent Pending)

Using these prototypes, we have conducted numerous workshops for girls, boys, and parents. We found that parents teach children, and children teach children, and we the instructors learn a lot more from kids. Children are indeed.

Girls and boys learn by themselves
Girls and boys learn by themselves
Latest workshop in U.S.
Latest workshop in U.S.

The team - who’s working for PETS?

for Our Kids Inc. Co-founders
for Our Kids Inc. Co-founders

Team PETS - for Our Kids Inc. was founded by a group with a variety of the backgrounds, based in Japan.

Yosuke Nakao - Co-founder CEO, has been contributing to the Japanese educational contents market for over 10 years. He strongly believes that physical-based learning and learning technology is essential for the next generation of youth to enter education. He is also spending his happy life with his three daughters.

Noboru Watanabe - Co-founder Learning Director, is working in the field of robot programming learning and its popularization in Japan. He is the one of the best trainers in the robot programming. 
He is also acting as the head of the management office of WRO Japan. (World Robot Olympiad)

Yuuki Tanaka - Co-founder IDer, Data Scientist, is leading PETS curriculum development. He is a researcher of EdTech, and also a teacher of information technology for a junior high school.

Takesen Ito - Co-founder Director, is acting as the director of operations and business development, utilizing his network and experience in the worldwide electronics industry. He is also known as a community manager for one of the most active tech community in Japan, named the Tokyo MotionControl Network(TMCN).

Yu Hata - Co-founder PETS Development manager, is leading the development of PETS hardware, artwork, and related software, with TheDesignium Inc. located in Aizu, Fukushima.

Members from TheDesignium (PETS Hardware engineering)

Members from TheDesignium
Members from TheDesignium

Lee Chin Hui - Hardware Engineer, is a specialist in semiconductor, hardware design and sensor programming in TheDesignium Inc. He is the one who initiated the PETS project, starting from developing the physical programming tool for internal use. Thus, in a sense, he is "the father of PETS".

Manabu Hasegawa, Fab Designer, is the talented designer  who creativity and persistently worked to achieve state-of-the-art mechanical design of PETS utilizing the laser cuttering.

Why is the PETS project trying Kickstarter?

In Jan/2017 we shipped a volume of factory mass-produced 3rd PETS prototype to testers. We got a lot of great feedback from the supporters in Japan.

To improve PETS based on this feedback, and achieve our goal of providing a high quality affordable learning tool, we need [to overcome the following challenges:]

  • Optimization of hardware (Board, mechanical design, and firmware)
  • Proximity Sensor, and its curriculum (Expansion kit only)

    These new sensors will expand the PETS curriculum to include all 3 of the methods of Structured Programming. At the moment PETS supports Sequence and Iteration, the 2 methods out of 3 methods, proximity and color sensors will add Selection. 

  • Curriculum using the color sensor (to learn Selection, and more)
    At this moment, PETS supports only Sequence and Iteration, the 2 methods out of 3 of Structured Programming.
  • Reasonable, affordable price
    Existing physical programming learning tools are a little bit expensive, and this is also the case with PETS prototype too.
    To deliver PETS to every kids, we need to get larger scale production.
  • Worldwide Shipment
    Currently PETS and its workshops are only introduced in Japan. By nature of its tangible user interface, PETS can be adopted in all over the world. Let us bring PETS to your town!!

Only with your support, a lot of improvements and the new trials can this be achievable. WE NEED YOUR HELP!!

Your Pledge and Rewards

Pledge and Rewards
Pledge and Rewards

Geeks Kit

Geeks Kit
Geeks Kit

Geeks kit is for DIY makers who wants to develop your own design of PETS. It contains 1 main board with Arduino compatible MCU and 2 motor drivers on it, 1 interface board, 1 color sensor board, and a set of 19 command block boards.
When you build the original PETS, the information is available for donwload. (BOM list of other commodity parts including motors and connectors, and MDF layout for laser cutter)

Self Assy (Basic Kit)

Self Assy (Basic Kit)
Self Assy (Basic Kit)

Self Assy kit is for the original PETS user who wants to try to build by yourself with lower cost as the assembled PETS. All the parts are delivered accompanied with the printed assembly manual. Maybe you can enjoy to build up with your kids. (Tools like driver, glue, and 4 AA batteries are not included.)

Basic Pack

Basic Pack
Basic Pack

Basic pack is the easiest way to use PETS as the programming learning tool. Assembled PETS and command blocks come with nicely designed instructor's manual with basic curriculum and some cute cards (cakes, bombs, castles, etc) for the exercise. STEM instructor pack is available for the class usage.

Expansion Pack

Sketch for proximity sensor what expansion pack offers
Sketch for proximity sensor what expansion pack offers

Expansion pack provides proximity sensor to be attached with PETS & a curriculum with it. By using it, you can learn "IF" which is very important basic of programming.

Spec

Specification of PETS.
Specification of PETS.

 

 

Schedule

PETS Schedule on Kickstarter
PETS Schedule on Kickstarter

March/6th - PETS on Kickstarter Started!
March 6-9th - PETS in SXSWedu, Austin, Texas

April 7-9th - PETS in Maker Faire HongKong
Apr/16th - Kickstarter Closing! The judgement day!!
May/31st - Production starts!!
July/31st - Earliest birds rewards +100pcs shipment  
                 Digital materials are available for download  
Aug/31st - Earlybird, Kickstarter edition shipment for all rewards

Risks and challenges

Our teams has already experienced manufacturing process twice in past 2 years, which means we know what kind of risks in manufacturing and already made good relationship with our partners. Also our estimates for delivery are conservative.

However If things can go wrong such as procurement of parts, we promise to inform with solution you as soon as possible.

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  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    PETS Supporter

    Be a part of PETS story!!
    Keep in touch with the project update!
    And, some of our digital materials (instruction books, courses, design materials, etc) are available for download.

    Includes:
    • Basic curriculum (download)
    • Design materials (download)
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Geeks Kit (Earliest Bird, $59 off)

    PETS kit for geeks who want to try to design your own PETS.
    Limited 200 backers will get $59 off of the retail $99.

    Backer gets 1 PETS main board with farmware loaded, 1 interface board, and command block boards.

    BOM list for commodity parts and MDF Layout design for laser cutter are available for DIY build.

    The other digital materials including assembly manual, curriculum, and design materials are also available for download.

    Includes:
    • Main board
    • Interface board
    • Color sensor board
    • Command block board set (19pcs)
    • BOM list of the commodity parts
    • MDF Layout design
    • Assembly manual (download)
    • Basic curriculum (download)
    • Design materials (download)
    • 1 month earliest delivery
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    Geeks Kit (Kickstarter Special, $50 off)

    PETS kit for geeks who want to try to design your own PETS.

    Kickstarter backers will get $50 off of the retail $99.

    Backer gets 1 PETS main board with firmware loaded, 1 interface board, and command block boards.

    BOM list for commodity parts and MDF Layout design for laser cutter are available for DIY build.

    The other digital materials including assembly manual, curriculum, and design materials are also available for download.

    Includes:
    • Main board
    • Interface board
    • Color sensor board
    • Command block board set (19pcs)
    • BOM list of the commodity parts
    • MDF Layout design
    • Assembly manual (download)
    • Basic curriculum (download)
    • Design materials (download)
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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    Basic Kit Self Assy (Earliest, $116 off)

    PETS kit for self assembly. Limited 100 backers will get $116 off of the retail $215.

    All the components are delivered as the parts. Backer needs to assemble by yourself.

    All the other documents including assembly manual, curriculum, and design materials are also available for download.

    *Tools like driver, glue, and 4 AA batteries are not included.

    Includes:
    • Main board
    • Interface board
    • Color sensor board
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • All the components (motor, other parts, and laser-cut MDF)
    • Assembly manual (Printed)
    • Basic curriculum (download)
    • Design materials (download)
    • 1 month earliest delivery
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $119 or more About $119

    Basic Pack (Earliest Bird, $121off)

    Backer will get one assembled PETS and a set of command blocks. (19pcs) Limited 100 backers will get $121 off of the retail $240.

    Along with PETS and command blocks, the backer gets a printed user manual, instruction book.

    Includes:
    • PETS (Assembled)
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • Color sensor board
    • 4 AA Batteries
    • Basic carriculum (printed)
    • Design material (printed)
    • Assembly manual (download)
    • 1 month earliest delivery
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    Basic Kit Self Assy (Early, $95 off)

    PETS kit for self assembly. Limited 200 backers will get $95 off of the retail $215.

    All the components are delivered as the parts. Backer needs to assemble by yourself.

    All the other documents including assembly manual, curriculum, and design materials are also available for download.

    *Tools like driver, glue, and 4 AA batteries are not included.

    Includes:
    • Main board
    • Interface board
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • All the components (motor, other parts, and laser-cut MDF)
    • Assembly manual (Printed)
    • Basic curriculum (download)
    • Design materials (download)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (199 left of 200) 1 backer
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    Basic Pack (Early Bird, $100 off)

    Backer will get one assembled PETS and a set of command blocks. (19pcs) Limited 200 backers will get $100 off of the retail $240.

    Along with PETS and command blocks, the backer gets a printed user manual, instruction book.

    Includes:
    • PETS (Assembled)
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • Color sensor board
    • 4 AA Batteries
    • Basic carriculum (printed)
    • Design material (printed)
    • Assembly manual (download)
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Exp Kit Self Assy (Early Bird, $95 off)

    PETS kit for self assembly, including expansion proximity sensor and its curriculum. Limited 100 backers will get $95 off of the retail $245.

    All the components are delivered as the parts. Backer needs to assemble by yourself.

    All the other documents including assembly manual, curriculum, and design materials are also available for download.

    *Tools like driver, glue, and 4 AA batteries are not included.

    Includes:
    • Main board
    • Interface board
    • Color sensor board
    • Proximity sensor adapter
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • All the components (motor, other parts, and laser-cut MDF)
    • Assembly manual (Printed)
    • Basic curriculum (download)
    • Additional curriculum (download)
    • Design materials (download)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (96 left of 100) 4 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    Self Assy Kit (Kickstarter, $55 off)

    PETS kit for self assembly. Kickstarter backers will get $55 off of the retail $215.

    All the components are delivered as the parts. Backer needs to assemble by yourself.

    All the other documents including assembly manual, curriculum, and design materials are also available for download.

    *Tools like driver, glue, and 4 AA batteries are not included.

    Includes:
    • Main board
    • Interface board
    • Color sensor board
    • All the components (motor, other parts, and laser-cut MDF)
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • Assembly manual (Printed)
    • Basic curriculum (download)
    • Design materials (download)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $170 or more About $170

    Expansion Pack (Early Bird, $100off)

    Backer will get proximity sensor adapter, its additional curriculum in addition to the basic pack - one assembled PETS and a set of command blocks. (19pcs)
    Limited 100 backers will get $100 off of the retail $270.

    Along with PETS and command blocks, the backer gets a printed user manual, instruction book.

    Includes:
    • PETS (Assembled)
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • Color sensor board
    • Proximity sensor adapter
    • 4 AA Batteries
    • Basic carriculum (printed)
    • Additional curriculum (printed)
    • Design material (printed)
    • Assembly manual (download)
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (91 left of 100) 9 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Basic Pack (Kickstarter, $60 off)

    Backer will get one assembled PETS and a set of command blocks. (19pcs)

    Kickstarter backers will get $60 off of the retail $240.

    Along with PETS and command blocks, the backer gets a printed user manual, instruction book.

    Includes:
    • PETS (Assembled)
    • Color sensor board
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • 4 AA Batteries
    • Basic carriculum (printed)
    • Design material (printed)
    • Assembly manual (download)
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $190 or more About $190

    Exp Kit Self Assy (Kickstarter, $55 off)

    PETS kit for self assembly, including expansion proximity sensor and its curriculum. Limited 100 backers will get $55 off of the retail $245.

    All the components are delivered as the parts. Backer needs to assemble by yourself.

    All the other documents including assembly manual, curriculum, and design materials are also available for download.

    *Tools like driver, glue, and 4 AA batteries are not included.

    Includes:
    • Main board
    • Interface board
    • Color sensor board
    • Proximity sensor adapter
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • All the components (motor, other parts, and laser-cut MDF)
    • Assembly manual (Printed)
    • Basic curriculum (download)
    • Additional curriculum (download)
    • Design materials (download)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    Expansion Pack (Kickstarter, $60off)

    Backer will get proximity sensor adapter, its additional curriculum in addition to the basic pack - one assembled PETS and a set of command blocks. (19pcs)
    Kickstarter backers will get $60 off of the retail $270.

    Along with PETS and command blocks, the backer gets a printed user manual, instruction book.

    Includes:
    • PETS (Assembled)
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • Color sensor board
    • Proximity sensor adapter
    • 4 AA Batteries
    • Basic carriculum (printed)
    • Additional curriculum (printed)
    • Design material (printed)
    • Assembly manual (download)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $840 or more About $840

    STEM Instructor Pack 4 ($240 off)

    4 sets of Expansion Pack with instructors manual. Backer will get 4X assembled PETS and 4X set of command blocks. (19pcs), 4X color sensor boards and proximity sensor adapters.

    Kickstarter backers will get $240 off of the retail $1080. (And the shipping cost stays the same as Expansion Pack.)

    Along with PETS and command blocks, the backer gets a printed user manual, instruction book.

    Includes:
    • PETS (Assembled)
    • Color sensor board
    • Proximity sensor adapter
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • 4 AA Batteries
    • Basic carriculum (printed)
    • Additional curriculum (printed)
    • Design material (printed)
    • STEM Instructors Manual (Printed)
    • Assembly manual (download)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Urushi PETS (Kickstarter Limited)

    The very special, Urushi - the Japanese Lacquered PETS.

    Aizu is famous for its traditional wooden craft work.

    Backer will get one assembled a special made Urushi PETS and a set of command blocks. (19pcs)

    Includes:
    • Urushi Lacquered PETS
    • Color sensor board
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • 4 AA Batteries
    • Basic carriculum (printed)
    • Design material (printed)
    • Assembly manual (download)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (5 left of 5) 0 backers
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $9,900 or more About $9,900

    fOK Special Contributor (Priceless)

    for Our Kids (fOK) Special Contributor will be the first one to get PETS Kickstarter edition in the world.

    In addition to the STEM instructor pack, the contributor is going to be invited to the palace where PETS has been developed, Tokyo and Aizu.

    For 2 persons, the airfare to Tokyo Airport, 2 nights stay in Tokyo and Aizu is offered. They are welcomed to our Tokyo office and Aizu office and meet the team in face. Let's discuss the future possibility of PETS as a part of the team. (Detail itinerary should be discussed.)

    Includes:
    • Meet the team in Tokyo and Aizu
    • PETS (Assembled)
    • Color sensor board
    • Proximity sensor adapter
    • Basic command blocks set (19pcs)
    • 4 AA Batteries
    • Basic carriculum (printed)
    • Additional curriculum (printed)
    • Design material (printed)
    • STEM Instructors Manual (Printed)
    • Assembly manual (download)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (9 left of 10) 1 backer
    $
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