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Build better bots!  A 3D printed robotics platform that is easy to hack, make, use and sustain.  Some assembly required.
Build better bots!  A 3D printed robotics platform that is easy to hack, make, use and sustain.  Some assembly required.
Build better bots! A 3D printed robotics platform that is easy to hack, make, use and sustain. Some assembly required.
69 backers pledged $17,558 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

BoxBotix: An Open Source Modular Robotics Platform project video thumbnail
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BoxBotix: An Open Source Modular Robotics Platform

$17,558

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Control your own Robot Destiny!  BoxBotix lets you build robots that meet your specific needs, and keep them running with parts you can make or source yourself.  To help everyone get started building BBots we are offering two different types of kits:  Bring Your Own Printer as well as Full Frame Kits.  Keep reading for more details on the 130+ high quality parts we provide in our kits.

Not into building robots but still want to help?  No worries!  Click on the "Back This Project" button and you can elect to help us out with a cash gift, or you can select one of the BoxBotix Kits as an award and donate it to a school or other STEM robotics program.  If you are not sure who would like a kit for their robotics program, we can help with that too!

Please remember that Kickstarter is "all or nothing", so if we do not reach our goal the BBots and their people do not get funded, and none of our Backers get their awards.

BBCopter
BBCopter

BoxBotix is Hackable

Three BBots. One BrainBox.  There are three BBot variants for the initial release: BBCopter, BBPlane and BBRover. And that's just the start! BoxBotix is entirely modular and open source. It all starts with the BrainBox — You then simply mix and match modules to build a robot frame that meets your needs. And, since it's all open source, you can design and build your own modules. Want a BBBoat? BBMonsterTruck? BBDroid? Go for it!

BoxBotix On Github

BBCopter Exploded View
BBCopter Exploded View

BoxBotix is Makable

Designed For Manufacture. On your Desktop.  All of our BoxBotix designs are optimized to be built using readily available tools and materials. The main BBot modules can be printed with a desktop 3D printer. The rest of the materials are metric fasteners, extruded carbon fiber shapes, a bit of aluminum, and EPP foam. They are all built with basic tools you would find in any small shop or hacker space.

BBCopter Arm Module Printing
BBCopter Arm Module Printing

BoxBotix is Useable

The worst case scenario we like to design around is the "At night, in the rain, wearing gloves" use case. We think we are close to meeting those goals with BoxBotix. All BBots are capable of being built to be water and dust proof — For times when you really shouldn't be out operating, but you are anyway. And all of the connections for the modules are done with thumbscrews, so it's tool-free assembly in the field. 

BBRover Being Usable
BBRover Being Usable

BoxBotix is Sustainable

From easily printing your own replacement parts, to quickly swapping modules when your landing turns into crash — It all adds up to the ability to sustain your BBots over time.

BrainBox with BBCopter Modules
BrainBox with BBCopter Modules

BoxBotix BBot Frame Kits

As you will see from the pictures below, some assembly is required to build your BBot.  You will need items such as epoxy, acetone, a few basic tools, and a bit of patience to build our kits.  If you do not like putting Swedish furniture together this may not be the project for you.

Full Frame Kits will include everything you need to build the frame.  We do not include any of the electronics but we will help you choose the items you need.

Bring Your Own Printer (BYOP) Kits will include everything BUT the ABS printed parts.  We will even include the ThermoPlastic Elastomer (TPE, it's a rubbery material) printed parts in these kits as printing TPE can be a bit of a challenge.  Please see the parts list below for detailed info.  

We have listed some basic specifications for your reference.  It should be noted that the flexible nature of the modular design will let you build these bots in many different configurations.  That makes it hard for us to give any hard numbers.  One of the budget items for our campaign is to build and document more variants so we can supply details on specific builds.

BBCopter Kit

Basic Specifications:

  • 22in Long (nose to tail) x 20in Wide (motor centers) x 14.5in tall (top of GPS mast)
  • Up to 14in Props
  • Up to 6s Lipo Battery
  • ~2.8lbs Built Frame
  • ~5lbs Empty Weight
  • ~8lbs Max Gross (with the right power system)
  • Gimbal/payload mount is adaptable to most 2 or 3 axis gimbals designed for small cameras
BBCopter Full Frame Kit
BBCopter Full Frame Kit
Bopper Full Frame Kit Parts List
Bopper Full Frame Kit Parts List

BBPlane Kit

Basic Specifications:

  • 52in wing span
  • 624 sq in Wing Area
  • ~500 watt motor with 3 or 4 cell Lipo
  • ~3.5lb Empty Weight
  • ~5lb Max Gross (for hand launch)
  • Tail module is designed to hold a small camera for down-pointing imagery
BBPlane Full Frame Kit
BBPlane Full Frame Kit
BBPlane Full Frame Kit Parts List
BBPlane Full Frame Kit Parts List

BBRover Kit

Basic Specifications:

  • 8in EPP Wheels
  • Use gear motors up to .875in diameter and 2.75in long
  • ~2.8lbs Built Frame
  • ~5lbs Empty (with small planetary gear motors)
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use
BBRover Full Frame Kit
BBRover Full Frame Kit
BBRover Full Frame Kit Parts List
BBRover Full Frame Kit Parts List

The Budget

We are here on Kickstarter to raise money to do the following:

1) Improve Community: We have started the web site, but it needs more work. We do most of our web development internally, but it still costs money for hosting and various web services that power the site.  We plan to add a custom forum and knowledge base to the site to make it easier for people to collaborate around new ideas.

2) Improve Documentation:  We want to thoroughly document the build and testing of each BBot variant.  This documentation will be provided as build instructions and videos for the open source community.

3) Improve Manufacturing:  We want to add more printers to our small print farm, as well as bring in a few more tools such as a vertical band saw.  These additions should double our throughput, assuming we reach our campaign goal.

Team Rocketship

Coby - President.  He generates enough crazy ideas to last two lifetimes. 

Amy - Vice President.  She spends most of her time trying to keep Coby focused.

Garrett - Engineering.  He has designed and built most of the BoxBotix stuff you see.

Aziz - Shop Technician.  He keeps things running in the shop, and otherwise does most of the hard work.

Team Rocketship (left to right) Garrett, Coby and Aziz
Team Rocketship (left to right) Garrett, Coby and Aziz

 BoxBotix Origin Story

The idea for BoxBotix has evolved over the last several years. We run a small shop that machines parts for small robots. We get a lot of emails and phone calls from people trying to integrate new technology and sensors, but lack the robot to put them on. So we decided to design something that was easy to hack, make, use and sustain. All Open Source. BoxBotix is the result.

Risks and challenges

Every project has risks and challenges. We have tried very hard to reduce these before starting our Kickstarter Campaign. Here are the major risks we have identified, and how we have planned to mitigate them:

BoxBotix is a fairly complex design. We have spent almost two years designing and prototyping. We consider BoxBotix to be ready for first public release, which means the hard engineering has been done. We do not consider BoxBotix to be feature complete, but it is a solid design.

BoxBotix requires 3D printed ABS parts. ABS can be a challenging material to print well. For full kits, Rocketship Systems will be printing everything in-house. We have spent the last two years developing our own in-house printing workflow, and have become very familiar with the requirements to produce quality ABS parts. 3D printing is also not a very fast manufacturing process, so per unit throughput is the limiting factor. One of the goals of this campaign is to increase our throughput by adding more printers. Award levels have been limited based on this factor.

BoxBotix kits require 130+ parts from several vendors. Rocketship Systems has been in business designing, building and shipping products to customers for over four years. Over this time we have developed solid vendor relationships, and understand the order fulfillment process. We have quotes and lead times from all vendors for the parts required to fulfill our awards.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Help grow the BoxBotix Community by pledging one dollar (or more).

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    24 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Help grow the BoxBotix Community AND receive a promo code for $50 to use at our web store. Please note, store opening is planned for after all Backer Kits are shipped. Limit one per person.

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    Limited 14 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    BBCopter Bring Your Own Printer (BYOP) Kit. You print your own ABS parts to build a BBCopter and we supply the hardware. Let us do all the hard work of sourcing 130+ parts. Electronics not included. Free shipping in the US; $30 for international.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 6 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    BBRover Bring Your Own Printer (BYOP) Kit. You print your own ABS parts to build a BBRover and we supply the hardware PLUS the EPP foam tires. Let us do all the hard work of sourcing 130+ parts. Electronics not included. Free shipping in the US; $30 for international.

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    Limited 2 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    BBPlane Bring Your Own Printer (BYOP) Kit. You print your own ABS parts to build a BBPlane, and we supply the hardware PLUS the EPP foam wing and tail cores. Let us do all the hard work of sourcing 130+ parts. Electronics not included. Free shipping in the US; $30 for international.

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    Limited 2 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    BBCopter Full Frame Kit. Includes the BYOP kit PLUS all 3D printed ABS parts. Electronics not included. Free shipping in the US; $30 for international.

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    Limited 4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    BBRover Full Frame Kit. Includes the BYOP kit PLUS all 3D printed ABS parts. Electronics not included. Free shipping in the US; $30 for international.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    BBPlane Full Frame Kit. Includes the BYOP Kit PLUS all 3D printed ABS parts. Electronics not included. Free shipping in the US; $30 for international.

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    Limited 2 backers
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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $925 or more About $925

    Get all three BBots. Full frame kits for the BBCopter, BBRover and BBPlane. Free shipping in the US; $50 for international.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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Funding period

- (19 days)