About this project
What is RoboCORE?
RoboCORE is a cloud-powered device and development platform that is the heart of your new DIY robots for professional or hobby use.
You can now build personal robots from scratch without high-level programming skills and at an affordable price. RoboCORE gives you the hardware and software to build almost any robot you can imagine. What's more, it’s not dependent on any particular mechanics system, so you can use simple metal constructions, as well as LEGO® bricks.
You can also connect your smartphone or USB camera to RoboCORE in order to unlock some cool telepresence features. RoboCORE is not just a driver, it’s a whole ecosystem. It allows you to create advanced constructions for anyone. Stretch your brain cells, develop the passion and discover the new opportunities. You’ve got your own personal computer, now it’s time for your personal robot. Share our passion for robotics!
Our vision can change the game
We believe that contemporary consumer robotics are at the same stage as the computer industry was in the late 1970s, when computers were mainly used for industry and military applications. Only a few people believed back then that computers could be used in every home. They dreamed about a world in which it was hard to imagine people’s lives without PCs. During that time, many geeks were building prototypes (like the Apple 1) in their garages. We can compare them to the contemporary amateur-constructed robots.
We are robotics enthusiasts and, like our predecessors, we also have a dream. We believe that thanks to RoboCORE, modern and expensive robots that are now produced for business, industrial and military applications will finally be available to everyone. Our mission is to enable a wide audience of supporters for building robots in an easy and inexpensive way. You will be able to use off-the-shelf components. For many potential businesses, the entry barriers will disappear, and new companies will arise to create inexpensive robots ready to solve real human problems. That is why we are here at Kickstarter.com. Together, as a community, we could change the world, so we would like to ask you for your support. But first things first! Let us share some more details about the project with you.
How does it work?
RoboCORE greatly simplifies the creation of robots for the consumer market, allowing for both professional and hobby use. For example creating a simple telepresence robot takes less than an hour, and it’s extremely inexpensive. You can build one for $300 in 45 minutes (mechanics take about 75% of that), having a lot of fun at the same time, and then access it from anywhere in the world through our cloud.
Let's see how to make a telepresence robot with RoboCORE in just 10 minutes:
To build a robot you need an idea, hardware, software and mechanics. RoboCORE gives you both hardware and software, thus you’ve got only half the work to do.
Our hardware was designed to
- make both autonomous and remotely controlled constructions;
- control the attached motors and modules;
- collect and use measurement data from the sensors;
- communicate with the outside world via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
You can plug almost any external device or module into your RoboCORE, because it integrates motor ports, sensor ports and universal expansion headers with many popular communication interfaces. It’s compatible with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT and EV3 controllers. Once RoboCORE is attached to the mechanics you can manage your robot via intuitive software, including Web, Android and iPhone apps. Connect your new electronic fellow to the Internet and control it from virtually anywhere in the world. You don’t need to install anything on your computer or notebook to control or even program your robot – no more wires between your constructions and your computer. You can write code or update the firmware for your robot lying on the beach with your smartphone or tablet in one hand and a tasty drink in the other.
RoboCORE programming is very simple. Our goal was to find the perfect balance and create powerful software for both professionals and beginners. That is why we created our robotics framework (hFramework). It will be available in open-source model after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
If you have ever programmed the Arduino, you can easily handle the RoboCORE too. hFramework is based on a real-time operating system, so in an easy and transparent way you can create multi-threaded, real-time algorithms defining your robot's behavior, with strict control over the execution time of each operation. hFramework is written in C/C++.
Here is complete code (yes, in only one file) to make the simplest telepresence robot in the world
Don’t like C++? No problem. hFramework is the really powerful core that can be used as a base to support different programming languages. Thanks to Micro Python project (one of the successfully funded Kickstarter projects) RoboCORE can be programmed in Python language!
We plan to create another alternative programming interfaces for Arduino and Scratch so that even the youngest will be able to create the greatest robots!
The last cool thing is our cloud application: the RoboCORE Platform. Thanks to that, you can
- control your own robot and see the world through its eyes;
- program your robot by using complete Web IDE (Integrated Development Environment);
- share your robot with your friends from anywhere in the world.
The RoboCORE driver connects to the Internet platform in three ways
- by tablet, smartphone or external USB connected computer (e.g. RaspberryPi);
- by the built-in Intel® Edison mini-computer;
- by Bluetooth-connected iPhone/iPad.
You do not need to connect any programming device or install anything on your computer to program the robot. You can do everything from your favorite Web browser.
Why might RoboCORE interest you?
If you're still reading, we're almost sure that RoboCORE is the product for you. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional engineer, a robotics enthusiast or a computer geek. With a little bit of knowledge and a pinch of passion, you can build your own robots easily without spending a lot of money.
You can build robots without wasting huge amounts of cash. During the Kickstarter campaign, RoboCORE costs only 89$. If this is still too much for you or you prefer to take an easier step into basic robotics, try RoboCORE-mini devices that you can get by backing us with just 59$. This special offer is available for backers only. After the campaign, the products will cost 119$ (RoboCORE) and 85$ (RoboCORE-mini). We believe that thanks to you we will be able to go global! It doesn’t matter if you are from the US, Europe, South America or Africa. Everyone should have a chance to begin their adventure with the easiest robotics ever!
Building really IS easy!
You don’t need to know different programming languages to write your first application. Just download the basic algorithm templates from our website and begin to learn how to code directly from them. In the future we plan to add programming courses to the RoboCORE Platform. Thanks to the Web IDE (Integrated Development Environment) integrated into our cloud, you can write code, compile it and upload ready firmware directly from a Web browser. It is extremely convenient, because you don’t need to install anything on your PC or notebook. The software defines not only the behavior of the robot, but also its user interface in the Web browser (you can see it when you use a robot). You can also send the different commands to your robot using keyboard shortcuts or buttons implemented in the user interface.
You can build anything you want!
Our robotics controller can be used to build various constructions. Your imagination is the only limit. You can create robots that will do programmed tasks autonomously – without human intervention. For example you can ask your robot to “go to the kitchen when the lights turn off”. There are many different scenarios for using RoboCORE – building telepresence robots, driving, swimming or manufacturing devices.
Here are some examples of robots that we made with RoboCORE in just a couple of days
Easily manage your robot remotely!
Our cloud is your command center. It allows you to manage all your robots. Imagine a social network with both humans and robots, like Facebook for robotics enthusiasts. The RoboCORE Platform contains two lists – one with real people and another with your electronic creations. How does it work?
Firstly, log into your account @ the RoboCORE Platform. Then, if you want to connect your robot to the cloud, simply write the unique code that is associated with each RoboCORE, think about the robot’s name, and that’s all! Your robot is now on your friends list.
Select a robot and choose what to do
- Use it – tell your robot what to do. If it’s a lawnmower, tell it how often it should automatically cut the grass in your garden.
- Program it – open the Web IDE integrated with our cloud and write software for your robot! Here, you can find almost everything to write code and develop your application: text editor, file directory, program templates and documentation. When the code is ready, program your robot with a single click. The text console is also there to see debug logs from the robot. Have you written a nice piece of code that you would like to share with your friends? No problem; this feature is also integrated.
- Share a robot with your friends – you share photos on Facebook to show your friends what your garden looks like, so why not share a robot that allows them to see it in real time? Now, this is possible.
Wondering how to connect RoboCORE to the cloud? Just take a look at this chart
What’s inside a RoboCORE module?
RoboCORE is packed with new technology. Curious about what fits inside this little case?
- 168 MHz ARM Cortex M4 microcontroller – one of the best microcontrollers available on the market suitable for control applications, sensor networks and automation
- hMotor ports for DC motors with a hardware encoder interface. Thanks to the encoder, you can control the position of the motor shaft. The port is compatible with the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® motor port, but is adapted to the higher voltage (12V instead of 9V), which is a big advantage. Low-power motors can be connected directly to the port (similar to those from a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® set). To run the RoboCORE with a bigger motor, an external motor controller with a separate power supply must be connected
- hSensor ports for sensors (compatible with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® products)
- hExt universal ports for expansion modules (e.g. a RC servomechanism controller also created by our company). Each hExt port includes a popular interfaces such as SPI, UART, or I2C, as well as nine GPIO (General Purpose Input-Output) and three interrupt channels
- USB – a Micro USB
device port and two USB host ports. They allow you to connect external devices such
as smartphones, tablets or even a USB camera. They're also used to send the
control logs to the PC
- Bluetooth 4.0 (by smartphone or via the Intel® Edison module)
- SD – micro-SD card
- Wi-Fi (by smartphone
or via the Intel® Edison module)
- hDBG connector for hardware debugging. Although the RoboCORE can be easily programmed via USB or a wireless network, the hardware debugger is the device which enhances programming features, especially in larger projects. This connector also provides much faster firmware upload, which may be important (e.g. on a production line)
Now decide which RoboCORE is best for you
* via the Intel® Edison or smartphone/tablet
** via external module for hExt
Do you need to know more detailed hardware specification? Here you are
- ARM Cortex-M4 Core
- 168 MHz
- 1 MB Flash
- 196 KB RAM
- dual-core, Intel Atom CPU
- 500 MHz
- 4 GB flash
- 1 GB RAM
- 6 x H-bridge output up to 14V (with PWM)
- 6 x hardware quadrature encoder input
- 33 x I/O pin (11 with external interrupt feature, 7 analog inputs)
- 5 × UART
- 3 x I2C
- 1 x SPI
- 2 x Host USB (one for STM32 and one for Intel® Edison)
- 1 x CAN
- 6 – 14 V DC input power supply range
- Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5 GHz) IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n (by Intel® Edison)
- Bluetooth 4.0 + 2.1 EDR (by Intel® Edison)
We have also prepared some easy-to-connect add-ons, including RC servomechanisms, high-power-motor controllers and spatial orientation modules.
Needless to say, it’s a beautiful organ
RoboCORE is a project of the future. Once upon a time, one of us said that our main idea reminded him of the heart or brain of the robot. We decided to follow this thought. Finally, after hours and lots of drafts, we delivered the heart-shaped box you see below. RoboCORE-mini is smaller rectangle-shaped unit measuring 82 × 82 mm instead of 115 × 125 mm (its bigger brother's measurements).
The road to meticulous perfection
RoboCORE has not always looked like it does today. During the last 18 months, we’ve created many versions. Since the first prototype was developed, we’ve learned many new things and improved even more. The current model is the result of thousands of hours of hard work leading to a design we can be proud of. After testing and fixing all the bugs, we were ready to present version 1.0. Soon, we will present you milestones of RoboCORE evolution on our blog.
Choose your unique reward
Production and shipping plan
We are geeks just like you!
We are young but experienced enthusiasts of robotics and science, and graduates of the biggest and the most respected universities in Poland, including the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków. We were involved in many innovative projects in the fields of electrical engineering, automatics, computer science and telecommunications. We won many awards in different local and international robotics, electronics and programming competitions. With significant experience gathered during our work for large companies operating in the tech industry, we decided to establish our own brand and make our dream come true. Our mission is to enable robotics for a wide audience. We believe that we can change the world, and that’s what we aspire to!
Dominik Nowak – co-founder and CEO at Husarion Inc.; Embedded Software Engineer. Even the most advanced microcontroller is a piece of cake for him – nothing is difficult, he just needs time. He is a PhD student at the University of Science and Technology in Kraków. Privately, he has a 2 kyu in Karate and loves military history. This is why our company’s name refers to Polish Winged Hussars – the most powerful and invincible cavalry unit in the history.
Radek Jarema – co-founder and CTO at Husarion Inc.; Hardware Engineer who made acoustic amplifiers at the age of 13. Formerly, he worked in a large automotive company, where he worked on body computers for various fancy cars. In his free time he learns different crazy dance styles which you probably haven't even heard of!
Michał Zieliński – Android and Web Application Developer. It is thanks to Michał that RoboCORE Platform is so great. He won first prize in a CAN-sat contest organized by the European Space Agency, and second prize in the Central European Olympiad in Informatics. He also won an “Escape from /dev/null” contest organized by Google, and many more. Would you like to play Freeciv, his civilization game port for Android?. It has been downloaded more than 400,000 times!
Grzegorz Gajoch – Embedded and Control System Developer. Due to his engagement, your balancing robot will not break itself or anything in your room! He is passionate about aerospace, and also won first prize in the CAN-sat contest (the year before Michał). Recently he built a photomultiplier. Who knows what else he will make in the future . . .
Krystian Dużyński – Mobile and Robotic Application Developer. All time maker, even while sleeping. Designer of dozens of projects, including three generations of quadrotors, and . . . the lighting system for the biggest shopping mall in Kraków city center.
Joanna Niemiec – Community Manager. Her work is essential to our company – she translates the language of engineers to the language of "normal" people. Joanna is not very familiar with robotics, but in this case it’s a big advantage. Her experience and combative personality complement our team's qualifications.
Join the robotic movement!
We believe that robotics are at the same stage as the computer industry was in the late 1970s. Only a few people now remember the times when people such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were just garage geeks. The same thing is happening to us now. . . except that Jobs and Gates couldn’t use Kickstarter! The further development of consumer robotics is in your hands. Together we could change the history of modern technology. It is not easy, but we have learned from the past that anything is possible. You need only to have enough faith and build a strong community that will help you to move on with your project. RoboCORE is our beginning. Thanks to you, we will be able to start the first part of further mass-production and develop our R&D department. You have your own personal computer; now it’s time for your personal robot. Please support us and join our robotic movement! Be proud to be a part of the new revolution!
This project is not endorsed or sponsored by the LEGO Group. LEGO®, the LEGO logo and MINDSTORMS® are trademarks of the LEGO Group.
This project is not endorsed or sponsored by the Intel Corporation. Intel® and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Risks and challenges
There is always some risk involved, but we’ve done everything possible to reduce it to a minimum before launching this Kickstarter campaign. The presented product is the result of thousands of hours of work conducted by professionals and carefully selected subcontractors. We take care to ensure the highest-quality standards, so we are talking with manufacturers from the EU, although not everything is dependent on us.
For example, when the assembly process is conducted by a third-party company, there is a risk that the production plan will be slightly delayed due to changes in delivery times.
What is more, our product is provided with the housing. For now it’s 3D printed, but the final housing will be created using an injection molding machine. An injection mold is a very expensive item and requires a complicated manufacturing process. A tiny error in design can result in high cost in terms of both time and money.
CE and FCE test risk. Failure during tests can increase delivery time or the cost of RoboCORE. There was no point conducting the tests before, because the project evolved over time. Such tests are always done shortly before a product hits the production line.
A major challenge is the shipping to various countries around the world, but we plan to work only with proven logistics companies to ensure that RoboCORE reaches you on time and in perfect condition.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This is a quite simple task, and we will provide this feature within a few months.
RoboCORE platform is OS-independent, because it runs on our cloud and you gain access to it through a Web browser.
We investigated how to connect the iPhone to RoboCORE by cable, but this would be not so simple, and quite expensive. You can still connect an iPhone with RoboCORE by Bluetooth®. We think the near future will bring the possibility to connect an iPhone to RoboCORE by cable at low cost.
hFramework is an open-source library. We are still working on adding support for another components, and we hope our community will help us. RoboCORE hardware allows you to connect almost every sensor from Sparkfun, Pololu, etc. Connectors to servos are standardized, so you can connect almost all those available on the market. You can buy non-LEGO® MINDSTORMS® motors with encoders (e.g. from Pololu).
RoboCORE has many more ports, the MCU is much better suited to robotics than Arduino-compatible constructions, and we’ve got our cloud! With RoboCORE, starting in robotics is faster, and you can, by default, control and program robots from anywhere in the world.
Yes! We love 3D printing and we will provide you with our 3D models, ready to print or to modify. If you want to make a different case from scratch – no problem!
Basic algorithms and examples will be available on the RoboCORE Platform for free.
The microSD card is not included. It is an option, and you don’t need one to have all features listed in the campaign. MicroSD cards are supported by hFramework if you want to use them, but you need to get your own.
Below please find the details about shipping to the different parts of the world
free – postcards
$5 – gadgets (squeeze balls, multitools, T-shirts)
$9 – RoboCORE and RoboCORE-mini (all versions)
$11 – LEGO® and Maker kits, Basketball team and self-balancing robots (all versions)
free – postcards
$8 – gadgets (squeeze balls, multitools, T-shirts)
$12 – RoboCORE and RoboCORE-mini (all versions)
$15 – LEGO® and Maker kits, Basketball team and self-balancing robots (all versions)
Rest of the world
free – postcards
$20 – gadgets (squeeze balls, multitools, T-shirts)
$24 – RoboCORE and RoboCORE-mini (all versions)
$30 – LEGO® and Maker kits, Basketball team and self-balancing robots (all versions).
If you order more than one RoboCORE, you will pay only once.
Yes, of course. The algorithms are available as example projects that you will able to run within 15 seconds of logging in to the RoboCORE Platform.
12. What about the licensing of the hFramework library? Am I allowed to make changes to the software to suit my needs? Can I create robots for commercial purposes using the RoboCORE Platform?
You can create a commercial robot using the RoboCORE Platform, and you will be fully supported in your work by our team and community! If you are a robotics manufacturer, you will need a commercial account. After a successfully funded campaign, hFramework will be open source, and you will be able to make any changes needed.
13. My LEGO® MINDSTORMS® set includes many motors and sensors, but it has unusual modular connectors, similar to RJ11 (also known as 6P6C). Can I connect them directly to RoboCORE or do I need to make my own adapters?
We added a few adapters to each box to make connection of unusual connectors and RoboCORE as easy as possible.
We did tests with RaspberryPi, but we decided to go with Intel Edison because of its small size, low power consumption and wireless connectivity. Nevertheless, it is possible to do all the tasks that Intel Edison does with RaspberryPi. You can just connect the RaspberryPi to the RoboCORE using USB cable.
There are internal connectors for a speaker, but we are still searching for the best way to support high-quality audio within RoboCORE without an external device such as a smartphone.
Currently, we are developing offline tools for more advanced users with the possibility of using SWD-ports (JTAG like) for hardware debugging. They are based on Eclipse. In the near future, we will prepare a desktop version of the IDE that is integrated into RoboCORE Platform.
Support this project
- (30 days)