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About this project

the RoboGuts™ S.T.E.A.M. EDUCATION PROGRAM

Cognitive brain development for young children is important!

The RoboGuts™ Kits are so easy anybody can do it ... in any language!

Walt Perko, Inventor, Creator, Songwriter, Robot Builder and Teacher

Learn how to make your own toys and animatronics That can talk and sing songs in any language!  RoboGuts™ boards will start shipping within 60-days after campaign ends.

Before I go any further, I need to thank all the people that answered my forum questions so that I learned the bits and pieces I needed to help make this project move forward.  Those people are a great asset to this project.  I also need to thank all the people that encouraged me to keep going asking for more and more, even those that gave me a little financial loan help.  That's the kind of support I hope continues with the users.  

Learn how to build a talking skull is included in the end lesson projects!

 The single most expensive part of the project is the skull itself! But you do get the spine/neck support .STL files to 3D print and glue into the skull to make it work.  

Of course you will also get all the files to build your own BillyBot too!

The first end lesson project is the "Twitch" miniFloppyBot a simple but very versatile 3D printed robot kit.

If there are extra boards from the orders, many will be given to science teachers from schools around the world ... a first come first served after vetting program.  

After all this is how I can give back a little to society.

Yes, this is ready for real production runs! The first small batch arrived from the factory a few weeks ago for final testing and manufacturing approval.

They look beautiful and function perfect!
They look beautiful and function perfect!

I went through several versions to get it right, some are here;

The quality matches or exceeds any other circuit board.
The quality matches or exceeds any other circuit board.

 

Basic $15 RoboGuts™ Black Board
Basic $15 RoboGuts™ Black Board

  

$35 RoboGuts™ Black Board with a SpeakJet chip
$35 RoboGuts™ Black Board with a SpeakJet chip

 

$37 RoboGuts™ Black Board with SpeakJet chip and Jumper plugs
$37 RoboGuts™ Black Board with SpeakJet chip and Jumper plugs

 

The Power cables you make yourself
The Power cables you make yourself

 You didn't really think you were going to get away without doing a little soldering did you?  

9V battery connector to two pin header plug and 5mm x 10mm ON/OFF switch to two pin header plug

RoboGuts™ Black Board built up for a talking, singing and dancing; Lesson-X0 (miniFloppyBot) and Lesson-X4 (BillyBot) is combining Lesson-00 (Power)
Lesson-02 (3-color LED)
Lesson10 (SpeakJet)
Lesson-20 (Standard Servo Motor control);

 It's so easy to start making your own toys!

Start with a RoboGuts™ circuit board
Start with a RoboGuts™ circuit board

 There are lessons for a few of the different PICAXE chips, but I’ve found the module to be the best selection for most home hobby projects.

Step 1: Add the chip or module of your choice to control your project
Step 1: Add the chip or module of your choice to control your project

 The recommended starter module is the PICAXE 28X2 module ~$20 and the programming cable is $20 but you don’t need to buy any other programming boards to use these modules and programming boards for the PICAXE chips are $5 if you choose to switch to a $3 - $10 chip.

For the Arduino people these chips are cheap but only have c language development environments making them okay for more advanced programming skills, but still usable on the RoboGuts™ circuit boards.

ATMEGA 328P-PU chip from Arduino UNO
ATMEGA 328P-PU chip from Arduino UNO

 

Another popular BASIC language is PBASIC from Parallax corp. but you will need to buy a BS2 module programmer board to use these $50 modules.

BASIC Stamp 2 (BS2) from Parallax
BASIC Stamp 2 (BS2) from Parallax

 

Any 8-PIN to 28-PIN DIP chip or module works!
Any 8-PIN to 28-PIN DIP chip or module works!

Step 2: Add a few jumper wires to complete the lesson circuit

First jumpers are to power the chip/module and the board … here Vin is going to be 9V DC from JP18 battery connector going through JP19 power ON/OFF switch connector to JP20 Vin connector to PIN 28 Vin (7V – 12V DC) Then we add the ground jumper from JP22 to PIN 27 on the module. Next we jump from PIN 25 over to JP21 or JP23 to bring +5V DC power to the rest of the RoboGuts™ circuit board. These first three jumpers can remain throughout all the lessons adding only new jumpers for each specific lesson as needed.

Adding Ground & Power Jumper Wires
Adding Ground & Power Jumper Wires

 Now add jumpers and components needed for each specific lesson experiment and even future projects. Now moving onto Lesson-01 ... see the image, add jumpers like on the image, then click on the image to see the programming code ... give it a try ... click on the image below!

Typical wiring diagram
Typical wiring diagram

 Step 3: Copy/Paste the lesson program into your program editor and program the chip or module on your RoboGuts™ circuit board.

Copy/Paste Program Listing into Editor
Copy/Paste Program Listing into Editor

Most chips and modules have FREE programming editors.

 Step 4: With the battery power turned ON to the board see the lesson function.

Step 5: Now experiment with the program using the editor to see how you might control the lesson yourself.

Step 6: Move onto the next lesson and repeat those steps 2 to 6.

When you get to lesson 10 you will begin learning how to use phonemes to program speech and song into your projects. Why? Because these are two very important parts of cognitive brain development in young children!  

Fire up the Phrase-A-Lator program and if you bought a Phrase-A-Lator Development Kit begin building the phonemes and words for the project script changes.

Phrase-A-Lator Development Kit
Phrase-A-Lator Development Kit

http://www.r2pv1.com/Phrase-A-Lator/

The Phrase-A-Lator Development Kit connects to the PC via USB and to external powered PC speakers or your stereo so you can hear your phrase development before you copy/paste the code data into your project program.  

The Phrase-A-Lator Development Kit is a very small 3D printed box you 3D print yourself, the tiny circuit board I sell, the USB cable you can buy online. Then connect the audio out to powered PC speakers ... I use really cheap GigaWare PC speakers ... they are perfect for the task.

eBay search:
6pin 5V FTDI FT232RL USB TO TTL RS232 Serial Adapter Module Cable for Arduino  

6P FTDI USB TO TTL RS232 Cable F/Arduino 5v FT232RL USB to Serial adapter module  

SparkFun 5V FTDI Cable (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9718)

Phrase-A-Lator Development App (FREE)
Phrase-A-Lator Development App (FREE)

 You can see here that I have two windows open, one for notes and the Phrase-A-Lator where I develop those notes to be used in the lesson or project program later.

Phrase-A-Lator Development App (FREE)
Phrase-A-Lator Development App (FREE)

 

keeping notes on all my phrases
keeping notes on all my phrases

 First try using words and listen to the Phrase-A-Lator Development kit to see which words are already in the “dictionary”. Then using phonemes you can replace those words you did not hear with phonemes to build up the word which if you want you can add to the dictionary and the online dictionary to share with others making life easier for others.  

Now copy/paste the code from the Phrase-A-Lator program into your lesson program and then program the chip/module to hear your lesson speak the changes.

With all 2-dozen lessons completed, experimented and it's time to jump into the X-Projects!  

First is Lesson X0 Build-up the RoboGuts circuit board for a talking, singing 'n dancing miniFloppyBot named "Twitch"

 Then it's time to assemble the bot with the 3D printed parts;

Simple Snap Together Assembly
Simple Snap Together Assembly

 

 Where can you get all the components, sensors, motors for the lessons? The same place I buy them ... mostly eBay saving $'s! Some places are slower than others, but I usually get parts within 30-days from eBay suppliers.

Search ideas: The cheap batches of components is a great starter for any RoboTeer; Starter Basic Kit 830 Breadboard Dupont Wire For Arduino For Raspberry Pi TE266

Lesson 00 on up start with jumper wires  

I've bought lots of these jumpers and used them in permanent installations;  
65PCS Male to Male Solderless Breadboard Jumper Cable DT    

For another cost savings these wires are cheaper and come in more colors but you have to cut and trim them to lengths needed for your circuit.  
22 AWG Gauge Stranded Hook Up Wire Kit 100 ft Each 0.0253" Dia UL1007 300 Volts 

Power Switches I have are 5mm x 10mm ... although any small power switch will work;  
5x Micro Miniature PCB Slide Switch SLIDE SWITCH SWITCHES PCB Tactile b19

Lesson 02 I love playing with the 3-color RGB LEDs;
100 x 5mm 4pin RGB Tri-Color Diffused Common Anode LED Lamp Emitting Diode

The 28mm to 32 mm .5W to 3W speakers work great with the RoboGuts™
1W 30mm Diameter 8 Ohm Internal Mini Magnet Speaker Loudspeaker 6Pcs

Lesson 20 and 21 use servo motors, the projects at the end of the eBook use miniServo motors like these nice 'n cheap ones I use for the miniFloppyBots and BillyBot
5pcs SG90 Servos SG-90 Mini Micro 9G Servo Motor for RC Toy Car Helicopter Boat

I like buying bulk myself!
10pcs SG90 Servos SG-90 Mini Micro 9G Servo Motor for RC Toy Car Helicopter Boat

IF you want your bot to roam around like in some projects you need the continuous rotating servo motors ... so far the best place I've found is Pololu;
FEETECH FS90R Micro Continuous Rotation Servo

Next comes the tougher servo motors ... I haven't tried any yet, but expect to use these on legged miniFloppyBots in the future because so far the cheaper servo motors with plastic gears are failing on those projects!
New EMAX ES08MAII Mini Size Metal Gear Analog Servo ES08MA II for RC Motor TA

For the RoboGuts™ it is better to solder female header connectors onto all the holes except the motor out where the four male pin headers usually work best on the stepper motor driver boards so the jumper wires can easily plug into the board.  

Lesson 23
V44 A3967 Easy Driver Shield stepping Stepper Motor Driver For Arduino  

Lesson 24
5V Geared Stepper Motor 28BYJ-48 with ULN2003 Driver for Arduino Rasperry PI

A huge plus is that when you buy a RoboGuts™ circuit board, besides getting all the lesson wiring diagrams for several different chips and modules, you also get all the lesson program listings, 3D printer files and best of all the code for the songs.  

Now you know enough to scare your family, neighbors, friends and co-workers with your knowledge and skills!  

Make the world a better and more fun place to live.

 

 My final goal is to license this S.T.E.A.M. education program including the RoboGuts™ circuit board and 3D printer files to a larger company that can make the whole program more affordable and continue to improve and expand on the product line.  

Who knows, maybe I'll sell enough of these that I can hire some college kids to build a business around this and they take it all over. That'd be awesome!  

Why homemade presentation videos? Because I want to keep the cost of the product as low as possible and not have to raise more money just to pay a few professionals to make a "slick" video instead of just good solid informational videos. 

See how much the videos cost ... do a search on;
How much does a kickstarter video cost? Best Kickstarter Videos of 2015

You don't need a slick video to get a great education ... use your money to buy a RoboGuts™ Kit not pay for an extra slick video!

http://www.r2pv1.com/

http://www.r2pv1.com/PICAXE28X2m/

The final hope is that Roboteers buy RoboGuts™ to give to their local elementary school teachers and help them get started teaching the lessons ... even become mentors at their local Boys & Girls clubs, Scouts etc. bringing RoboGuts™ Kits for all the children.  The idea is to help everybody give back to their community and help technology education accelerate ... help young children find an enjoyable career path sooner than later. 

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk is learning how to solder to make a few simple cables for the RoboGuts™ circuit board power and lessons.

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    The idea here is that your help will allow me to buy one batch from the factory so I can give boards to school teachers so that they see how the RoboGuts™ "Black Board" is a better S.T.E.A.M. education program for elementary school children than little plastic blocks or erector sets. This program is for Elementary and Middle school teachers that apply for a trail board.

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