For the last few years, I've been studying how we interact with technology to learn. In my research, I've found that the combination of seeing, hearing, and interacting are essential to rapid learning. I also learned that we can remember roughly 7 independent things at the same time. (This is why phone numbers are 7 digits.) I've incorporated this research into a wireless operating system and application which makes it easy for people to learn about their machines while enabling their machines to learn something about them.Interactive Code Generation enables you to easily communicate to your machine how it should interact with you and its environment while enabling you to see and easily tweak the simple instructionsgoverning this behavior. I have tested this technology with 5 year olds, 11 year olds, university researchers, and various people who don't know how to write code. I believe this technology can motivate and accelerate learning of programming, physics, sensors, and spatial reasoning. Your pledge of even $1 can help Sam and I bring this exciting new technology to you today. Thanks for your support!
Rekam-DR1 runs a distributed wireless operating system. This means that part of its brain resides on the DR1, part on your smartphone, and other parts can be shared with other DR1s (aka Swarm). The operating system is biologically inspired and enables interactive code generation. Interactive code generation means that when you (or other DR1s) physically interact with your smartphone or tablet to control(and collect sensor data from) your DR1, modifiable code is generated for your DR1. You can learn how to code by seeing how your DR1 writes code as you interact with it and modify this code.
See how techBasic works with the DR1!
While remote control cars/robots can be a lot of fun, their functionality is limited and you're probably not learning anything useful.
With today's technology, why not ask for something more? Let's give this toy a brain and a transformable robotic body! Imagine playing video games in the REAL WORLD while learning about physics, sensors, and programming from your drone!
My text messaging drone will give you instant satisfaction like a toy; but will motivate you to learn how to write increasingly cool and elaborate programs in the context of a game. Now we're talking fun!
The best part? Anyone can use Rekam-DR1. It's simple, powerful, and fun. (Assuming you know how to text on your smartphone.)
Existing smart car/robot kits are good, but they take way too much time to code for the car/robot to do anything cool. And, if you're like me, you'll spend way too much time staring at a computer screen instead of having fun with your new robot. These kits also don't provide an easy means of physically transforming your robot.
Rekam-DR1 uses Bluetooth, which frees you from PCs and wires. It has a simple 7 message system - you can learn how to program your drone in less than 90 seconds! (you'll also learn how to program your smartphone with RFO Basic or techBasic - that'll take a few more minutes).
My examples are simple - each message starts with 5 characters(or less) and 4-wheel drive enables you to drive anywhere! You can also control up to 4 servos with two analog sensors connected to your K'nex extensions! Not good enough? Connect your own high power motors and servos!
Rekam-DR1 has two open source brains. One is written in C which you can hack on its micro-controller. The second is written in Basic and runs like an app on your iOS or Android phone. Once you've got the 7 text messages down, you can learn how to hack the C code on the micro-controller and/or the Basic code on your iOS or Android device to do increasingly cool things with your drone. On Android, you can hack another layer into the Basic interpreter and get into Java if you like. You can also talk to your DR1 with your Bluetooth enabled PC through a free terminal application or with whatever Bluetooth enabled scripting/programming language you like!
Step away from the computer! Let the real learning games begin!
Still not sure how it works? We'll give you a ready to play yet modifiable game that will show you how things work:
Here are some of the simple example message sequences from the video above:
put 18 50
Yes, this is a complete program! Easy enough, right?
put 18 50
put 18 0
put 19 50
put 19 0
Flipping the mirror:
put 2 2
put 2 12
In these examples, "read" tells Rekam-DR1 to read your program and "do" tells it to do whatever you gave it to read. Pins 18 and 19 of the micro-controller are connected to the left and right side motors of the DR1 and are set to 50% power with "put 18 50" or "put 19 50". In the second example, Rekam-DR1 goes to "sleep" for some specified number of 20ms intervals before setting pin 18 or 19 to some other power level. Pin 2 of the micro-controller in the last example is connected to the mirror's servo. The value provided determines the servo's rotation over a 180 degree range (initially setup for 18 degree resolution). Welcome to texting with Rekam-DR1!
Want to see what you can do with a flashlight when you connect an old electric wheelchair and light sensors to a Rekam-DR1 board? Check it out:
Now for some fun with Gladiator!
DR1 Gladiator is a single/multiplayer game in which you have to build and control your DR1 with your smartphone as a game controller to interact with K'nex objects(or other DR1s). In single player mode, Gladiator challenges the player to control their champion with a smartphone to knock down as many K'nex objects as possible with a sequence of text messages. In multi player mode, Gladiator challenges each player to control their champion with a smartphone to knock down K'nex objects while defending against attacks from other DR1s.
Here are some more details on how the game works:
Step 1: Setup your arena with the K'nex objects that must be knocked down.
Step 2: Build your gladiator and test to see that it moves how you anticipate with the Interactive Code Generator.
Step 3: Push Read/Do button and text/modify the messages you want and enter "do" to start playing.
Step 4: Play the game. You can incorporate moves on top of your program by tilting your smartphone or iPAD.
Bluetooth Classic(for Android) or Bluetooth Low Energy(for iOS)
High Power NextFET Transistors/4 Wheel Drive
Up to Four Servos can be Connected
Camera Mirror Servo Mount
3 Additional Servo Mounts
Two Analog Sensor Inputs
1 Light Sensor
USB or Battery Pack Power
Open Source Text Messaging Virtual Machine
RFO Basic Compatible (Android Kit)
techBasic Compatible (iOS Kit)
50 K'nex Pieces!
Here is the basic chassis package and a sample video on assembling:
Click the link above and you can see the assemble video.
The controller board features an MSP430G2553 processor, 5V(USB)-24V voltage regulation, a Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth Classic Radio module, two CSD1853 Power Transistors(103A peak/60V DC), MSP430 Launchpad programming interface(for those preferring to use C or Energia(Arduino Sketches), four solder-less servo connectors(two are power gated), 2 voltage divider Analog Inputs, and additional GPIOs. (both hardware and micro-controller software are open source)
Put everything together, we get......this:
We have recently decided to INCLUDE an assortment of 50 K'nex parts in the basic package. We realized that the K'nex components are a key component of the games we are developing.
Here is the almighty Rekam-DR1 with K'nex:
Laser cut servo holder at local maker space
Purchase motors/wheels/chassis from China
Purchase K'nex parts from local vendor
Contract local manufacturer (M&M) to manufacture and populate boards
Crimp Solder less connectors on battery packs and motors
Program/test boards and pack with mirror assembly and hardware for shipping
Once we achieve the goal,
we will order the car chassis from China, this takes just a couple of weeks, depending on the shipping.
at the same time we will put the board into large scale production.
and we will make the servo holder using a laser cutter from the local maker space, where we can make 200 to 300 pieces per day.
The board populating might take some time, but it is already undergoing at this moment.
So, basically, everything is ready to roll :)
Who we are
Leonardo Estevez is founder of Leo Innovations LLC which helps interested university students develop STEM centric products. Leo was born in Uruguay and was naturalized when he immigrated to the US with his parents. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Cognitive Neuroscience. He has also designed hardware/software for a variety of consumer electronics. He has a 5 year old daughter(Tesla) who likes K'nex.
Sam (Dalong) works for Leo Innovations LLC as a project lead and designer. Sam was born in China, and is passionate about all kinds of inventions. Recently graduated from UT Tyler with his Masters in mathematics and is motivated to help kids in STEM, Sam has developed this kit using open source hardware/software developed by Leo. Please see details at rekam1.blogspot.com.
We went through a long process to get Rekam-DR1 where it is today, here are some of the ideas and prototypes we tried:
Prototype 1: Launchpad Programmable Wheelchair
Prototype 2: Launchpad 2WD Prototype
Prototype 3: 4WD 2 Pack Bluetooth Programmable Car With Bluetooth Sensor/Servo/Motor Control Board
The above is an example of what the basic kit will enable you to build. The K'nex parts will enable you to design and build your own smartphone controllable/programmable gladiator. (USB power bank sold separately)
The advanced kit includes an Android phone which enables Wi-Fi video streaming and more advanced games. Cellular service is not required and you can use your own second smartphone instead of the one provided in this kit provided Wi-Fi works on it.
Hope you like our work - let's make this transformable robot game a reality! ^-^
Risks and challenges
Our board manufacturer requires that we make at least one hundred platforms in order to get the price breaks we need to bring you REKAM-DR1 at this low price.
For international shipping, the costs can be quite different for different countries. However, we want you to have a REKAM-DR1, and we are not planning to profit from shipping and handling. In a word, we will try our best on international shipping! We believe with good communication and cooperation, we can send you REKAM-DR1 no matter where you are!
If you want an extra board or platform - just add the amount to your pledge and we will try to ship it to you without additional cost if possible. (one addition is the limit)
The lab manual will be available once the campaign is completed.
Thank you for supporting us, we won't let you down!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)