Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
REKAM-DR1: Don't waste your valuable time. Arduino requires manuals, lots of typing, PC tools, and wires. Why not just play and text?
71 backers pledged $11,638 to help bring this project to life.

About

REKAM-DR1: Teaching Drone 10X Faster2Program than Arduino! project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$11,638

71

Great Minds in Stem Partner Spotlight
Great Minds in Stem Partner Spotlight
techBasic Project Source
techBasic Project Source
Rekam Project Source
Rekam Project Source
Young Women in Science & Engineering
Young Women in Science & Engineering

What's New?

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!

techBasic Blog
techBasic Blog

Learning Games 

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!

Breaking out! Let's go outside!!
Breaking out! Let's go outside!!

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:

Circle dance:

read

put 18 50

do

Yes, this is a complete program! Easy enough, right?

Penguin dance:

read

put 18 50

sleep 25

put 18 0

put 19 50

sleep 25

put 19 0

do

Flipping the mirror:

read

put 2 2

sleep 50

put 2 12

sleep 50

do

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:

Electric Wheel Chair Demo
Electric Wheel Chair Demo

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.

Rekam-DR1 features:

Solder-less Assembly

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

Energia/Arduino/Launchpad Compatible

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:

The basic set
The basic set

 Click the link above and you can see the assemble video.

Rekam-DR1 Bluetooth Controller
Rekam-DR1 Bluetooth Controller

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:

Put the parts together in 10 min
Put the parts together in 10 min

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:

with kinex
with kinex
Build a Gladiator with k'nex
Build a Gladiator with k'nex
Another Gladiator
Another Gladiator

Production Plan:

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

Time Line

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.

Sam An
Sam An

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

DR1 Gladiator
DR1 Gladiator

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)

Advanced Kit with Android Phone
Advanced Kit with Android Phone

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

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Revolutionize Education!
    You'll be listed(with other backers) as one of the MAKERS of a new era in education!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DR1 Gladiator T-shirt! You'll get a T-shirt depicting our learning game in a not too distant future form! Thanks for backing this project!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    REKAM-DR1 Bluetooth Controller Board:
    Build your own drone! Connect up to 4 servos, 2 Analog Inputs, and two high power motor systems. (will drive 24V wheelchair motors) Energia/Arduino Compatible

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $77 or more About $77

    You will receive our basic kit for Android devices, including a 4 wheel drive smart car chassis, four motorized wheels, a Rekam1 microcontroller with built in bluetooth, a servo mirror for camera control, and a light sensor. With your Android smartphone, you can make this phone drone do amazing things !

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $88 or more About $88

    You will receive our basic kit for iOS devices(iPAD3/iPhone4s or later), including a 4 wheel drive smart car chassis, four motorized wheels, a Rekam1 microcontroller with built in bluetooth low energy, a servo mirror for camera control, and a light sensor. With your iOS smartphone, you can make this phone drone do amazing things !

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 17 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $109 or more About $109

    In addition to the basic iOS set, you'll get a refurbished Android phone(LG Ally) with microSD card and charger to enable video streaming over Wi-Fi with a free app!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $169 or more About $169

    Gladiator Game Pack for Android and iOS! You get your choice of any combination of 2 basic (Android or iOS) sets, an additional 50 K'nex pieces(150 total), and two additional servos!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Teacher's Pack: In addition to the Gladiator Game Pack(which includes two drone kits and the Interactive Code Generation App/Game) you'll get an EXTRA free kit(must be school) and 2 hours of online interaction with the creators to ensure you and your students/kids have a great experience.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $349 or more About $349

    Gladiator Tournament Pack for Android and iOS!
    You get your choice of any combination of 4 basic (Android or iOS) sets, an additional 100 K'nex pieces(300 total), and a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G phone for additional texting/control/video streaming! (cellular service not required)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Visionary Pack
    You'll get the Teacher's Pack(2 drone kits + Interactive App/Game) along with early access to a new iPAD application which will be compatible with separately available flying/crawling drones.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (35 days)