About this project
Our Kickstarter has ended! But there is still more awesomeness at kamigamirobots.com! Check us out and grab a robot.
You love creating. And robots. And things that go fast. Kamigami is the lightning-fast robot that you build as a project with your daughter, son, or for yourself, and it’s a blast along the way. And when you’re done building, you teach your Kamigami new games through our drag-and drop programming interface. It's so easy, an 8 year old can do it. We’re all about creativity at Kamigami robots, and we know you are too.
With Kamigami, you create the games, you make the rules, and you control the action.
Grab your smartphone or tablet, and download our free app to get started. You'll be racing your Kamigami around, building games, and having fun with friends in no time. It's easy for anyone 8 and up to go from creating simple programs in our drag-and-drop interface to building single player and multi-robot interactive games, such as:
- Battle - Fire at opponents to “damage” them while evading strikes.
- Sumo - Race on a tabletop to push your opponents off the edge.
- Freeze Tag - Chase the others, to “tag” them out.
- Race - Create a track, set a time limit, and see who gets the farthest.
- Chase - Let your robot loose and see who can flip it over first.
- Herding Sheep - “Sheepdog” bots work together to herd “sheep” bots.
Check out how you make a Kamigami robot - in high speed!
Kamigami robots are built from a unique, patent-pending material (an extremely durable plastic composite) that allows them to fold up in an origami-like process.
In the Media
Our kit comes with everything you need to build and run your own Kamigami robot. This includes the laser-cut body components, as well as the motor, transmission, rechargeable battery, micro-USB and plug-and-play electronics. The assembly should take less than an hour. We will have videos online with instructions to show you how it all comes together.
Kamigami robots are controlled through our free mobile app (for iOS and Android) which you can download to your smartphone or tablet. For a full list of compatible devices and operating systems, please see our Frequently Asked Questions below.
There are three Kamigami robots to choose from — Musubi, Inari, and Goki — each with their own unique appearance!
Once assembled, your Kamigami robot is ready to go and will be running around at top speed in no time. See what Kamigami robots can really do — build a Kamigami ramp, make your own obstacle course over all sorts of terrain, or race your friends to see who can get the fastest time.
Kamigami robots are designed to run like the world’s fastest animals. Biologists have discovered that all animals feature an alternating gait — whether they have two legs, four, six, or more. We’ve baked this into Kamigami by building a linkage that alternates the up and down motion of each leg. The circular motion of the motors is turned into elliptical motion of the legs through these linkages. By doing this, we get a leg pattern very similar to real animals!
Another important part of animal locomotion is how springy or stiff the legs are relative to the size and mass of the animal’s body. Almost all animals have the same leg stiffness when scaled to their mass. We’ve made sure Kamigami hold true to this principle, allowing them to run swiftly and efficiently.
Now, how do the mechanics of everything work?
There are 3 main components of the Kamigami robots: Chassis (or Body), Electronics, Gearbox and Motors.
The chassis is composed entirely of flexible hinges, also called flexure joints, which have lots of advantages over traditional joints, including:
- They are frictionless, which means better efficiency.
- They can be made incredibly small.
- They don’t fatigue or wear.
- They make the robot fun to build!
It’s these flexure joints that give Kamigami their unique origami nature.
The chassis snaps together using these simple pop rivets.
The infrared emitter and detectors allow Kamigami to send signals to each other, and know where they’re receiving them from. A signal might be “tag, you’re it” or “spin and light your eyes” or “send this message to the mobile device controlling you.” This allows for the development of swarm robotics in the future as multiple robots communicate and react to each other.
The electronics also come with a rechargeable battery attached, so you don’t have to run to the store before running your robots. Battery life is about 30-45 minutes of play time and recharges in about the same amount of time.
Gearbox and Motors
The gearbox is made up of two motors, six gears, and a housing to locate everything. The gearbox is connected to the electronics through a process called heat-staking, and the electronics and gearbox come as a single piece. The motors are 6mm diameter coreless brushed motors, similar to what you’d find in a small RC helicopter. The gearbox provides a 16:1 reduction so that the Kamigami can charge over tough obstacles.
We're manufacturing Kamigami in the USA. We believe this leads to the best quality, communication, and time to market possible.
The chassis, electronics, and gearbox are all built in different ways.
The chassis is laser cut, using a patent pending multi-step process that involves lamination, alignment, and roll-to-roll manufacturing. Check out a real-time video below:
For prototyping we use a slower laser in our lab that allows us to try out new designs every day.
Our robot’s electronics are made by… another robot! This is called a pick-and-place machine, and it uses computer vision to pick up, place, and solder each tiny component onto each board.
The gearbox features gears made of injection molded nylon, and a gearbox made of injection molded ABS plastic. These are all custom parts. Our motors and pins are “off the shelf.”
We believe in building with your hands — that engineering is not separate from emotion. We believe in STEM education for everyone — that creating is for everyone.
So we created Kamigami: lightning-fast, origami-style robots you can build, program, play with and evolve. During the past year, we shared our robots with local schools and camps and the response was overwhelming. And now we want to share them with everyone!
Kamigami is brought to you by an awesome bunch of people. Nick and Andrew are the co-founders and old climbing buddies who met while working in a robotics lab at UC Berkeley. Dwight, our hardware engineer, joined soon after the company got started and is a fellow Berkeley alum, who comes out of the biology department where he and his labmates study animal locomotion.
Polly is the Head of Marketing and makes sure everyone knows how awesome Kamigami robots are. Adam is our Software Product Lead, combining a mastery of coding, UI/UX, and design skills to build a killer app and an amazing play and programming experience.
Kelvin Nguyen is our industrial and graphic designer, so if you like the art on the page, or the Kamigami characters, you have him to thank!
We've been working on developing Kamigami for a long time now, and have experience manufacturing, having already shipped 1300 Beta robots in 2014. Here's what we have today.
- Chassis: 100 manufacturing prototypes built by our contract manufacturer
- Transmission: Injection molded samples in hand, run of 100 manufacturing prototypes starting this week
- Electronics: 100 manufacturing prototypes built by our contract manufacturer
- Software: Early version of iOS app about 2 weeks from App Store approval
We will be shipping our first 1,000 units in January 2016. The remaining units will be shipped in March 2016.
We will be shipping to the United States and Canada.
- U.S.: Shipping within the U.S. is free.
- Canada: Shipping to Canada is free for our Kamigami Decorative Ornament reward. A subsidized fee of $5 USD will be applied for all other rewards shipping to Canada.
After the project ends, we will send you an email with a form to validate your shipping information. At this time, you will be able to select the Kamigami robot of your choice.
Thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
All physical products come with risks. Typical major risks are in the supply chain, particularly electronics development, injection molding manufacturing, and shipping and fulfillment. We’ve done our best to eliminate or mitigate as many of these potential risks as possible.
We decided to reduce overall risk as much as possible by doing all our manufacturing and supply chain in the USA. This allows us to easily visit and talk face-to-face with our manufacturing partners which will drastically reduce miscommunication and increase quality and speed to shipment.
Our electronics development is complete and the electronics have gone through rigorous functional testing. We’re working with a contract manufacturer we know well, who has helped us build over 1500 units in the past.
Our injection mold tooling has already been cut, and the first samples perform above our expectations. For shipping and fulfillment, we’re working with a third-party fulfillment center with 25 years of experience. They’re also close to home so we can drive there in under an hour and sort out any problems quickly.
We have an experienced team with the expertise and drive to make Kamigami a reality. We're on the last few steps, we just need your help to put us across the finish line.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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