About this project
After defeating the giant evil space bear Grizzlebutt, the Space Buddies were headed home to celebrate their victory. However, a wheel of fancy space cheese the size of a small asteroid hurled them off course, forcing them to crash land on the nearest planet: Earth.
The force of the mighty cheese wheel had knocked the ten Space Buddies so far apart that each one ended up in a completely different location on Earth in their musical spaceships of glory.
Unfortunately for the Space Buddies, the only way to get back to their home planet, Symphonia, was to open a hidden space gateway known as Vortex in G Minor. This special vortex could only be opened when all ten of their spaceships played their unique tune together.
Now they need your help to bring them together and re-establish communication. By collecting all ten tunes you can send them back on their journey home!
Each kit is a spaceship shaped PCB that comes with individual components that need to be soldered. When completed, the kit plays one of the ten tunes. Each tune has its own unique colour, which will pulse while the tune is playing. This gives the kits visual and auditory distinction from the other nine.
By interacting with other Space Buddy kits, you can collect tunes which will be added to your Space Playlist. For each tune you collect, the corresponding colour becomes available on your Ship.
Collecting all ten tunes will unlock the special eleventh tune needed to open the vortex to Symphonia. You can choose to reset the Playlist to the original song and start collecting again!
The kit has a lot more to it than just the fun Space Buddies game though! It is designed to be educational for everybody who wants an introduction to electronics, beyond learning how to solder. If you want to learn how the code works, and potentially change the tunes or even make your own game, a full step by step guide teaching you how each individual component works, with code samples, will be available online. This will require a programming device, however information about what you need to order, how to set it up and use it, will be available in the documentation.
The kit is completely open source, and the booklet has everything you will ever need to understand how it all works. It is completely open to modification, you can change the rules of the game, you could even change the kit to play a completely different game of your own making. The default game is great for parties and events, but it is by no means the only thing this kit can do! The only limit is your imagination.
You will learn how to solder both regular components as well as small surface mount components. I will show you that it is not as scary as it might seem.
The book I am putting together with this kit will teach you everything you need to know about the basics of electronics, flashing LEDs, how to generate sound, how sound waves actually work, and even how to send data from one circuit to another over infrared!
Everybody is learning how to write code these days, so why not join them? I am putting together a comprehensive tutorial on how to write code in the C programming language, and everything you need to alter the code on this kit and control each component the way you want to. Obviously the C programming language is quite vast and complex, so the tutorials will be mainly focused on interacting with this kit.
If you want to build your Space Playlist, you will need more than one kit. To collect another Buddy's tune, you need to hold your kit in front of the other kit while its tune is playing. Your kit will flash the corresponding colour to confirm receipt of the new tune.
What is actually happening is that the kits are transferring data via infra-red LEDs, pulsing data to each other.
A fair amount of work has gone into prototyping this kit, both in the design and the code. It is being made in such a way that it is easy for people for understand, and enjoy what it has to offer.
- UFO shaped PCB
- All the components you need
- Digital or printed instruction booklet (depending reward tier).
- Code samples will be available online.
- Video tutorials for all the soldering
To assemble the kit you will need a soldering iron, some solder, solder paste and a flux pen.
To change the code on the kit you will need an AVR programming device (included in some reward tiers).
If I reach £1000, I will hire an illustrator to help me make the Booklet/PDF have a beautiful and professional finish.
Risks and challenges
I have a fully working prototype, and I have also had professional PCBs manufactured in the past, so neither of these aspects are much of a concern.
I will be placing a bulk order for all of the components required to make up these kits, which is not cheap to do simply because of how many I need to order to get them at reasonable prices. I also am going to try to use a UK based PCB manufacture company, so the turn around time should be very quick with very high quality results.
A risk lies in my component purchases, where the suppliers might be low on stock on some of the components I am looking to order, which could cause a delay in me shipping out these kits. Although this is unlikely to happen, the drawback of this happening is a delay in dispatching my orders.
I will be very open about this entire project, so am more than happy to answer any questions or concerns around it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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