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$9,356 pledged of $100,000 goal
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By Kay Yang
$9,356 pledged of $100,000 goal
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About this project


My name is Kay and I'm an engineer. When I was a little girl, I loved taking things apart and figuring out how things worked. . .except electronics. I would just stare at the circuit board. To me, electronic circuits were black boxes that didn’t make sense.
 

It was not until I went to UCSD and started to play with electronics and code in a college design class. Using a simple computer and electrical components, I designed a small robot to complete tasks.

Instantly, I was in love!

It showed me that electronics was not just for fixing things. I could design amazing things with electronics too! I could open up my imagination. I could combine plastic, electronics and code to make awesome robots! 

It always saddens me that I did not have an opportunity to gain these skills until I was in college and had decided on my major. 

Thus, I decided to do something about it. I left my job and a few months later Tinker was born. 

Tinker the Robot's goal is simple: to inspire kids (and adults) to play with robotics!

 

Tinker the Robot is a one-of-a kind toy that combines electronics, code, and cute robots into an interactive learning experience!

Accessories -

Tinker's arms and ears are purposeful add-ons. Each accessory is either an LED light or a sensor. The accessories are easily plugged in as Tinker’s arms or ears.

The plan is to release a variety of accessories, including a motorized track that allows Tinker to move freely.  

The basic pack comes with 3 LEDS lights and a light sensor.

Code - 

Method 1 – Using Tinker Cards

Using color coded Tinker cards, kids direct Tinker’s actions. These directions tell Tinker to turn an arm or an ear connection on or off. The directions also instruct Tinker on how to react to feedback from its sensors.
 

Method 2 – Scratch and C Programming

Tinker can also be programmed using a computer. Using a FTDI Basic Breakout Board (a board and connector used to connect your circuit board to the computer), Tinker the toy becomes Tinker the development tool. Once connected to the computer, Arduino software (a free development software - http://www.arduino.cc/) can be downloaded and used to reprogram Tinker using C Programming.

Thus, Tinker grows with your child!  

Tinker’s Heart  -

It has the latest in micro processing technology containing an Arduino Mini Pro Board (http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardProMini).

FTDI Basic Breakout Board Addition - By adding $10 to your pledge you will receive the FTDI Basic Breakout board, allows you to upload your code onto tinker's heart! 

Art -

Tinker was designed to be customized. Kids will be able to color and draw on Tinker. Giving them the opportunity to use their imaginations to make Tinker their own.

Lab Notebook - 

Tinker’s downloadable lab notebook is filled with fun activities! 

Tinker’s lab notebook guides your child’s curiosity, providing exciting projects that teach them about electronics and code.

Making Tinker not just about play but also learning.

The set includes the following  -

  • 1 - Tinker the Robot
  • 4 - Accessories (3 LEDs and 1 photo sensor)
  • 1 - Key card
  • 9 - Tinker Cards
  • 1 - Sticker Pack
  • 1 - Downloadable Lab Notebook

I have partnered with an awesome US manufacturer to produce our plastic parts.  

I am working with designers and engineers to ensure that the plastic and electronics are safe for your child.  

I have spent the past year working with industry experts, from designers, engineers and, of course, kids, getting Tinker the Robot ready for production. 

Now, all I need is your help to fulfill the first production order of 2,000 pieces.

Tinker the Robot's goal is to, "inspire kids to play with robotics." 

First - How to Code 

I started by building out the features of the toy. I played with many different ways of entering programming logic, from LCD screens to plug in resistive icons, consulting with experts until I finally settled on a card reader. 

Second - Accessories! 

I always loved Mr.Potato Head and his plug and play attachments. However I felt they should do more. I designed the robot so that his limbs would not just be decorative, but also functional (as electronic components).

Third - The Cute Factor 

Tinker needed to be cute to appeal to both girls and boys. Tinker was meant for kids to fall in love with as soon as they saw it. To achieve these goals I needed some help. I asked my toy designer to friends help create the Tinker you see now. 

Fourth - Getting Feedback

Tinker was tested with boys and girls, ages 8 through 14. Giving me an opportunity to iterate on the design and the play.

Tinker the robot at MakerCon Pomona, CA
Tinker the robot at MakerCon Pomona, CA
More of everything!  

More accessories! 

I am launching with LED lights and light sensors. I want to offer microphones, tilt sensors, motors, and Bluetooth capability. The possibilities are endless! I would also love to get suggestions from fellow tinkerers. What sensors or components would you like to give Tinker? 

More code! 

All our code will be open source and downloadable. I want to provide more example code so that your child can easily build off of Tinker's examples. 

More swag! 

I want to create downloadable pdfs that add to the lab notebook, including new games and activities so that your child is always flourishing. 

This is not just one toy. By building up the accessory library, Tinker is going to become the ultimate robot kit. 

Tinker will have endless features for limitless play. Best of all, your child is creating while learning!

 

Risks and challenges

With any Kickstarter, the challenge is always production schedule and cost.

As a former product manager for consumer products, I am very familiar with product life cycle and foreseeing cost issues. I am able to take a concept from conception, to tooling and, finally, to production.

My professional experience has provided me with the skills needed to mitigate production issues and push towards a hard ship date. Additionally, I am able to estimate production, assembly and tooling cost.

Last but certainly not least, I have a strong network of advisors that have been instrumental throughout this project and will continue to be a great resource as we forge on ahead!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    ** Tinker Light-Up Card Kit **
    We want to thank you by giving you the opportunity to thank someone else.
    1 - Special Edition Thank You Tinker Card
    1 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    ** Light-up Mini-Tinker Kit **
    This is an origami version of Tinker, pre-cut from card stock. All you have to do is color, assemble, and wire the electronics!
    1 - Pre-cut Fold a Robot Kit
    1 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    ** The Toy - Tinker the Robot **
    (Super Early Bird)
    Tinker Hearts You! And wants to thank you by providing an amazing discount! YAY!
    1 - Tinker the Robot
    1 - Sticker Pack
    4 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    9 - Tinker Cards
    1 - Downloadable lab notebook
    * Add $10 for FTDI Basic Breakout Board to turn Tinker into a Development Tool

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 58 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    ** The Toy - Tinker the Robot **
    (Early Bird)
    Tinker Hearts You TOO and sends you a virtual hug!
    1 - Tinker the Robot
    1 - Sticker Pack
    4 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    9 - Tinker Cards
    1 - Downloadable lab notebook
    * Add $10 for FTDI Basic Breakout Board to turn Tinker into a Development Tool

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    ** The Toy - Tinker the Robot **
    (Regular Bird)
    1 - Tinker the Robot
    1 - Sticker Pack
    4 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    9 - Tinker Cards
    1 - Downloadable lab notebook
    Thank you for your support!
    * Add $10 for FTDI Basic Breakout Board to turn Tinker into a Development Tool

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    7 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    ** Tinker Hearts Swag **
    Tinker + Card + Mini-Tinker (Early Bird)
    1 - Tinker the Robot
    1 - Sticker Pack
    4 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    9 - Tinker Cards
    1 - Downloadable lab notebook
    Swag
    1 - Special Edition Thank You Tinker Card
    1 - Mini-Tinker Robot Kit
    2 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery
    Tinker Hearts You and is sending you robot kisses!
    Card + Mini Tinker - Est. Delivery August 2015
    Toy - Est. Delivery February 2016
    * Add $10 for FTDI Basic Breakout Board to turn Tinker into a Development Tool

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    Limited 22 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    ** Tinker Hearts Swag **
    Tinker + Card + Mini-Tinker
    1 - Tinker the Robot
    4 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    9 - Tinker Cards
    1 - Downloadable lab notebook
    Swag
    1 - Special Edition Thank You Tinker Card
    1 - Mini-Tinker
    2 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery
    Tinker Hearts You and you heart swag!
    Card + Mini Tinker - Est. Delivery August 2015
    Toy - Est. Delivery February 2016
    * Add $10 for FTDI Basic Breakout Board to turn Tinker into a Development Tool

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ** Tinker Hearts Swag Squared **
    2 of everything in Tinker Hearts Swag except Mini Tinker
    2 - Tinker the Robot
    8 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    18 - Tinker Cards
    2 - Downloadable lab notebook
    1 - FTDI Basic Breakout Board
    2 - Special Edition Thank You Tinker Card
    2 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery
    This is our double trouble pack, perfect for you and a friend!
    Card - Est. Delivery August 2015
    Toy - Est. Delivery February 2016

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    ** Tinker Monster **
    Name in Code + Tinker Hearts Swag
    1 - Your name (or your child's name) in our source code that will be available for download on our site
    1 - Tinker the Robot
    4 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    9 - Tinker Cards
    1 - Downloadable lab notebook
    1 - FTDI Basic Breakout Board
    1 - Special Edition Thank You Tinker Card
    1 - Pre-cut Fold a Robot Kit
    2 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery
    Card + Mini Tinker - Est. Delivery August 2015
    Toy + Code - Est. Delivery February 2016

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    0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $850 or more About $850

    ** The Robot Army **
    10 The Toy + 20 Mini-Tinker
    10 - Tinker the Robot
    40 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    90 - Tinker Cards
    10 - Downloadable lab notebook
    10 - FTDI Basic Breakout Board
    20 - Pre-cut Fold a Robot Kit
    20 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery
    Our classroom kit! You're building an army of Tinkers with this kit. Line them all up and you'll have 30!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ** Decorate A Tinker **
    The Decorated Tinker + Tinker Hearts Swag
    1 - The Decorated Tinker. Your Tinker will be hand decorated by one our Tinker the Robot artists. Each artist has a specific style (fashion, oil painting, children's book, mechanical & comic book) and you get to choose which artist you want to work on your Tinker (please email kay@tinkertherobot.com to check if your artist is already taken). It will be placed in a clear display case for you to show off. Purely a display piece .
    1 - Tinker the Robot
    4 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    9 - Tinker Cards
    1 - Downloadable lab notebook
    1 - FTDI Basic Breakout Board
    1 - Special Edition Thank You Tinker Card
    1 - Mini-Tinker
    2 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery
    Card + Mini Tinker - Est. Delivery August 2015
    Toy - Est. Delivery February 2016

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    ** The Robot Army + Kay **
    10 The Toy + 20 Mini-Tinker + Kay OR The Party Pack
    Our classroom kit with a teacher! I will come to your school and build an army of Tinkers with your class.
    10 - Tinker the Robot
    40 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    90 - Tinker Cards
    10 - Downloadable lab notebook
    10 - FTDI Basic Breakout Board
    20 - Mini-Tinker
    20 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    ** Steel Tinker-saurous **
    The Ultimate Tinker + Tinker Hearts Swag
    1 - The Ultimate Tinker. Your Tinker will be built out of steel, hand assembled, welded together, and placed in a clear display case for you to show off. Purely a display piece since all accessories will be welded on.
    1 - Tinker the Robot
    4 - Accessories (3 LEDs, 1 photosensor)
    9 - Tinker Cards
    1 - Downloadable lab notebook
    1 - FTDI Basic Breakout Board
    1 - Special Edition Thank You Tinker Card
    1 - Mini-Tinker
    2 - Electronics kit - copper tape, switch, LED, battery
    Card + Mini Tinker - Est. Delivery August 2015
    Toy - Est. Delivery February 2016

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)