A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
This robot kit got its start about 2 years ago as a way to provide a very low cost introduction to robotics. Although the circuit that brings this little bug to life has been in circulation for many years, at that time, we struggled to find a physical design that was easy to mass produce and assemble.
The first iteration was called the Skitter Bot. It became so popular that we gave it a makeover and kept it as a staple in our robotics classes. Revision B is now called the BreadBug. It carries a 170 point breadboard on its back which allows you to change the way it interacts with its environment. When you assemble it to the default configuration, it will run in collision detection mode avoiding obstacles by "feeling" for them with its antennae. In other words, it uses biomimicry to act like a real bug.
Why Make The BreadBug?
The answer to that question is simple…fun! BreadBug is just plain fun to build and to experiment with. You learn best through experimentation. The built-in breadboard allows you to reconfigure it for many different behaviors. You can even plug in a small microcontroller for added functionality. There are many robotics kits out there, but we found that it was hard to get a good quality kit for under $20. Team learning with one kit per 4 to 5 students is okay, but with the BreadBug, students are able to get a one-on-one learning experience that is otherwise hard to get.
How Does BreadBug Work?
The BreadBug has been designed so that you can rearranged the wiring on the breadboard which allows the student to experiment with different "behaviors" of the BreadBug. It is also possible to add a variety of sensors and a low power microcontroller to get even more complex activity. Curriculum is in development to provide step by step instruction on carrying out experiments with the BreadBug.
From the very beginning we have worked to develop the BreadBug in a real world environment. Well, we'll let the following pictures speak for themselves.
How is Rev C Different From Rev B?
Funding this campaign will give us the ability to incorporate the following design changes.
Improved Laser Cut Body Plate
Laser Engraved Component Positioning Guide
Welded Antennae - For Improved Durability
Rubberized Plastic Coating on Antennae Tips
Motor Mount - Eliminates the Need For Hot Glue
Color Coordinated Wires - Improves Ease of Assembly
Black Nylon "Tail" Screw
How You Can Help
By helping to fund this project we be able to buy materials in bulk and thereby lowering the cost of each kit. By making the kits affordable we can get them into the hands of everyone who would like to learn more about robotics.
Spread the Word:
Talk to your homeschool group.
Tell your school.
Blast it out on social media.
What You Get
Body is laser cut baltic birch. Runs on 2 AAA batteries. Overall dimmensions are "3 x 3" x 1.75", not counting antennae. Everything you need to put it together is included in the kit. The only tool you need to put it together is a phillips screwdriver which is also included.
The kit includes:
(1) laser cut body plate
(2) DC motors with thrust bearings and rubber feet
(1) 3D printed motor mount
(1) 170 point breadboard
(2) antennae switches with feelers attached
(1) 2xAAA battery holder
(1) power switch
(1) nylon "tail" screw set
-All necessary screws and doublesided tape
-All wiring is pre-soldered so all you have to do is plug into the breadboard.
Q & A
Q: Why choose baltic birch for the body plate? A: Of all the material we initially looked at, we found that this was the one that students found easiest to hack. The porous surfaces accept makers, paint, and glue well.
We'll add more Q & A as the questions come in.
Risks and challenges
Extensive testing has already been done with this robot kit. The only challenge we could possibly encounter would be sourcing all materials in a timely fashion. We are working to minimize this potential stumbling block by keeping track of stock levels at our various suppliers so that we can make sure that we can keep up with demand. We are also sourcing materials locally wherever possible.