This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, March 28 2019 5:00 AM UTC +00:00.
ActivePuzzle is a game for building robots out of puzzles. No coding. No screens. Simply snap puzzle blocks together to form robots. With this simple and intuitive puzzle, anyone can build robots!
The ActivePuzzle game contains puzzle blocks, with each block serving a different function. One block stores the battery and supplies the robot with power; another holds a proximity sensor that allows it to "see" objects in front of it, and so on.
ActivePuzzle robots have no central processing unit, but rather work in a distributed manner based on the Braitenberg Vehicle concept: input blocks trigger adjacent output blocks, with the electronic value optionally being manipulated by logic blocks.
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The amazing simplicity of ActivePuzzle stems from the fact that puzzles are universal. ActivePuzzle is multiple robot models in one, including a maze runner, a street light, a wake-up alarm, and a smart fan.
The puzzle language visualizes logic, input and output, some of the most essential concepts in robotics.
Smart Fan Robot
The proximity sensor (red color, two eyes) triggers both the motor (above) and the LED (below) when it senses an object.
Police Car Robot
The wave block causes the LED to blink and the buzzer to beep, where its frequency is controlled by the potentiometer (with the blue knob, on the right side of the robot).
Dog Chasing a Bone
The proximity sensor (the red block at the top) senses the object in front and sends a trigger to the rest of the blocks - the LED (under the proximity) and the two motors
Soil Moisture Control
The soil moisture monitoring robot for a planter uses an external moisture sensor connected to the Arduino block:
The robot beeps when the soil in the planter is dry:
A high sensor value indicates a high moisture, so as we want the buzzer to beep when it's dry, a logic NOT reverses the sensor value. Then the A2D is used to select the dryness level in which the buzzer beeps.
ActivePuzzle is for those who want to build robots and learn how they work.
Additionally, educators can use ActivePuzzle to teach STEM: the game is very intuitive and simple to learn, and there is a large number of scientific and technological concepts that can be taught using ActivePuzzle.
One important characteristic of ActivePuzzle is its being a gender-neutral game: the puzzle language makes girls feel natural and confident, and the game activities strengthen their self-efficacy.
It’s true that there are many robot building block games out there, but we were looking for something else. As educators, for years we’ve been trying to teach children science and technology advanced principles, but there were always language barriers – electronics, mechanics and computer languages.
It took us 8 years to understand our mistake: we were trying to teach kids the robotics language, instead of letting them learn robotics in their own language. And the very first language they learn even before they start talking is... Puzzles!
Benefits of ActivePuzzle:
- Improves STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) while playing
- Develops computational thinking, along with logic and problem-solving skills
- Develops spatial cognition capabilities
- Encourages creativity and innovation
- A really fun game for all family!
The ActivePuzzle Invent contains 16 different block types, each belonging to one of four categories: output, input, logic and power.
The ActivePuzzle Advanced includes all the blocks in Invent plus 6 blocks - 3 new types (Arduino, Conductor and A2D) and 3 duplicates (Motor, Proximity Sensor and Battery):
- 16 puzzle blocks included: LED, motor, buzzer, voltmeter, IR transmitter, light sensor, temperature sensor, proximity sensor, potentiometer, IR receiver, logic-not, logic-and, logic-or, insulator, wave, battery
- 1 USB cable
- 1 wheel
- 1 Propeller.
- 22 puzzle blocks included: LED, motor x2, buzzer, voltmeter, IR transmitter, light sensor, temperature sensor, proximity sensor x2, potentiometer, IR receiver, logic-not, logic-and, logic-or, insulator, wave, Arduino, conductor, A2D, battery x 2
- 1 USB cable
- 2 wheels
- 2 propellers.
- 10 x ActivePuzzle Advanced Kits
- A digital curriculum pack for educators
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Risks and challenges
Projects that involve electronics and robotics often challenge project creators with production and fulfillment complexities, which sometimes are under estimated.
As we have been producing robots for over 8 years now, we are very experienced with mass production and fulfillment. Meir Sela, the founder of ActivePuzzle, is also the founder of Shapes Robotics, which in the last 8 years went through mass production and fulfillment of several robot systems, including PCB and plastic/injection production, purchase and assembly of electronic parts, motors, wheels, etc. As such we think we have a realistic timeline.
- All gone!