Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 27, 2012.

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Robotic Hexapod kit. Cute, cheap, easy and fun intro to advanced robots. Arduino-powered, and all Open Hardware/Software.

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UPDATES:

  • Acrylic Colors:
    Pictures of the actual acrylic that will be used:
  • Bluetooth wireless is now available as an option. Available for the more adventure-minded, Hexy can come with a plug-in serial Bluetooth module to allow wire-free movement. Note: wireless is always tricky, so while I'll do my best to provide support, I can't guarantee it working as often as a cord will 
  • If we hit $200k, we'll add a drag-and-drop programming GUI based on miniBloq
  • If we hit $250k, we'll add Android and iOS apps for controlling it remotely. (Note: iOS control app will not be through the internal blueooth, as Apple doesn't allow open-hardware based iOS bluetooth connections. They require NDAs, credit checks and very specific modules be used).

The Story

I love robots, but they can be a really expensive hobby, especially legged robots. When I tried to build a hexapod in college, everything I found was typically $1,000-$2,000. Current kits are expensive and tough to use, and meant for people that are already into robotics. The designs for them are closed, and rarely if ever updated. When I started development of Hexy roughly a year ago, I was using 10 year-old software and electronics, because that's what was available, and it showed. Why not make a hexapod kit that makes complex robotics cheaper, easier to learn, radically more fun (and cute!) and based on completely open hardware and software?

The Dream

Cheap robots for everyone! The idea behind ArcBotics is to become the Ikea of robotics. Provide functional, minimalistic robots with step-by-step instruction that anyone can make, lowering cost as much as possible in the process. Hexy is the first robot a line of many that aims to enable low-cost, easy access to easily modifiable and expandable robots, for everyone from the learning student to the high-end researcher.

The Robot

Hexy the Hexapod is a cute-as-buttons fun little six-legged robot buddy, and is the first ArcBotics Open Robotics kit. Hexy is:

  • Low cost, 1/10th the price of current hexapod kits
  • If we hit $200k, we'll add a drag-and-drop programming GUI based on miniBloq
  • Program moves as a text file.  Easy commands like "rotate right 40 deg"
  • Easy to program more functionality. Arduino micro controller, Python move generator/controller
  • Easy to assemble - Full step-by-step video tutorials and picture/text tutorials, geared towards the high school level and above
  • Completely Arduino-compatible, the Servotor32 controller uses the same chip as the Arduino Leonardo
  • Comes with demo moves pre-available. Have it dance immediately once built!
  • Completely Open-Source. Code, Laser cutter DXF/STL/SLDWRKS files, electronics board files, everything. Go nuts.

It Comes With:

  • Literally Everything needed to build the kit, I even give the screwdriver.
  • Ultrasonic distance sensor eyes
  • Acrylic laser-cut pieces in your choice of six colors, with extra pieces
  • 20 Servos (18 for legs, 1 for eyes, 1 extra)
  • Full arduino-based Servotor32 robot controller capable of controlling up to 32 Servos
  • All the screws and nuts you need to assemble the kit, with extras
  • Bluetooth kits come with a serial-bluetooth adapter that plugs straight into the Servotor32 robot controller
  • All the assembly instructions, source material, etc on a thumb drive

Use it to learn advanced robotics concepts like inverse kinematics, or use pre-built code to have it march to your bidding. Build it using the high-quality video and picture filled tutorials, and its ready to walk, play and dance with pre-built demos.

The Servitor32 robot controller is fully Arduino-based open hardware, capable of controlling up to 32 servos and/or any sensor you can plug into an Arduino, programmable using Arduino code. Hook it to your PC or Mac via USB or have it run autonomously. . Use the controller and servos in other robot projects. Do what you want, all the code, and plans and cut files are yours.  

As part of building ArcBotics to drive forward low-cost Open Robotics, I've invested around $20k into purchasing a laser cutter and rapidly iterating the design of the hexapod over the better part of a year, and its finally in a state close to releasable. The low cost I want, however, is only achievable with sufficient volume to order. All the factory sourcing is lined up and tested, the production model is highly scalable, and I just need the funds finish final prototyping, order large part quantities and then start flooding the world with cheap adorable robots.

Kids love it!
Kids love it!

Even if this fails, I'll still release all the files online. However, the kits are far more expensive to build without large sourcing and my manufacture techniques, and you won't get them nearly this cheap.The goal of the company isn't to make large profits, its to advance Open Robotics through easily available cheap robots, a cause near and dear to my heart. If this works out, I'll launch even more Open Robotics kits. Help make this dream a reality!

Acrylic Colors
Acrylic Colors

FAQ

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    56 backers

    We'll send you a sticker! Show your Open Robotics pride.

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    21 backers

    Cool little laser-cut Hexy figurine. Choose from translucent blue, orange, grey, purple, green, red and clear.

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    15 backers

    Cool little laser-cut Hexy figurine, engraved with your name or any personal message/image on it. Choose from translucent blue, orange, grey, purple, green, red and clear.

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    27 backers

    Servotor 32-Controller Board, fully assembled. Control SO MANY SERVOS. Aduino-based and completely open. Can be used via USB with a computer or UART Serial (like with say, an Arduino).

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    13 backers

    Complete Hexy acrylic kit and bolts/nuts. Add your own servos and electronics for a hexapod. Choose from translucent blue, orange, grey, purple, green, red and clear.

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    10 backers All gone!

    Early Supporter complete kit, cheaper and with custom message laser-engraving! Complete Hexy Kit, including laser cut parts, hardware, servos, and Servitor controller. Everything needed to make a functional robot. Choose from translucent blue, orange, grey, purple, green, red and clear.

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    81 backers

    Complete Hexy Kit, including laser cut parts, hardware, servos, and Servotor controller. Everything needed to make a functional robot. Choose from translucent blue, orange, grey, purple, green, red and clear.

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    569 backers

    Complete Bluetooth Hexy Kit , including laser cut parts, hardware, servos, and Servotor controller with a plug-in bluetooth serial module. Everything needed to make a functional robot that can operate wirelessly. Choose from translucent blue, orange, grey, purple, green, red and clear.

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    3 backers Limited (47 left of 50)

    Complete assembled Hexy, custom message engraved, ready to go. Plug into your computer, and you're ready to walk, stomp and dance.

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    11 backers Limited (39 left of 50)

    Complete assembled Bluetooth Hexy, custom message engraved, ready to go. Plug into your computer, or connect to the wireless Bluetooth module and you're ready to walk, stomp and dance.

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    22 backers

    THE TAG TEAM. Two Complete Bluetooth Hexy Kits , including laser cut parts, hardware, servos, and Servotor controller with a plug-in bluetooth serial module. Everything needed to make a functional robot that can operate wirelessly. Choose from translucent blue, orange, grey, purple, green, red and clear.

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    1 backer

    ROBOT DANCE PARTY. 5 Complete Bluetooth Hexy Kits , including laser cut parts, hardware, servos, and Servotor controller with a plug-in bluetooth serial module. Everything needed to make a functional robot that can operate wirelessly. Choose from translucent blue, orange, grey, purple, green, red and clear.

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Funding period

- (40 days)