Project image
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$1,043
pledged of $8,000pledged of $8,000 goal
12
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jun 30 2017
$1,043
pledged of $8,000pledged of $8,000 goal
12
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Jun 30 2017

About

The Make-A-Pede is a project that has been brewing for some time. It was first conceived when we were working on projects for a Maker Faire. In our booth we had made several robots and other projects all out of salvaged stuff. The original Make-A-Pede (which didn’t have a name at that time) was made from various salvaged components found at thrift stores and our local makerspace. It was controlled by an Arduino Nano and a home-made motor driver board. As we were building it, we saw this robot as having real potential as an educational robotics platform. The Make-A-Pede has come a long way since then. We have made numerous design changes and improvements along the way, and have had many opportunities to field test the robot through maker events and robotics classes.

Open Source

The Make-A-Pede is completely open source. Our vision for the Make-A-Pede is that it is a community project. We want makers of the Make-A-Pede to join our forum, post their successes, their challenges, and their ideas for improvements. We want to see what creative things people have done with their Make-A-Pede. We’ve tried to make the robot versatile so that beginners and experienced users alike can learn and have fun with it.

Why Kickstarter?

As an open-source platform, makers can already download the plans to build their own Make-A-Pede. This requires experience using and access to some specialized tools including a 3D printer and laser cutter. Our goal for this campaign is to get the funding to create Make-A-Pede kits so that anyone can easily build a Make-A-Pede in their home or classroom without needing access to these specialized tools. Advanced users can enjoy the kit as well, since it provides an easy and versatile starting point for experimentation and development.

Robot Overview

What sets Make-A-Pede apart from other robot kits is that it is based on a segmented chassis design, giving the robot a centipede-like motion and allowing the robot to be easily expanded. Segments are driven using pairs of motorized “legs”, and can carry a variety of different modules. The Make-A-Pede can be controlled over Bluetooth using our smartphone app, or can be programmed to operate autonomously.

The Make-A-Pede is not intended to be finished once it is assembled. Instead, it is designed as a community-driven project that is constantly evolving with new features and improvements. Our hope is that after you build your Make-A-Pede, you will join our forum to find new project ideas and to share your experiences. Whether you are adding sensors or doing advanced programming, you will be helping to inspire others to take the Make-A-Pede to the next level.

Project Possibilities

  • Make a robotic pet that wanders around your house
  • Set up an obstacle course and see how fast you can get through
  • Add a motion detector and create a Make-A-Pede watchdog that comes alive when someone happens by
  • Attach a wireless camera to the robot and explore tight spaces
  • Add a magnet and use it to clean up screws from the floor
  • Build two Make-A-Pedes and race or play tag
  • ___ insert your idea here! ___

What You Can Learn

We are currently working on instructions and tutorial videos to make it easy for anyone to get started with the Make-A-Pede. These will be available shortly following the campaign.

The Hardware and Electronics

Segments

The primary component of the Make-A-Pede is the segment. There are two types of segments: head segments and body segments.

The head segment is driven by a pair of DC motors with rubber rollers and has a 6xAA battery holder, a 9V battery holder, and an adjustable sensor mounting point (for a distance sensor, camera, display screen, etc.).

Body segments can either be driven by a pair of DC motors with rubber rollers, or fitted with a pair of passive, non-motorized rollers. Each body segment has 4 mounting holes in a 50mm square that can be used to attach one module.

Both types of segments contain space underneath for wire management and are connected together end-to-end using pivoting joints. Segments will be shipped flat and must be assembled with included hardware. See the sample kit photos below for more detail.

Modules

Modules connect to the top of segments using the 4 mounting holes and can consist of a variety of different mechanical or electrical components.

Modules may require some assembly with included hardware.
Modules may require some assembly with included hardware.

Constructing A Complete Robot

Building a Make-A-Pede requires a minimum of three segments: a head segment, a body segment with a microcontroller module, and a body segment with a motor controller module. The kit intentionally requires building and wiring. The standard kit also includes a segment with a mini breadboard and an empty segment. More segments can be added to give space for more modules.

The Software

All of the Make-A-Pede’s features can be easily programmed using the Arduino IDE and the Make-A-Pede programming library. An Android smartphone app allows the robot to be remote controlled via the Arduino 101's built in Bluetooth LE. The app will be expanded with more features in the future, and an iOS version is coming soon. All Make-A-Pede software can be found at: https://github.com/Make-A-Pede

What's in the Kits

Make-A-Pede Chassis Kit

All the laser-cut and 3D-printed segment components and hardware (i.e. screws, nuts, etc.) you need for a standard 5 segment Make-A-Pede. If you want to provide your own motors, control system, and sensors, this kit is for you.

Make-A-Pede Kit

All the parts you need to build a standard 5 segment Make-A-Pede.

Make-A-Pede Plus Kit  

All the parts you need to build a standard 5 segment Make-A-Pede, plus an additional sensor kit to experiment with.

Classroom kit

Five Make-A-Pede kits, two sensor kits, and a tool kit that includes:

  • 5 containers for screws
  • 5 small phillips head screwdrivers
  • 5 wrenches (for nylon lock nuts)
  • zip tie cutter
  • 5 pairs of safety glasses  

Each Make-A-Pede will include three black brackets and two colored brackets. Backers will be given several bracket color choices following the campaign.

Complete Make-A-Pede Kit contains more than what is shown here.
Complete Make-A-Pede Kit contains more than what is shown here.

Design Evolution

Some pictures of Make-A-Pede prototypes in progress
Some pictures of Make-A-Pede prototypes in progress

Currently in Development

We are currently developing a variety of other modules and add-ons for the Make-A-Pede. We will be using some of the funds from this campaign to help with the development of these accessories.

Concept drawings of the segment covers, building plate module, display screen, and speaker module.
Concept drawings of the segment covers, building plate module, display screen, and speaker module.

Modules:

  • Feather microcontroller module - Adafruit feather microcontroller
  • Power module - additional 6xAA battery holder
  • Building plate module - space to build using common building block toys
  • Speaker module - small speaker and amp  

Head Sensors:

  • Camera - color and pattern recognition
  • Display screen - animated eyes to give your robot a personality  

Accessories:

  • Segment covers - flexible covers to hide circuit boards and wiring

Software:

  • iOS App
  • Increased functionality  

Want to help us decide what to work on first? Vote for your favorite accessories at: http://makeapede.com/newproducts/

Project Timeline

Follow Us

Risks and challenges

The robot design is finished and we have several working prototypes. We have already selected sources for all the components, and everything is fairly common so we do not anticipate any supply problems. New sources for components can easily be found if problems arise with any of the current suppliers. The one exception is the specific motor driver board that we are using. High demand could cause delays in obtaining this board, but we will be working with our suppliers throughout the campaign to ensure demand can be met. If it becomes necessary, we can choose a suitable alternative.

Extremely high demand could also cause delays in manufacturing kits. The only area that we see as being a potential difficulty if such high demand occurs is with the time that it takes for us to laser cut the segment components. This can easily be outsourced to one or more of several local companies to decrease production times if needed. We will post updates if we anticipate any delays.

As stated above, the robot design is complete. Only completed items are included in the campaign rewards, therefore there is little to no risk of unanticipated design issues. The items listed as in development are not complete and may or may not be released for sale as kits following the campaign. As such, they are not included in the campaign rewards. Our timeline for developing these will depend on interest level, so be sure to vote on your favorites.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank You!

    We very much appreciate your support for our project. As a gesture of our appreciation, we will feature your name on our website. Thank you!

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    Make-A-Pede Mini Screwdriver

    A small phillips screwdriver, perfect for putting together a Make-A-Pede

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    Make-A-Pede Tumbler

    A double-wall stainless steel tumbler with the Make-A-Pede logo

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    Make-A-Pede T-Shirt

    A Make-A-Pede T-Shirt

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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    Early Bird Make-A-Pede Chassis Kit

    All the laser cut/3D printed segment components and hardware (i.e. screws, nuts, etc.) you need for a standard 5 segment Make-A-Pede. If you want to provide your own motors and control system, this kit is for you.

    Includes:
    • Head Segment
    • 4 Body Segments
    • 9V Battery Holder
    • Sensor Mount
    • Arduino Mount (no arduino)
    • Motor Controller Mount (no controller)
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    Make-A-Pede Chassis Kit

    All the laser cut/3D printed segment components and hardware (i.e. screws, nuts, etc.) you need for a standard 5 segment Make-A-Pede. If you want to provide your own motors and control system, this kit is for you.

    Includes:
    • Head Segment
    • 4 Body Segments
    • 9V Battery Holder
    • Sensor Mount
    • Arduino Mount (no arduino)
    • Motor Controller Mount (no controller)
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $179 or more About $179

    Early Bird Make-A-Pede Kit

    All the parts you need to build a standard 5 segment Make-A-Pede.

    Includes:
    • Head Segment
    • 4 Body Segments
    • 9V Battery Holder
    • Sensor Mount
    • Ultrasonic Sensor
    • Mini Breadboard
    • Arduino Module
    • Motor Controller Module
    • 10 Motors
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    Make-A-Pede Kit

    All the parts you need to build a standard 5 segment Make-A-Pede.

    Includes:
    • Head Segment
    • 4 Body Segments
    • 9V Battery Holder
    • Sensor Mount
    • Ultrasonic Sensor
    • Mini Breadboard
    • Arduino Module
    • Motor Controller Module
    • 10 Motors
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $229 or more About $229

    Early Bird Make-A-Pede Plus Kit

    All the parts you need to build a standard 5 segment Make-A-Pede.

    Includes:
    • Head Segment
    • 4 Body Segments
    • 9V Battery Holder
    • Sensor Mount
    • Ultrasonic Sensor
    • Mini Breadboard
    • Arduino Module
    • Motor Controller Module
    • 10 Motors
    • Sensor Kit
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $249 or more About $249

    Make-A-Pede Plus Kit

    All the parts you need to build a standard 5 segment Make-A-Pede.

    Includes:
    • Head Segment
    • 4 Body Segments
    • 9V Battery Holder
    • Sensor Mount
    • Ultrasonic Sensor
    • Mini Breadboard
    • Arduino Module
    • Motor Controller Module
    • 10 Motors
    • Sensor Kit
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,150 or more About $1,150

    Make-A-Pede Classroom Pack

    Five Make-A-Pede kits, two sensor kits, and a tool kit.

    Includes:
    • Head Segment
    • 4 Body Segments
    • 9V Battery Holder
    • Sensor Mount
    • Ultrasonic Sensor
    • Mini Breadboard
    • Arduino Module
    • Motor Controller Module
    • 10 Motors
    • Sensor Kit
    • Tool Kit
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Ultimate Classroom Pack

    Four Make-A-Pede classroom packs and 8 hours of in-person training.

    This reward is only available in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Rewards for this pledge level will be fulfilled in the order in which they are received beginning in August 2017.

    Includes:
    • Make-A-Pede Classroom Pack (x4)
    • 8 hours of in-person training
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Funding period

- (30 days)