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Playful immersion in advanced STEM. Teachable robots solve kid-built mazes with artificial intelligence. Supports 2 Hexbug Spiders.
Playful immersion in advanced STEM. Teachable robots solve kid-built mazes with artificial intelligence. Supports 2 Hexbug Spiders.
Playful immersion in advanced STEM. Teachable robots solve kid-built mazes with artificial intelligence. Supports 2 Hexbug Spiders.
391 backers pledged $33,762 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Brad Knox Creator 2 days ago

      Thanks for checking in, Ritro, Alexander, and Sebastian. I just sent an update to all of the backers. All good news this time!

      Please send me a message if you have any other questions.

    2. Sebastian Trella 3 days ago

      Did you already ship my reward? Or when will it happen?

    3. Alexander Senger 4 days ago

      @creator: Hi there!
      How are things going? Any (good) news on the new IR blasters?

      Thanks!

    4. Missing avatar

      Ritro on January 10

      Hi Brad, any news ?

    5. Brad Knox Creator on December 15

      Thanks for your kind words, Eds. ;)

    6. Missing avatar

      Edward McLaughlin on December 7

      Thanks again Brad. Your continued communication is what sets you apart from may other kickstarter companies, believe me. I am very excited to see what you and your team has for us. Thank you and good thoughts and well wishes are coming your way!

    7. Missing avatar

      Eddie T
      Superbacker
      on December 4

      I can see that you guys are doing the best you can for your backers. Top marks for sharing the information to us as well. Wishing your team the best for the future.

    8. Brad Knox Creator on December 4

      Hi, everyone.

      We expect to ship about 25 kits—the number we have IR blasters for—by Christmas. If you didn't see an email from us asking about the urgency of getting your kit(s) by Christmas, please check your spam filter, Gmail Tabs (that's where I lose emails...), etc. We'll take into account answers to that survey as late as we can.

      Great news: We've found a replacement model for the IR blaster and need to find a reliable source, which should be an easy task once we are no longer focused on the ~25 Christmas shipments. But until the new IR blasters are in our hands and tested thoroughly, nothing is 100% sure, as we've learned with our past IR blasters that were discontinued and then lost in shipping. (We did get a refund this month from the supplier, thankfully.) Nonetheless, the most likely outcome is that we can ship the remaining Bots Alive kits in January/February.

      We're grateful to all of our backers for both their initial support and their kind patience while we've been trying to handle this obstacle. We're genuinely sorry that most of our backers won't get Bots Alive by these holidays, but we are excited to be close to finally sharing it with you.

    9. Jeanne on December 3

      Any chance of a Christmas shipment?

    10. Missing avatar

      Andy Wright on November 28

      When’s the estimate ship date?

    11. Matthew Aslin on November 27

      Filled out the form and fingers crossed :)

    12. Missing avatar

      Tim Hutman on November 27

      I'll leave the 25 for those who are hoping for this by Christmas..... can't say I'm happily patiently waiting though

    13. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on November 19

      Brad, congratulations on the business news. It will be intersting to see what comes of it. Keep us posted on future activty if you can.

    14. Missing avatar

      Tim Hutman on November 17

      So what is the estimted delivery now? 2018?

    15. Brad Knox Creator on November 17

      For someone with the world on his shoulders, Atlas sure is nimble.

      I'll ask the Spiders and get back to you on your question.

    16. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on November 17

      Latest robot video from Boston Dynamics. Can we teach the Hexbot this stunt?
      https://www.bostondynamics.com/atlas

    17. Missing avatar

      Edward McLaughlin on November 6

      Hey Brad! Just stopping by. Thinking good thoughts for you and your people.

    18. Brad Knox Creator on November 1

      Eddie and Matthew, thanks for checking in and for your patience. We'll post an update soon.

    19. Matthew Aslin on November 1

      any news on progress?

    20. Missing avatar

      Eddie T
      Superbacker
      on October 27

      I hope the IR blasters have shipped (and arrived). Looking forward to some quality time with these and my son over the Christmas break. Do you have any further news (good or otherwise) on progress? It's been a few weeks since your last post. Hope all is well.

    21. Missing avatar

      Edward McLaughlin on October 3

      Once again Brad, especially in Kickstarter, communication is all important and you and your company get an A+. Hopefully, you will find your missing parts soon. I am really looking forward to this product for me and my son! Wishing you good luck and sending good thoughts!

    22. Missing avatar

      Eddie T
      Superbacker
      on October 1

      Thanks for the update. Please keep us posted.

    23. Brad Knox Creator on September 30

      Hi, Edward. Thanks for checking in. I'll post an update very shortly.

      The short of it is that the IR blasters do appear to have been lost in shipment. That's news as of today, coming from Singapore Post, and we're checking with the supplier FastTech about next steps. Our fingers are crossed that FastTech will consider Singapore Post's information as an official determination of the shipment getting lost, at which point they should reship another set to us (and we'll choose a faster, more reliable shipping option).

      The missing IR blasters have been the biggest wildcard regarding our timeline. There are a couple of other aspects that are still being wrapped up (decals and software), which I'll describe more in the update. But the project has moved from once being a juggling act of getting many components to come together to, now, simply getting the last few items finished.

      I'm sorry to share this news. We'd really hoped to be one of the Kickstarter campaigns that *does* deliver on time. But please be assured that we're making progress and will keep pushing to deliver the robots as soon as we can. We're grateful for whatever patience you grant us.

    24. Missing avatar

      Edward McLaughlin on September 25

      Hi Brad,

      How did your luck hold out? Do you have a status on the project?

      Ed

    25. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on September 7

      Looking forward to an update.

    26. Missing avatar

      Eddie T
      Superbacker
      on September 3

      Hi Brad, any further news or updates? Has there been any other issues? Is progress going according to plan?
      We are looking forward to the outcome of the project.

    27. Missing avatar

      Maxime on August 27

      Hi everyone,

      Please continue posting updates for everyone. It's really nice to get some info frequently even if it's bad news and delays.

      Thanks

    28. Missing avatar

      Edward McLaughlin on August 25

      Thanks Brad. Dates aren't as important as your communication. As an engineer, I know your pain. I wish you luck on this campaign and hope you get no more unexpected surprises.

    29. Brad Knox Creator on August 22

      Hi, Edward. Thanks for checking in.

      We're still on schedule for a late September delivery.

      As I had been warned about hardware projects—even hardware-light ones like ours—we have had a surprise disappointment or two in getting the physical items we need from suppliers (e.g., that our IR blasters were no longer being manufactured, and we had to find a supplier with a bunch of them sitting in storage), but that merely used up a time buffer we had intentionally placed before shipping. We're still on pace as long as no further big surprises come.

    30. Missing avatar

      Edward McLaughlin on August 22

      Hi Brad! How are things going? We all still on schedule for delivery?

    31. Brad Knox Creator on August 2

      Thanks, Brian. The box is designed with a slanted top face. I don't have the exact measurements on me, but I think it's between 15 and 30 degrees from the table/counter surface. So the smart device's camera will almost point straight down, but it will be angled enough to look past the surface the box is on.

    32. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on August 2

      Great idea for the box. I would think straight down view is best but sounds like something just above horizontal works? Unless the box is 36" �

    33. Brad Knox Creator on July 10, 2017

      Update coming soon, indeed.

      In the videos, we generated robot behavior with a combination of remote control—which allows for scripted scenes that illustrate features succinctly—and 1 or 2 autonomous scenes. If you want to know what functionality was already implemented during the campaign, you can get a good idea from this Kickstarter Live demo I did: https://www.youtube.com/watch….

    34. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on July 3, 2017

      Update coming soon I hope. Always interested on how a project gets launched.

    35. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on June 11, 2017

      Great article. This appears to be a new concept in AI making more human in appearance. What is actually being used in the videos with the hexbots demonstrations since the project is still in development phase. Currently autonomus control of some sort or more human guided puppeteer control. Thanks

    36. Brad Knox Creator on June 9, 2017

      Hi, Brian. If you haven't checked it out, I recommend our article on Medium: https://medium.com/mit-media-lab/building-character-ai-through-machine-learning-7a3159dc4940.

      The robots are controlled by a model of a human developer who puppeteered/teleoperated a robot in many different situations. The model can answer the question: "In context X, what is the probability that the teleoperator would have given command Y?"

      When a robot is acting based on the model, it is choosing what to do according to those probabilities, multiple times per second. So its behavior isn't random in the colloquial sense of the word—that it does every possible action with the same frequency—but it is random in the mathematical sense: the robot will often make different choices in the same situation, though those choices are still aligned with the frequency at which its model thinks the human developer would have made them in the current context.

      Regarding the robots' learning through your teaching, we'll be excited to share more about how that works once it's finalized and confirmed to work intuitively through user testing.

    37. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on June 6, 2017

      Brad - hope to generate some more discussion with the group. I think this is an amazing project, like having a little Mars rover controlled by the phone. Still curious on 2 things.
      1) Learning mode, your video mentions this too. Can you provide an update some day on what this does.
      2) Still like to understand running the same routine multiple times. Will the Hexbot run the same routine each time? If different their is decision processes in play, or just random - but that still seems like a decision to me.

      No rush, when you have time.

    38. Brad Knox Creator on June 5, 2017

      Hi, Brian. Thanks for your questions.

      • We have no definitive plans to make Bots Alive robots learn from all its experience, outside the explicit teaching sessions during which they will learn. We're interested in this direction long-term, but combining (a) the algorithms that learn in this way (e.g., reinforcement learning algorithms) with (b) the need for them to be enjoyable to interact with is, to my knowledge, an unsolved engineering challenge (by us or anyone).

      • I'd love to say we have the app complete 3 months ahead of time, but it's still in development and on schedule. ;)

    39. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on June 4, 2017

      I thought the group would be interested in your input. Does the Hexbot learn from its trials. If presented with the same obstacles multiple times, is the result random or does it improve its path? Also is the app complete at this time or in development? Thanks

    40. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on May 18, 2017

      Just checking in.....

    41. Brad Knox Creator on April 19, 2017

      Update sent. :)

    42. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on April 19, 2017

      Just checking back in on how things are going.

    43. Brad Knox Creator on March 7, 2017

      Brian and Andy, thanks!

      Brian, thanks for checking in. I plan to send an update soon. In general, I'll try to send them approximately once a month.

    44. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on March 7, 2017

      Close to an update? Hopefully Hexbots have not taken over the office.

    45. Missing avatar

      Andy Wright on February 17, 2017

      Congratulations and well done!

    46. Brian Cutler
      Superbacker
      on February 16, 2017

      Congratulations. Good luck with the next phase of the project.

    47. Brad Knox Creator on February 15, 2017

      Some quick catch up.

      SilverAnvil, the Battle Spiders have different IR codes, so they won't work unless we take the time to sniff out their signals. We might do that, but we can't promise it at this point. Do check in with us though!

      Schaap, the add-on pack is 10 red obstacle blocks only.

      Brian, I think I sent you a private message about this, but thanks for pushing us past $30K a few days ago!!!

    48. Missing avatar

      Schaap on February 15, 2017

      Hi Brad,
      just a question from your latest backer..
      Does the add-on pack exists of red and blue or only red blocks?
      Good luck with the awaiting fathership!

    49. Missing avatar

      SilverAnvil on February 13, 2017

      Brad, did Amazon come through? If so, any luck with the Battle Spiders? I'm hoping that they use the same IR Channel for movement as the regular Spiders and the other two channel is for the "laser gun" LED.

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