About this project
QuadBot is a 3D Printable, programmable walking robot.
QuadBot was created so that anyone can get into Making Robotics! It's super engaging and fun to program, but it's also open source and loaded with complex algorithms, making it ideal for:
- Newbie makers
- Aspiring roboticists
- Veteran hackers
The best way to learn? Have an idea and then make it real. See what makers have come up with!
QuadBot can walk, dance, light up and with sensors it can follow you, avoid obstacles, play songs... anything is possible!
But the real value is the open-ness of QuadBot. Rather than limit you to only a few behaviours, we've opened up the entire code and design so you can hack it to do anything.
That means if you want to learn basic robotics, you can follow our standard guide, but when you're ready to activate super maker mode, you can break-out and use QuadBot to explore robotics.
Do you want to 3D Print your own robot or do you want a robot ready out of the box? Do you want to get them early or in bulk?
The Full Kit is for those who want to assemble QuadBot right away. Maybe you want to get straight into learning embedded coding for robotics. If you want to go wireless, select the Full Kit + Bluetooth option.
The Maker Kit is for those who have access to a 3D Printer. This kit reduces the cost and means you can customise and print parts yourself (All our designs are open source!).
QuadBot is designed for any level of experience. It works out of the box (after some fun assembly) and can be programmed using graphical blocks, ideal for young makers. However every aspect of QuadBot can be customised and changed, from the 3D Design down to a single line of C++ code, opening it up to experienced makers.
QuadBot was made for you to do real deal robotics. This means that you learn coding techniques that are scalable to bigger and better projects, rather than an oversimplified and limited alternative (such as Lego Mindstorms). A robotics platform that sets up young and experienced makers like this has not existed until right now.
How does QuadBot compare with other robots?
QuadBot is free from unwanted sensors, making it more affordable and giving makers the freedom to choose their own.
Our learning resources will guide you, without getting in the way of savvy makers who already know how they are going to use QuadBot.
Robotics is all about hands on experience, that's why we made QuadBot. Using it you will learn about the five tenets of Robotics.
To really know robotics you need well structured and engaging learning resources. So we're creating just that, a series of interactive exercises that take you from assembling QuadBot all the way to complex robotic movement algorithms.
Our learning resources require NO prior knowledge, and use free, open-source software.
- ArduBlockly - Graphical coding
- Arduino - C++ Embedded coding
- Autodesk Fusion 360 - 3D Design
- DesignSpark PCB - Electronics
We designed QuadBot in Autodesk Fusion 360 specifically so that you can customise and change the design. This is a maker product so we want you to design and share!
The smarts in the software. QuadBot is crammed with functionality thanks to thousands of lines of code. But to make it easy, we've hidden it all away behind super-simple programming blocks. This makes QuadBot accessible to anyone - even those with no experience in coding!
Once you're ready to progress to more functionality, you can go into text code. It's all written up as a fully documented, easy to use Arduino library. We've made it so that the transition from blocks to text is as simple as possible!
You can dig deeper into the code and use the kinematics and algorithm code, no aspect of QuadBot's behaviour has been hidden away.
We used LabVIEW to help us write QuadBot's core code. We created different simulations of QuadBot to find the best movement algorithms. This allowed us to quickly test and tweak without needing the physical robot (and risking a robot self-destruct!).
Because it is such a useful tool, we are creating a LabVIEW driver to allow others to simulate QuadBot and try movements in LabVIEW.
This enables academic institutions to use QuadBot and LabVIEW for teaching practical and theory-based robotics!
Most robots are a messy hodge-podge of wires and boards. Not QuadBot. We've designed the QuadBoard - integrated robotics hardware that is also the mechanical frame of QuadBot.
It's fully compatible with the Arduino platform (that includes shields) and has loads of other features like.
- 5V and 3.3V Regulation for external sensors
- USB Port for battery charging and programming
- Lithium Polymer (LiPo) charging circuitry
- 8 x smart RGB LEDs Motor driver for up to 16 motors
- Universal motor mount holes
- Arduino headers Plug-in terminals for bluetooth module
- 3-pin sensor headers Plugin headers for Bluetooth
No more fiddling with separate modules. One board, everything robotics.
Assembling the robot is a piece of cake. Thanks to 3D Printing, we've designed custom parts that minimise screws and simplify construction. You can put it together in between one to two hours.
QuadBot Mk.1 was designed for the University of Manchester Robotics Society in 2013. These early QuadBots were made with laser cutting, and then developed further with 3D Printing.
The mechanical design we have so far is fully functional, but we'll be changing the design slightly to iron out small pain points.
We've got a number of small-scale manufacturers who will 3D Print the robots for us, and the option to use injection moulding if we get more demand. The delivery time we've estimated for this is two months, which falls well inside our delivery deadline of April 2017.
Our QuadBoard PCBs have been stress-tested over months of use and we have several manufacturers lined up with which we have a successful history.
We expect all our parts to be manufactured by late February, meaning delivery should be completed by mid-March...for safety, we've allowed until early April, with shipping.
International Buyers (Outside UK and EU) - We're running our kickstarter responsibly, so we're not marking rewards as gifts. Buyers will be responsible for import taxes and customs.
Colors? Our initial plan is to ship only the black and white version of the robot (affectionately know as Panda). However depending on feedback and quantity, we may offer other colors. Of course if you are 3D printing your own parts, then you can use any color or material you like!
Risks and challenges
We have considered the potential currency instability affecting the cost of our components (some of which are sourced from China and the EU) and we have addressed this by allocating a margin for currency variance. This means that if our costs go up, we have the money to pay for it. If our costs don’t go up, we can invest that money into making the product even better.
We are confident with our manufacturing process; We have tested it and have alternatives lined up. We have prioritised simplicity with our component sourcing, packaging and delivery - We don’t offer user defined variations in colour or other aspects that could complicate production (yet). In any case, our expected delivery time is mid-march (allowing a 20% contingency on each deadline), so we've called it early April to be safe.
Other than that we don't have any other risks to overcome. The technology is ready and just needs final alteration before submitting to a manufacturing process that we're very familiar with.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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