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With a focus on STEAM education; PopPet is expandable, customizable, easy to assemble, small, fun and a great intro into robotics. Read more

Adelaide, AU Robots
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on August 8, 2014.

With a focus on STEAM education; PopPet is expandable, customizable, easy to assemble, small, fun and a great intro into robotics.

Adelaide, AU Robots
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Jaidyn Edwards
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Jaidyn Edwards

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About this project

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  • $10,000 -  Each ADVANCED KIT will receive an extra two random Faceplates.
  • $12,000 - Each STANDARD KIT will receive an extra two random Faceplates
  • $13,000 - Each ADVANCED KIT will receive a *Bluetooth Module (BLE) and an accompanying App!
  • $14,000 - Each STANDARD KIT will receive a *Bluetooth Module (BLE) and an accompanying App!
  • More to come...

*The Bluetooth Module is a custom designed breakout board of the HM-10 by my friend [Ladvien] on LetsMakeRobots.com. This particular board uses BLE (or Bluetooth Low Energy) and as such may not be compatible with all devices.

PopPet aims to be a fun and easy to build educational robotics platform for all ages. 

PopPet is different from many other robotics platforms as she is packed full of personality. 

PopPet is an ‘Arduino at Heart’ robot which means she can be programmed using the Arduino IDE.

The key feature with PopPet is to change her to suit you. You can change the look of PopPet with interchangeable face plates and LED holes (located on the top and bottom plates).

Would you like PopPet to be happy? Would you like PopPet to be scary? You can do that! 

Would you like PopPet to look like an animal? You can do that! 

(More faceplates are currently in design and will be shown as the campaign progresses)

Simply change out the face plate.

What is the use of playing with a highly customizable and unique robot kit if you can't do any of your own customizing? Well, that is one of the main reasons why PopPet will be an Open Source Hardware robot. 

The design plans will be released to allow you to make your own custom face plates, add-ons, wheels or whatever else you can think of. 

Not everyone has access to a laser cutter, so there will also be slightly modified files available to fit the tolerances found on most 3D printers. 

This allows you to print your own PopPet!

3D Printed PopPet Prototype #1
3D Printed PopPet Prototype #1

There are many mounting points for various sensors all over PopPet. There are places to mount several line following modules, LED's, LDR's and even a piezo buzzer. There are also many places to zip strap things onto, because I know how important zip-straps are in robot building.

Often robot chassis are big and bulky making them difficult to transport, not PopPet! PopPet is just ever so slightly larger than a credit card!

For two years I have been making robot video tutorials and posting them on my YouTube channel. One of the questions I get asked most is "What robot kit I should buy?" I could never really answer that question. So I got to work on designing my dream robot kit and I came up with PopPet.

PopPet’s ‘body’ was based off of a robot I made some time before called PET. 

PET was the precursor to PopPet.
PET was the precursor to PopPet.

There were two things that I really liked about PET, the look and size of her. As I designed PopPet it was these two features that she had to have.

I learnt a lot about what school students want from a robot kit when volunteering at a high school a short time ago. 

Having made two basic robots for them, I got a lot of feedback about which bits were hard, which bits were easy and which bits were just boring. 

Taking their feedback I designed a robot kit that eliminated all the boring bits whilst still offering a considerable challenge in terms of construction.

PopPet can do whatever you want her to do!

Out of the box PopPet is pre-loaded with a basic obstacle avoidance routine as follows:

And with the STANDARD kit there will also be sketches available on PopPet's website for the following:

  • Guarding your precious items
  • Cleaning up your work area

But you can quite easily expand PopPet's capabilities with more sensors as included in the ADVANCED KIT. 

PopPet is a test bed, a means to expand and learn. There will be lots of example sketches and tasks available on the website in the near future but I encourage you to think of what you want your PopPet to do.

Well no one is forcing you to! But PopPet is great for people of all ages and skill levels. 

Ages young and old love the look of PopPet, just a simple smile can do so much for adding personality to a robot. 

Those new to the world of robotics will enjoy the ‘out of box’ experience and ease of construction. Veterans of the hobbyist robotics world will enjoy the expandability that is available with PopPet. 

This Kickstarter campaign is about so much more than PopPet though. It’s about bringing the world of robotics to households around the world, educating and inspiring the next generation of engineers and makers.

Whilst PopPet does look great on the outside, it’s what’s in the inside that counts. 

In terms of actuation PopPet uses two Little Black Duck DC Motors. These LBD’s come in a servo form factor making them very easy to mount. They are quite quick and come with handy female jumper cable connectors. 

To ‘see’ PopPet uses the HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Distance Sensor. Using this sensor essentially means PopPet ‘sees’ just like a bat. It sends out an ultrasonic wave using one ‘eye’ and waits for it to return on the other. When this wave is heard we can calculate how far away an object is by using a simple mathematical formula. 

For the ‘brains’ PopPet uses the DAGU Mini Driver. This is a great board as it has a small form factor and has an on-board H-bridge. Having an H-Bridge on-board means we can control two DC motors without any additionally circuitry. 

For power PopPet uses four AAA batteries. This allows for a more than adequate run time, but there is space to put your own four AA battery pack, doing this though means it needs to be mounted on the outside. NOTE: The batteries are not included in this kit and will need to be bought separately.

Dupont cables are included in order to connect the HC-SR04 to the Mini Driver.

Bits and pieces (these are the parts used in the prototype and may change in the final version):

  • 18 Panhead M2*8mm
  • 2 Countersunk M2*5mm
  • 6 Panhead M2*12MM
  • 4 M3*5mm
  • 2 M3 15mm Hexagonal Spacers
  • 2 Self Tappers M2*5mm
  • 24 M2 Nuts

We wanted great rewards for all levels of contributions... so there is a lot to choose from!

This campaign is not just about raising the funds to bring PopPet into production, it’s about creating a potentially long line of products that will come as a result in the future. 

PopPet is one of many ideas I have and is actually the second robot chassis I have designed. 

The goal is set at 8k in order to cover the costs of production for PopPet, purchase new equipment to continue robotics kit development, pay the fees taken out by Kickstarter and Banks and still have some left in case costs are larger than quoted.

This is another chassis I was working on some time ago.
This is another chassis I was working on some time ago.

PopPet is in the final prototype stages. The Kickstarter funds will be used to finalize the design and then make orders for the parts. 

The final prototype is not that much different from that pictured, only the mounting options will be slightly different as I've had time to see what is, and is not useful.

All the suppliers have been contacted and quotes have been arranged, they are just waiting for the ‘all clear’.

This is based on my current 'one man team' situation with an approximate 100 backer orders. Others have expressed their interest to help, but I have not factored that in. If the amount of orders are larger than this however, packaging times will increase obviously.

I have also taken the maximum time periods for all and added a week or two on for good measure, this gives some breathing room. 

I would prefer to overestimate the time periods then underestimate.

If hiccups do occur in the stated time periods then you will be notified. 

But please, even though the estimated arrival time is around Christmas, do not purchase as a Christmas present. I would hate a hiccup in shipping estimations to ruin a Christmas.

Well, it's not really a team, It's just me. But I like to say 'we' because I like to think that those who support me are part of the team. Also, some people might join the team if the campaign is successful.

So who am I? I'm Jaidyn Edwards. I'm 19 years old and an avid robot maker. I bought an Arduino two years ago and have been making contraptions with it ever since. I've been making robot video tutorials on YouTube for a year now and love every minute of it. I now have 7.5K subscribers and over half a million views! 

Click here to see my channel.
Click here to see my channel.

I started my life long dream University degree of Mechatronic Engineering but had to leave. I didn't let that stop me though. I have been tirelessly working to either get, or make my own job in robotics. 

I have worked as a blogger at Core-Electronics and have just been hired as a freelance writer for SERVO Magazine. I hope to one day own a small company developing robotics kits for schools and teaching an accompanying curriculum. 

Writing is something I would love to continue doing and I aspire to perhaps one day be a contributing writer to the MAKE magazine or content creator for their YouTube channel.

My Social Links:

Without the following people, PopPet would not have gotten as far as it has. With their support, I've taken an idea into a physical creation and now to Kickstarter. Whether that support is advice, supplying parts, helping me fund the project along the way or just being there giving me a pat on the back, these people are in part responsible for PopPet's creation.

 Mini Driver:

  • MCU: ATmega8A, Frequency: 16MHZ
  • Input voltage range: 5.4V ~ 9V
  • Low dropout voltage: 250mV @ 500mA, 450mV @ 1A
  • Onboard high-performance dual 2A independent MOSFET H-bridge motor driver
  • PWM motor speed control
  • Bluetooth module interface (standard Otani Electronics Bluetooth module) 
  • Onboard USB to serial chip, compatible with Arduino
  • MOSFET anti-reverse circuit
  • Power/Signal Interface available on all IO

Little Black Duck Geared Motor

  • Input Voltage: 3V~6V
  • No load current at 5V:        110mA ±10%
  • Stall current at 5V:              650mA ±10%
  • Speed (No load at 5V):       100RPM ±10%
  • Torque at 6V:                      2Kg/cm maximum
  • Weight:                                9.1g

HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Range Finder

  • Detecting distance: 2-400cm
  • Input Voltage: 5V
  • Working Current: 15mA
  • Measuring Angle: 15 degrees
  • Trigger Input Signal: 10uS TTL pulse
  • Echo Output signal: Input TTL signal and the range in proportion

Risks and challenges

Shipping - This has to be the biggest risk. Shipping can be a very hard thing to control and is often the downfall of many great projects. I will combat this by liaising with experienced sellers who deal with international shipping on a daily basis. I've worked out the estimated shipping times by taking the longest possible time, adding 2-4 weeks, and adding another week of room. This accommodates distributer delays, fund clearance delays and excess time spent packaging rewards.
If problems do occur, you can be rest assured that I will be in contact immediately.

Being a one man team - Everything that you see on this page I did. I recorded and edited the video. I did all the graphic work. I contacted suppliers. I designed PopPet. When this campaign is successful though, I will enlist the help of friends and family to ensure we meet the aforementioned deadlines.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes. The idea with the 'ELECTRONICS ONLY' kit is that you can use the components to make your own robot. Because these components are bulk ordered I can offer them to you much cheaper than regular retailers. This kit is great for those who are a little strapped for cash but still want to get started in the world of hobbyist robotics.

    Last updated:
  • In my tests PopPet ran for 1 hour and 16 minutes at the speed set in the programming (which is about 70% of full speed) and constantly triggering the distance sensor on a fresh set of Alkaline batteries. This value will of course vary between the type and capacity of the batteries used.

    Last updated:
  • PopPet is Arduino compatible and as such can be programmed using an Arduino compatible programming environments. The official way to program PopPet would be to use the Arduino IDE. There will be libraries created for the Arduino IDE to make programming PopPet easier, however, it is quite simple to do so without using the included sample code as a reference. As time progresses more documentation will be created to assist in the construction and programming of PopPet.

    Last updated:
  • No. I will not accept any other form of payment at this time. This is because the campaign will not be successful if the goal is not reached on Kickstarter, backing through a non-Kickstarter method does not contribute to the goal and as such the campaign may not be successful, meaning no kits will be made.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    9 backers

    *VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE*

    Thank you for your support, it really does mean a lot! We can see that you support our cause and that you want PopPet to be successful and that in our minds makes you an awesome person!
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    5 backers

    *THANKS*
    I will personally write you an email expressing our thanks for supporting our project. You are also welcome to ask questions or discuss anything to do with PopPet and suggest new Face Plates.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    0 backers

    *STICKERS*
    Get your very own PopPet stickers! Put them on your fridge, your car, your computer, your robot, your pet or even your face! *we do not recommend putting them on your pet or face*
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    0 backers

    *TEST BARRIERS*
    These TEST BARRIERS are great for testing your robots. They can be disassembled and stored flat as a small book. They can be erected and placed in any space to situate a controlled environment for your robotics platform, and finally, they look great!
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    5 backers

    *CHASSIS ONLY KIT*
    This is the bare laser cut MDF chassis to make PopPet (also includes screws and nuts). No electronics are included. This would be great for those of you who would like to experiment and build your own robot from the ground up.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    2 backers

    *ELECTRONICS ONLY*
    This kit ONLY contains the Mini Driver, two Little Black Duck Motors and one HC-SR04. Use this kit to build your own PopPet from cardboard or maybe another robot entirely.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    1 backer

    *EXPERIMENTERS PACK*
    This pack includes the items included in the ELECTRONICS ONLY pack plus the TEST BARRIERS. This pack is great for those budding roboticists who want to get started on making and programming their own robots.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    1 backer

    *BRAINLESS KIT*
    This includes everything in the ‘STANDARD KIT’ EXCLUDING a ‘brain’. The Board Attachment piece will be included to allow you to use your own board as the ‘brain’ for your PopPet.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    18 backers

    *STANDARD POPPET KIT*
    This is the basic DIY PopPet kit. It includes the basic components required to get PopPet up and running. Mechanical assembly is required. Basic obstacle avoidance code is pre-programmed onto the board to allow for immediate usage after assembly. 4*AAA Batteries are required.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    44 backers

    *ADVANCED POPPET KIT*
    This is the advanced DIY PopPet kit. It includes the basic components required to get PopPet up and running. The advanced kit also includes several experimentation sensors to give your PopPet more abilities. Basic obstacle avoidance code is pre-programmed onto the board to allow for immediate usage after assembly. 4*AAA Batteries are required.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $120 or more

    7 backers

    *INVENTORS PACK*
    This pack includes the ADVANCED POPPET KIT, BUT also includes several TEST BARRIERS. These test barriers can be used to test programming or be used to construct a robot arena. This pack is great for those who want to experiment more with the programming aspect and devise ways to solve mazes.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    4 backers

    *DOUBLE TROUBLE PACK*
    This pack includes two STANDARD POPPET KIT’s. What’s better than one PopPet? How about two! Get one for you and one for a friend, relative, sibling, child or student.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $170 or more

    2 backers

    *SUMO PACK*
    This pack includes two STANDARD POPPET KIT’s and also a few TEST BARRIERS. This pack is great for those who want to engage in robot warfare. Assemble the TEST BARRIERS into a ring and pit PopPet against PopPet. Who will be the victor?
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $400 or more

    0 backers

    *HACKERSPACE PACK*
    This pack includes five ‘ADVANCED POPPET KITS’. This is a great addition to any Hackerspace for ages young or old. Work together or individually in an all-out PopPet war. Which sensor combination is the best? Who is the best programmer? Which PopPet will win? Also included are several ‘Barriers’ which can be used to test programming or create a robot arena.
    You will also get STICKERS.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $800 or more

    1 backer

    *STEM EDUCATORS PACK*
    This pack includes ten ‘ADVANCED POPPET KITS’. Teach your students all about STEM using PopPet. Teach your students all about programming, get them hands on learning all about engineering techniques or get your students to design their own custom plates for a more artistic approach. Also included are several ‘Barriers’ which can be used to test programming or create a robot arena.
    You will also get STICKERS.
    You will also get access to exclusive backer only content on PopPetTheRobot.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)