Today's the day...
...when I expect the AMAZING KickStarter community to push TJ* to 1000% funded! I'm completely floored by the support, and filled to the brim with gratitude.
How much gratitude is that, you ask? Well, as of right now, I want to thank 221 fantastic Kickstarter backers and 37 rockin' Kickstarter staff members. The backers have supported my project and helped bring TJ* into the world, and the staff have been kind enough to feature TJ* not only as in the 'Projects we Love' email newsletter, but also on the home page as Project of the Day!
I don't have new prototypes to show because the Stanford shop is closed for spring break, but I would like to update everyone on my recent progress:
- I've discovered Tyvek! It's a waterproof, practically tear-proof fabric that comes in sheets of plastic fibers. It's the perfect material for TJ*s skin: It bends to my will (by holding creases) and cowers under the blade of my X-acto knife (it's easy to cut). Plus, it's available in lots of different colors. With Tyvek, anyone who gets a skin for their TJ* will certainly get their $30 worth!
- I'm making progress on the software! I've downloaded and begun to develop using a lovely little Arduino library called FSM. It allows Arduino coders like me and you (well, some of you) to build Finite State Machines into their code. What that means, in humanspeak, is: we can easily program TJ* to have different modes with different behaviors and clear switches between those modes. In a word: versatility.
- I've started a website for TJ*! The working prototype is up at http://tjrobot.weebly.com and it features updated CAD renders, a future price list for TJ* (don't worry, KickStarter backers will get the best deal and all their rewards before I start selling retail), and the beginning of TJ*s origin story. I'll continue that story as a KickStarter backers-only upate later this week. Let me know what you think of the site!
It goes without saying, but I've got to acknowledge the fact that the TJ* project has grown way beyond my expectations. I was nervous at first, but now I'm thrilled with every new backer - each one of you is a part of the growing community of TJ*s friends, operators and programmers.
So, with that in mind, please share TJ*s page with anyone you know who might be interested - friends, family, colleagues, your Roomba, your Roomba's friends and colleages, and so on. The bigger our community gets, the more great stuff we'll do!
Finally, now that you've stuck with me for this whole post, here's your reward. I HAVE to share the following two pieces of media with anyone interested in TJ*:
- This RadioLab short telling an INCREDIBLE story about a medieval automaton
- This TED Talk featuring the AMAZING puppeteers from Broadway's War Horse!
Enjoy, and Happy Wednesday!