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$9,288 pledged of $30,000 goal
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$9,288 pledged of $30,000 goal
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About this project

Spy v. sPi is a capture-the-flag style engineering adventure that puts real purpose to basic design and programming skills. You'll learn to program a robot kit while running your own spy operations!

Ages 8-18

Spy v. sPi can be played individually or in teams, at home, in a classroom, or a workshop. In it, each “spy” is assigned a series of missions, each requiring them to write code to control an assortment of sensors that will allow them to protect their “jewel” in different ways, or capture the “jewel” of a competing spy.

Spy v. sPi is based on the GrovePi, an easy-to-build robot kit that includes a rich collection of programmable, plug-and-play components — from sensors for things like distance, sound, light, and infrared; to buttons, buzzers and more. 

Thanks to the GrovePi’s combination of hardware and software, Spy v. sPi makes it easy to connect to a robot, start writing code, and get rewarding results right away. The GrovePi is built around the Raspberry Pi, a small computer developed by a foundation in the UK. This is why we call it Spy vs. sPi.

 

 

We’ve developed Spy v. sPi’s missions with a full range of skills and experience levels in mind, so no prior programming or electronics experience is required. 

Each spy will learn how to program the different sensors and components with step-by-step instructions, all while completing a mission. There are also missions for more advanced spies, and there’s no limit to how complex your solutions can get. Best of all, the entire program is designed by actual spies, so players will face real-life engineering challenges they’ll solve just like spies do. 

Spy v. sPi is designed for everyone — so we have two different programming languages you can use. Scratch is for beginners, and is a drag-and-drop programming language developed by MIT. Python is available for more advanced spies, and is an open source text-based programming language. The Missions are step-by-step instructions that first teach you the basics of Scratch and then help you move on to more advanced programming in Python.

We wanted to make the Spy v. sPi project as accessible and engaging as possible for all skill levels, so we developed the missions for the Spy v. sPi in both Scratch and Python.

Scratch is an easy drag and drop language developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for teaching new programmers how to code. Rather than typical lines of code, you’ll use simple shapes and graphics to program your robot.

 

Are you a more advanced spy? We’ve also developed the mission in a more advanced programming language, Python. While still accessible and usable for new programmers, Python uses traditional “lines” of code and has more power and flexibility than Scratch.

Spy v. sPi Missions are activities in the form of a mission. Each spy will learn how to program the GrovePi and an assortment of sensors to accomplish different objectives, all within a story created by real spies! 

See a sample Mission here.

The Missions will come in a beautifully designed and illustrated full color printed booklet. It includes space to work on ideas and plan your solution to the challenge, as well as all the information you need to help you be a successful spy. 

The missions include bonus content available on our website that includes videos and helpful resources spies will find valuable along the way. Everyone that receives the printed missions will also have access to our online portal, including electronic versions of the missions. The electronic versions follow an online learning style format and are non-printable. 

A Cyber Mission is an online-only version of the Missions that will be accessed through an all-new portal, Dexter Studio! These Cyber Missions are complete step-by-step instructions with pictures, diagrams, extra resources, and videos. It is not a PDF that you can download and print, but rather will be viewed in a web browser. For this option, it is best for you to have two computers available when working on this project — one for programming your GrovePi robot to protect your “jewel”, and another one to have the online instructions up and accessible for guiding you through the mission.

 

We believe the best way to learn is while doing something fun and interesting. Some learners thrive in a competitive environment, and for them, GrovePi is perfect: you can play in teams or against an opponent. For solo learners or those that want a family game to play at home — some spies might want to equip their room with a spy device or alert them when another sibling enters! Spy v. sPi Missions support both styles of learning!

 

 

 

At Dexter, we believe that at its core, engineering is all about solving problems — and we’ve found that students stay more engaged, more excited, and retain more of what they learn when they solve those problems themselves. Spy v. sPi challenges students to grow by giving them realistic obstacles they can only overcome by thinking, learning, and ultimately doing — all while running their own spy operation. Spies will learn simultaneously how to program and how to solve problems!

 

The Spy v. sPi kit is not just a bunch of parts, it’s a whole learning system! You’re not just playing with a computer, you’re actually learning programming concepts without it ever feeling like a computer science class. The missions and real-life interactions make the whole coding and programming experience tangible and real.

Our Favorite Reward - Spy v. sPi - Full Spy Kit: Hardware + Missions Booklet 

This is the full package! You get the full hardware kit, delivered before the holidays. Along with the hardware, you get a beautifully printed book of missions. The missions are in a story form with step-by-step instructions that take you through the whole experience. You’ll have full access to our video library and support forums. You’ll get a series of exciting missions and all the hardware you need to run them and kickoff your spy career!

Rewards 

1. GrovePi Base Kit 

The GrovePi Base kit is the ultimate toolkit for building your spy device -- but you'll also need a Raspberry Pi. The main part of the robot is the GrovePi board which connects to the Raspberry Pi. The kit also comes with the following 12 modules/sensors:

  • Ultrasonic Distance Sensor - Measure the distance from the sensor to an object. 
  • Dial Sensor - Measure how far something turns. 
  • Button - A button sensor detects when the button is pressed or something is moved. 
  • Red, Green and Blue LEDs - Alert the Spy to something in their program.  

 

 

  • Light Sensor - Reads the brightness of light. 
  • Buzzer Alert - Send an audio alert! 
  • Sound Sensor - Hear an intruder or detect noise in a room. 
  • Power Relay - Turn a device on and off. 
  • Temperature and Humidity Sensor - Detect the temperature in the room. 
  • LCD Screen - Give valuable feedback or instructions to spies!

2. GrovePi Starter Kit

This reward includes the GrovePi Base Kit and all of the accessories you need to get started on your spy missions: A Raspberry Pi 3, wifi dongle, an SD Card with the custom Dexter Industries Software (Raspbian for Robots), an ethernet cable, and a power wall supply. 

3. Printed Missions 

The printed Spy v. sPi missions are detailed instructions that lead you through your challenge, and also give hints about how to code the solutions. Any Backer Reward level that has the printed Missions also includes access to the online version of the Cyber missions on Dexter Studio.

4. Cyber Missions 

Cyber Missions will be available through our online project portal, Dexter Studio. These online-only versions of the missions include all the step-by-step instructions, with pictures, resource links and videos.

5. Acrylic Sensor Mounts (set of 4)

Sensor mounts help you secure GrovePi modules in place for the missions. Four different sizes allow you a few options for securing your sensors in the right place for your operation. These mounts make setting up modules in the real world fast and easy. 

6. Camera 

The Raspberry Pi Camera -- classic spy tool. Catch your opponent in the act of espionage with a small camera custom built for the Raspberry Pi. 

7. Infrared Sensor & Remote 

Control your spy device from afar. This is a remote control for your spy gadgets that works just like a television remote. Spring a trap, start a security device, or disarm your security from a distance.

 

Reward Tiers: 

3D Dex  

Get our mascot, “Dex”, 3D printed. The perfect decoration for your Raspberry Pi, GoPiGo, or GrovePi! 

T-shirt

A high quality t-shirt with a Spy v. sPi design. Wrap yourself in nerd-chic elegance! 

Cyber Missions (online only)

You already have the GrovePi+ Base Kit and all the hardware modules, you just need the missions. You will be given full access to the cyber-based missions through our website. Instructions will be sent to you via electrons! 

Spy Missions Booklet 

The paper missions. Get the beautifully crafted printed spy missions. This reward tier assumes you already have the GrovePi+ Base Kit and the necessary hardware to get started, you just need the missions. They will be shipped to you on glossy paper! 

Cyber Spy Essentials 

This backer level includes the GrovePi Base Kit, Cyber Missions, and Acrylic Sensor Mounts. You already have a Raspberry Pi, SD Card, and power supply.

Cyber Spy Essentials

This backer level includes the GrovePi Starter Kit, Cyber Missions, and the Acrylic Sensor Mounts. 

Full Spy Kit

GrovePi Starter Kit + Missions + Acrylic Sensor Mounts 

Spy Kit Advanced

GrovePi Starter Kit + Missions + Acrylic Sensor Mounts + Camera + IR sensor & remote 

Classroom Spy Kit

5 Full Spy Kits 

Club Kit + Facilitated Workshop by real SPY!

10 Full Spy Kits PLUS a 2-hr workshop from Brad, one of the content creators!

Where we’ve been - When the Raspberry Pi first came out, we realized the power of this little $35 computer -- not only in getting people interested in technology, but learning about robotics!

Since getting started we launched a few robots, and a few projects based on the Raspberry Pi.

With our latest hardware addition, the GrovePi, we wanted to develop exciting learning material that helped turn the kit, largely used now by scientists and engineers, into something that anyone with any background could use to learn to code. We’re doing that through an engaging series of missions!

For the past few months, we’ve been developing, testing and iterating on the Missions with individuals as well as teams. We’ve combined this knowledge with feedback from our previous projects like the GoBox, and developed a powerful, easy to use set of missions that are a lot of fun!

 

One of the things we are most proud of at Dexter Industries goes way beyond our team -- it’s our open, supportive community. We’ve gained so much inspiration, feedback, and a wellspring of ideas from the Dexter Industries community.

By backing our project, you become part of that community, and with it, get access to a wide breadth of knowledge and support that is shared on our forums, newsletters, Facebook, and Github.

Our community works hard to answer every question and help every user get set up and coding.

We’re devoted to robotics education. Our company has been around for five years, and we are passionate about designing and making robots that people enjoy using. 

John - All around nice guy. When not answering questions on our forum or inventing new robots, John is helping Karan keep our code fresh. John is the founder of Dexter Industries. 

Taryn - Customer experience wizard. Taryn has many hats at Dexter Industries, but the most important one is keeping customers happy and making sure we’re all learning. 

Karan - Code and Hardware Ninja. Karan is always either writing new code or helping others write their own. He’s constantly answering questions, improving the code for our projects, and making things better, easier, faster. 

Amanda - Key Account Queen. Amanda makes sure we deliver on our promises by making sure every product makes it to the customer. She's managed our Kickstarter rewards before, so we got this. 

Amber - Customer Success Angel. Amber is on the front lines listening to customers and helping them find what they need. She's a positive force of nature that gets us all organized and operating smoothly. 

Elizabeth - Educator Advocate. Elizabeth works closely with our community of educators to ensure we understand how to build better products for the classroom!

Tracy - Quality Control & Manufacturing Specialist. Tracy is on the front lines working directly with our manufacturer to ensure the very best quality. 

Nicole - Engineer & Educator. Nicole is our resident education expert on the Tech Team. She’s a great advocate for our education customers to ensure we develop the right kind of solution that is easy to deploy in a classroom and workshop. 

Matt - Self-Taught Engineer. Matt’s done some truly incredible robotics projects, and joined us a few months ago to help us take our hardware and firmware to the next level! 

Shoban - Support Engineer. You can catch Shoban in our Forums -- where he will be happy to help you through technical issues and hear your new cool ideas. 

Building Momentum - Brad & Conor have been working hard to build the Spy Missions, using their experience as real, former spies. 

How we’re using backer contributions: 

Missions - Spy v. sPi is a sequence of spy missions with an exciting narrative, designed to take you step-by-step through the journey of learning to program. The main expense for Spy v. sPi is to fully develop the curriculum in a way that will make it accessible to spies of all ages and levels of expertise. This not only includes a written narrative, detailed explanations and videos, but also more software that takes you through the whole experience. This takes a team of hardware and software engineers, illustrators, writers, and professional educators to develop. The result? An engaging and rich experience that’s educational and fun!

Missions will come in a Spy v. sPi booklet, with beautiful illustrations, charts, and space for planning your device. But the other huge component is a new online portal for digital content, called Dexter Studio! This is an all new way to view the Mission content, resource links, videos and more. It even comes equipped with instructor management settings, for folks using it in the classroom or workshops! 

Software - To really make Spy v. sPi an easy and fun to use project, we spent hundreds of hours designing and coding unique software. Our software, including a custom operating system for the Raspberry Pi, makes it easy for beginners to start programming and still challenges more experienced users. Our software lets you program your missions and the hardware in Scratch and Python. It’s easy to use, intuitive, and eye-catching! We've embedded some secret commands that will make Spy v. sPi really exciting and engaging.

Hardware - Most of the reward tiers also involve a lot of hardware. Some of the hardware is designed and manufactured by us, and some is purchased and bundled as a kit. We have worked hard to lower the price of the different reward tiers to make it affordable for most spies! 

Deliver by the Holidays! We’re committed to getting the Spy v. sPi shipped to you before the start of this holiday season. We anticipate the latest delivery being December 20th. 

Where we’re at right now… All of the hardware and the software are fully designed and ready to go. The Missions are in the final stages, as we are iterating based on our feedback from workshops over the last few months. We have a manufacturing plan in place as well as agreements set up with our suppliers. We are ready to pull the trigger and start production of the hardware and get the missions out into the world as soon as we successfully fund this project!  

Risks and challenges

As with all hardware projects, the risk of delays is possible. We’ve spent the past five years building and shipping hardware. We have built manufacturing partnerships to help plan for and manage these risks.

That’s not to say there are things we haven’t seen! We’ve worked to secure our supply chain, run design-for-manufacturing tests, and set everything up to run smoothly. However, each time we start a new project, new challenges arise. We will handle these challenges with the same enthusiasm, honest communication, and diligence that we’ve handled challenges in the last three projects.

We’re abiding by the golden rule of hardware manufacturing: estimate conservatively!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $4 or more About $4

    3D Printed Dex Mascot

    Our adorable little mascot, Dex, as a 3D printed figure! It's about 3" tall, and comes in white, so you can paint him whatever color you want!

    Includes:
    • 3D Printed Dex Mascot
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    Agent Dex T-shirt

    A cool Spy v. sPi design on an American Apparel shirt!

    Includes:
    • Agent Dex T-shirt
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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Cyber Missions (online only)

    If you already have the GrovePi Starter Kit and live outside the US, this is your most affordable option. You'll get access to the online version of Spi v. sPi Missions. These cannot be downloaded, but rather viewed in our online portal.

    Includes:
    • Cyber Missions
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Spy Missions Booklet (paper version)

    If you already have the GrovePi Starter Kit and want the beautifully designed printed version of the Missions, this reward is for you! You also get access to the online (non-printable) version.

    Includes:
    • Spi v. sPi Missions Booklet
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    Pledge $170 or more About $170

    Spy Pack (for previous GoBox backers)

    If you backed GoBox, our other Kickstarter, you already have some of the hardware you need to become a great spy! This includes the GrovePi Board and only the sensors that you don't already have, as well as the beautifully designed printed Missions booklet! Of course you also get access to the online version of the Missions as well. No Raspberry Pi included.

    Includes:
    • GrovePi Board
    • GrovePi Acrylic Case
    • Acrylic Sensor Mounts
    • microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
    • LCD Screen
    • Green LED
    • Blue LED
    • Spi v. sPi Missions Booklet
    • Cyber Missions
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Cyber Spy no Pi: Hardware+Cyber Missions

    This is best if you already have the Raspberry Pi, but need the rest of the GrovePi Hardware and want the online only versions of the Missions. No Raspberry Pi, Ethernet Cable or Power Supply.

    Includes:
    • GrovePi Base Kit (board & all 13 sensors)
    • GrovePi Acrylic Case
    • Acrylic Sensor Mounts
    • microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
    • Mini Wi-Fi Dongle (custom Dexter Industries)
    • Cyber Missions
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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Early Bird Full Spy Kit

    This kit includes everything you need to learn how to become an awesome spy -- all of the GrovePi hardware and accessories plus the beautifully designed Mission booklet!

    Includes:
    • GrovePi Base Kit (board & all 13 sensors)
    • Spi v. sPi Missions Booklet
    • Acrylic Sensor Mounts
    • GrovePi Acrylic Case
    • Raspberry Pi 3
    • microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
    • Mini Wi-Fi Dongle (custom Dexter Industries)
    • Ethernet Cable
    • Power Wall Adapter
    • Cyber Missions
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    Pledge $280 or more About $280

    Cyber Spy Kit: Hardware+Cyber Missions

    This kit includes all of the hardware you need to get started from scratch plus online access to the Missions via our web portal!

    Includes:
    • GrovePi Base Kit (board & all 13 sensors)
    • GrovePi Acrylic Case
    • Acrylic Sensor Mounts
    • Raspberry Pi 3
    • microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
    • Mini Wi-Fi Dongle (custom Dexter Industries)
    • Ethernet Cable
    • Power Wall Adapter
    • Cyber Missions
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Full Spy Kit: Hardware+Missions Booklet

    This kit includes everything you need to learn how to become an awesome spy -- all of the GrovePi hardware and accessories plus the beautifully designed Mission booklet!

    Includes:
    • GrovePi Base Kit (board & all 13 sensors)
    • GrovePi Acrylic Case
    • Acrylic Sensor Mounts
    • Raspberry Pi 3
    • microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
    • Mini Wi-Fi Dongle (custom Dexter Industries)
    • Ethernet Cable
    • Power Wall Adapter
    • Cyber Missions
    • Spi v. sPi Missions Booklet
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    Pledge $305 or more About $305

    Pierre's Spy Kit: Full Kit + Disguise

    This kit includes everything you need to learn how to become (and look like) an awesome spy... aka Pierre Bon Vivant! It comes with all of the GrovePi hardware and accessories plus the beautifully designed Mission booklet, not to mention Pierre's signature spy fedora and his glasses & nose disguise.

    Includes:
    • GrovePi Base Kit (board & all 13 sensors)
    • Spi v. sPi Missions Booklet
    • Black Fedora
    • Glasses & Nose Disguise
    • Acrylic Sensor Mounts
    • Cyber Missions
    • Ethernet Cable
    • GrovePi Acrylic Case
    • microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
    • Power Wall Adapter
    • Mini Wi-Fi Dongle (custom Dexter Industries)
    • Raspberry Pi 3
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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Spy Kit Advanced

    Become an advanced spy, and set even more elaborate boobie traps with the addition of a camera (still and video) and an infrared sensor & remote control.

    Includes:
    • GrovePi Base Kit (board & all 13 sensors)
    • GrovePi Acrylic Case
    • Acrylic Sensor Mounts
    • Raspberry Pi 3
    • microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
    • Mini Wi-Fi Dongle (custom Dexter Industries)
    • Ethernet Cable
    • Power Wall Adapter
    • Spi v. sPi Missions Booklet
    • Cyber Missions
    • Raspberry Pi Camera
    • Infrared Sensor
    • Infrared Remote Control
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    Pledge $1,350 or more About $1,350

    Classroom Spy Kit

    This comes with 5 Full Spy Kits! So, you'll get all the hardware you need to get started as well as the beautifully printed Missions Booklet & access to the online version too!

    Includes:
    • GrovePi Base Kit (board & all 13 sensors)
    • GrovePi Acrylic Case
    • Acrylic Sensor Mounts
    • Raspberry Pi 3
    • microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
    • Mini Wi-Fi Dongle (custom Dexter Industries)
    • Ethernet Cable
    • Power Wall Adapter
    • Cyber Missions
    • Spi v. sPi Missions Booklet
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Club Spy Kit + Facilitated Workshop

    You'll get 10 Full Spy Kits, with beautifully printed Missions, and best of all -- a real spy from Building Momentum will come run a special 2-hour workshop!

    Includes:
    • 10× GrovePi Base Kit (board & all 13 sensors)
    • 10× GrovePi Acrylic Case
    • 10× Acrylic Sensor Mounts
    • 10× Raspberry Pi 3
    • 10× microSD Card with Dexter Industries Custom Software
    • 10× Mini Wi-Fi Dongle (custom Dexter Industries)
    • 10× Ethernet Cable
    • 10× Power Wall Adapter
    • 10× Cyber Missions
    • 10× Spi v. sPi Missions Booklet
    • 2-hour Workshop run by a real spy!
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Funding period

- (38 days)