Project image
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$196
pledged of $40,000pledged of $40,000 goal
9
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 15 2015
Last updated May 15, 2015

Muribot: Bringing university level robotics to everyone!

Muribot is a STEM focused, ARM/Raspberry Pi/Arduino compatible robot that packs university quality features into a affordable platform

Muribot: Bringing university level robotics to everyone!

Muribot is a STEM focused, ARM/Raspberry Pi/Arduino compatible robot that packs university quality features into a affordable platform

$196
pledged of $40,000pledged of $40,000 goal
9
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 15 2015
Last updated May 15, 2015

About

Look who's talking about Muribot!

Muribot in the Press
Muribot in the Press

 Microchip - Is talking about us on their Facebook and Twitter! Muribot will also be appearing in the June edition of MicroSolutions Magazine!!

Robohub - http://robohub.org/muribot-bringing-university-level-robotics-to-consumers-of-all-abilities/ 

Colorado News Desk - http://www.coloradonewsdesk.com/story/35912/muribot-robotic-educational-platform-launches-on-kickstarter.html

AIDreams - http://aidreams.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=8176.msg34142#.VUqfp_mrTIU

Softmachine - http://www.softmachine.net/2015/05/muribot-bringing-university-level-robotics-to-consumers-of-all-abilities/

Atari.Ru - http://atari.ru/nauchnye-roboty-muribot-uchebnyj-komplekt-dlya-postroeniya-robotov/

Robotics.com.ua - http://robotics.com.ua/news/research_robots/4517-muribot_training_package_for_building_robots

Here's what some people are saying about Muribot:

"I wish I could've studied robotics with this in school! I hope kids get this opportunity!"

"I am fascinated with automation, so to see your project in action, was a thrill. I am going to have to count my pennies to get me one of these."

"This is a really awesome project. I can only imagine the planning that went into the design of the circuit board alone."

The Story

"Electronics for Everyone!"
Most other educational platforms on the market today are either extremely expensive, or lacking in features. We saw plenty of solutions that were affordable, but lacked the functionality to grow with the user. We wondered: Can we create an easy to use, low-cost platform that was also full featured and would grow WITH the user? 

Meet Muribot

Meet the Muribot Robotic Educational Platform
Meet the Muribot Robotic Educational Platform

Our dream is to create an affordableopen-source STEM platform that grows with the skill level of the individual using it. Something that is as useful to an elementary school student as it is to a university student, enabling people of all ages to explore those fields more freely than ever without having to spend a lot of money to do it.

To bring our dream to reality, we created Muribot. A $250 dollar robotic platform, that is nearly as cheap as a Mindstorms NXT, but with features comparable to one you might use at a university lab. We've packed this platform with an amazing set of features and functionality:

  • 8x Infrared Proximity Detectors
  • 8x Ambient Light Detectors
  • 2x Quadrature Wheel Encoders
  • 2x Line Detectors
  • 3-Axis Accelerometer
  • Yaw Rate Gyroscope
  • 3-Axis Magnetometer
  • Infrared Transceiver
  • 1MB On-board Memory
  • ~6-8 Hours Battery Life
  • Replaceable 900mAh Lithium Polymer battery
  • Charging and Programming via USB
  • I2C Extension bus to add your own sensors and hardware!
  • 1 Year Warranty - If it break, we'll fix it!
The Muribot Mainboard with IR Proximity/Ambient Light Sensors
The Muribot Mainboard with IR Proximity/Ambient Light Sensors

ARM/Raspberry PI/Arduino Compatible!

By installing the I2C slave firmware ANY third party hardware that has I2C capabilities can take control of the Muribot! All the sensors are on the same exposed I2C bus, so your hardware will have access to ALL of the platforms sensing capabilities! And with our 3D printable mounting bracket, you can make sure you get a secure fit to our platform.

With Muribot, you're only restricted by your imagination!!

As part of building and designing Muribot, I've spent the last two years and nearly $5,000 of my own money towards refining the design, packing more features into a less expensive platform until I had the low-cost high-quality product you see here today.

Who can use Muribot

Muribot is for students, hobbyists, and researchers. It was designed for people of all ages to explore STEM concepts and learn about robotics and coding. When you buy a Muribot, you get something comparable to a $4,000 platform.

Muribot is a great resource for teachers and educators, and is the perfect complement to any Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum. Muribot can be used to explore basic concepts such as:

  • Obstacle Avoidance
  • Maze Solving
  • Line Following
  • Follow/Avoid light
  • Shape Drawing
  • Odometry
  • Serial Communication

And some more advanced concepts:

  • PID Control Loops
  • Room Mapping/Path-finding
  • Signal Filtering
  • Sensor Fusion
  • Fuzzy Logic
  • Neural Networks
  • Swarm Robotics

How is Muribot different?

Muribot is different from other educational robotic platforms due to it being a university level platform that's designed to grow with the individual. The included API allows inexperienced users to easily explore robotics concepts without the complexity of learning how to use an embedded platform. A more experienced user could opt to control the hardware directly and forgo the library altogether.

Lightweight, Durable, and Compact package

With the only additional hardware being a USB cable the small size makes Muribot easy to transport and the hard outer casing means Muribot can survive and accident or two. Our cases will be printed on a Form1+ printer and will be very ABS-like in terms of durability.

Easy to Program
Easy to Program

Cross-Platform, Open-source and Hacker friendly

We are built on the shoulders of open source giants, so it would only make sense to make our hard work open source as well. MuriProg is written in C using Qt making it easy to compile for Linux or Mac; you just plug-in, install, and start programming no matter what OS you have!

We designed the Muribot be user repairable and to use as many common and readily available components as possible, as well as making it easy to access our I2C bus and 3.3V line without having to modify the mainboard itself at all.

Why We Need You!

If you support our project, it will help us to truly bring Muribot to life and to the world. We will be able to purchase the equipment and enough supplies necessary to create them quickly, efficiently, and easily; as well as spend more time focusing on getting Muribot out into the world in general. We believe in the open source movement, and if we're successfully funded we'll be releasing all the files to create a Muribot online, for anyone to use to build their own Muribot.

By supporting us, you keep control of the company away from a bunch of greedy investors, who may or may not understand our dream and vision as well as we do.

Facebook! - http://www.facebook.com/moarobotics/
Twitter! - http://www.twitter.com/moarobotics/

Of course, the best way you can help us is by getting the word out! Sharing our project on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media is really the greatest thing you could do to help with this and future projects. AND we will be forever grateful for your assistance in spreading the word.

How will the funds be used?

One thing we feel strong about is being open with you, the backers. A lot of Kickstarters do not disclose how they are going to use the funding they receive. We've done a lot of research into successful and failed Kickstarters to determine exactly how we should go about planning it, and pitfalls we should avoid.

Equipment and Supplies

Currently the thing we are in the greatest need of right now is a couple Form1+ printers. We priced injection mold tooling for the Muribot case. Tooling costs $8,000-$17,000 dollars, and when compared to the cost of a new Form1+ ($3,300) it's easy to see which way to go. The Form1+ is simply superior in price, and it can print complex and thin parts which we require not only for Muribot but for other products we're designing.

Another big factor is simply the fact that to facilitate the mold tooling would require us asking for nearly $20,000 dollars more. We're not greedy and we simply couldn't risk spending any funding on what could become a $17k paperweight.

If we're going to be building and shipping these robots we'll also need lots of supplies, things for shipping like boxes and packing materials; Electronic components such as PCB boards, resistors, sensors, etc.; and miscellaneous supplies like product manuals and USB cables.

The Form1+ uses a UV resin that isn't cheap and will make up a bulk of our ongoing production costs, as well as other supplies to facilitate the printing process. There may also be maintenance costs for these machines, as they will be doing a lot of work.

Backer Fulfillment

Kickstarter Rewards @ a Glance
Kickstarter Rewards @ a Glance

 The most important thing for you that we will be spending money on will be fulfilling backer rewards so if you support us at bronze or above you actually get what you wanted. Based on our research and from our own projection, we've found that about 75% of the funding we receive will be used to build Muribots for our backers. This was expected, and our funding goal matches that expectation.

I've spent a lot of my own time and money refining the process to be as low-cost as possible, so that I can give you our assurance that if you support Muribot you WILL get your reward as promised.

Delivery Time-line

Delivery will be divided up into four distinct phases: Funding, Purchasing and Receiving Supplies, Assembly and Testing, Packaging and Shipping. Each of these phases are discussed in more detail in Risks and Challenges.

  • Funding – ~1 Month
  • Purchasing and Receive Supplies - ~2-4 Months
  • Assembly and Testing – ~4-8 Months
  • Packaging and Shipping – ~1-2 Months

Based on the above numbers, a tentative estimate to delivery completion would be 8-15 months. We feel this is a nice safe number that will give us breathing room; in the end if we finish ahead of schedule that's all the better.

Technical Specifications

Muribot Technical Specifications
Muribot Technical Specifications

 About Mid-Ohio Area Robotics

Our philosophy here at MOAR is “Electronics for Everyone!”- We believe an educational robot could be an amazing tool to spread interest in the programming, electronics, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. We have designed Muribot with parents, educators, kids, robot enthusiasts, and researchers in mind. We hope that Muribot will lower the barrier into those fields and cultivate a whole new generation of scientists, programmers, and engineers.

About Michael Stone

Michael Stone, CEO/President of MOAR
Michael Stone, CEO/President of MOAR

 Michael Stone is Founder, CEO and President at Mid-Ohio Area Robotics where he designs affordable educational and hobby electronics for people of all ages. He creates unique modules and platforms that make it easy to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  

Before founding MOARobotics, Michael has spent nearly a decade in a variety of electronics manufacturing and production environments for several Fortune 100 companies. Bridging multiple disciplines he now designs and produces low-cost electronics solutions .

His passion for robots started in his childhood and has stayed with him ever since. He embraces and embodies the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and Open Education movements and works actively to contribute to those areas.

Risks and challenges

The team behind Mid-Ohio Area Robotics has more than 5 years of industry experience manufacturing and fulfilling large quantities of consumer electronics products. We have our own in-house assembly equipment and have a lot of experience with the bugs and gremlins that can sneak into any well thought out plan. We have sent our products around the world, and thus we already have solutions in place for shipping.

When designing Muribot, we have been very careful to only use parts that are readily available in large quantities with short or no lead time. At the time of this writing, there is enough stock available in the US to make hundreds of Muribots, and all critical components are purchased from reliable sources inside the US. It is quite unlikely that any part will require a lead time, but it is a remote possibility nonetheless.

We have our printed circuit boards manufactured in China and have long standing relationships with several companies specializing in circuit boards. There is a chance that parts sourced from overseas could be lost, damaged, or otherwise unusable. This would add some additional time and cost, if we had to order some parts a second time. This is unlikely, but a risk worth mentioning.

A fulfillment delay could result if demand for Muribot exceeds our capacity to assemble them in-house. If that were to occur, we have relationships with a few manufacturers here in the US that could pick up the work load should a significant problem arise. Typically these companies have a lead time anywhere from five to eight weeks; therefore a two month turnaround time is the longest delay we could imagine occurring if we had to shift to one of these manufacturers. Again this is unlikely, but worth mentioning.

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Support

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Even $1.00 goes MILES to helping us towards our goal. Thank you for believing in our project!!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You showed your support by backing us at the $25 level, so we'll show our gratitude by sending you a 1:5 scale model of Muribot, 2 random Prototyping Modules from our store, and thanking you publicly on our Facebook and Twitter.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    For supporting us at the $50 level, we'll show our gratitude by sending you a 1:5 scale model of Muribot, 5 random Prototyping Modules from our store, and thanking you on our Facebook and Twitter. AND you get to be listed as an Early Backer for Muribot on our website.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You must be really serious about robots! At the $100 level you will get one of our unreleased PICxies, a keychain sized micro development kit. a Gold PCB plaque with your name and backer number engraved on it; along with being listed as an Early Backer on our website.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    We hope you like building robots! By supporting us at the Bronze level you get a Build-Your-Own Muribot Kit, which includes
    - Set of Muribot printed circuit boards
    - Muribot Case
    - Bill of Materials
    - Accessories
    - Gold PCB plaque with engraved name and backer number

    By going above and beyond to show your support for Muribot, you'll be listed as a VIP Backer on our website and documentation!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    By supporting us at the Silver level you get a complete Muribot Set, which includes
    - One Fully Assembled Muribot in a color of your choosing!
    - Gold PCB plaque with engraved name and backer number
    - Listed as a VIP Backer on our website and in the documentation

    International backers, please add $30.00 for shipping purposes.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    At the Gold Level, backers will receive a Limited Edition Golden Muribot Set, which includes
    -One Fully Assembled Limited Edition Golden Muribot
    - Silver PCB plaque with name and backer number engraved in gold
    - Listed as a VIP Backer on our website and in the documentation.

    International backers, please add $30.00 for shipping purposes.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Platinum Gold Level backers will receive 2 complete Muribot Sets, which include
    - Two Fully Assembled Muribots, each in a color of your choosing!
    - Gold PCB plaque with engraved name and backer number

    Additionally. for going above and beyond any other backer, you'll be listed as a Platinum Level Backer on our website and in the documentation

    International backers, please add $50.00 for shipping purposes.

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Funding period

- (30 days)