Picoh: An expressive little robot head.
Picoh is a programmable robot that's as smart as you make it. A fun and creative tool for exploring computing, AI and robotics.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, March 23 2019 5:07 PM UTC +00:00.
From simple movements and speech, all the way to a full blown personal assistant Picoh is the near-infinitely customisable robot that you control with code.
In an ever advancing digital world people are understanding less and less of the tech they use. We interact with robots at checkouts, speak to AIs on our phones and have our news feeds and adverts dictated by algorithms. To truly flourish in this digital age as many people as possible need to be able to understand, program and control machines - but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we built Picoh.
We’re big fans of Kickstarter. As with all the best projects we are a small company with a big idea and need to raise the funds to put Picoh into production. Reaching our target will pay for the mouldings, final circuit design and production of the first 500 Picohs.
We used Kickstarter to launch our first robot Ohbot, and shipped to backers in early 2015.
Sometimes robots are like a black box, we talk to them and they reply but we don't know what happens inside their shells. Picoh's brains are open, you can get into the programs and change them however you like, copy, tweak and refine our examples or start something new of your own.
We have three different programming tools available depending on what computer you have and how you want to code. With so many possibilities we are constantly thinking of new things to program Picoh to do and look forward to hearing what you discover.
Ohbot App - Windows
The Ohbot App is a fully featured block programming environment, specifically designed to make programming a range of Picoh programs simple and fun. We've been developing and refining the app for 4 years. You can try it out yourself for free by downloading from the Windows Store.
Here are some of the things you can do with the app:
The Ohbot App is translated into 4 languages.
Share and Download and Like programs on The Ohbiverse. Our platform specifically made to host Ohbot and Picoh programs.
Teaching Picoh to hear you.
Programming Picoh to react to sound.
Note: Windows 10 required for some more advanced features, Windows 7 and 8 still supported but with the legacy version of the Ohbot software.
Python - Open source library for Windows, Raspberry Pi, macOS
Picoh runs on a modified version of the Ohbot, open source Python Library. Regardless of your platform the library delivers full control of Picoh with simple commands.
Easy to integrate into any Python project, our library was designed specifically for controlling robot heads. Gain full low-level control of all Picoh’s hardware and utilise a text to speech engine with auto lip sync.
We're excited about the possibilities of Scratch 3 and we've already written a Scratch 3 extension and a Chrome extension which control Picoh from Scratch 3 in a browser.
We can only run this in developer mode at the moment as Scratch aren't publishing any third party extensions yet. We can't promise when this tool will be available.
Picoh is the second robot from the makers of the award winning Ohbot, the programmable robot head for schools. Since Ohbot launched in 2015 on Kickstarter we have been busy developing and refining the product and finding new and exciting ways of engaging people in learning to program.
There are over 3000 Ohbots in 39 countries helping kids learn to code and they have appeared in films for the BBC, collaborations with Microsoft and installations and workshops at the London Science Museum.
We’ve been developing Picoh since the start of 2018. The design has been through multiple iterations from concepts made of coat hangers and modelling clay to a full CAD model and 3D printed prototypes. Picoh is now tested, working well and ready for mass production.
Risks and challenges
We have working prototypes Picohs. The Picoh design has been in development over the past 12 months and a lot of the design challenges have been ironed out through iterations of CAD models and 3D prints.
There is work to be done fine-tuning the motor mountings, visor and baseplate fixings but we don’t foresee this effecting the delivery schedule.
This is our second Kickstarter. Our previous successful Kickstarter for a robot with moulded parts and electronics was delivered to the schedule. We have been manufacturing and distributing robot heads since 2015 and are confident we will be able to deliver this project on time and to a high standard.
We already have a good relationship with an injection moulding company, based near our manufacturing base in Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK. They manufacture our first robot, Ohbot. They will convert our 3D printed prototype design into moulds and polycarbonate injection mouldings. We have built the cost of the quote from them into our fundraising target.
We will use motors from Feetech and have experiencing purchasing from them in volume.
We need to finish the electronic board design, this is currently in functioning prototype form. Again we did this previously with Ohbot and are intending to use the same designer and supplier for Picoh.
The control board software, an Arduino driver that runs Picoh's motors, matrix and LEDs is already completed.
Picoh will be programmed using the same Windows App and open-source Python library we developed for Ohbot. You can try the Windows App out now for free now by searching for "Ohbot" in the Windows App Store. The development work to modify the app to work with Picoh including simulation and facility to work with the matrix screen has already been completed and will be released before the delivery of Picoh.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter