Set your phone free with Oddwerx! A dock that can turn your iPhone or Android phone into an autonomous robot with personality.
ORIGIN OF THE ODDWERX SPECIES
What if your iPhone or Android phone, or iPod Touch was mobile and socially engaging? OLogic has created the Oddwerx platform to give you just that! The first prototypes debuted last year at Google's developer conference, Google I-O 2011. The initial feedback we received was, can it do more? We went back to the drawing board and made it modular so you could add wheels or tracks, and tied in lots of robotics research software. The Oddwerx was born. We have some great prototypes, you may have seen on CNET, the Daily Planet Show on Discovery Channel, or in the New Scientist. We need Kickstarter sponsors so the Oddwerx can evolve into a production ready-product.
THE BIG VISION
Autonomous consumer robotics has always been limited by computing resources. With the rise of the smartphone, it makes sense to leverage the computing power consumers already own by just turning the smartphone into a mobile robotic platform. As smartphones evolve into more powerful computing devices, robots will be able to evolve with them, since the bulk of the problem solving happens within the phone itself. Robots are the ultimate phone “appcessory”.
There are more details about the overall vision on the Oddwerx Blog: http://www.oddwerx.com/category/vision/
To make a highly articulated robotic platform that can support carrying a wide array of smartphones and keep the unit costs down, the design screams for injection molded plastics. We are on Kickstarter to raise funds for the tooling and to build an initial run of robots!
WHAT DO YOU GET?
With your $99 pledge you get a Basic Kit to put together the Oddwerx Robot with tracks. You can get the extra parts to do the wheeled robot too for the $115 pledge, and then you can decide which you like best.
Why a kit you ask? Putting the robot together yourself is super easy, makes the robot more affordable and familiarizes you with the process of interchanging its parts. If you really want one pre-assembled, we have a higher pledge amount to cover the costs of doing it for you.
Here is a list of what will come in the box:
- Plastic parts for the body, the track holders, sprockets and bogy wheels, and a pair of rubber tracks
- A circuit board ready to install into the body
- Screws and pins to hold everything together
- Two servos used for the robot to be able to get up and down
- Two metal gear motors for the drive train + wiring harness
- One suction cup to hold the phone to the robot (This allows you to mount the phone to the robot in many different orientations)
- Sticky Velcro dot to use instead of a suction cup, in case your phone has a funny, non-suctioncuppable back
- Removable 3xAAA Battery Holder (You can use either alkaline or rechargeable cells. Since you can remove it, you could put your own LiPo cell in there instead)
As you have probably noticed, there are a couple of “other” smartphone robots out there. Unlike the others, Oddwerx is designed completely from the ground up to be an expandable platform for developing autonomous robotics applications, that can socially engage, and be interactive. If you want an app that is simply an R/C vehicle with video, you can do this in a snap with Oddwerx, however you can do much-much more than that!
ODDWERX PLATFORM FEATURES:
- Modular - Tracks and Wheels with interchangeable parts
- Multi-Platform - Works with both iPhone and Android phones
- Small Size - Small enough to fit in a big pocket
- No wires required - Uses Bluetooth wireless to talk to the robot.
- Bi-Directional Data Communication - Since we use Bluetooth, we can read sensors on the robot and issue commands too
- Extendable - Lots of sensors and accessories coming soon
- Hackable - You can make your own sensors, or plastic accessories
- Developer Library - (more info below)
- Support for Open Source and Advanced R&D Robotics
ODDWERX SMARTPHONE APP:
There is one main Oddwerx app that the robot works with right out of the box. This sample app is designed as a demonstration of some of the capabilities of the Oddwerx robot and shows how powerful the platform can be with a good app! Social robots are great. You can get some super ideas for what makes a good one work from the Personal Robotics Group at the MIT Media Lab.
There are two pre-loaded personalities to choose from:
- Ike - A wild guy with a thirst for adventure, and romance
- Lucy - A sweet girl with sassy attitude
The apps use an advanced computer vision library combined with the onboard camera in the smartphone to maximize their interface with the world. They are designed to seek out human interaction through the use of face detection and face tracking combined with mobility.
SUPPORT FOR SERIOUS FUTURE EXPANSION:
The Oddwerx are built for expandability. What good is a robot that cannot be adapted to solving lots of highly specialized problems?
FUNCTIONAL ACCESSORIES: The electronics are expandable to add a variety of different sensor options:
- Line Sensors for line following and edge detection (This sensor is the only sensor currently available depending on your Kickstarter pledge level)
- Obstacle Sensors for wall following and obstacle avoidance
- Wheel Encoders for distance measurement and wheel odometry
- Bump Sensors for interacting with the world in a tactile manner
- Infrared Receiver/Transmitters for interacting remotes and other robots
- Small Gripper for mainpulating and moving small objects and interacting with the robots environment
FASHION ACCESSORIES & GEAR: There are slots in the top of the Oddwerx base that allow you to add fashion accessories and gear, such as hats, ears, headphones, spears, clubs, as well as sensory hardware, making it easy to develop socially engaging robots that provoke human-robot interaction. We are not offering any accessories yet on Kickstarter, but we have some cool prototypes for them and hope to offer them soon.
If Lucy and Ike had kids they might look like this....
DEVELOPER API & SAMPLE APPS:
The Oddwerx has a developer API, along with sample applications for both iPhone and Android. The sample application is called Oddwerx Dude and has a silly face with eyes, to give the sample some personality. The developer API makes it easy to control and use the Oddwerx base.
What is the next killer app that will make the Oddwerx do something new and cool? You can create it! Are you app developer of an existing, interactive pet app? Simply add a few lines of code, and the app can now be mobile!
SUPPORT FOR ADVANCED RESEARCH ROBOTICS:
The Oddwerx are designed to be a fusion of advanced research robotics, and a consumer electronic entertainment platform. Some of the projects Oddwerx supports are:
- ROS - The Robot Operating System - More Details
- Cloud Robotics - OLogic just won the Silicon Valley region of the Cloud Robotics Hackathon, and placed 2nd in the World, using an Oddwerx robot - More Details
- Open Source Cellbots Project - More Details
HOW DO I KNOW YOU OLOGIC GUYS CAN DO THIS?
OLogic started out as a robotics R&D company, focused on consumer electronics and toy products. Along the way, we designed some very cool products for others, but never for ourselves.
We have designed Android robots for Google, toys for Hasbro, and we invented the Star Wars Force Trainer toy which is sold by Uncle Milton. We know how to design products and bring them to market and have always wanted to produce a robot product suitable for both high-end robotics R&D, as well as for the consumer for fun and education. We think Oddwerx is THAT robot. Support our Kickstarter by making your pledge today!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Does Oddwerx support iPhone & Android only? For now…yes. No Blackberry, or Windows Phone support at this moment. Maybe later on.
Can I use an iPod Touch instead of an iPhone? Yes, as long as it is one of the later generations with built-in Bluetooth.
Can the Oddwerx carry a tablet? Maybe a very small one, however, the current design is optimized for phone sized devices.
Can the Oddwerx charge the phone? No. There are no physical wires connecting the phone to the robot. This allows for one dock to support many different kinds of phones.
Where can I get more details? Check out the Oddwerx Blog at: http://www.oddwerx.com
How complicated is the kit version? Do I have to solder anything? Are there any missing components I should plan on?
Our plan is to make the kits as easy to put together as possible. No soldering should be required. The PCB will come completely assembled, and all you will have to do is snap together the plastic parts, screw some screws, push some pins into the right spots, plug some plugs into the right connectors, put batteries in it, and you are ready. Hopefully it should take less than 20 minutes to do. We will make one or more YouTube videos you can watch, to step everyone through the process, pairing to your phone and firing it up.