A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Update 10/24: Added shipping to Taiwan and the Netherlands.
Update 11/1: Added shipping to the U.K., Denmark, and Germany.
Update: 11/4: Added shipping to France. Added detailed DIY video below.
What is Smart Club Mini-arm
Smart Mini-arm is a robot arm that contains six motors, two chips, two sheets of plastic template, and other components such as screws, gears, and DuPont wires.
Why "Smart Club"?
STEM and STEAM education approach is globally well-known. For our robot lab, we replaced "E" with "r", standing for "robot". We limit the range of engineering to robotics to represent our educational approach. Therefore, Smart club to us is Science, Math, Art and Artificial intelligence, robots, and technology.
Mini-arm has very high educational values. Our instruction starts from how to strip wires, wrap around the motors, all the way to writing a control program on MIT App Inventor, which is an online app writer. We assume that you know nothing about technology, so we try to include as detailed instructions as possible. However, if you do have previous knowledges, you can always skip ahead.
When we made some samples of the robot kit, we hosted a small class and received very positive responses from the children and their parents. There's no recommendation of age for Mini-arm, because we encourage all age groups to learn robotics.
As showed in the gallery, we provide all the components of Smart Club Mini-arm. For most kids, building up a robot arm by themselves, with their friends, or with their parents are very exciting. It teaches them about how robots work in a very basic concept with first hand experience. Comparing to many robots on the market, our Mini-arm has not only 6 motors, but also two chips with two on-and-off switch. The Bluetooth chip connects to the Motor control chip, allowing you to control all 6 motors at once.
As mentioned before, our instruction teaches you how to write a program on the MIT App Inventor. We also provide a written software online for you to download. In that software, you can control the robot arm spontaneously or by writing a script. The script uses the concept of block programming, that you will set one or more motion for the robot at various time parameters. It is an extremely fun way to learn coding for beginners. You can design scripts for your robot to complete different tasks or compete in robot games.
If the campaign is successful, we will donate 15 Smart Club Mini-arms to a random Title I high school or middle school in the U.S.!
A huge focus of our lab is Industry 4.0. The physical cyber system intrigue us, and our mini-arm is a representation of the Internet of Things, as those arms connects to smartphones, which have WiFi connections. When there are multiple arms and have written scripts, the arms can act as an industry to complete tasks.
If you have done some research, then you can see that the price of our mini-arm is much lower than others, especially when our six-motor Smart Club Mini-arm is a simplified version of factory robot arms.
Our goal is to create something the majority of people can afford easily. It is important to learn about technology in a first hand experience, and we want to lower the financial barriers so people can cross over.
With your support on Kickstarter, we can make more people acknowledge technology's steps to future. We all want to live a better life, and technology can make that happen. However, we must understand it before utilizing it. Our mini-arm can be the first step, for you and me.
We have more types of robots finished, but we choose to present Mini-arm to you because we believe that this robot represent our idea the most. It is interesting, filled with content, highly educational, and can be utilized in various ways. It gives all of us a glance at our future life, and our ultimate goal is to let everyone see what we are seeing.
If the campaign is successful, we will be able to launch more robots, open online courses for charity (similar to our last reward listed), and create our own pathway to our future.
Thank you for reading, and please support us to reach our dream.
DIY Detailed Video:
Risks and challenges
The product is mostly complete and we are fixing some template details with the manufacturer. Our biggest challenge right now is to ship the kits to you. The cost of shipping Mini-arm from Taiwan to a storage room in the U.S. and then distribute it can increase our cost significantly.
Build an entire team of Mini-arm and make a competition between Mini-arms. Race or complete tasks, you can make it more fun by adding various games to utilize the Mini-arm!
Receive 5 Mini-arms before Christmas!
Mini-arm is a highly educational item. You can use Mini-arms to teach engineering and programming to an entire class of kids. You will receive 12 Mini-arms, or you can donate them to any institution, school, or library of your choice! If you donate them, we will donate our time for education, which we open an online course to teach you from building to programming.