Our VISION :: dream, think & create big robot ideas
Our vision was to develop an intelligent, intuitive and socially interactive robot with the same astounding capabilities as robots that we build for universities but at an amazing affordable cost for everyone. We are making our software platforms opensource so that researchers, developers, hobbyists and anyone else can work with, develop and participate in our dream of making intelligent, social robots.
Our STORY :: the people's robot
Our team has been dreaming of, designing and building human-like robots for several years, providing human-realistic robots to researchers and developing our own socially interactive artificial intelligence. It made sense for us to take what we've learned and create an affordable robot that maintained the quality of our world renowned facial expressions and social interaction.
Five of us formed RoboKind, experts in our respective fields who have worked together for more than 5 years on other renowned breakthrough technology and robots. We came together and combined our ideas, experiences and research to begin developing RoboKind robots and now we are ready to bring you ZENO R25. Click here to read more about our backgrounds and bios.
Lead by Director of Engineering Richard Margolin who has been a part of the success behind renowned robots like Einstein, Diego, Julio and Bina, our team spent 2 years developing and testing different prototypes and working with our manufacturing partners to create what will be the first affordable advance social robot in the world.
Meet ZENO R25 :: current prototype
Java with OSGi and Maven - Foundation based on widely used enterprise application tools for a dynamic runtime and code distribution.
C/C++, C#, Python - Language-independent framework allows us to use the right programming language for each job.
OWL Ontologies and RDF Data Stores - Flexible and powerful knowledge description language and data storage.
Inter-Process and Cross-Language Communication Appdapter - OWL/RDF Knowledge Management
System Configuration and State Graphs RoboKind - Low-Level Robotics Control, actuator and sensor communication
CogChar - Cognitive Character framework for performing complex behaviors
ZENO R25 has amazing software capabilities that will allow us to automatically update him through continued research and development and even provide open source for you to update ZENO.
Your Kickstarter backing will help us with ongoing software development where ZENO R25 who will be able to teach different languages like Chinese, Spanish or French. You can ask him any question and ZENO will instantly search multiple websites. Eventually, ZENO can be loaded with 100s of books and stories that have shown to dramatically increase the vocabulary and verbal ability of children who has it. ZENO R25 will have software called CompuCompassion that enables the robot to perceive the emotional state and interest of the participants and alter the presentation.
We are already working with a large Chinese manufacturer which helped us produce our recent research robot called ZENO R50 robot, who is ZENO R25's cousin. We have been working hard with our team to make sure that everything has been thought of and planned out. Our manufacturer makes thousands of different products for large companies and in 2012 they started working with us because they also believe that robots are going to be a big part of the future. We have been able to use their experience in manufacturing complex and high quality products to help us make sure we have all the details in place.
Our production plan ::
Product Concept Creation - COMPLETED
From the initial conception of the R25 robot we defined the specifications and requirements required to achieve RoboKind’s dream for an affordable intelligent social robot. From the previously defined requirements, our team went through an intensive part selection process and initial design planning where we determined the main components and functions for the R25. It was at this step where we decided to use Texas Instruments OMAP4 processor and choose specific sensors that the R25 will use to interact with the world around it. We decided what movement capabilities were important and set off to create a robot with social interaction as the primary focus.
Proof-of-Concept - COMPLETED We contacted the chip manufactures for the major electrical components and they worked with us by sending development boards, evaluation kits and sample driver software that we used to test our concept and determine the feasibility of design plan. We put together an alpha prototype of the R25 and verified that we could really build this robot in a way that make the vision real.
Electronic Device Development - COMPLETED Our electrical engineers went to work designing schematics; making Bill of Materials; and obtaining pricing from our suppliers. Next we took the schematics and designed custom PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) that incorporate all of the required electronic components. This is one of the most critical steps since the R25’s processor demands that our PCBs be designed for high speed and manufactured for high performance and tight tolerances.
We also generate lots of manufacturing documentation detailing how the PCB should be built and to what specifications. One of our large developments was the new microphone array which uses a set of 8 microphones to both reduce noise so that the ZENO R25 can hear you better but also know where you are. The microphone array returns the angle that voices are coming from. Developing the array was a challenge and we had to try multiple configurations, and algorithms. We are happy with the performance but are still working to refine the math to improve the performance of this system.
Prototype Sample Runs - IN PROGRESS Initially we built a small batch of these PCBs to verify the design and to begin integrating our software to work with our custom hardware. These prototypes are used to flush out bugs and make minor design changes to enhance performance and functionality. Below is our first version of the R25 Mainboard and Processor which we used to verify the electrical design.
Below you can see one of our early electronics development platforms. We have used this to easily debug and test certain aspects of the R25 without requiring a full set of mechanics and motors. It is convenient to make changes to this platform during development since all the PCBs are exposed and accessible.
We are currently nearing the completion of this step, we have a few additional software tests to run before we can finalize the electronics hardware.
Certification Tests At this step we will define the device class of the R25 and then prepare a test schedule to obtain the required certifications such as FCC and CE.
Production Preparation and Pilot Launch We are working with our manufacturing partners in Hong Kong and China to complete the manufacturability steps for our hardware designs. We are making some test tools and are going to build another 5 prototypes before the end of November to verify and test everything in this robot.
Once we are satisfied that we are ready to go we will start to cut tooling in December and be ready to build the first 500 robots starting in February. Our goal here is to prepare manufacturing for full-scale production. We will use an initial pilot batch to verify that all documentation is correct and to detect any problems that may not have been detectable during our previous small scale prototype builds. We will also be finalizing all testing procedures and requirements for our Quality Control program.
Full Production Production of the R25 will bring both the mechanical and electrical hardware together into the final R25 product, ready to ship all the ZENOs to their new homes. Our current plan is to build 500 ZENO R25s for our first production run. Our manufacturing partners are ready to help us do this and are excited to build a humanoid robot. We will be ready to start delivering robots by March. If we need more than 500 ZENO R25's we will be ready to take it to the next level and do additional production runs.
We've come up with some awesome perks for your support but of course, your support at any level is greatly appreciated!
All levels include our e-mail updates and our eternal gratitude. The other levels include anything from an awesome exclusively-designed illustration of ZENO R25, quality T-shirt with the illustration to a ZENO R25 avatar and a virtual world to go with it.
One of our reward levels include a ZENO R25 with your choice of either a full semester of RoboSTEPS or a year of autism therapy modules with your ZENO R25.
RoboSTEPS is a high school course for teaching Computer Science; it can be used as a complete curriculum, supplemental materials to an existing curriculum, or exercises for an after school program. Students will learn to program ZENO R25 and will have access to their own Virtual World with a simulation of ZENO R25.
Robots4Autism is a revolutionary humanoid robot that delivers research-based interventions and curriculum to teach and reinforce social understanding and improve a child’s ability to use social behaviors in natural contexts.
THANK YOU :: T-minus 30 days...
Thank you in advance for your support and backing at any level, on or offline! We hope you're excited enough about our breakthrough to help us make ZENO R25 a reality. Be a part of the beginning of this robot revolution and help us tell ours and ZENO R25's story. T-minus 30 days...
Risks and challenges
We have worked very hard to minimize the risks before we began this campaign. We have been working with our manufacturing partner to complete the design for manufacture. We have built several working prototypes and improved the quality and performance with every iteration We have signed agreements with our key suppliers. Established a quality control procedure and are preparing for all of the necessary testing and certifications.
There is always the risk of unforeseen challenges when manufacturing physical products as we go through the certification process, finish setting up the production line, and line up logistics. If an unexpected issue arises, we are resolved to doing everything we can to get as close to our delivery schedule as possible.
We are grateful for your support at any level and are excited to bring the first advanced social robot into the world.
This question has a range to the answer. Because ZENO R25 is a robot with a lot of motors the battery life can be as low as 45 minutes if he is doing a lot and moving around a lot. If he is standing still and just looking around, talking and making facial expressions the battery life can be as much as 5 hours. We are trying to develop play patterns which allow Zeno to move around a lot while extending his battery life.
Zeno's battery will recharge in about an hour. He can be on when he is recharging. You can also change his battery without turning him off if he is plugged in at the same time. His Battery is located in his left foot.
PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM ZENO R25 :: ZENO R25 will record a personal video message, greeting, read you a poem, whatever you'd like (just keep it clean). It will be delivered as a video file. We will have it for you by Christmas. Also, you will get a -shirt and sticker.
R25 ZENO Dev Board :: An R25 ZENO Developers board. The R25 Computer with Sensors. The only thing missing will be the motor controllers and the rest of the robot. Like the one pictured in the campaign photo but on a nicer mount board.
ZENO R25 :: The "FIRST 500" will own the first advanced social robot in the world that comes with a certificate of authenticity. Through our open source & automatic software updates, ZENO will continue to advance intellectually and grow with you.
ZENO R25 w/ RoboSTEPS or Robots4Autism program :: Get a ZENO R25 with our renowned software of a full semester of RoboSTEPS or a year of autism therapy modules called Robots4Autism that have shown positive results and effectiveness. Through our open source & automatic software updates, ZENO will continue to advance intellectually and grow with you.
TRIP OF A LIFETIME :: Pick up your ZENO R25 in-person & hangout with the RoboKind team. This includes airfare (roundtrip flight within the US to our headquarters), one hotel night stay, a live R25 demonstration & more revolutionary robot talk over dinner - on us!