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D.Bugs are sculptures constructed by soldering together electronic components.

Our goal

We are a small group of programmers and engineers who apply complex engineering solutions to fun products that everyone can enjoy. We love all things robot-related! In our experience, we have seen a lot of kits that make engineering fun for artists, but very few kits that introduce art to engineers. As a group, we want to bridge the gap between art and engineering by creating art hacked from electronics.

We are Kickstarting D.Bug Kits as our first product. Each D.Bug is named after a real-world software or hardware error often encountered in robotics. Similar electronic sculptures are sold by artists for hundreds of dollars. D.Bug kits are an inexpensive way for everyone to enjoy creating art. The kit is purely aesthetic, so it breaks down the barriers of working with electronics since testing functionality is not required.

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The story

Born from the procrastination of electrical engineering undergraduates, D.Bugs are constructed by soldering together electronic components. Each kit includes an instruction manual, electronic components, decals, and a specimen jar.

WARNING: Kits contain small parts that may be a choking hazard for children.
WARNING: Kits contain small parts that may be a choking hazard for children.

Everyday, thousands of programmers search their code for errors they call bugs. Only the most elusive bugs will escape...and make it to you, the users. Now it is up to you to debug your system and stop these bugs from breaking your devices. Construct your own D.Bug and trap it inside a jar to warn others that their shenanigans will not be tolerated. Our quality assurance engineers at Robot Brigade found three nasty D.Bugs for you to reproduce - we are offering these as rewards for your support.

Help the programmers win the battle against the bugs. Build all the kits and show the D.Bugs who's boss!

There are bugs living inside your computer
There are bugs living inside your computer

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Rewards

For your support, we offer several levels of rewards, including three D.Bug kits. D.Bugs pictured below are prototypes, and may differ from the final product depending on the availability of components. 


$5 Pledge - D.Bug collector card

New Designs, now including Captain Blue Screen! future designs may differ slightly
New Designs, now including Captain Blue Screen! future designs may differ slightly

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$15 Pledge - Complete set of D.Bug postcards

D.Bug postcards. Final designs may differ slightly.
D.Bug postcards. Final designs may differ slightly.

Help spread the word about D.Bugs by sending postcards to friends and family! Postcards are also included with all kits.

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$35 Pledge - Watch Dog model kit, set of postcards, soldering iron

Watch Dog - after assembly
Watch Dog - after assembly

Watch Dog is high maintenance, and if you don't feed him regularly with function calls he will reset your device. The kit includes an instruction manual, electronic components, decals, and a specimen jar. We are also including a set of postcards and a soldering iron!

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$50 Pledge - Grand Cappy model kit, set of postcards, soldering iron, wire cutters

Grand Cappy - after assembly
Grand Cappy - after assembly

Grand Cappy likes to burst old electrolytic capacitors, destroying your computer. The kit includes an instruction manual, electronic components, decals, and a specimen jar. We are also including a set of postcards, a soldering iron, and wire cutters!

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$65 Pledge - Memory Hog model kit, set of postcards, soldering iron, wire cutters, pliers

Memory Hog - after assembly
Memory Hog - after assembly

Memory Hog devours RAM, starving the other programs as your computer slows to a crawl under his massive appetite. The kit includes an instruction manual, electronic components, decals, and a specimen jar. We are also including a set of postcards, a soldering iron, wire cutters, and pliers!

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$120 Pledge - Showstopper, set of postcards, soldering iron, wire cutters, pliers

You will receive all three kits: Watch Dog, Grand Cappy, and Memory Hog. The kit includes all three instruction manuals, electronic components, three sets of decals, and three specimen jars. Plus a set of postcards, a soldering iron, wire cutters, and pliers!

All three assembled D.Bugs inside specimen jars with decals
All three assembled D.Bugs inside specimen jars with decals

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Additional limited-quantity rewards

Each Monday and Wednesday we will release a limited-edition D.Bug handcrafted by the Robot Brigade. The masterpieces are unique and fully assembled, and they will only be offered at a limited quantity. Support us, and we will send you an update right before we release to increase your chance of getting one! 

Mon, June 10 | Limited Release #8 - $220 Pledge, Quantity 1

Click to enlarge Power Cycle!
Click to enlarge Power Cycle!

When all else fails, you find yourself face to face with the Power Cycle. It sounds technical, but it's not... turn it off... wait for 10 seconds... then turn it back on... Power Cycle is the Hail Mary of bugs. When the guy on tech support tells you to Power Cycle your machine, you know the D.Bugs have won... With your pledge, you will receive Power Cycle, one D.Bug kit of your choice, and a complete set of D.Bug postcards.

Wed, June 5 | Limited Release #7 - $220 Pledge, Quantity 1

Click to enlarge Paper Jam!
Click to enlarge Paper Jam!

In a rush to print that 20 page paper before class? Keep an eye out for Paper Jam! You can hear Paper Jam rocking out on his guitar at the least convenient times. The next time you open the paper feed tray and find a sheet of wrinkled paper jammed between the rollers, you'll know who just shredded your essay with his electric ax, Paper Jam! With your pledge, you will receive Paper Jam, one D.Bug kit of your choice, and a complete set of D.Bug postcards.

Mon, June 3 | Limited Release #6 - $220 Pledge, Quantity 1

Click to enlarge Heisenbug with his Tamer!
Click to enlarge Heisenbug with his Tamer!

Heisenbugs are said to be "mythical" bugs that vanish when programmers try to observe them. These bugs are named after the Heisenburg uncertainty principle. A Heisenbug may disappear or change form due to uninitialized variables or subtle timing issues. The Heisenbug pictured below is being tamed by a Code Ninja dangling some bait in his face. Be careful, it looks like these two are about to cause some mischief! With your pledge, you will receive Heisenbug with his Tamer, one D.Bug kit of your choice, and a complete set of D.Bug postcards.

Wed, May 29 | Limited Release #5 - $220 Pledge, Quantity 1

Click to enlarge Warewolf!
Click to enlarge Warewolf!

Beware of the Warewolf's bite! The Warewolf lurks around the Internet and baits unsuspecting users with freeware and shiny links to click. When you fall for his trap, the Warewolf will give you a few nasty bytes to infect your computer with Spyware, Malware, and Adware. Once bitten, you computer is transformed into a beastly slave to the disgusting Warewolf... With your pledge, you will receive the Warewolf, one D.Bug kit of your choice, and a complete set of D.Bug postcards.

Mon, May 27 | Limited Release #4 - $150 Pledge, Quantity 1

Click to enlarge Code Ninjas!
Click to enlarge Code Ninjas!

Code Ninjas sabotage your code with typos. They like to steal your curly braces in C, and they love swapping your spaces with tabs in Python. Ninjas can be very sneaky... and you can waste hours looking for them. The next time your compiler croaks on a missing semicolon, you'll know that you just got hacked by Code Ninjas! You will receive the trio of Code Ninjas pictured above, one D.Bug kit of your choice, and a complete set of D.Bug postcards.

Wed, May 22 | Limited Release #3 - $200 Pledge, Quantity: 1

Click to enlarge Unfreed Malloc
Click to enlarge Unfreed Malloc

Malloc dreams of being freed, but it looks like he will remain grounded forever. Eternally frozen moments before his leap off the heap, this block of memory will just end up as wasted space during runtime. It is a shame too, because his colorful rockets look like they are ready to burst! You will receive the Unfreed Malloc Masterpiece, one D.Bug kit of your choice, and a complete set of D.Bug postcards.

Mon, May 20 | Limited Release #2 - $170 Pledge, Quantity: 1

Click to enlarge Watch Dog Reset!
Click to enlarge Watch Dog Reset!

Somebody forgot to pet the Watch Dog and now he is ready to reset your device. His wings are outstretched, and he is ready to pounce with his stinger raised. Watch Dog Reset is a fierce addition to your D.Bug Collection! You will receive the Watch Dog Reset, one D.Bug kit of your choice, and a complete set of six D.Bug postcards.

Wed, May 15 | Limited Release #1 - $200 Pledge, Quantity: 1

Click to enlarge Captain Blue Screen!
Click to enlarge Captain Blue Screen!

Captain Blue Screen is a capacitor pirate decked out in full pirate rags. Check out the eye patch, hook hand, spy glass, peg leg, epaulettes, capacitor parrot, and of course a dashing pirate hat! Be careful...once he steals your computer's capacitors, you may see the blue screen of death. You will receive Captain Blue Screen, one D.Bug kit of your choice, and a complete set of six D.Bug postcards.

$1,337 & $1,341 Pledges - D.Bug dioramas for High-Rollers

We will reward our high-rolling supporters with D.Bug dioramas, similar to what is seen below in the section, D.Bugs on display.

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Kit assembly

To assemble the kit, you solder together electronic components to form the body parts of the D.Bug.

Easy to assemble!
Easy to assemble!

The manual includes step-by-step photo instructions, the background story for each D.Bug, a guide to identifying electronic parts, a tutorial for soldering, a harvesting guide for where to find the best parts, and insider tips on how to make your D.Bug look awesome. 


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D.Bugs on display

The best part of completing your sculpture will be showing it off. Got an old computer? Turn it into a D.Bug playpen. You can recreate epic failures like the Big Crash of 2009 when your hard disk died 2 days before that project was due.

You can also construct a memorial in honor of your first PC. The D.Bugs will love playing on your outdated AGP 4x slot or with the useless stick of 256MB RAM.

Upcycle an old PC into a D.Bug playpen
Upcycle an old PC into a D.Bug playpen

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Why we need your support

Your support will go directly towards defraying the costs of packaging, printing, and components. Your enthusiasm will help us gauge the level of interest in D.Bugs - as our craze for them could be a little biased - and build a community of artistic roboticists. After Kickstarter is over, we will set up a site for everyone to upload their D.Bugs to share!

Our work is still in progress and we need your support to help us complete the kits. We go to great lengths to find the coolest looking parts for you, and the vendors we have found for printing and packaging are mostly local. From start to finish, we handle the D.Bugs with a lot of love and care in hopes that you will also enjoy creating something special.

Work in progress: kit design, searching for parts, packaging
Work in progress: kit design, searching for parts, packaging
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A Message from the Creator
Read more on our blog!
Read more on our blog!
"The best analogy for D.Bug models is origami. The most common applications of paper and electronics are completely flat. You write on paper just like you solder components onto a circuit board. You can create a lot of great work on paper and create some amazing circuits, but you should not be bound by convention. When you see an origami masterpiece, your first reaction is “Wow, that’s really cool!” but then you look deeper and you realize, “I can’t believe that is made out of one sheet of paper!” I want D.Bugs to have the same feel. You should first enjoy the aesthetics and then appreciate the materials that created it." - Donald

Read the full article and history of D.Bugs on the Robot Brigade blog
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We received Maker Faire Editor's Choice award!


Maker Faire Bay Area 2013
Maker Faire Bay Area 2013

The campaign is over, but you still want D.Bugs?

Of course you do because you are awesome! This was the Robot Brigade's first campaign, and we didn't fund, but it is OK. We are going to relaunch shortly and completely retool D.Bugs with everything we've learned, and we learned a lot! We are so excited and you should be too! Here is what you should do next:

  • Like us on Facebook - We just launched the Robot Brigade Facebook page with HUNDREDS of pictures of D.Bugs to satisfy your needs
  • Read our Robot Brigade Blog - we'll write up what we learned from Kickstarter, and give you the inside scoop on our next campaign
  • Give us feedback - if you supported us during the campaign we'll send out a survey and we would love to learn about how much you love crowd funding, soldering, bugs, and robots :)

So stay tuned and don't give up! We'll be back, and we will be looking for your support on the the FIRST DAY of our next campaign!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

While electronic components are easy to find and source, the most attractive parts are hardest to locate. Fortunately, we live near Silicon Valley where there are many electronic parts distributors that we can personally visit to ensure we get the coolest parts for your kits.

By day, we are all engineers, graduate students, and professionals. Our work with Robot Brigade exists purely as an extracurricular activity. We have put a lot of heart and sweat into making these kits so far, and we will make sure that all pledges will be fulfilled in a timely manner.

Our biggest challenge is in making sure that you are happy with the way your D.Bug turns out. But remember, at the end of the day, your D.Bug will always look better than what is pictured on the package because you made it!

FAQ

  • On Monday 5/20, we upgraded all reward levels of $35 or more to include a set of D.Bug postcards. As the campaign progresses, we may include more than six postcards in the set as we develop more designs.

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  • Awesome! Follow the Robot Brigade on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RobotBrigade and we will make a big post when we launch our next attempt at crowd funding D.Bugs. There are plans to completely retool D.Bugs with everything we've learned, and we learned a lot! We are so excited and you should be too!

    So we didn't fund... it is OK! Stay tuned and don't give up! Relax and enjoy the hundreds of D.Bug pictures on Facebook, and give us a couple weeks to make D.Bugs even more awesome. The Robot Brigade will be back, and we will be looking for your support on the FIRST DAY of our next campaign!

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  • All kits include a Soldering Iron and Solder, and depending on which kit you select you may also receive wire cutters and needle nose pliers.

    However, I do have a list of more expensive preferred tools, and as one of our Kickstarter updates, we will send a comprehensive list of our preferred tools that we use to build D.Bugs. We will provide you with the brands and model numbers for these tools. This list will also be provided in the instruction manual that comes with the kit. Then, you will have the right tools on hand once your D.Bug arrives!

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  • The parts pictured are from our prototyping phase. Because this is the initial phase of our project, there was too much uncertainty in reliably sourcing parts destined for the scrap heap. We were concerned that we would be unable to maintain a uniform look across a line of kits. However, we are currently investigating ways to source out-of-spec and damaged parts to better embrace the philosophy of upcycling, which was how D.Bugs were originally created. We are happy to see that this was a concern by our followers, and we are escalating this investigation based on your feedback, stay tuned!

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  • We definitely considered this! As model builders, crafters, and roboticists we have many project books on our shelves. To be honest, we've rarely completed any of the projects. The barrier of entry is too high for collecting all the materials and beginning the work. Part of our campaign is to spread the joy of building something special, instead of only reading about it.

    We chose to present D.Bugs as a kit because we found that desoldering electronics can be a major challenge. Not everybody has access to the same scrap electronics, which may discourage people from beginning their projects. We designed the kits such that if you have a collection of scrap parts, you can easily add your own embellishments to your D.Bug.

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  • Yes, depending on the reward level you choose and your country. Please email us directly see if we can ship to your country. The general algorithm to calculate international shipping costs is below.

    We can ship internationally for an additional $24. We ship in a flat rate box so we can pack all the goodies in one package for you. All the reward levels are US only EXCEPT for the $5 level. We have a workaround for how you should pledge:

    1) Select the $5 reward level
    2) Pledge the total for whichever kit you'd like ($120 for SHOWSTOPPER)
    3) add $24 to that amount for international shipping and this will be your total pledge (24 + 120 = 144)

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123
Backers
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  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    18 backers

    You will receive a D.Bug collector card featuring a randomly selected D.Bug.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $15 or more
    You selected

    7 backers

    You will receive a complete set of six D.Bug postcards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    31 backers

    Novice D.Bug - You will receive the Watch Dog Model Kit, which includes an instruction manual, electronic components, decals, and a display case.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    15 backers

    Intermediate D.Bug - You will receive the Grand Cappy Model Kit, which includes an instruction manual, electronic components, decals, and a display case.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $65 or more
    You selected

    9 backers

    Advanced D.Bug - You will receive the Memory Hog Model Kit, which includes an instruction manual, electronic components, decals, and a display case.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $120 or more
    You selected

    20 backers

    Showstopper - You will receive all three D.Bug Model Kits, which includes all three instruction manuals, electronic components, three sets of decals, and three display cases.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $150 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    Limited Edition Release #4 - Code Ninjas. You will receive a trio of Code Ninjas in a display case decorated with decals. You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice and a set of postcards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $170 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    Limited Edition Release #2 - Watch Dog Reset. You will receive a fully assembled Watch Dog Reset masterpiece in a display case decorated with decals. You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice and a complete set of six D.Bug postcards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $200 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Limited Edition Release #3 - Unfreed Malloc. You will receive a fully assembled Unfreed Malloc masterpiece in a display case decorated with decals. You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice and a set of postcards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $200 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    Limited Edition Release #1 - Captain Blue Screen. You will receive a fully assembled Captain Blue Screen masterpiece in a display case decorated with decals. You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $220 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    Limited Edition Release #6 - Heisenbug with his Tamer. You will receive a fully assembled Heisenbug masterpiece in a display case decorated with decals. You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice and a set of postcards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $220 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    Limited Edition Release #8 - Power Cycle. You will receive a fully assembled Power Cycle masterpiece in a display case decorated with decals. You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice and a set of postcards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $220 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    Limited Edition Release #5 - Warewolf. You will receive a fully assembled Warewolf masterpiece in a display case decorated with decals. You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice and a set of postcards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $220 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    Limited Edition Release #7 - Paper Jam. You will receive a fully assembled Paper Jam masterpiece in a display case decorated with decals. You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice and a set of postcards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $1,337 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    Special Diorama (early phase) - You will receive a diorama of two assembled D.Bugs destroying a small circuit board, roughly 4" x 8". You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $3,141 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Ultimate Diorama (early phase) - You will receive a diorama of six assembled D.Bugs attacking a motherboard, roughly 12" x 10". You will also receive any one D.Bug kit of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
Funding period

- (30 days)