CA$ 4,389
pledged of CA$ 13,500pledged of CA$ 13,500 goal
59
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, June 12 2018 12:00 AM UTC +00:00
CA$ 4,389
pledged of CA$ 13,500pledged of CA$ 13,500 goal
59
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, June 12 2018 12:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

Reduce pollution, operate a robot, and be part of the future with Robot Missions Municipal Trials!

Robot collecting trash on beach during a Field Test - June 2017
Robot collecting trash on beach during a Field Test - June 2017

Robot Missions is a grassroots group that empowers communities to apply low-cost robots for environmental challenges, such as shoreline cleanup.

The Municipal Trials will show how we can reduce pollution on our beaches and parks, while educating the public in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

Field Test at Westboro Beach, Ottawa, ON with 40 participants total! - August 2017
Field Test at Westboro Beach, Ottawa, ON with 40 participants total! - August 2017

Meet Bowie, the friendly Robot Missions robot!

Bowie the robot, entirely 3D printed
Bowie the robot, entirely 3D printed

Three robots operating 2-4 hours daily throughout the summer will collect trash, log data, and train imagery.

Check out the rewards below, which will let YOU become a VIP robot operator! 

Field Test in combination with a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup at Guild Park, Scarborough, Ontario - Sept. 2016
Field Test in combination with a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup at Guild Park, Scarborough, Ontario - Sept. 2016

Problem

The global pollution challenge is visible in our local parks.

Debris found during Robot Missions Field Test at Sunnyside Beach, Toronto, ON. Right: Close up of plastic nurdles found. (June 2017)
Debris found during Robot Missions Field Test at Sunnyside Beach, Toronto, ON. Right: Close up of plastic nurdles found. (June 2017)

For more information, check out CleanSeas.orgPlasticOceans.org

Robot Missions’ focus for shoreline cleanup is specifically non-natural debris within the 3-25mm range. This includes cigarette butts, fragments of plastic, nurdles, and single-use cutlery. 

Debris found during Robot Missions Field Test at Sunnyside Beach, Toronto, ON. (June 2017)
Debris found during Robot Missions Field Test at Sunnyside Beach, Toronto, ON. (June 2017)

Progress

Robot Missions has received support from the above organisations
Robot Missions has received support from the above organisations

Robot Missions has received support from organizations such as IBM, the City of Ottawa, Ontario Centres of Excellence, among others, to help make this happen. 

We were honoured to demonstrate our technology to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. Watch the experience in 360 VR here.

Robot Missions demonstration to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at MadeMill in Bayview Yards, Ottawa, ON
Robot Missions demonstration to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at MadeMill in Bayview Yards, Ottawa, ON

Bowie was seen racing another robot, the Canadian Space Agency's Small Planetary Rover Platform!

Bowie and Canadian Space Agency's SPRP robot racing together
Bowie and Canadian Space Agency's SPRP robot racing together
Robot Missions was awarded April's Awesome Ottawa grant!
Robot Missions was awarded April's Awesome Ottawa grant!

Awesome Ottawa, a chapter of the Awesome Foundation, awarded Robot Missions with April's $1000 grant! Listen to the CBC Radio All in a Day segment.

We are fortunate to receive the support of MadeMill, the makerspace at Innovation Centre Bayview Yards, where we will be developing enhanced functionality to the robot.

Councillor Jeff Leiper of Kitchissippi Ward has said the following about Robot Missions:

With our low-cost robot, Robot Missions has embarked on 20 Field Tests in Toronto and Ottawa. Joined by over 250 participants who took part! Plus, there have been 4 replications of our robot.

Engaging participants with the robot in action at a workshop at the Canada Science and Technology Museum - Feb. 2018
Engaging participants with the robot in action at a workshop at the Canada Science and Technology Museum - Feb. 2018

Robot Missions has engaged with groups such as Girl Guides, SHAD, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum to deliver workshops.

Moment with the EO&NS Girl Guide Unit
Moment with the EO&NS Girl Guide Unit

The highly interactive nature of the workshops and Field Tests engages participants to learn more about engineering, technology, and the environment.

Next Step

The Municipal Trials builds on our previous Field Test experience. We will engage with the community in public testing, leading up to a final demonstration at the end of summer.

Bowie rolling into action at Westboro Beach, Aug. 2017
Bowie rolling into action at Westboro Beach, Aug. 2017

 • What's involved? Robo-Wrangler community volunteers deploy 3 robots in their zone for testing each morning, reporting back on any observations.

• How will it work? Robots navigate in their zone set by a geofence, and collect debris, capture imagery, record environmental sensor data.

• Where will this be held? Westboro Beach in Ottawa, ON, and Mooney's Bay Beach in Ottawa, ON.

• Why should we do this? In other locations in the world, pollution is much more prevalent. Through the trials, Robot Missions aims to develop a solution that can be implemented around the world. At the same time, increasing awareness of STEM through this hands-on initiative.

Bowie collecting a piece of polystyrene on Petrie Island, June 2017
Bowie collecting a piece of polystyrene on Petrie Island, June 2017

The City of Ottawa has given authorization to Robot Missions to operate our robots in the designated zones on Westboro and Mooney's Bay Beach between 8-12pm, Mon-Sat (inclusive), unless there is an event happening. The National Capital Commission has given Robot Missions the go ahead as well. We have the signed documentation to support this.

Curious about the impacts the Municipal Trial will address? Read the details on our Municipal Trials page.

Who is behind Robot Missions?

Erin "RobotGrrl" and Yellow Bowie at MadeMill
Erin "RobotGrrl" and Yellow Bowie at MadeMill

Erin is Robot Missions' technical founder and CEO. She has built the robot from the ground up, including the 3D CAD design, electronics circuit board, firmware, and more. She was recognised in the Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize, hear her address here, and her interview in the Journal of Open Source Hardware here.

Three collaborators: Randy Glenn, David Kavanagh, and Micah Black, have contributed time towards additional software, electronics, and Field Tests.

Check out the fun rewards we have in store for you as a backer!

Add your mark to the robot! We'll email you a photo of your glyph on the robot. After the Municipal Trials conclude at the end of summer, we'll then mail your glyph to you.

Example of the Glyphs - 4 can fit per tile on Bowie's enclosure!
Example of the Glyphs - 4 can fit per tile on Bowie's enclosure!

Join an indoors Field Test from your couch by controlling the robot via a livestream! We'll give you a VIP code for dedicated control for 30 minutes. 

*Note: You will need to have a fast internet connection and modern computer

Virtual control interface, just like the hardware version!
Virtual control interface, just like the hardware version!

 Robot Control ($49)

Be a VIP at the Field Test! Dedicated 30 minutes control of the robot to navigate and collect trash. You'll get a printable VIP Field Test ticket to bring with you, and a commemorative button.

Friend & Family ($119)

What's better than a day of robots and beaches?! Same as above, but you will receive 3 tickets, 3 buttons, and 3 minifigs. Add $30 for each additional member.

VIP Field Test tickets!
VIP Field Test tickets!

Want to combine this with a Controller? Check out the Friend & Family pack! 

Two options: Early bird ($199) or Kickstarter edition ($229)

The excitement of operating the robot is in your hands with this controller! Bring this with you to Field Tests to operate a robot. 

Operate the robot with the Controller
Operate the robot with the Controller
  • The controller is easy to learn to use. It has 6 buttons, 1 joystick, an OLED display, speaker, and a 3 position mode switch.
  • Firmware updates will be made available online (open source), and can be uploaded at the Field Tests by a member of the Robot Missions team. There's no limit to the number of updates.
  • The controller will have a plug-in communication module at the Field Tests to control to the robot wirelessly. 
  • Powered by a 5V rechargeable battery pack through a micro usb cable (not included).
  • Colours will be chosen determined on your backer survey response.
  • Pre-assembled (unless you specify you want it as a kit).
  • Yes, of course, you can HACK IT!

After the season concludes, it can be used with your own project (perhaps a little Bowie)!

Want to combine this with VIP tickets? Check out the Friend & Family pack!

Bring the power of STEM learning into your hands with dedicated control of a robot. This pack brings the best: One Controller combined with the Friend & Family VIP Field Test Tickets.

This backer reward will be MAXIMUM FUN!
This backer reward will be MAXIMUM FUN!

Join in our public Field Tests or Robo-Wrangler testing to take part. The best part is that you will be learning the ins and outs of the robot, and contributing to the testing!

At this level, you will sponsor 20 VIP Field Test tickets for members of the community. Your influence will be felt by participants who are excited about technology and passionate about the environment.

University of Ottawa Modules

University of Ottawa - first year engineering class working with Robot Missions - February 2018
University of Ottawa - first year engineering class working with Robot Missions - February 2018

100 engineering students from the University of Ottawa developed new modules with our robot platform for environmental restoration.

Sam, the automated water sampler module
Sam, the automated water sampler module
Development taking place on the soil moisture probe at the uOttawa Richard L’Abbé Makerspace - March 2018
Development taking place on the soil moisture probe at the uOttawa Richard L’Abbé Makerspace - March 2018

Their groups created modules such as a soil moisture probe + automatic waterer, seed dispensers, water sampler, and weed snippers.

We will be using some of their modules during the Municipal Trials. Check out their progress shared on this Twitter Moment, and their 4 minute group presentations: Part 1 & Part 2.

Community Involvement

In the Ottawa region? You can take part! Dive in to robotics hands-on by being a Robo-Wrangler for a week to deploy the robots. Check out the Robo-Wrangler page to apply.

Top left: Eastern Ontario & Nova Scotia Girl Guides Unit. Top right: Sydenham Public School workshop. Bottom: SHAD at Queen's University workshop.
Top left: Eastern Ontario & Nova Scotia Girl Guides Unit. Top right: Sydenham Public School workshop. Bottom: SHAD at Queen's University workshop.

Continuous usage of the robots will be a new experience, and we will be making upgrades during the summer.

Work in progress on the robots - Photo by Petr Maur at MadeMill, Feb. 2018
Work in progress on the robots - Photo by Petr Maur at MadeMill, Feb. 2018

Robot Missions and Bowie have come a long ways since its original version back in 2016...

Robot Missions 1st Field Test at Cherry Beach, Toronto, Ontario (April 2016)
Robot Missions 1st Field Test at Cherry Beach, Toronto, Ontario (April 2016)

Vision 

Robot Missions’ vision is to democratize robotics and empower citizens to tackle environmental challenges. We want to see robots cleaning parks and beaches across the world.

Robots in the (near) future! Modelled by John Syracopoulos, courtesy of Autodesk, rendered with Arnold
Robots in the (near) future! Modelled by John Syracopoulos, courtesy of Autodesk, rendered with Arnold

Timeline

Budget

The total project budget of the Municipal Trials is $60K. Robot Missions was accepted into the competitive Ontario Centres of Excellence IBM I3 Customer Demonstration Program with funding of $30K, which we need to match through our Kickstarter campaign and corporate sponsorship. 

For this summer, Robot Missions is looking to grow the team by bringing on 4 paid contractors. One as a mission operations intern to organise our events, and three others in the realm of software development.

Robot Missions Municipal Trials budget breakdown
Robot Missions Municipal Trials budget breakdown

Selected Media & Awards

Robot Missions was recognised with the Make A Difference Award at the Ontario Makers and Mentors Innovation Conference 2017 — a special award given to whichever team can demonstrate how their idea, project or prototype can solve an environmental, social or economical issue.

Hear what others are saying about Robot Missions:

Canadian Space Agency - Twitter @csa_asc

"CSA engineers were lucky enough to meet with Erin Kennedy, the creator of a rover built to clean beaches at @OCEinnovation in Toronto. Isn’t that cool, @environmentca? #OCEDiscovery"

CBC Ottawa Ottawa woman creates Bowie the beach-cleaning robot

"An Ottawa woman has turned her love of robotics into a way to have a "direct positive effect on the environment" with her beach-cleaning robot named Bowie. " - Chloé Fedio and Giacomo Panico

Adafruit How to Clean a Beach With Your Robot #CitizenScience 

"What is so interesting about this project is that it combines makers and environmentalists working on issues in their own communities. The robots can be easily replicated in FabLabs or other maker spaces since they will be set up as open source kits. It’s not only educational, but empowering." - Leslie Birch

Hackaday ROVERS TO THE RESCUE: ROBOT MISSIONS TACKLES TRASH 

"What’s next? Erin seems content to work toward her goal of the mostly-autonomous swarm, with improvements in electronics, chassis, and programming coming every few months, I wouldn’t put it past her."

Bonus: DANCE MODE

Since you've scrolled all the way to the bottom, please enjoy this bonus of Bowie in DANCE MODE

Bowie is operational, time for DANCE MODE
Bowie is operational, time for DANCE MODE

Share With Friends

We are @RobotMissions on Twitter, and on Facebook at Facebook.com/RobotMissions

Robot Missions Municipal Trials Poster
Robot Missions Municipal Trials Poster

Risks and challenges

Here are four key areas Robot Missions sees as large risks to the project.

• Theft of robot — Mitigation strategy: Robot Missions will develop a way for each robot to periodically "phone home", and enter a "security safety mode" based on sensor readings.

• Severe flooding — Mitigation strategy: Robot Missions could expand the robot operating zone to follow where the receding water meets the shoreline.

• Injury — Mitigation strategy: There will always be an intern or volunteer present when the robots are operating to reduce the chance of this happening.

• Technology failure — Mitigation strategy: As we have designed, developed, and manufactured the robot from scratch, Robot Missions has a deep understanding of the system architecture and where to look in the event of a failure.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About US$ 4

    HIGH FIVE

    You are now part of the journey, you are in the ROBOT PARTY! Thanks for wanting to join in! You will receive a high five in person if you join a Field Test, or a virtual livestream. High five!

    Includes:
    • High five!
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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $19

    GLYPH

    Have your initials added as a Glyph onto the robot for just 25 bucks! It will be placed on an outwards facing side of the robot, and you'll receive a photo of your glyph on the robot. Glyphs will be within the size of 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.0cm. Your initials will roll into the history of robots helping our planet. After the Municipal Trials conclude at the end of summer, we'll send you your glyph in the mail.

    Includes:
    • Digital photo of your Glyph on robot
    • Glyph (after the Municipal Trials concludes)
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    Pledge CA$ 39 or more About US$ 30

    VIRTUAL ROBOT CONTROL

    Want to join in a Field Test but can't make it to the beach? Get a ticket to control our robot via a livestream! You will be given a webpage to go to that will have a virtual Operator Interface that you can control the robot through a livestream. Robot operation from afar! Be a VIP at our livestream with 30 minutes operating the robot without interruptions. You will be navigating the robot indoors.

    Includes:
    • Digital virtual operator interface ticket
    • Access to virtual operator interface webpage
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 49 or more About $38

    ROBOT CONTROL: VIP FIELD TEST TICKET

    Hands-on STEM learning! Be a VIP at our Field Test with 30 minutes operating the robot without interruptions. You will be controlling the robot to navigate and collect trash. Plus training its brain at the same time and logging environmental sensor data. Robots operating on the beach, what could be more fun?

    Includes:
    • VIP Field Test Ticket
    • Commemorative Button
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 119 or more About $91

    FRIEND & FAMILY VIP FIELD TEST TICKETS

    Hands on STEM learning for the entire family or your group of friends! What's better than a day of robots and beaches? (A clean beach is better, of course — which is what you'll be helping to do!) Same as VIP Field Test tickets above, for each ticket you will have 30 mins of uninterrupted control of the robot. Perfect for those who would like to explore every aspect of the robot.
    *Note: You must be able to attend one of our Field Tests in Ottawa to redeem this reward

    Includes:
    • Commemorative Button
    • VIP Field Test Ticket
    • Bowie Minifig
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 199 or more About $153

    EARLY BIRD CONTROLLER

    Early bird version! The excitement of operating the robot is in your hands with this controller! Bring this with you to Field Tests to operate a robot. The controller is simple to use, you can learn it in moments. Advanced technology is a button press away. Receive firmware updates at the Field Test to unlock the latest functionality. Combine this with a VIP Field Test ticket for maximum FUN!

    Includes:
    • Assembled Robot Missions Operator Interface
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 229 or more About $176

    CONTROLLER

    Kickstarter edition! The excitement of operating the robot is in your hands with this controller! Bring this with you to Field Tests to operate a robot. The controller is simple to use, you can learn it in moments. Advanced technology is a button press away. Receive firmware updates at the Field Test to unlock the latest functionality. Combine this with a VIP Field Test ticket for maximum FUN!

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    Pledge CA$ 339 or more About $260

    FRIEND & FAMILY PACK

    The power of STEM learning is in your hands with one Controller combined with the Friend & Family VIP Field Test Tickets. Join in our public Field Tests! You will have a controller that you can control the robot with, plus the 3x 30 minute VIP tickets.

    Includes:
    • Assembled Robot Missions Operator Interface
    • Commemorative Button
    • VIP Field Test Ticket
    • Bowie Minifig
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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About US$ 768

    DREAMER

    You are directly supporting our vision and dream to democratize robotics for citizens to use for tackling environmental challenges. With your help, we will be able to take a huge step towards making this possible. You will sponsor 20 VIP Field Test tickets for members of the community. Your influence will be felt by participants who are excited about technology and passionate about the environment. How cool is that!

    Includes:
    • 20× VIP Field Test Ticket
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Funding period

- (32 days)