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.
With the LittleBot Budget we wanted to make it as easy as possible for kids to get started with robots. So we boiled a robot down to its very essence. A way to move, a way to think, and a way to see. Once those are in place you have a robot that you can do a surprisingly large amount with. And it is affordable enough that any classroom, group, or individual and get and build a whole mess of the them, really opening up robotics to anyone who is interested.
But we went a step further. Once we had the basic robot created. We designed a way to easily expand it. So the robot can grow as the student's knowledge and skill grows.
We wanted a robotics kit that a student or maker can add to easily. But we wanted to be sure that there was a baseline set. So we went ahead and made a dozen detachable expansions that can all be 3D printed and downloaded for free on Thingiverse
You can also design and 3D print your own expansions to customize your LittleBot and get use out of the 3D printer that has been sitting in the corner of the Classroom for so long.
Since the LittleBot is Arduino-Based it can be reprogrammed with any arduino tool. This includes the Arduino IDE, Blockly, and other graphical programming tools, making it much easier for more levels of students to enjoy it and learn programming from it.
As we add more content around the LittleBot
The Basic LittleBot Budget is a basic arduino programming platform. It has a brain, sensors, and locomotion. The three things that make any robot. From this foundation a child can learn whether they are interested in robotics and coding and use it to add more sensors as their skills improve.
The LittleBot Budget revolves around the exact same electronics board used by all of the other LittleBots. The Meped board was designed by SpierceTech and is a remarkably expandable platform for arduino.
8 Servo Slots
Digital IR Input
8 Analog Pins
All of the LittleBots also use the Arduino Nano We love the Arduino because it lets students and makers tap into the huge global community built around Adafruit. We don't want to hinder the creation and hacking of this thing.
We have also created a BreadBoard Backpack and Sensor Skirt, so it is easy to add your own new circuits to the LittleBots.
When we started making the LittleBot Budget the goal was to make a kit that revolved around a single monolithic piece. We shot for no fasteners, and we wanted to be able to have anyone build a bot in 10 minutes so that they could be used in 1 hour introduction courses on robotics and arduino.
We hit all of those. The LittleBot budget is the simplest robot in existence. Most equivalent kits begin with at least 50 parts, composed of endless screws to lose, laser-cut parts, and complicated wiring leads to get confused.
That is all gone. The LittleBot Budget can be assembled at a show booth, in a classroom, or at an event quickly and by anyone. There is nothing on it that does not have to be there.
There are dozens of robotics STEM kits out there. But they are all too expensive and too complicated. If you want a "simple" kit then it is basically a one time "build and forget" item. The simple and cheap kits traditionally can't grow with you.
We wanted to address all of these issues with out 8th robot. The LittleBot Budget is a simple kit with only about a dozen pieces. But its design is easy to expand for continued learning and projects.
The Basic LittleBots Budget
The Budget Pro Pack
LittleBot Plus Kit
IR Proximty Sensor and Attachment
Breadboard Attachment Set
2x Line Following Sensors with Attachment
2x Light Sensors
2x Extra Ultrasonics
Sensor Skirt Attachment
Jumper Wire Set.
$5,000 - We will release a version of the kit with every single expansion that we have created thus far.
$10,000 - Revealed after passing $5,000. May bring about some interesting content.
$20,000 - Revealed after passing $10,000. Have we revealed all the versions of the LittleBot Budget??
Risks and challenges
The LittleBot Budget is the 7th robot in the LittleBots family. It is also the 7th robot to be launched on Kickstarter. All of our other LittleBots campaigns were funded and all were delivered ahead of schedule. Let's just say we have done this before.
But with that being said, the introduction of any new hardware product can lead to delays. Manufacturers can be late, and shipments can be lost.
We are working with Slant 3D to manufacture all of the LittleBot plastic parts. They have the capacity to produce 10,000 3D printed parts per week so we don't think that will be an issue.
We also have existing supplier relationships for all other components which should not lead to any delays.
Overall we are is very good shape to deliver the rewards for this Kickstarter as fast as ever.