$834
pledged of $3,000 goal
16
backers
17days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, August 8 2018 2:57 PM UTC +00:00.

$834
pledged of $3,000 goal
16
backers
17days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, August 8 2018 2:57 PM UTC +00:00.

About

There wasn't a good arduino water robot kit. Now there is one.

A Few Colors of the Waterbots
A Few Colors of the Waterbots

At Slant, for the past two years, we have been developing and manufacturing 3D printed arduino robotics kits. Up to this point we have successfully launched 5 LittleBots arduino robotics kits here on kickstarter.

The Last 5 LittleBots
The Last 5 LittleBots

 When we started on the 6th bot, we knew that we wanted to go where no robot had gone before. So we chose water. No one in the entire Arduino community had created a robotics kit for the pool or the puddle. We fixed that.

Now STEM students and hobbyists have a programmable arduino platform for exploring small ponds or just being creative in the water. You can use this kit to learn, basic robotics, flotation, hydrodynamics, electronics, and programming

Software

Autonomous Mode

Using his ultrasonic sensors and the on board wandering code the Waterbot can roam until you tell him to stop. Why you could just add a solar panel and leave them in a pond perpetually.

Android App

The Android app controls all of the function of the robot. Just upload the latest firmware and use the app to change modes. You can race, battle with friends, or just set him to wander. 

The App is universal to several other LittleBots. While the Waterbot does not come with a gripper, you can add one or any other servo actuated device and control it from the app with the extra gripper control.

The LittleBots Android App
The LittleBots Android App

Reprogrammable with Arduino Tools

Since the Waterbot is controlled with an Arduino Nano, it can be reprogrammed using any Arduino tool. Use the IDE or some version of Scratch to reprogram it. 

We also make all code for all LittleBots available with accompanying tutorials. Builders can grow our code and improve upon it to make their robot better.

Use Scratch and the Arduino IDE to reprogram the Waterbot
Use Scratch and the Arduino IDE to reprogram the Waterbot

Electrical

The Waterbot 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.  

The Meped LittleBot Control Board
The Meped LittleBot Control Board

Using this board as a platform you can easily connect another IR sensor, up to 8 servos, and any number of other peripherals quickly and easily.

The main control Chip is an Arduino Nano It gives any user the huge resources of the worldwide Arduino community to learn about and expand their robots. And it provides the capabilities to make it easy to get started for a beginner but satisfying for the advanced maker.

Mechanical

As with all the LittleBots, we worked to make the Waterbot as simple as possible. Working tirelessly to removed fasteners and complications that are simply not necessary. And we achieved it. The entire kit is just 14 pieces And you only need 2 screws, to attach the paddles.

Full Waterbot Kit
Full Waterbot Kit

This means that anyone can build the Waterbot and enjoy it without being frustrated by a single missing piece or spending days trying to get it to fit together.

2 screws.

Every part slides into position. So the entire robot can be built in 10-30 minutes. And when batteries or components need to be replaced you just slide them out and replace them.

The only two screws used in the entire kit are for attaching the paddles to the Servos on the side.

The Paddles

The paddles are designed to be open so that they do no carry or splash water onto the top of the robot. After a huge amount of time testing the bots we have verified that the wheels do not send water up to the electronics that will damage them. This includes water from swimming pools, swamps and indoor fish tanks.

The Waterbot Paddle in Motion
The Waterbot Paddle in Motion

Water Protection

The compartments are open. We did this becuase as a STEM toy we wanted users to be able to access, modify, and reprogram the components quickly and easily. If we have a watertight cover on the top that gets hard. So we kept it open and made the robot stable enough that it won't take on water, or splash itself. The only way water is getting is is if you put it in a public pool. And it is not meant for that.

These bots are not meant to be in a public pool. They are for classrooms and hobbyists garages and pools with minimal splashing. With that being said, there is always a chance of water getting in with the electronics. While a little water won't damage anything, a lot certainly will.

The Waterbot Shouldn't be here. It should be in a kiddy pool with a group of students. But we wanted to see how much it could take.
The Waterbot Shouldn't be here. It should be in a kiddy pool with a group of students. But we wanted to see how much it could take.

 So we designed the bottoms of each compartment to have bilges where larger amounts of water can collect to be drained later. This ensures that should a bot get splashed, the electronics do not have to rest in water. They will just briefly be washed. They can take that.

Below is a basic "for TV" test of the waterbot righting itself and taking on water. Again, the Waterbot is designed as a STEM Kit not a Pool Toy. It is meant for fairly controlled environments without kids doing cannon-balls all around it.

Super Stable

The Waterbot was designed to have a very low center of gravity and a great margin of buoyancy. You can have them battle and knock each other, and even operate in some choppy water, and it will not tip over. Short of a kid grabbing it and tipping it over, the Waterbot will not go belly up.

A Little Test of Durability with a Robot Battle
A Little Test of Durability with a Robot Battle

Rewards

Maker Kit

  • 1x Bluetooth Module
  • 2x Continuous Rotation Servos with hardware
  • LittleBot Main Control Board
  • Arduino Nano
  • Ultrasonic Sensor
  • Battery Pack
  • Full Access to 3D Printable STL's
  • Free Android App
  • Free Software and Tutorials

Full Kit

  • Everything in the Maker Kit
  • 2 Paddles
  • Main Body

Risks and challenges

This is the 6th robot that we hope to successfully launch. All of our past campaigns have been fulfilled ahead of schedule without any major issues. This is not our first rodeo.

But with that being said. Every hardware project has the potential of a problem cropping up. We might find a design error in the first batch shipped. A supplier could go out of business. A tornado could hit our office. Unlikely but possible.

We always try to schedule to make sure that any problems can be addressed without having to delay delivery. We are very confident that there is little that could go wrong with this one. The product is finalized and tested, and many of the components are already in our inventory. We really just need to pack them up and produce tutorials.

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    Early Bird Water Bot Maker Kits

    All the parts you need and access to the .STL of the design so that you can 3D print the body and paddles.

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    Waterbot Early Bird

    A Full Waterbot Kit. Assemble it and start enjoying and learning from it.

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    5 full Waterbot kits for your maker group

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    10 full Waterbot kits for your students to start experimenting with.

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