Robotics Starter Kit Helps You Build Your First Bot, Just Needs Your Code (And Funding)
By Elizabeth Fish
PCWorldJun 30, 2012 10:36 am PDT
Do you ever dream of building a robot army to take over the world, but you don’t quite have the know-how to create a robot from scratch? Sometimes, knowing a bit of code isn’t enough to complete a DIY project–you need to make sure all of the different hardware components correspond with each other before you can get your project up and running.
Fortunately, the Robotic Minion Starter Kit by Dustin and David Andrews on Kickstarter aims to give you a hand. The lighthearted project is basically a small computer in a plywood box, with an LCD display, a rotary encoder (left, right, and click button), a USB port, and a speaker. It will help you learn how to go about programming hardware parts like servomotors, LEDs, relays, and so on, so you can create projects like remote-control robots, lasers, cameras, or whatever else you choose. What’s more, it’s compatible with Arduino boards.
The box is apparently good for sensor-based projects, such as those using GPS, proximity sensors, RFID, and so on. Basically, it’s your project creator in a box.
The kit comes with software that contains a bit of code meant to bolster your projects or give you inspiration, but you do need to be fairly confident with coding in order to really work it. The rugged little box is designed to help you get your idea into action, so you can focus on nailing the code to perfection.
This little open-source box also comes with all the little parts you’d typically need for an Arduino project. It gives beginners a chance to get projects off the computer screen and breadboard, and it could be a great testbed for for the more experienced DIYers.
So far, the two brothers have built working prototypes, tested the software and electronics, sourced components, and finished designing the box. However, they need funding to pay for parts and various fees in order to assemble kits for sale. You can pledge just $1 to get a couple of perks, but if you want one of these kits you’ll need to put down at least $55 (the cheaper early bird options were sold out at the time of writing!).
To see the full details of what is in the Robotic Minion Starter Kit, and the detailed history of the duo’s idea, head over to the Kickstarter page.