ATmega328P-based TinkerBots hit Wired’s Gadget Lab

TinkerBots is an Atmel-powered (ATmega328P MCU) building set that enables Makers and hobbyists of all ages to easily create an endless number of toy robots that can be brought to life without wiring, soldering or programming.

http://vimeo.com/91590326

Indeed, TinkerBots’ specialized “Power Brain” and kinetic modules twist and snap together with other TinkerBots pieces – and even LEGO bricks – adding movement and interest to whatever sort of robot a Maker can imagine and build.

The centerpiece of the TinkerBots building set is a square, red “Power Brain” module (approximately 1.5”x1.5”x1.5”) that contains Atmel’s ATmega328P microcontroller. This module is tasked with providing wireless power and data transmission to kinetic modules such as motors, twisters, pivots and grabbers.

Kinematics launched its official TinkerBots Indiegogo campaign a few weeks ago, with the building set garnering coverage from a number of prominent publications, including Wired’s Gadget Lab.

“Once you snap together a contraption, you can program it in a few different ways. By pressing the ‘record’ button on the Powerbrain brick and twisting the robot’s motorized parts, it will remember those movements and replicate them when you hit the ‘play’ button. And if you want to step it up and write your own code, you can also program your robots via the Arduino IDE,” writes Wired’s Tim Moynihan.

“TinkerBots started out as an Indiegogo campaign, and it blew past its $100,000 goal in less than a week; its funding now is nearly double that amount, with about a month left to go in its campaign. You can preorder various kits now, and prices vary depending on the number and type of pieces in each set. For $160, you get a basic car-building set with the Powerbrain, motors, wheels, a twister joint and some other bricks. There’s an animal-themed set for $230, a grabber claw set for $400 and $500 gets you a fully loaded kit with bricks to build anything.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the official Indiegogo TinkerBots page here.

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