Whether a kid beginning to tinker around or a well-seasoned engineer looking for a hobby, there’s just something about robotics that Makers of all ages and levels love. Sure, pre-built ‘bots are great, but DIY droids are even better. Unfortunately, constructing custom robots at home can be quite costly and difficult to attain the necessary components.
That is why UK-based Maker Club has launched an Indiegogo campaign for its new project designed for both the consumer and educational markets that combines an Atmel based control chip, a mobile app, an online learning package and 3D printing.
The concept first originated after founder Simon Riley volunteered at his sister’s school teaching code to students ages 9-11. Riley realized just how much more the kids learned and enjoyed themselves when the activities were hands-on. After receiving a Rep Rap 3D printer as a present and a eureka moment, the idea for Maker Club was conceived.
The robots are each controlled with what its creators have named, MakerConnect. Its microcontroller brain and accompanying app were developed to control not just the bots but anything Arduino-based over Bluetooth LE. MakerConnect’s on-board chip and Arduino library make way for limitless possibilities, enabling Makers to control anything from RC cars and hexapods to household lights and sensors.
Why stop there? If all goes well, the team is also planning to leverage the power of a user’s mobile device to connect the app to the cloud, ultimately allowing Makers to remotely race cars or access sensor data in other parts of the world.
“It’s cross curricular and a perfect introduction to the world of robotics, giving young Makers the skills and confidence to invent anything, while allowing seasoned pros the chance to use our extensive Library of code to build even more complex creations,” the team writes.
The Maker Club has designed a range of interchangeable components, each ready to be built right out-of-the-box or directly from your 3D printer. The team has even developed a library of Arduino code, which it hopes to frequently expand with new ‘botlings.’
“Our kits use the same components that the professionals use to prototype their hardware. This means that once young Makers have gotten to grips with our robots, they can start using the thousands of commercially available sensors and outputs to prototype their own inventions.”
Maker Club assures its backers that they will provide all the necessary support in helping bring ideas to life, while future roboticists will be able to sell their own bot designs on its online portal. Don’t own a desktop 3D printer? No need to fret! The team will print all the requisite components and ship them directly with all of the necessary electronics for the build. These pre-printed kits include a Grabber robotic arm, a Carduino RC, Quadmonster and Insectoid — each of which make for a perfect holiday gift for those 12 and up!
Interested in learning 3D-printed robotics? Hurry on over to the project’s official crowdfunding campaign page here.