Tag Archives: Vortex

21 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that have caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


Buddy

robot

This adorable companion robot can improve your everyday life by protecting your home as a security guard, entertaining your kids as a playmate and structuring your schedule as a personal assistant. Blue Frog Robotics is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

Jewelbots

jewelbots-1-966x644

These Arduino-compatible, customizable friendship bracelets teach girls the basics of coding. Jewelbots is currently seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Vortex

pic2

This responsive robot for kids isn’t only fun to play with, but is open source and completely programmable as well. DFRobot is currently seeking $54,035 on Kickstarter.

BLINKY.SHOES

Blink

These LED strips will make your shoes light up in bright, colorful patterns with every step. Ultimate Celebration is currently seeking $5,000 on Kickstarter.

Smart Tracker 2

Track

This real-time GPS tracker will let you keep tabs on anything from anywhere. Smart Tracker is currently seeking $30,000 on Indiegogo.

Trakkies

trakk

This tracking device — which comes in two different forms with varying ranges — can be attached to just about any object, warning you whenever it is left behind. Trakkies is currently seeking $112,229 on Kickstarter.

REMzen

Mak

This intelligent mask analyzes your sleep while waking you up naturally with spectral light therapy. REMzen is currently seeking $15,000 on CrowdSupply.

Saent

w6mbrcwk8zt9sholuop6

This hardware and software solution keeps you focused on the task at hand by blocking out distractions and finding your optimal work rhythm. Saent is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

Zodiac FX

board

This board provides many of the features of an OpenFlow switch at a fraction of the cost, and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Northbound Networks is currently seeking $30,693 on Kickstarter.

Swish

Onyx-Motion-Swish-app-basketball-coach-1024x675

This wearable basketball app offers tips, tricks and data as you’re playing, giving you access to the insight of the best coaches and players. Onyx Motion is currently seeking $7,870 on Indiegogo.

DropAP

App

This high-performance, smart router integrates with cloud services and mobile apps to extend beyond the home. DropAP is currently seeking $45,000 on Indiegogo.

IRDuino

Dev

This open source, Arduino-compatible USB infrared receiver gives new life to old remote controls. IRDuino is currently seeking $2,000 on CrowdSupply.

Biom

5d2a3aa3cd394da48b0ddbb5d1fcd5f8_original

This flower pot connects to an accompanying app over Wi-Fi, transforming your plant into a “vegetal cyborg.” Biom is currently seeking $55,183 on Kickstarter.

Caruma

qmafb1k3ua3z3snl7npa

This all-in-one gadget links your car to the cloud to deliver notifications and advice, log trips, and livestream dual high-definition video right to your phone. Caruma is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

HamShield

7f1f856ef97aeae0fb4a4d4cef6d9327_original

This shield allows your Arduino to communicate with people and things far away using powerful amateur radio bands. Maker Casey Halverson is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.

ODO

3c3e0ffd6cdc22f9c2e87e7ed6965213_original

This solar-powered, autonomous irrigation system is comprised of a controller, a gateway, sensors, sprinklers and a mobile app that can manage up to four lines at once. One Drop One Solutions is currently seeking $86,151 on Kickstarter.

EyeControl

Trae

This pair of portable glasses enables those with ALS to communicate by translating eye movements into spoken words or text. EyeControl is currently seeking $30,000 on Indiegogo.

Sensory Percussion

f0e9c3204dad69fa7ccf665aaf601a0d_original

This sensor clamps to the side of a drum and connects to a software program to turn your kit into an expressive controller for digital sounds. Sunhouse is currently seeking $80,000 on Kickstarter.

ePawn Arena

photo-original-3

This unique board interfaces with your smartphone, tablet or PC to let you use real world objects as game pieces. ePawn is currently seeking $165,652 on Kickstarter.

MOVI

ic

This offline speech recognizer and voice synthesizer adds voice control functionality to any Arduino project. Audeme is currently seeking $12,000 on Kickstarter.

Helmet

Helm

This family monitor comes with an interactive social community that lets you share your favorite moments publicly or with authorized users. iBaby Labs is currently seeking $15,000 on Indiegogo.

If your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure to download the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

We Picked Atmel Rectangle_Yellow_updated_062315

Vortex lets kids program their own robotic toy


Vortex is a smart and responsive robot that kids can play with and program themselves. 


The emergence of robotic gadgets have inspired a new generation of toys that are not only fun but educational as well. Joining the likes of Sphero, Hackaball, Kibo, LocoRobo and several others, Shanghai-based startup DFRobot has introduced a smart and responsive device for kids. Named Vortexthe robot enables its young users to play various games, learn about programming and even create their own via an accompanying app.

Pic

Designed with the novice Maker community in mind, Vortex works right of the box and simply pairs to a smartphone (iOS and Android) over Bluetooth. Thanks to its built-in computer and a dozen sensors, it is capable of maneuvering around the floor, desk or table with a touch of the screen. Vortex features four pre-installed, multi-player games, which allow kids to compete against one another in sumo-like bumping fights, play a round of virtual golf, race throughout the house or partake in an immersive match of robot soccer.

While Vortex will certainly prove to be an amusing play-thing, its creators hope that it will encourage more children to pursue STEM-related disciplines and begin tinkering around with code. This is made possible through an easy-to-use, intuitive app that enables graphical programming in a simple drag and drop manner. Vortex also comes with pre-set courses that teach how to make use of its built-in capabilities, which include recognizing hand gestures and avoiding drop-offs.

8a773be2bbcd1f5ad3bc6b433ca98319_original

Aside from being open source, Vortex is completely compatible with both Arduino and Scratch. This opens up a wide range of possibilities, such as seeing and speaking through infrared, grayscale and sound speakers, and navigating around obstacles, detecting lines and reporting back to its user. With an ATmega328 MCU at its heart, the robot is equipped with 10 sensors ( two infrared proximity, two speed control, six line following), 12 independent RGB LEDs, as well as Bluetooth, USB and I2C connectivity options. Beyond that, it is powered by four AA batteries, boasts a life of 40-90 minutes, and can even show its emotions with up to 32 different eye expressions.

19f4d8f60cdbef589ad01281b21b089f_original

“We believe kids can benefit a lot from robotics, in identifying their own challenges, learning how stuff works, solving new problems, motivating themselves to complete a project, working together, inspiring and sharing with others. That’s why we created Vortex to be more than just a toy,” the team writes.

Know of a young one who would love such a device? Head over to Vortex’s Kickstarter campaign, where DFRobot is currently seeking $54,035. Units are expected to begin shipping in October 2015.