Rather than just play with a factory-assembled robot, many folks want to build and customize their own. The Brighton, UK-based Maker Club has launched a project developed for the home and educational market that combines a custom control chip, a mobile app, an online learning package and 3D printing.
Kids young and old can currently only dream about having the resources – and the money – available to create advanced mechanical pals like Honda’s ASIMO, but it is still possible to build custom robots at home without breaking the bank. “Affordable electronic components and 3D printers, mean anyone can create things for tens of pounds rather than thousands,” said Club CEO Simon Riley. “They just need to be led through the process.”
The Maker Club is looking forward to the day when folks will be printing their own personalized vacuum cleaners, educational toys and “special projects” and is hoping to add fuel to that future fire with a robot kit that comes with Arduino-based brains and an iOS/Android smartphone app package called the MakerConnect. The microcontroller and app allow control of the bot over Bluetooth, though home hackers can also use the system to for home automation systems and sensors. The team is also planning to leverage the power of a user’s smartphone to connect the app to the cloud, meaning that it could be possible to remotely control bots or access user sensor data in other parts of the world. … (Read more)