TipToe, a Walking Robot with iPhone App Control, Debutes on Kickstarter on June 2 to Bring Fun Back
The evolution of 3D printing has lowered significantly the cost of design and production and enabled small scale "garage" manufacturing for creative entrepreneurs. XYZbot is one of the startups founded to make fun and affordable products for kids and adults alike. The company founders, Kerwin Lumpkins and Steven Gentner are two engineers from Denver, CO who already have created several successful Kickstarter campaigns.
Now XYZbot is returning with TipToe, a walking robot with iPhone app control. TipToe has 6 legs, LED eyes with changeable color (RGB LEDs). The robot kit is an easy and quick introduction to robotics. It uses a free iPhone app for simple moves and can be upgraded to add a speaker, sonar and temperature sensors. The robot is based on the RFduino, a Bluetooth enabled Arduino compatible module, which itself has been funded by the Kickstarter community. Advanced users can reprogram it for their own behaviors, including autonomous action.
Tip Toe was born out of a desire to teach kids programming and engineering skills the fun way: “I spent about 3 months mentoring a 7th grader in robotics. He chose to build a 6 legged walking robot kit that was very sophisticated. We built it over time, but when we tried to operate it, we could never get it to work right. The software simply was not ready, and support was essentially non-existent. That was a very discouraging experience for a budding young roboticist. So we (Steven and I) set out to make a robot kit that solved these problems. I offered one of the first TipToe prototypes to that 7th grader and his eyes lit up. His interest and wonder in technology was rekindled. So for me, TipToe is already a success.” said Kerwin Lumpkins.
TipToe debuted at the Denver MiniMakerFaire on May 3rd and 4th and will be available for a special pre-order price on Kickstarter starting on June 2nd. The price starts at $99 for the basic model and $135 for the advanced model with a sensor and more capability. The creators will also offer a reward to get only the files for those that prefer the DIY approach.
The emergence of the Internet of Things is making robots, smart devices and technology in general an essential part of our daily lives. It is important that the next generations get in touch with it early. Robots like TipToe make the learning process fun and exciting and encourages kids to create and experiment.
About the creators:
Kerwin Lumpkins grew up on a farm in Kentucky, served for six years in the US Marines and has been an engineer for sixteen years. He has designed and built robotic systems for ten years.
Steven Gentner is a founder of RoboRealm, the company responsible for the popular machine vision software application. He grew up in Nigeria, Africa. Steven began his technical career at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles where he participated in the groundbreaking Mercury Project and Robotic Telegarden systems. Both projects connected online users with the real world by deploying robotic arms that interacted with the environment.
XYZbot is a Colorado based company. All products sold by XYZbot were created by Kerwin and Steven and funded through Kickstarter campaigns.
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To pre-order TipToe go to the project’s Kickstarter page: