Author Topic: sell $50 robot as a kit?  (Read 1418 times)

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Offline blackbeardTopic starter

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sell $50 robot as a kit?
« on: October 27, 2010, 07:36:46 AM »
have you ever thought of this? i mean it would probably help noobs if they had a pcb instead of a protoboard and it might even be cheeper in the long run. i've seen allot of post showing noobs who don't know how to solder and either A) get discouraged and don't build it or B) ruin their parts with improper soldering. if you do just the pcb, the parts and maybe a pre drilled piece of acrylic then that would probably really help the noobs. you could also add stuff to the pcb like spaces where you can mount Verizon sensors making the upgrade less painfull for some noobs.
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Offline Oller125

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2010, 09:02:18 AM »
I can see where this is coming from, but I think the whole point of it not being a kit is for people to feel they have a built their own robot rather than just following strict instructions.

Offline waltr

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2010, 09:35:50 AM »
I agree with Oller.
There are many simple robot kits if you wish to go that way and may be a good idea for many people.

The $50 robot in kit form with a PCB and printed instructions would now be a $150 robot or more.
What is learned from a kit has limits. Building from scratch pushing to amount learned considerably.
The $50 robot also allows the builder to be creative. I love the pics of all the different solutions people have used to build their $50 Bots.

Offline Soeren

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2010, 10:49:23 AM »
Hi,

Well, I think a ready made PCB would go a long way towards those that are unsure of where what goes and if they're reading the instructions right, but it won't teach anybody so solder properly.

For the rest, I agree that it would lock people down to "painting by numbers", although I think anything built from other peoples designs are in that category.

Why don't you just start selling PCB's (and whatever you think people need) for the $50 'bot? It's not like anyone would be forced to go that route, but then there's an extra string to play for those that want.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
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Offline blackbeardTopic starter

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2010, 11:33:41 AM »
Hi,

Well, I think a ready made PCB would go a long way towards those that are unsure of where what goes and if they're reading the instructions right, but it won't teach anybody so solder properly.

For the rest, I agree that it would lock people down to "painting by numbers", although I think anything built from other peoples designs are in that category.

Why don't you just start selling PCB's (and whatever you think people need) for the $50 'bot? It's not like anyone would be forced to go that route, but then there's an extra string to play for those that want.


by you you mean me i assume? well it is admins bot so admin would probably be the guy who'd need to do it but i have thought of trying to make a kit for a bot that's as cheep as possible to make. as for it becoming a $150 robot with the addition of pcbs i think you'll find that quite the opposite effect can be achieved as long as quantities are sufficient. there's a mamber (and you'll have to forgive me for remembering you buy avitar and the fact that your robots are yellow) who often makes kits and offers the pcbs usually for $3. of course there'd be no reason to take down the $50 robot tutorial and people could still make it the ole fashion way if they wanted. personally i see many more advantages then just for people starting out by making it in kit form. someone doing research for instance would probably love an inexpensive source for robots to use in swarms and the like but would frown on having to do them all on protoboard.
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Offline Webbot

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2010, 11:55:53 AM »
A SoR member has a pretty good solution. See the start of this thread http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=12216.msg91974#msg91974
Webbot Home: http://webbot.org.uk/
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Offline Soeren

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2010, 03:32:36 PM »
Hi,

by you you mean me i assume?

Yes.


well it is admins bot so admin would probably be the guy who'd need to do it but i have thought of trying to make a kit for a bot that's as cheep as possible to make.

I cannot speak for others of course, but you could write him an email asking if he'd be OK with you selling some PCB's for it. Somehow I think it would be OK, but asking is easy and it's best to have clean lines.


as for it becoming a $150 robot with the addition of pcbs i think you'll find that quite the opposite effect can be achieved as long as quantities are sufficient. [...] pcbs usually for $3.

Not for a PCB. but if a full kit of everything needed should be made available, it could come to that quite fast.

I'd like to warn you though, selling a PCB or 3 a month won't make you rich and you'd have to find a way to ship cheaply to make it happen.
I have so often not bought something because the shipping was more than the actual goods.

Anybody who want to make a PCB for themself could just use the one I posted here. But if they don't dig for it, they'll never see it, as it's about a year ago.
It is 2.4" x 1.5" single sided layout, with no critically narrow traces, so easy to fab at home.

As I have never had any feedback on whether it works or not and don't use AVR's myself - it was made from the dot version and another IIRC - anyone having a go at it, please do tell.

Oh, I just discovered a minor flaw in the layout - an acid trap by the positive pad of C4 (probably happened since I often route with components hidden - it won't subtract from its function however)
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline 123laurens

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2010, 10:10:43 AM »
they already have a kit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
http://circuitgizmos.com/products/cgsorkit1/cgsorkit1.shtml
note:it has a PCB!!!!
contains all but the servos

Offline Asellith

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2010, 11:17:05 AM »
This comes up every once in a while. Several people have tried versions of it. I didn't think anyone ever actually made it to the selling stage. Their just isn't enough money in it. My experience is in order to use distributors and still make money you need to take your net costs and mark it up at least 250% more like 300%. You can get away with 130% or 150% if your only selling on your site but you will be doing a lot of work for almost no cash.

Also that kit doesn't include a $50 robot PCB from what I can see. It includes a standard perfboard that will work for the $50 instead of the bread board. I might be wrong but the site never clarifies and the picture is a perfboard.

If you have enough capital to order 1k or 2k kits in bulk you might make some money but the return on investment period is to long for most.
Jonathan Bowen
CorSec Engineering
www.corseceng.com

Offline GearMotion

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 08:49:42 AM »
Also that kit doesn't include a $50 robot PCB from what I can see. It includes a standard perfboard that will work for the $50 instead of the bread board.


Almost right. That is a kit of electrical parts just like the parts needed for the tutorial. (Plus a few extras.) The kit supplies the parts for the board build that you may otherwise have to buy from multiple places. You say "that kit doesn't include a $50 robot PCB" but it includes exactly the PCB that is part of the tutorial.

http://www.circuitgizmos.com/products/cgpcb/cgpcb.shtml

And here is a tutorial on the kit assembly. It is an alternate to the SoR instructions meant as an aid. Sometime reading two different ways to do things helps the beginner. This tutorial has a few tips that may help the first-time solderer.

http://circuitgizmos.com/wordpress/?p=471

Also your development/cost assertions are spot on. You would have to invest time and money, as well as buy in high quantity, to make a better kit (like one that has a specific PCB) and the return on investment is very low.

« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 09:02:16 AM by GearMotion »

Offline Asellith

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Re: sell $50 robot as a kit?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2010, 02:10:28 PM »
Well lets just say in the last few months I have learned my lessons with www.corseceng.com. I'm stuck in a distributor deal that costs me money. I set my retail to low and after I give the distributor 60% off I make just enough on a $200 order to pay my overhead. I can still make due because of special projects like one I picked up from ponoko for laser cutting some items. I was able to use the bulk order to reduce my costs for that project and make some cash.

A local business owner told me he marks up his stuff 300% and I thought he was crazy. Not anymore...
Jonathan Bowen
CorSec Engineering
www.corseceng.com

 


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