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Author Topic: Commercially availible 50$ robot?  (Read 5798 times)

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Offline E.Man.LavaTopic starter

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Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« on: January 20, 2008, 03:55:13 PM »
Are there any commercially availible robots out there that use the same basic principals as the 50$ robot?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2008, 04:05:01 PM by E.Man.Lava »

Offline ed1380

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2008, 04:29:48 PM »
photovores. yes.

upgradable core system for $50. no.
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Offline E.Man.LavaTopic starter

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2008, 04:31:08 PM »
What are they?
 ???

Offline Admin

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2008, 06:50:20 PM »
the closest you will probably find is the Boebot . . . but its like ~$150 and doesn't come with as many features as the $50 Robot . . .

Offline izaktj

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 01:39:48 AM »
Admin could make tons of $$$ by buying wholesale $50 robot parts (which might cost about 30% cheaper), then packaging and selling them as "kits" for $50 or a bit more 8)

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2008, 01:13:42 PM »
I considered doing that to save you guys money/time . . . I researched it and even talked with a manufacturer/distributer . . . but the profit margin was horrible so it wasn't worth it . . .

Offline HDL_CinC_Dragon

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 01:33:17 PM »
Ill do it and paint all the pins gold and advertise that all my pins and connections are reliable as can be because they are all 24 karat Gold and charge $250 a kit and when people call me wondering why its not working at all ill charge them $50 a minute to help debug after making them wait 20 minutes on the phone and then suggest they go buy replacement parts either from my website or find the parts themselves but tell them my parts are always better and then repeat the cycle!
ITS GENIUS!
:P

Anywho. Admin, can I see the numbers? Perhaps something was over looked or left out? Maybe something can be worked out.
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Offline Admin

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 01:55:14 PM »
Someone is having issues on focusing  ;)

Anyway, if I bought it all in bulk, it will probably cost me ~$35 per robot, including shipping. I'd have to sell it at between $60 and $100 for a decent profit margin, and then it just wouldn't be a '$50 robot' . . .

You or anyone else is welcome to turn it into a product and sell it. The design is free. Just remember to write me a small check if you make a profit ;D

Offline SmAsH

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 02:45:22 PM »
hahaha lol you two should be business partners or something :D

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Offline paulstreats

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 03:24:11 PM »
it would be worth doing if you could provide a well manufactured base and a basic control board with the photovore sensors and servos. If you can sell it for $75 - $100 there is probably a market. I know that it wouldnt be the $50 robot, but there seems to be a gap in the market between ultra - cheap flimsy and unupgradeable robots to the super expensive ones. There seems to be a shortfall of medium priced robots which can actually be upgraded.

If somebody made one and give you a sample working product could it become officially endorsed by SOR?

Offline SmAsH

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2008, 03:38:27 PM »
that sounds cool. and you can sell atatchments for it like sharp ir $20 lol
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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008, 03:45:25 PM »
paulstreats, considering doing it? I have *some* experience with turning a robot idea into a product, my Axon being almost ready for market . . . so I can offer some good advice.

Quote
If somebody made one and give you a sample working product could it become officially endorsed by SOR?
on these (fairly obvious) conditions:
product is of good quality
good customer service (documentation, responsive email, shipping, payment method, etc)
the maker helps with related support on the forum

Offline paulstreats

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2008, 04:02:06 PM »
I am thinking of producing something for the uk market, obviously it would be available online. But i would like to see a realistic robot that the user can use and upgrade which is cheap enough to buy from local model/hobby/toy retailers etc...

I know there are things like robosapien but these are generally wysiwyg with no room for upgrading or working with, nothing is learnt from them really and ive got a funny feeling that once the novelty wears off and the batteries run out they dont get replaced.

My thoughs are to produce more than 1 chassis type model with optional motors or servos etc... I have a funny feeling that unless something is done about it the UK is going to be last in the robotic revolution

Offline dunk

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2008, 05:23:24 PM »
i get the impression people have the most problems getting the $50 circuit board working.
maybe if someone could identify an ATmega based board that could be used in place of the homemade $50 circuit board it would increase the amount of people trying the project.

maybe if Admin requested samples of some suitable boards he could write reviews on their range of features and suitability of any he receives.

buying a premade board would blow the $50 budget though but i get the impression from the forum some people would be happy choosing this route.


dunk.

Offline ed1380

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2008, 05:30:59 PM »
what about recomending the arduino for the people having trouble w/ the $50 robot circuit. or maybe have it as an alternative from the start.

I'm sure someone could write a tutorial on how the use of the arduino will be diferent from the $50 robot (what conversions must be done)
Problems making the $50 robot circuit board?
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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2008, 05:58:57 PM »
Well, the point of the $50 Robot was the teach you ALL of the basics of robot building on your own. This includes locating parts, reading datasheets, soldering, reading schematics, programming, the list goes on . . . It was very well thought out ;D

But at one time I was thinking of producing a non-populated custom PCB and selling those. This would make it more of a kit, probably adding only $10 to the total cost including shipping.

Offline SmAsH

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2008, 07:17:11 PM »
the only hard thing with releasing a kit is people usually expect a custom shell...would the easiest be like a stampy sort of shell?


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Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2008, 05:40:56 AM »
The closest thing I would choose is a prototyping board and a chassis board like the Pololu's Round Chassis and Prototyping boards. The user would be able to mount Servos or DC Motors on the chassis and a Ballcaster. Of course, this will up the price, but would still be modular and customisable. The prototyping board may have set places for the Mega168, a dual H-bridge, a RS232 converter and all the connectors, but let the user make the connections with wires, as desired. Make sure the board is double sided and the holes are plated.

So, for a Pololu chassis kit it costs:
 - 5" round prototyping board:      $11.95
 - 5" round chassis completion kit: $20.50 (has a round acrylic board, Tamiya Double Gearbox, Ball caster and Truck tires)
 - 8 pieces 1.25" standoff set:      $ 4.25
Total:                                       $36.70

Add about $20 for the rest of the parts and you get a complete robot for about $60. Plus the cost of the programmer of your choice.

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2008, 09:21:01 AM »
but . . . it still needs to be marked up for a profit.

So you would have to cut Pololu out of the equation and talk with manufacturers and suppliers to get that price down.

Offline paulstreats

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2008, 09:53:50 AM »
and its a really small frame.

Ive been looking around for people to manufacture plastic parts for chassis etc.. but nobody will give a quote without a prototype model and pictures.
Ive looked for people who produce rapid prototyping and nobody seems to want to give a quote until you can give them a finallized cad file, all i want is a general idea.... if anyone has any experience with this can you let me know please. Also anybody who knows where i can just get plastics cut to shape would be useful

Offline airman00

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2008, 09:57:44 AM »
You or anyone else is welcome to turn it into a product and sell it. The design is free. Just remember to write me a small check if you make a profit ;D

I'll look into that .........  ;)
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Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2008, 10:09:23 AM »
but . . . it still needs to be marked up for a profit.

So you would have to cut Pololu out of the equation and talk with manufacturers and suppliers to get that price down.

Yeah, I know. I was just giving an example. I mean if I were to make the kit available, I would make it so it could use the GM9 motors with the 2-5/8" wheels or servos with same diameter wheels. Heck, Pololu does custom laser cuts, so design the board and have them cut it in hundreds (different colors :) ) for a cheaper price they advertise. Find a PCB house that will cut the boards round and voila! Job done. I was thinking in doing this here in Romania, but didn't find enough demand. Maybe when I'll get to Canada, who knows? In a year or so I'll even have my own CNC. But by then, the kits may be different. We should look ahead in the future.

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Offline HDL_CinC_Dragon

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2008, 11:25:10 AM »
Why bother including a shell? Just because others do it?

In my opinion, the only thing the kit really needs is the parts and maybe an actual diagram of the board and where its parts go. If we can get custom PCBs that are set up just like the current perf-board circuit calls for and include the rest of the parts (exactly enough caps, resistors, LEDs, headers, etc) but not a chassis. That alone will help amazingly but we just have to make sure theres BIG words saying "CHASSIS NOT INCLUDED"... and we should decide if we feel like including batteries :P

I think simply doing that would increase success and traffic for the $50 robot very very much... besides, I spent over $100 on my $50 robot even before I bought the Sharp IR haha

Even if we just slapped like $20-$25 for profits sake, Im sure it would still be beneficial...
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 11:25:50 AM by HDL_CinC_Dragon »
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Offline ed1380

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2008, 12:22:17 PM »
IMO since most of the beginers are having problems programming he $50 robot. someone could sell preprogrammed atmega8(168) for a little profit.
Problems making the $50 robot circuit board?
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Offline HDL_CinC_Dragon

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2008, 12:39:27 PM »
Well that would totally defeat the purpose of them learning it all now wouldnt it :P

I think the most problems people are having with programming the MCU is that they either soldered the wires to the wrong pins (which happened in my case... 4 times :P) and/or they simply didnt set up the program properly for programming in which case that one is their fault for not reading the set up list.

Pre-done anything would be a bad idea for creating a learning circuit. Im even unsure about supplying the premade PCB rather than the perfboard because for other projects theye not always going to have premade PCBs...
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 12:40:15 PM by HDL_CinC_Dragon »
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Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2008, 12:48:04 PM »
IMO since most of the beginers are having problems programming he $50 robot. someone could sell preprogrammed atmega8(168) for a little profit.

That would be like buying a toy.
People need an easy way to upload programs to their micros. OOPic-R, Arduino and some others have the bootloader, so a serial port or a USB port and cable is all you need. Another thing is simplify the process of programming the micro. There should be only ONE software that does all you need in one window. Same examples (OOPic and Arduino) are best to see what I mean. Something like type the code in a text editor, then go to command prompt in the proper directory, type make with the proper parameters, then go to Ponyprog (or AVR-Dude) and upload the code to the micro is not fun. A noob gets easily frustrated with the wealth of options and information it needs to check in order to have his code working on the micro.

There is allways the posibility of using the programmer if you need to and when you feel that noob days are over. Then just erase the bootloader and use all the memory available. What's the big deal? Why do you think Basic Stamp was so popular? (Still is actually...) Because a complete noob was able to hook the board to the computer using a simple cable and write the code in the easiest way posible. Now that makes a good kit for noobs!
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Offline HDL_CinC_Dragon

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2008, 01:05:56 PM »
Ive used the Basic Stamp and its awesome :P
I didnt use pony prog for that exact reason. Its too... annoying

I went for the $35 programmer and am quite happy with it. Its very easy in my opinion.
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Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: Commercially availible 50$ robot?
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2008, 01:42:32 PM »
Speaking of round chassis, take a look at my CD-bot here:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=3050.0
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