We receive so many pitches for crowdfunding projects. They pour into our inbox daily. Since crowdfunding is a bit of a gamble, it is always kind of hard to determine just how to write about these projects, considering that many of them may not ever deliver. Cool Crowdfunding is our way of sharing some of the ones that catch our eye.
Remember, some of the crowdfunding projects from our previous Cool Crowdfunding collections may still be active! Go back and check them out to see if there’s anything you shouldn’t miss.
Sphero forged a name for itself as a series of educational products, designed to add a learn-to-program aspect to what also happened to be fun toys. From their trademark rolling spheres to the newer wheel-shaped gadgets, they’ve provided a mixture of entertainment with coding.
Their newest release is a four-wheeled rover base that they’ve designed to let people do more specific robotics-type projects without having to spend time fidgeting with the mechanics of the vehicle itself. It’s got a swappable top plate that can house and power additional electronic brains of your choosing, including Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or micro:bit.
From there, makers can add their own hardware. Camera module, weather station, robot arm. It’s up to you. Sphero’s built the base, you do the rest.
It also includes enough onboard electronics to practice coding without additional hardware. Color sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer, and more come included.
Vincross, the team behind the smooth-moving Hexa robot, has just launched their newest robotics platform. Actually, two platforms — one, a simple, round, wheeled rover, and the other a longer treaded “tank.” Designed with plug-and-play simplicity, the overall system comprises various square-box modules that snap together to add processing and sensing (including infrared and lidar options) as well as a range of mechanical add-ons including a robot arm attachment. I was able to see an early version of this at Maker Faire Tokyo, used in a robotic soccer arena, and a later prototype at CES.
Learn about AI and autonomous driving systems with a cute little bot named Zumi. With lessons in machine vision, decision making, and ethics, this is a pretty cool kit to get started with.
Sophia is becoming a smart sidekick!