Open-Source Kits Put Robots in Many Hands

The small group of inventors and robot experts has set 13 levels of funding for participants, starting at $5 and going to $1,950. Rewards include a Multiplo sticker for a pledge of $5, a robot starter kit for a $139 pledge, and an educator’s package of 10 robot building kits for a $1,950 pledge. Multiplo requested $15,000 from investors, and as of Monday, reached its goal. You can find more information about the Multiplo project, robot kits, and watch a short video on the Multiplo Kickstarter page.

Multiplo kits come with everything needed to build a robot, although kit builders can add their own components, too. Mechanical parts have plenty of holes for fasteners, so people can easily change the arrangement of motors, servos, and other pieces of a robot. Depending on the kit purchased, builders receive a DuinoBot robot controller that provides circuits for motor drivers, sensor inputs, and connections to Arduino-compatible “shields.” The shields, or add-on boards — available from many companies — provide additional capabilities such as wireless controls, GPS receivers, displays, and other functions.