Young makers looking to break into the world of robotics have a new entry point, as the Cardbots take to crowdfunding to offer a sustainable and recyclable system for simple wheeled designs.
"Cardbots is a maker robotics platform for future makers aged 8+ that allows them to develop future skills with cardboard robots that they can make easily at home," explains Pedro Porras Luraschi of the project. "Easily connect cardboard pieces with this reusable system that was designed to allow kids to build robots at home."
While each robot's chassis is constructed from cardboard held together with plastic clips, plus the occasional wooden axle or elastic band, there has to be electronics somewhere in there — and they come in the form of Bucky, a robot controller programmed via Flowde, Scratch, or Swift Playgrounds. Integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity provide the ability to turn a Cardbot into a mobile IoT platform, pushing data to remote stores including Google Sheets.
"When we teach children to learn to write, we do not expect them to become poets. They learn something that is fundamental for everyone," claims Luraschi. "Likewise, in today's world children should develop the necessary skills for interacting with robots, technology, and AI."
"We believe that with the right mindset and skills we can harness the power of technology and bring a bright future. A future in which clean energy powers sustainable cities and automation is used to create abundance, enabling a new era of human creativity and innovation."
The Cardbots project is currently funding on Kickstarter, with rewards starting at MX$1,799 (around $84) for a kit which includes a single Bucky controller, four motors, a USB battery pack, and all the plastic, wooden, and cardboard parts required to get started — plus lifetime access to the Cardbots learning platform. Delivery is scheduled to begin in March 2021.