Welcome to Synthiam!

The easiest way to program the most powerful robots. Use technologies by leading industry experts. ARC is a free-to-use robot programming software that makes servo automation, computer vision, autonomous navigation, and artificial intelligence easy.

Get Started
United Kingdom
Asked — Edited

Ez-Bits - Can Someone Give An Overview Please?

Hi All,
I'm a newbie and I'm currently connecting all sorts of goodies to my EZ-B. I've seen various refences on the forums to EZ-bits as a future add-on mechanism for peripherals and I've also noted that apparently the PCB went to the printers a few weeks ago, but I can't find any reference to what capabilities it is expected to have, or when it will be available - can anyone help? I'm particularly interested in knowing whether it will make adding a compass module any easier:)


ARC Pro

Upgrade to ARC Pro

Harnessing the power of ARC Pro, your robot can be more than just a simple automated machine.

PRO
Synthiam
#1  
I'd be the one to answer this:)

I've been attempting to fund resources for EZ-Bits. Using the i2c header, and the idea of an "arduino shield" type add-on - I have a line of EZ-Bits (either in prototype or beta) that work natively with the EZ-B. Including a compass module, additional servo power module, accelerometer, IR receiver, WIFI adapter sheild, xBee adapter shield, synapse adapter shield and a few others.

As a startup, we're limited to resources. But we're trying!
Canada
#2  
DJ,

Go at them one at a time, or do pre-orders for them?

Just a thought, back I go under my rock. :D
PRO
Synthiam
#3  
That's what's been happening. One at a time. It's tough to do everything at once:) I spend a lot of time between the forum, support, software releases, new features, etc:)
Canada
#4  
We need to clone you. Or design a EZ-B version of you. :D
PRO
Synthiam
#5  
Hahaha, yes please!! Cloned DJ robots will help me a great deal:)

A not so short, but vague explanation of what has been going on. EZ-Robot was a hobby project, which turned into a full time gig. The demand from the industry showed that a unified complete scalable solution was needed. People need to build robots from start to finish (i.e. beginner to advanced). The concept of EZ-Robot is to provide a graphical environment which contains pre-programmed "controls", as well as the ability for advanced users to define their own controls using C# and VB development controls.

The EZ-SDK is also a popular release for labs and university grade educational use. The EZ-SDK enables advanced roboticists the ability to customize EZ-Robot features combined with additional resources (such as ROS and OpenCV). Not to say that the ARC C# and VB controls do not provide matching scalability.

Over the past few months, we have grown to become an unusual start-up. Most startups struggle for years with cash flow issues, prototyping and expensive development costs. Because I play a rare combined role of visionary, CEO and software developer, we have been able to grow very quickly. With the positives, there are always some negatives. The negatives are due to a few restrictions related to available resources. Resources are not strictly financial (although that is always a concern with scaling), but we are limited with marketing, customer support and manufacturing. In the short time since EZ-Robot has been incorporated (7 months), we have achieved amazing results. Sometimes, expensive lessons yield positive results.

The concept of EZ-Bits is quite simple, technically for me. My ability to whip out diagrams, PCB's and schematics of EZ-Bits should, in theory be easy. Due to the number of hats I wear in a day, this has been constantly pushed aside.

We have continued to grow our software and feature set, while the add-on hardware of EZ-Bits has been suffering.

So, the question regarding EZ-Robot's future was asked a few months ago... "What the heck is your goal?". Simple answer: Our goal is to provide the world (consumer and industry) with a unified robot platform standard for robot innovation and production. Going forward, that means EZ-Robot needs to grow.

If you have ever followed the story of Apple and Microsoft in the early 80's, you will be able to relate to the business and ethical model I have been structuring EZ-Robot around.

We have spent the past few months struggling within the limitations of the country we operate out of. I love Canada for many reasons, but technological growth and adaption is not one of them. The concept of Robotics to Canadian investors is challenging because it challenges their investment experience. I did not understand this limitation when I first ventured to obtain additional funding to address our scaling and potential.

Over the past few months, we have been busy doing more than developing. Behind the scenes, we have been meeting with Canadian and Alberta VC's at a very aggressive rate. Locally, everyone knows who we are, but is inexperienced at investing in an unknown industry of robotics. As much as we'd love to maintain our Canadian status, it has come to the point that we have no further option but to relocate to the USA.

Within the past few weeks, we are in discussion with a few parties who are able to make the relocation possible. This will mean a great deal for EZ-Robot. It opens doors that I have been dreaming of my whole life. I dream of having the appropriate funding and support to build a product to my fullest potential.

Lately the discussions have been moving us closer, every day, to achieving our relocation goal to the USA - even if temporary for a few months.

In order to make the impact within the industry that we deserve, it is a necessary move.

So, your question about EZ-Bits raises a very detailed and personal response. Because the creation of plug-and-play add-on's for the EZ-Robot Platform will position us into a new league. As well as a few other conceptual designs, such as physical robot shells and mobile support.

EZ-Robot's existing platform is merely a small piece of our software and hardware potential. We've masked the true scalable power of EZ-Robot behind toys and graphics - it's time to take the next step.

"Imagine Your Life With A Robot":)
#6  
First I would like to say this is a greatly informative post on the EZ-B saga.
Is California the best option? I hear the state has super high tax rate. I also read someplace that Texas has begun to siphon more of the technology industry away from California because it is more friendly to tech businesses. I'm not in the business so I dont know how true that may be. I do know that many businesses have left California since it was too expensive to operate there.
Im just curious what was the deciding factor on choosing California.
PRO
Synthiam
#7  
We won't be operating out of California. We will be engaging within the community. There is a much stronger community involving innovation with robotics in California. We were there for a few weeks and the relationships we established were fantastic.
#8  
Ah I see. Its wonderful to watch your business grow. We are all pulling for ya and Im sure most are spreading the word.:)
United Kingdom
#9  
Thanks for this insight DJ and good luck to you. If shares in your company become available I would invest
#10  
We whole-heartedly welcome you and your family (both real and company) to the USA, even if only temporarily.
Having worked for several IT companies over the years, I opine. (My half cent)
* Constantly ask and re-ask the question what is our goal, do we need to change it or step back?
* Stick with what you know "your expertise". - I worked for two companies that got into areas they thought they could handle (to get a bigger paycheck) just by hiring "smart people". They both folded!
* Most importantly - Manage the balance between Work and Home! It does neither good when one outweighs the other!

Good Luck Sir! We definitely appreciate and support your efforts!
United Kingdom
#11  
Welldone DJ on your latest efforts. I would also support EZ Robot if shares became available:)
PRO
Synthiam
#12  
It's awesome to receive such amazing support! We have been discussing a family and friends round of funding before making any big VC decisions. I didn't think any of you would be interested, but it warms my heart to see your support!

I wonder if I should consider a kickstarter page?
United Kingdom
#13  
I suspect lot of us would love that:) the chance to invest in something about which you are passionate and which also looks like it has fantastic growth potential is exciting in itself - rope us in :D

PS thank you for the very full and honest answer to my original post; my respect for you and what you do just keeps growing
United Kingdom
#14  
@MrCrispi I agree completely
Ireland
#15  
Best of luck Dj
What a fantastic product, I may not be a VC but I sure know what I have in my EZ-B
nothing comes near in the Robotic world.
Think I will wrap my EZ b up in cotton wool (its too good to use ) its will be worth a fortune some day.

Thank you DJ
By the way, forget about cloning that would never work in your case.

Pat
#16  
That was very well put and gives even more of a reason to admire you. I personally would love for you to come to California. :o)

"physical robot shells and mobile support" - I was thinking about this too. To some the thought of hacking a toy is scary. But if you had some plug and play style shells. I think this would open you up for a broader range of consumers. hmmmm.... I will think on this. Didn't you mention somewhere you have access to CNC or was it laser cutter? 3-D print machine?

A kickstarter page would be a wonderful idea. While I don't have VC funds would still love to contribute. All though you do have to promise us that when you are big and famous you'll at least stop by and say hi from time to time on the board.

DJ PS. The guy that funds the company I work for my be interested. He owns
Stage 8, he is an inventor himself and wants me to bring my minion in for him to see. I can't promise anything, he is older and technology escapes him. But could also get you a large warehouse to operate out of.
#17  
Thanks for that post DJ, its really exciting to hear how & where our favorite company/startup is going. I like the Kickstarter idea, I'd be in!
PRO
USA
#18  
DJ What a great explanation of where you are going with the company. Run don't walk to kickstarter. A close friend created a 3d printer that prints in high resolution and was hoping in 30 days to get $50,000 in funding. In two days he met his goal, in 30 days he had $532,000 in donations and orders for his machines. You can achieve short term goals with this market ( social funding).

I recently grabbed up a 5000 sq ft shop here in Los Angeles, with the goal to start a new business in prototyping and design work. My goal would be to leave behind the film industry and start a consumer robotics company I'd like to say it's was inspired by EZ Robot and it's vision of the future robotics.

In any event we here in the USA would be excited to see your company grow and expand,

Keep up the great work


Will
PRO
Synthiam
#19  
Thanks everyone! So many kind words:)

A great thing about being in the states is i'll be able to meet most of you!
#20  
Moving to the united states for sure would be the best thing you ever did , USA is such a melting pot of tech , manufacturing and hospitality. Infrastructure for shipping both inbound and out is well established. Dj I would invest both in financial investment , development or otherwise. I don't know which areas your specifically looking at but Atlanta Ga has low taxes , its a backbone for central USA national shipping. Plus cost of living is lower than California. If there was a way I could openly invest with ez robot I'd practically setup direct deposit to funnel you bits of cash:)
#21  
Well DJ, if you want to visit one of your Nerd Herd and need a vacation, My Son leaves for Air Force Boot camp in three weeks. That leaves a spare room in Key West, FL.:D
PRO
Synthiam
#22  
Woo goo! Thanx Dave! I sure like Florida:) looks like we will me in California or Washington - haven't totally decided yet:) Texas seems to be an option too
#23  
From what I have been reading, Texas is more Business friendly for new companies moving in
#24  
I think we read the same thing. But to be sure...cali and Texas are truly different cultures. Not in a bad way mind you. Just not the same.
#25  
@DJ
Personally i would love to see you move to Texas :), the business side here has been good for me at least, living cost is much lower than Cali. Shipping is most convenient in central area and get to most place in the U.S. very quickly. There are lot of newly developed cities in northern TX such as Sachse, Rowlett, Rockwall, ect. great to establish new business. You should put up a donation page, i'd would help within my also very limited resource:)
PRO
Synthiam
#26  
Hmmm that's good to know! Hearing more about Texas all the time. Sounds like its an option to Persue!
Gibraltar
#27  
DJ don't forget us in europe you should be thinking globely
#28  
There is always Colorado. Might feel more like Canada there, if you live in the wide open areas.
#29  
Colorado is beautiful! Can be expensive there right?
#31  
Colorado is where the money goes to play:D . But it seems to have been growing in the aspects of the electronics field. Not only could you have a nice open area to live with plenty of space I am sure it would be easy to meet some investors next door, that is if your good at sweet talking.
#33  
Plus the added bonus of almost being smack dab in the middle of the U.S. keeping both the Eastern and Western customers at pleasing aspects when it comes to shipping lol.
#34  
DJ... not really. There is only Northern California... :o)
PRO
USA
#35  
..... Southern California ... Los Angeles... Do it do it....double dog dare ya!!!