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Program robots using technologies created from industry experts. ARC is our free-to-use robot programming software that makes features like vision recognition, navigation and artificial intelligence easy.

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Resolved Resolved by DJ Sures!

New Pay To Play ARC

I am 74 years old and I am building a full scale 3D printed R2-D2.  I have started programming the arm movements and have them all under voice command. I have around 20 voice command now.  To my surprise the program will now only support 10 voice commands unless I pay a monthly fee. This fee is being charged after the fact.  It also seems to be a life time fee.  If I pay the fee for say a year and finish the robot it will then stop working if I then no longer want to pay the fee because I am done building robots.  I could not even give R2-D2 to my Grandson because it would no longer work.  There seems to be something wrong with this. If I am paying to use the software then that Robert program should be good for ever. I could understand that I couldn’t add further enhancements to this robot without a fee but what I have paid for should be mine.  Like others I have spent a lot of time and money on my project and it seems that I have been shut down. I don’t want to be locked into a life time contract to keep R2-D2 working in the future.  Am I missing something about the new system of using ARC? I have been registered member of this community for about 10 years and I am very disappointed by this.

Related Hardware EZ-Robot EZ-B v4
Related Control EZ-B v4 Info
#40   — Edited
Hi Dave,

We have a development plan to address that concern :). 

Right now, if the subscription is expired, you will not be able to use subscription based features. However, one of the things we're working on is the ability to make a runtime of your project. This means that if you're "done with your robot", you'll be able to press a button and output a version that no longer requires subscription. The goal is to have the subscription for the development. We're using the funding of the subscription model today to continue developing that feature and hope to have it done before November 2021.

PS, on the topic of your R2.. have you been watching the progress of ARC's new autonomous navigation developments? It's pretty awesome - and soon your R2 can drive around entirely on it's own and understand where it is - where it's going - and how to get back :D. There's a few videos of the progress on other threads in the forum
Thank you DJ for your prompt response. This sounds like a very good solution to my and others concerns. Like I said before I have no concerns about the monthly fee. It is only fare for all your hard work over the years. I believe I will sign up for the fee payment to continue using the best robot program on the planet.
Awe, thanks so much! That does mean a lot to me. My biggest reward for the effort in Synthiam is when people appreciate the software. I’m surely going to have something within the year. And this current subscription system helps validate my efforts. That’s why I priced it so low, just so I can make sure people care ... otherwise I’d just stop haha

as for the priority of things. The big one right now is navigation.
Well really a monthly subscription while being able to try out cutting edge technology with simple to use plug ins developed by DJ and a crew. Some of the smartest people working on amazing ideas. To bring robots of the Future here now! No waiting for stinking 50 years down the road when space ships are having war with Aliens in a galaxy Far far away, LOL. I mean what's 8.99 bucks a month for all that Fun? The only thing better would be paypal for me as there are no 10 dollar visa gift cards at the Walmart or grocery stores that I can find just 25$ .so I need to pay again now but not sure if I may be 1 dollar short as it converts to US dollars,LOL! Can I mail in a Toony?:D
#45   — Edited
Mail me a beer!

PS, you save by getting a annual subscription. That's a better and more affordable deal
That's 2 beers I owe you now.xD
Good to see finished projects will be able to be outputted. My robot was pretty much complete, but I have already started the rebuild process. I will hold out hopes to see this in the future though. The software is probably the easiest way for someone to build a DIY robotic project and save time on programming while making something amazing.  That is why I chose this product over something like ROS or myrobotlab. I don't have as much time to spend on programming as I'm always knee deep in networking, virtualization and server infrastructure at work.  Your product is a great way to making things work really quickly.  Have fun and happy building I'll check back periodically.
Thanks kind of you to say.:)
#49   — Edited
@DJ This is very maddening for me since I just started building my inmoov and now I HAVE TO PAY for arc!!! I do not have the money to pay 10 dollar's a month for ARC so now I cannot use the plugins I need.  Why do we have to pay for this software when for the longest time it was free?  Do you have a plan for those that are homeschooled as I am?  I have no idea what to do now since I cannot use the full potential of ez-robot/arc anymore?  My dad also did not see any specials for Black Friday for maybe a "forever" plan or something.  Need your advice now.  I'd love to keep using this, but the plugins that are need from the store are more than 1 and paying a yearly fee of $120 is really steep.  Thanks
#50   — Edited
Sorry to hear that you can't afford to support the software developments of ARC that makes your robot dreams a reality. However, there is a free version that supports Auto Position and camera and speech recognition that will work great with your InMoov. A one-time purchase only makes sense for software that does not have on-going new feature development. We continually add new features daily to increase your robot's ability.
@Autiboy, I'm not trying to give you a hard time here. Please understand this. I'm wondering how you have been able to afford all the 3D printing equipment and supplies, sensors and motors so far that is going into your robot. That investment is no minor cost. What ever you have been doing to fund your build to this point I'd suggest you keep it up and probably do more. ARC is now another monetary investment  that brings your robot to life and will help it and yourself to grow and learn. Nothing in life is free. Everything has a price tag.

Have fun and enjoy.
#52   — Edited
I was using  ARC and EZ-robot to teach kids about robotics for work. We have to volunteer to help kids with STEM each year. PTP graciously wrote some plugins for me.  

now I actually have to pay for ARC I started using it more and now I am trying to get a better understanding of what the platform can do outside of EZ-Robot.  

If you actually have to pay for something you start to appreciate how valuable it is and start using it more.  

BTW the support alone is more than worth it.
#53   — Edited
Well I have a little income working at a potato farm but since I am still in high school I do not have a lot of time to work.  I just find it really maddening that for years it was free and now the version I NEED has a MONTHLY price tag for EACH MACHINE.  I am sure that their are many other ways to make money then loose members because you MAKE THEM HAVE TO PAY MONTHLY for ARC.  I would love to continue using ARC but if this is how Synthiam is going to go then it might just force me to find some other platform to use.
#54   — Edited
We understand that you can't afford to support our developments of the ARC software. Unfortunately, it costs us money to have free users. It is expensive for us to give software away for free because it costs us a lot of money to build, maintain, support, and add new features (not excluding our infrastructure web hosting, storage and software licenses).  We have to charge for our effort and in return customers pay for the result that they value.:)
When you convert to US dollars I think it is only 12 or 13 dollars, I need to go buy just a gift card Visa to do it but it is so worth it, I was playing around with some of the new features they keep adding everyday...Mind blowing stuff you will never find anywhere else, cutting edge technology we are exploring with easy to use controls, you can't beat that deal anywhere! Try programming these features yourself with just Arduino and examples free on the Web, Good luck with that! I tried, it sucks. I just used the basic version of ARC just now to see if Roomba control panel would still work and , Behold, works great! For those times of emergency,Basic is just fine.
#56   — Edited
Even on  ez-robot we get the LIMITED EDITION OR (free).  So we put money into ez-robot then it become's synthiam you opensource all the hardware and force people to pay for a software that SHOULD be free and make it like paying for SOMESORT OF CLOUD STORAGE.  When IT WAS FREE.  Because you cannot think of any other ways of making MONEY.  YOU ARE FORCING US TO PAY FOR ARC BY making  THE free edition have 1 quarter the functionality it should.
Ahh, no you are quite wrong there I am using the free edition until I upgrade later today again. As long as you save your projects to the Synthiam cloud, you can re use those programs in the free ARC with what I can see all my plug ins working that are in the premium plan.Everything I programmed last week is still working in my free version on a different laptop, All I did was download from the cloud, last weeks programs I made.
Ok so let me understand this, ez-robot was free for many many years with hundreds of users actively supporting and even helping create some of the plugins and now that it has moved to ARC and you are needing more than one plugin you have pay a yearly fee?  So, with that being said I have a couple of questions:

1.  What ever happened to the linux edition of ez-robot that was being worked on?
2. For kids and family members at home and learning robotics is there a EDU edition?
3.  For those that bought many products was there an a discount on Black Friday that we missed for the new annual paid version?

I'm only asking these questions as the ez-robot community is actually pretty big with some very long time users of not only your hardware, but also the software. 

We do appreciate the product, but a monthly fee or yearly fee can add up really quickly.
#59   — Edited
Hello, here’s some answers to your questions...

1) the Linux version existed for a little under 2 years. However, due to a few reasons it was cancelled a few months ago. The lack of hardware compatibility with Linux caused a number of user issues. The few users who did use it, had trouble maintaining the operating system. And it was less than 1% of our users. It wasn’t a viable investment to pay a salaried full time staff to maintain the code base for something no one was using. 

2) there is a free version available that maintains all the built in features you experienced with ezrobot. The product page has a list of comparison against the paid and free version. You can access that by clicking PRODUCTS -> ARC on this website top menu 

3) Synthiam did not have a Black Friday sale for the $8.99 software product we sell 

As you have experienced, the software has developed far beyond the initial versions. With the ongoing demand of new features and community feedback, full time staff were hired to maintain and develop so your robots could keep doing more. Eventually the customers became so dependent on the software features that it became a product of its own. As you can imagine, the ARC software is millions of lines of code and has taken 10+ years of development totaling more than 12 hours per day of full time man hours. 

The free version provides the standard usual features you’ve grown to enjoy in the past. The paid subscription model validates our effort to continue developing new features to make your robots even smarter.