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Nice Job, Big Roll Out

DJ,

Great job on a big roll out. I missed the live presentation, but got caught up on the YouTube recording. Here are my 2 cents.

I am speaking from a USA perspective. I think you have created a great resource for adults, kids and schools, but as any revolutionary idea, you may be ahead of your time. Gearing towards schools is a wonderful concept, but here in the US, with federal budget cuts, schools don't have enough teachers to teach, let alone a budget for 3d printers. There are a few who get donations of used machines, but not on the whole. There are some robotics courses being taught, but many schools have after school robotics clubs where money is raised so they can buy materials and build a bot.

The 3d printing evolution is just starting because 24 year patents the "big three" had, just ran out a few years ago and now everyone and their brother are cranking machines for the consumer, for better or for worse. In general the hobbiests who are buying these printers, are just simply supporting the evolving machines. In the end people will want machines with bigger foot prints and higher resolution prints and in general reliable functioning machines.

Where am I going with all this? I suspect there are many scratching their heads on this site and in general the consumers who bought the EZB, wondering how this release will effect, them. Unless you own a 3 d printer or have a friend or uncle with one, it won't. Until 3d printers and the material they use, get to true consumer pricing ( around $200), and they are a one button push to print device, the technology will continue to be an expensive hobbiests-only machine.

I believe the success of the EZ board has always been and should continue to be a unique, powerful and easy to use robot core . My fear is the novelty of the 3d printing may have been a bull in the road, and taken away from evolving the EZB functions, which in my opinion are unique and one of a kind. As the Revolution unfolds, I hope that new functions will begin once again popping up and the EZB continues to revolutionize robotics.

Keep up the fantastic work!

Canada
#9  
I started with a Vic 20... Rich's code above would work on it. ;-)

Yes, the revolution is a bit of a downer. I was hoping more for the new mini board than anything.

I still want to grab a 3D printer but the wife says we need a new roof first on the house.

I'll try the "We can print shingles on the 3D printer" route but don't think she'll go for it. :D

The 3D printing stuff is great but I don't think the majority of our forum members are there yet.
#10  
I feel like you are missing the point. Are you forgetting that you do not need a 3D printer and can buy or community print the model?

Or you can just use Shapeways or any other 3D printing services. This update is not about 3D printing.... its about robot hardware! It's about creating custom robot hardware and being able to share them cost effectively, something till now could only be done with software. 3D printing is one of the technologies that allows for this to happen. You do not need to own a 3D printer yourself, you can have them made and mailed to you. This update will actually make it cheaper for schools to use an advanced robotics platform like this. Forget about the 3D printer itself, just think about how design can affect our robots.

Not everyone wants to mod old toys or build robots from hardware store parts. This update has everything to do with making a better robot. This service allows you to customize robot designs and then BUY from a store (or 3D print) the parts.

This update is about the community designing and evolving their own robots! Instead of just getting a kit with mechanics, now you also have the possibility of creating very valuable robots by customizing designs that already exist. You don't have to get a robot and start from scratch, you can start from a very valuable base. And then if you think of a way to improve the design, you can post a revision. This is how design evolves, through iteration, and community. Adding new features will be done, but this is not just a feature, this release has completed the robotics platform. Also this can allow people to get a kit, customize a robot, get the parts (buy or print), assemble the robot, and then focus on the software! The code, the stuff that makes your robot actually do things. The future implications of this update will free people too focus more on the software and less on the hardware. This update will help EZ-Robot expand beyond a company that lets people mod toy Wall-E's to a company that lets people make robots that help us live better lives.

So don't worry you do NOT need a 3D printer at all. You can still design your own custom robot parts and share them with the community. Buy them if you want, or let others buy or make them.
#11  
Wow talk about old computers, mine was a Radio Shack model 3. But I to agree it seams the bulk of the new release is the 3D printing feature, this is good if you have a printer or know someone that does. I will get one when the funds are available. What I am looking for is the Kinect features, this I know will make my robot rock.
#12  
My first computer was an Apple GS and I remember when I was a kid seeing hand held texas instruments calculators in the store show cases for well over $100 USD!

OK, I see your point about not having to get your hands dirty and breaking your knuckles building the body or parts of your robot. Some people don't have the talent, skills, tools, resources or time to manually build the hardware or body. This new EZ Robots lets the more computer savvy people design the parts and either have another machine build it for us or someone else do it. This is great and I foresee it evolving into printers that can reproduce almost any part from most any material. I know there are lots of parts on my B9 that are very hard to reproduce that I could have "printed" out of aluminum if the tectonically was far enough along. I had to relay on others that could do it because I wanted an exact replica of the original. With that said, if I wanted I can get a good set of cad drawings and have a tool and die shop turn a couple hundred pieces if I want. I feel that the hardware building of a robot is just as important as the software. The real trick is to put the two together to get something really special.

Anyway, what it all comes down to is that evolution and change is always hard for those of us that are used to doing it another way. I love having to wash my hands at the end of the day after building something with them. I usually end up dripping a little blood on just about any project after scraping or cutting myself. I love diggings through my stuff or the hardware store looking for parts that will work "just right". However, I also love having a quality part made for me that I know there is no way I can reproduce it myself and make it "just like" the original. For example, the originator or this thread, fxrtst, does amazing work on rubber parts that look almost exactly like the origonal arms and legs for full sized B9 Robots. I'm honored to have a set on my robot. There is no way I could have made anything close to how great these look with this level of quality. Who knows though, maybe one day with the evolution of 3D printing, large rubber arms and legs for robots may be a reality along with other possible parts made of different materials.

So I think there is room for both old and new here. As with everything, it's all in the balance. ;)

Just the way I see it in my world.

Thanks, Dave Schulpius
#13  
Yes, this update is not about 3D printing itself, it is about evolving robot hardware design. It's bringing the benefits of open source software to hardware. There are many people who do not have a 3D printer, but will end up buying the 3D printed parts online and following the on screen instructions when assembling the robot. By the way Shapeways.com can 3D print .stl (3d model) files out of ceramic, metal or plastic.
PRO
Synthiam
#14  
Feroze, you get it:)

3D printing may not seem like a big deal yet... I wasn't excited about it either, until we got one. Yes, there are troubles with MakerBot. And to be fair, they have been much better to deal with lately. They have stepped up their support game. Originally the support would email with a message "level your build plate" over and over. Now they actually address issues with physical hardware and offer to send replacement parts under warranty.

Once you start playing with the easy 3D design software... It opens up a whole new world. Dave, even for you designing parts and brackets for your B9! It's amazing what you can do.

Either way, Dave. There are lots of enhancements to the new ARC that will benefit you. Specifically, the camera control. You will find the camera much smoother and uses way less processing. You will also be able to switch resolutions without blowing things up:)

Additionally, there are literally hundreds of enhancements - and I can't even begin to list! They may not be visible until you start using the software again. You will notice it run smoother.

I have a new release tonight that will address a few issues, such as EZ-Cloud timeouts.

Feroze, the update release tonight includes a new library of EZ-Bits. For some reason the last library batch was missing parts. In the new update, I ask that you delete your EZ-Bits folder. Then load ARC and sync the library to obtain the new parts. Wait for the new release later tonight..:)
Canada
#15  
i can blow things up using the old camera control ¿¿¿ :D:D:D
mmmm now i feel like a kid again hehehe lol

I have seen that ARC dose run alot smoother even on my old craptop and i love how the camera control works now just wish it would prosess the image
hoping to be able to get a newer computer soon so i can play with all the cool new stuff as for now im kinda feeling left behind but that will change as i have put word out that im in need of a newer computer and that my "life" depends on it lol but with my luck all i will end up with is a vic20 lol WISH i had one still that was my moms first computer that she pain over 1500 us $ for it my first one was the one that came in a kit and did not use a key bord or a monitor at all it was just switches and lights i REALLY wish i still had that one will get another some day
United Kingdom
#16  
@fxrtst

I probably need to put the record straight here, when DJ was talking about Mattel, he was referring to me and I am not an employee of Mattel. I am a toy inventor (licensed 57 toy, game, gift products Worldwide) and have also licensed to Mattel. My biggest toy product to date was Cube Word (licensed to Mattel) which sold in multi-millions across the World.

For those who do not know what Cube World is here is the first US TV advert for series 1



Here is an advert for series 4 which was my favorite series!



Here is a video that I did of Cube World (series 1 and 2) back in 2006, its nearly has had 240,000 views.



I also have a company developing advanced robots and Ai and have a number of threads here on this forum including the face recognition one that Rich refers to.

Tony
#17  
@toymaker, Can I have the links that were referred to in those threads?
Thank you!
United Kingdom
#18  
@Troy, the link to our Ai video has been sent.
Ireland
#19  
Ah! those were the days

A Sinclair Zx81 and then a Sinclair Spectrum 48k with would believe an add on 4 relay card so my first robot had an onboard pc
if only I had a 3D Printer then i could have changed the world *mad*
#20  
@DJ - what I learned in custom car stereo is that when you do a really good and clean some aren't sure what you did to make it that way. Its a sign of a good craftsman:)


@feroze your absolutely right shape ways is an excellent option and the improvements to ARC are enourmous. The idea of printing your own robot parts seems foreign but as creative minds begin making their own improvements and custom parts this will catch on. I myself want to pickup a 3d printer and help community members get their 3d printed PLA or ABS parts quickly.

I remember back when I had a Laser 128 with 5 1/? floppy. Yup I played a lot of moonlander on that thing.


Here is my quote of the day except its mine , anyone feel free to use it-
"The Ez Robot Revolution is not a release date of a product but the beginning of the Crusade for improvements on the way the world sees personal robotics. Its the beginning of a whole new way to developed and build."

Attention Mr Coffee , .... Activate drip;)
PRO
USA
#21  
@toymaker, thanks for clarifying who you are. Rich sent me a link to the threads you were referring too, very impressive. Looking forward to the roll out.

@feroze, I have 3- 3d printers totaling $30 grand and a large robot arm for milling on the way, so I'm no stranger to rapid prototyping. Obviously I'm not against it, quite the contrary. It is the future of my new business. And that it is still a long ways away to be cheap and user friendly for the average hobbiests/consumer. Ie, many people do not know if you build a model with intersecting polygons that when you slice the model and create gcode, many printers will not be able to correct for the intersecting polys and create a bad print. As DJ pointed out with his reprap, the failure rate is quite high. This is true even for my expensive printers. Failures equal loss in expensive build materials. The part becomes expensive.

My point was the revolution has taken up a lot of DJs time and was hoping that it did not take away from evolving the the core of his business. But as others have pointed out to me he indeed has completely rewritten the code and updated some features.
#22  
@fxrst - Your viewing the situation from your perspective alone. What about someone new to the platform, all they have to do is buy the plastic parts from online. They do not have to deal with failed prints. Even if 3D printing never becomes cheap or easy enough for normal consumers this update is still very meaningful. ie Shapeways.com, etc.

Other people will design parts that can be 3D printed from anywhere any service. Then any user can use those parts to custom create a robot using the customizer in EZ-Buidler. Also this IS part of the core of the business. It has melded into the core. It has completed the robotics platform as DJ has said. Again it is not about 3D printing, it is about open source robot hardware design and evolution.
PRO
USA
#23  
Again I'm not saying the revolution is a bad idea, just ahead of its time in regards to printing. I think i expected more from the Revolution release, but I see it will be expanding over the coming months and years.

Will the available EZ Bits parts come from china with the master molds from DJs prints to keep costs low? You could not turn a profit or keep up with demand printing single parts for customers. In regards to buying parts, how is this any different than buying parts for say a Hexapod already available online at robotics retailers? Just saying.
#24  
I'm no stranger to mold making , casting , or vacuum forming so if I had one part , just make a mold pour resin and wait. Its like shake and bake super easy duplicates.
#25  
@fxrst - I know you don't view the update as a bad idea, I just think your missing the point of the updates main new feature. These are good questions, and I think it would be great if the community understood the true nature of it's implications.

Firstly EZ-Robot themselves do not need to keep up with the demand. There are many many online companies that you can upload an .stl and they will mail you the 3D printed part. Shapeways is one of the most popular.

In regards to how it is different than just buying closed source plastic parts for a robot from an online retailer? It is very much different. A good analogy to use is open source software. Are you familiar with how open source works? You do not need to be a programmer to take advantage of open source software. The same goes for open source hardware. We are not limited to designs made by a company.... we are sharing 3D model files, and ARC lets people with no 3D experience customize 3D printed parts to make a robot.

Overtime the library will start getting filled with parts from designers around the world (Kind of like Thingiverse.com but specifically for Robots). Since we are sharing the 3D model files one designer from one country can make a part, upload it, and another person from somewhere else can improve upon it. And the cycle continues. It is much different because the source of the file (The 3D model file) is shared, and this allows thousands of people to improve upon it. Overtime these designs become very valuable. Just think about how linux is free, and runs servers for billion dollar enterprises! DJ has thought this out well by setting standards for certain parts to ensure compatibility. Again the point is open source evolving design through community, not the manufacturing bit.
United Kingdom
#26  
The bit builder in ARC should make customisation of parts so easy that anyone can do it.

Think of it like Mr Potato Head:D You can chop and change the EZ-Bits. Sure at the moment there are very few EZ-Bits but the library will fill up.
#28  
@rich ...Mr Potato Head! only the "old timers" know what that is! ;)...but yeah, EZ-Bits will grow and grow much like the EZ software version 1.1.1.1