Introducing Alan

fxrtst

USA
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Edit:  Kickstarter campaign failed in 2015.

In 2023/24 you too can build an Alan by joining my Robotics Masterclass. Learn as you build. Available soon.


Introducing Alan, the android head robot platform kit, soon to be released on Kickstarter.

First a quick introduction. For those that may not know me. I've been a make up effects artist in the film industry for the past 23 years. Robots have always fascinated me since I was a kid growing up in Ohio and watching Lost in Space episodes. That interest never left me and when starting work in the film industry, I taught myself animatronics. That is I would be called upon to make something move via radio controlled, a puppet, or a toaster or ? As CGI took over the animatronics part of my industry, I focused my free time on using that knowledge for robotics. When I saw prosumer 3D printers come on the market 8 years ago, I knew I could get some of my ideas to the table with out the need for a garage full of CNC machines.

Alan is a culmination of of both technologies, animatronics and 3D printing. When this idea started 3 years ago, I had just found EZ Robots and knew that I could build an interestingly designed kit for everyone so they could experiment with robotics. A platform that personifies how we will interact with robots and androids in the near future, by looking them in the face.

My first challenge was to make sure I leaped over the "uncanny valley". To do so, I took the human dimensions and changed them a bit, eyes wider apart, downplayed high details and added features that were without a doubt not human and certainly robotic in form.

The second challenge was keeping the cost down for consumers. A head like this in the film industry, filled with lots of motions like brow, smile, etc would costs $10's of thousands of dollars. So I built Alan with a modular design in mind. Meaning that the store front will carry modules that will allow you to customize and upgrade the same robot without having to buy a whole new head. As an example the front subskull can be replaced with a module with brow movement, allowing you to keep the entire head and eye mechanism. Other silicone skins will become available different colors and genders, styles, etc. The low cost introductory head will include about 22 parts, easy to assemble, with the consumer supplying servos, power supplies EZB, etc. on their own. My website will include links to all the accessories needed, plus mods like LED eyes, built in audio systems and so on. All the parts will be molded and manufactured in Los Angeles. There will be no pressure injected molding of parts this time around. These are cold cast high impact plastic parts and platinum silicone skins. Alans future may include a full body, if the Kickstarter is successful. And you can certainly use this as a replacement head for InMoov . I will look at altering the open source STL files to be able to accept my heads.

I always knew that the EZB would be Alan's brains. And I will promote it as such. As we all know, DJ's commitment and advancement to the EZB is leading us into the future of robotics.There really is no other choice in my mind. But that's in part because I'm no programmer:) D. Cochran's EZ-AI is a boon to Alans development. I look forward to where David takes it. And although I have it installed I have yet to implement it with Alan for a few more weeks. All of these working together will be highlighted on the Kickstater video.

I have several more weeks to finish the paint job and run a new hero silicone skin. Then there is the very important Kickstarter video. So we are at least 4 weeks out. But I will post here the links to both the Kickstarter and Alans website when they go live and as Alan progresses.

I look forward to your ideas for programming and how you would mod him. I'd also like to hear how you would like to see him develop. Thanks for your time and enjoy the development pictures and video.

All the best,

Will

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Programming

Camera, Speech recognition, speech synthesis, pad touch,

Parts & Materials

Dynamixels, Arduino, USB camera, EZB 4, micro servos and regular servos

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PRO
USA
#1  

Not sure how to make this into a project with the slide show at the top...any one with info?

United Kingdom
#2  

@Will.

Wow dude. That is some outstanding work. The detail is excellent and it just looks great. I can see you have put a lot of time and effort in to it. Great job. :)

Don't worry about the slideshow. There's nothing you need to do further as you have marked it as a showcase. It will generate pretty soon so give it a few hours and it will appear.

Thanks for sharing your project. I love it what you have done so far, especially the lighting very cool. This I will be following.

PRO
USA
#3  

Great! Thanks for the info Steve.

#5  

That was so cool. I love the imagination that goes into these projects. I remember when I was younger I could tinker around the house and come up with something. I am older now and its a struggle to envision an idea let alone actually find the time and resources to actually do it. Good luck with it, look forward to seeing its progress.

#6  

Wow, your experience in the film industry and robotic design has really provided you with great insight to put you here with this post and a really great idea. Waiting a month is going to be irritating but I'm sure it will be worth it.

PRO
USA
#7  

Thanks @robohappy and Doc. I'm hoping that people of ages will be interested in this project and support the Kickstarter. Then everyone can populate the world with android heads...lol

#8  

Will, Amazing work, and your experience showing through! I like how it may later have a female option.
Can't wait to learn more. The slideshow shows when you add more pictures. Steve S ;)

#10  

Very impressive, and thanks so much for naming it after me :P

Alan

PRO
USA
#11  

@alan, my pleasure :)

#12  

@fxrtst, Wow! Looks great, it will be interesting to watch this develop. I really like the silicon mask. I'm glad to see that you copy writed it but you should also patent it and trademark it. As there are people out there who will make a quick copy of it and put it up for sale on their website, if given the opportunity. And even all that doesn't stop some of them.

Really nice job.

PRO
USA
#13  

Yes we have TMed all the upcoming names and copy righted the intellectual property. We have a great Hollywood attorney :)

PRO
Synthiam
#14  

OMG! mind == blown

this is ridiculously amazing!

PRO
USA
#15  

Yay! You're the one I wanta impress. You're the inspiration behind it.

#16  

Yay! I don't have to keep my mouth shut anymore! You know how impressed I am already. As you know, if you need any help with the programming I am here to assist. I look forward to getting one and slapping it on top of my inmoov.

#17  

Woow-ho-ho-ho! Now that's the kind of work I have been expecting to see coming from you. I'm not at all supersized this was created by you but it is way more then my simple imagination was trying to envision when you shared some your concept with me months ago. Will, this is way over the top cool. I feel very fortunate you choose to share this with us here on this forum. Wow. eek

PRO
USA
#18  

@d.cochran, you have inspired yet another part of this guy. With your forward thinking and programming skills , you've managed to add yet another layer to the EZB experience.

@dave, buddy I couldn't wait for you to see this, you saw some very early designs and now it's up talking and looking around! Glad you like him!

#19  

Holy crap! This is it. This is the greatest most advance android I've ever seen. It was like you pulled it straight out of a freaking awsome sci-fi movie, like you hopped in a Delorian and stole it from the future, the inmoov has nothing on Alan, and ez-robot powered makes it even better, I can't wait to see more, please give us more, you are a true genius, a true professional robotisist and I see a bright future in store for you, bravo bravo keep up this amazing work your doing. =D

#20  

Will, this should win you another Emmy! I really cant wait to see more. I'm looking forward to your Kickstarter.

#21  

Fantastic job FX! Really! , blows away the inmoov

PRO
USA
#23  

@dave if they were giving out emmys for robots id be a happy guy.

#24  

I want one - Now!

Great platform for the imagination and amazing accomplishments coming out of the EZ Robots fraternaty.

The future is truly NOW!

PRO
USA
#25  

Well said oldbotbuilder!

PRO
USA
#26  

A few more development shots.

User-inserted image First stack up of the parts into the head, including the EZB. It all fit!

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User-inserted image Three heads are better than one. Evolution in height.

PRO
USA
#27  

Grrrrr sideways... Any way to edit pic from forum or do I need to rotate and re upload?

#28  

Edit it in paint or something then reload it

PRO
USA
#29  

Some questions floating in...

It's 17 inches 1:1 human scale . It's actually a bit bigger than my head.

Yes the silicone skin comes with the kit. I guess that isn't clear. All nuts/ bolts magnets etc come with kit as well

It has 5 degrees of movement.

Parts come stark white with no paint. So you can paint any color. The skin is neutral translucent so it will go along any color you paint the shell.

There will be early rewards at a higher price for a few lucky customers pre painted and assembled.

The top reward will be all inclusive head, tablet all assemble pre programmed ready out of the box.

I will have extensive video library on assembly , painting, modding, the droid.

I printed the parts on my 3D Systems Projet 1500. At 100 microns, but will reprint at 50 microns for more detail for final parts when Kickstarter is done.

United Kingdom
#30  

THAT'S what I've been waiting for! The measuring stick has just been changed :)

PRO
USA
#31  

Ah Rich, the only other one that got to see the early early stages. He's all grown up now :)

#32  

Man if their is a best robot award I'd vote u to win it, u are truly gifted my friend, I only wish I had the skills and talent you have, u are like my new hero of robotics well that and DJ Sures lol you guys are truly amazing and if these Alan androids ever hit the market place, you better believe ill be in line to buy one lol.

United Kingdom
#33  

He sure is all grown up now! I had almost forgotten about the early development info you shared with me and even knowing this was in the works I didn't expect, well, this.

I knew it would be something of a piece of art but was not expecting you to blow everything else so far out of the water. Thoroughly impressed and a great thing to see to start my day!

United Kingdom
#34  

Wow, incredible! I have been anticipating your project ever since you first teased us some time back, and it does not disappoint!

I look forward to seeing this on Kickstarter where I would certainly like to purchase a head to place on an ALTAIR EZ:1 type body.

Tony

Gibraltar
#35  

excellent work, so well polished it more art than science. I love the silicone mask too. Two questions how long do you expect it to be before the kickstarter is up and running, and are you going to do a torso to match?

#36  

That's much better than the inMoov head!... Much better.... I wanted to ask if the eye mechanism uses standard servos? The reason I ask is that inMoov uses micro servos for the eyes which most people ditch because they are not strong enough for their purpose.... Also do you have an approx. cost and timeframe for the Kickstarter release?

It would be cool if you could design the head and neck mechanism to replace the inMoov head.... :)

#37  

@fxrtst... You are pushing the limits and the boundaries my friend! Awesome work! It is truly a work of art. Just hope I can afford one when it becomes available.:P I will be following this very closely.

#38  

@fxrtst OMG! I absolutely love it ! I haven't loved a device as much since the first EZ-B! So original looking! I hope no one copies it.

#39  

@fxrst

Awesome work bud. It reminds me a bit of Vision from the new Avengers movie. Great stuff...I see similarities with Inmoov but definitely WAY better than the InMoov...very sick. Looking forward to your progress, and I know how hard, time-consuming and expensive this kind of development gets so I hope you get the KS money to finish it! ;)

PRO
USA
#40  

@Rich Glad you remembered and enjoyed the end product.

@Tony, Thanks so much for the kind words, you'll be the first to know!

@bborastero our current time line has us at release in about 6 weeks barring any more delays. And yes there are plans for an entire robot.

@Richard, No they dont use standard servos, because of the space limitation. But the micro servos I use are plenty strong and fast for the job. They have been operational for 2 years and no problem with them yet. My eye mechanism requires little power to move. As for cost we are still in the process of boiling that down. There are two parts might have to be machined and those are unknown costs. Then the duplicate molds. If I was lucky enough to get 400 to 500 units sold I want to duplicate the molds so we can get out enough parts to fill all orders in a 90 day period. So the short answer is not yet, but we are keeping the costs low by introducing it as a base kit.

@rgodon, Thanks!

@Troy glad you like him! I'm sure someone will eventually. Patents don't carry much weight internationally

@doombot, thanks very much!

PRO
USA
#41  

I have shown a few people Alan here in Oregon and alot of people like the frame or what I call the skull portions and some said it would be sad to cover it. So I printed eye lid covers for the eyes if you want to leave the silicone skin off. That took my ideas in a whole other direction for other really cool skulls and jaws..so stayed tuned for that. Here is a pic showing the eyelid cover on the robots left eye.

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United Kingdom
#42  

@Will.

I must admit I was torn between the two designs. When I first looked at the pictures and start of the video I was saying to myself "I love the look of this". But later in the video when you added the skin, I changed my thoughts to "that's just freaky, and looks soo cool".

I do like the addition of the eyelid. The eyes have gone from having a "terminator'ish" kind of look to something much more human looking, and changes the overall character. It looks such a simple change, but makes a lot of difference. I spent ages covering one side of my PC screen with my hand comparing the two eyes, :P.

PRO
USA
#43  

Ha, I know its such a crazy thing the brain. I have to try and jump through alot physiology. But in the end its just what looks cool to each person. My niece would have flower and girl power all over it, painted hot pink with lipstick and a wig. So it will be fun to see how people mod and make it their own!

Funny this image, lighting plays alot into it as well, if you watch the video and see him all white and moving at about 2:29 is the same android just painted white and well lit. He kinda looks scared and meek white in the video, like "give me my skin back!"

PRO
Synthiam
#44  

There's a setting disabled which prevents me from seeing the video in embedded browser. Can you enable that? We sent a tweet with the link but no one can watch your video.

It'll be a setting in YouTube

PRO
USA
#45  

I looked in the advanced settings it and there is a check mark next to allow embedding. Could it be that the video is unlisted. Does it have to be public?

Or maybe its this embed link?

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pyMVGzFOGv4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

#46  

You have done a Great Job. Your past experience is shining. Put a set of teeth and some more A.I. and it will be Fascinating.

#47  

Wow. I don't have enough time for the one project I have going already, but i don't think I can pass this one up.

#49  

Alan is the future ! You really have taken the giant leap. I also look forward to your release of Alan and potential other robot heads, skins and bodies.

My only feeble suggestion, is I have mentioned mounting the camera in the nose of a humanoid robot in other threads. It looks out the nostril opening. This way it is hidden. Eyes are often full of led's etc., like Alan.

Ron

Edit.. I prefer no hole in the center of the head. Will options be available?

#50  

I believe that the camera is in that circle in the middle of his forehead.

PRO
USA
#51  

That is correct , his forehead.

PRO
USA
#52  

Ok, you guys motivated me and i worked on the paint job today. Got it matching my color comp from previous pictures. Still needs some aging and a clear coat and a few other bits. The test skin i have on him will be a bit more translucent and more in the white and less yellow color. I like how you can see the paint job thru the skin.

User-inserted image Skin job

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#53  

I foresee quite a few magazines calling for interviews and covering this. :)

PRO
USA
#54  

@anthony certainly part of my thinking during design. But lots of fun going thru the color wheel !

@troy, I certainly hope so! Get some PR before the ball drops for KS!

#55  

You've got a great upgradeable product and something people can actually see working. Too many people fail at KS when they don't show a good prototype beforehand. Press on! You obviously know what you're doing!

PRO
USA
#56  

Thanks, so many ideas. I've come up with a way to teach androids how to make facial expressions. Just need some DARPA funding for that :)

#57  

Hey you never know! Sometimes these KS can go crazy wild with funding! I will be crossing my fingers for ya. :D

PRO
USA
#58  

Here are a couple quick color comps, funny how color affects moods and feelings

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PRO
USA
#59  

Thanks Troy, I'd love to slow down and just do this. After working in the film industry for 22 years, 100+ hr work weeks, I think I ve worked twice as much as the average joe at the end of their life. And I'm only 49! Ha!

#60  

@fxrtst, I wish I was good at CAD because you've inspired some add-on ideas I'd like to give you.

PRO
USA
#61  

That's what I like about creating this project on this forum, having people give their ideas, input and mods for these guys. Please offer suggestions!

#62  

@fxrtst, Would it work to put the center forehead camera on a pan and tilt mount that could be synced with the eye movements?

PRO
USA
#63  

That's what the head does. I have the eyes and head sync together with relative servo. In a human we look at something with our eyes then a split second later our head move to a similar position. So the pan and tilt of the camera is about a 1/2 second out of sync. Something I can live with. If you watch the video at 2:14-2:24 during autonomous operation, you can see what's happening there. Trust me there was a lot of thought put into the position of the camera. At one point early in the design I had a ping detector in the forehead too. Glad I did away with that design for this incarnation.

PRO
USA
#64  

Whoo ho, got my new hi res camera straight from China! Thanks guys! ill try to test it out today!

#65  

@fxrtst Would that be the new rumored ez robot camera?

PRO
USA
#66  

Why yes it would, but no Longer rumor!

#67  

Thank you fxrtst, I like all the color combinations, but I like the silicone mask best. Great project! Can you tell more about the HiRes camera that you received? Maybe there will be more info released later? Steve S

PRO
USA
#68  

Thanks Steve. Me too, I will be making silicones skins in the next couple weeks to key into the final look. As far as the camera I have yet to connect it but looks like the same form factor as the v3 camera.

#69  

Hey Will... thanks... Any chance you can post a picture of the new camera when you have a chance?

Cheers Richard

PRO
USA
#70  

Here you go in and out of case

#71  

Thanks Will... It looks identical to the ones I have... Perhaps there is a 3rd version that I have been hearing about?

PRO
USA
#72  

This says v4 camera on invoice and that is what i ordered from the store, as it was a preorder. I heard from Josh that it looks the same. I think the camera is higher resolution. That only makes since they swapped out the camera ccd guess the rest stayed the same? What third camera are you talking about?

#73  

@Fxrtst... I heard that EZ Robot had updated the current v4 camera (the one introduced last year, not the old Bluetooth camera that was sold with the V3).... It is supposed to be more durable because people were breaking them trying to get them out of the plastic shell.... The lens was easy to dislodge when removing it... I think it had also been upgraded to higher resolution as you mentioned as well... You may very well have the new version of the V4.... Maybe Josh is right, maybe they do look identical. I have one on order too, so I'll compare it to the ones I have now and see if it is indeed a new version....

PRO
USA
#74  

Oiy, getting old sucks, lol. My brain has turned to mush working on this android for so long. I thought it was the new camera. Now I have three old cameras. I'll watch for an announcement next time! In the mean time any one need a camera?!? Ha.

Germany
#76  

the best ez-robot project I have ever seen and a lot work. it looks like the I-Robot Movie robot but with a little bit more coolness:D I want to to buy this bust ;-)

United Kingdom
#77  

Will,

This is EXCELLENT work, and as other have said one of the best Humanoid I seen using EZB, and just when I've starting to build a InMoov, you come along with something far superior. :)

Can't wait to see it completed!

PRO
USA
#78  

Thanks! @cem, and @smarty

South Africa
#79  

Well done this is a real piece of art. Can't wait to see it for sale

#80  

Better get your other hand ready for another award! I have a feeling you will be holding two up soon.

PRO
USA
#81  

@mohamed and @moviemaker, thanks and lets just hope for a successful campaign!

PRO
USA
#82  

Nothing new, just reposting to get these to the slide show at the top.

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#84  

i like the latest redesign it looks more humanoid than ever. now if only you could create the positronic brain for alan lol issac asimov would love to see this if he were alive he was awsome.

PRO
USA
#85  

Heheh, thanks,

I created the "round" port dial (white) in the back to take out the positronic brain!

Canada
#87  

positronic brain!....

Time to re-read my Isaac Asimov Collection We should appoint Susan Calvin to help us to develop that brain.

#88  

@fxrtst, how close are you to the open day on Kickstarter?

Can you give us a ballpark price?

Excellent work!

PRO
USA
#89  

Can anyone tell me why alot of pictures are missing from the gallery? Pictures from page 3,5,6 were in the gallery at the top but are now missing and when Nomad posted one of my pictures that he edited it posted and went to my gallery?! Strange. Do I have to repost to get them back in there? And how do I remove Nomads image ?

PRO
USA
#90  

@nomad, please remove the edited image you made of the mouth closed. Also please read the first page of this thread as it will tell you about the robot. No free STL. sales soon. Also there is a picture of robot red mouth closed on page 6.

@69developer, We are hoping to launch kickstarter in 4 weeks. Our website will be live soon with information before we launch. www.getaheadinrobotics.com

I'll leave info here when that site is live. As for price we are waiting to hear back from one vendor on some aluminum parts. I don't want to give a price (even ball park) until we have firm numbers.

PRO
USA
#91  

ok going to try this and see if it sticks.

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PRO
USA
#92  

Seems to have worked....for now.

PRO
USA
#93  

Adding a new video I shot today with new skin and object recognization. A big thank you to Dave Cochran for walking me thru the scripts.

#94  

Excellent work! Anxiously wait for your KickStarter campaign.

#95  

Roborealm (with the avm module) is awesome at object recognition... I lucked out and got roborealm while it had the option of buying the avm module too.... Too bad you can't load it on more than one computer.... What happened to the avm module and other addons when buying roborealm now?

PRO
USA
#96  

@69developer, we have a pretty firm date now of August the 1st. For KS. Alan's website www.getaheadinrobotics.com will go live at the end of the week. Nothing new there just a launch page, and same material as here. Mostly for PR.

@richard, the AVM module is free now. . Roborealm has it on their Website for downloading. There is a nag for not using a lic version, but you can now turn that off. Before David and I were running into trouble with it not saving with robo file but that's been fixed. Not sure on support or development.

#97  

fxrtst

"There is a nag for not using a lic version, but you can now turn that off. "

I just started messing around with RoboRealm and get this every time AVM Navigator starts. Could you explain how to turn it off.

Thanks

#98  

It's under options, other tab. Close to the bottom of the screen choose silent error message.

Germany
#100  

@fxrtst

fantastic new video <3

dont forget my camera, please :-P

#101  

Cool Will! Love the eyes.

That Roborelm really looks sweet for recognizing objects. I dont want to hijack your thread too badly but how well do you think it would work in the B9 platform? Challenges I see would be finding a hidden place for the camera and fitting in responses useing the set sound files. I guess reaction with movement would be a benefit.

#102  

@Dave, Roborealm has a component that will transfer the name of the recognized object (or any other variables within roborealm) back to ARC. It allows you to use scripts within ARC to react to the data passed back from RoboRealm. From there, you already know what ARC can do.

If you get RoboRealm and want any help with it, let me know. I would be happy to help you get things going. My email address is in my profile.

@Will, Great job on the object detection. I see that it recognized your face as well. Really good job.

#103  

Mr Cochran, excellent work you did there and takes for wanting to share with the community. Your one smart guy!

PRO
USA
#104  

Absolutely Dave S as David C was setting up it was clear to the passing of info back and forth to the programs. I'm also always thinking of the B9 since he will eventually be finished. Roborealm is only $50 and extremely powerful. You could trigger a sound byte based on what the camera regognizes. Before Dick Tufeld died I had a lot of custom phrases done by him including telling my daughter to brush her teeth. You could trigger that sound by her walking in the room and recognizing her or set up a reminder with David's EZ-AI and have it say the same thing in the evenings at say 7 pm. All the programs working together make for an impressive AI foundation.

@dave thanks I'm starting to actually look at the scripts you posted and seeing what's happening. Getting clearer each day. Thanks again.. Btw where can I find Program O,for changing AIML files? I did a search on the computer but can't find it.

#105  

Thanks for the explanation and Will offer to help Dave. As I get closer to digging into more extreme programming to give my B9 a fuller personality and animation I'll surely try to incorporate all this. Right now I'm about 85% complete with my B9 arm design and build and close to a test fit. The major programming comes after that and the second arm is built and fitted. That's when you'll get lots of questions from me. ;)

Till then I'll not steal any more of your project thread. Thanks for the help.

#106  

@Will

either HTTP://127.0.0.1:11620/Admin or HTTP://127.0.0.1:11520/Admin I cant remember which one we used for your configuration.

robot r0b0t

@Dave, Anytime your ready, let me know.

Brazil
#107  

Uau! What a piece of art! When will be possible to buy a kit? I want one of those!

PRO
USA
#108  

We are launching kickstarter on August the 1st or before.

#109  

We just joined the community - what a great project! My son is 7 and he wants to build a mostly autonomous R2D2 - he wants it to recognize him and talk to him and follow him around (among other things). We started our research about three weeks ago and found ezrobot last week while searching for beginner kits. It seems like it could work really well for our project. Then to see this - how beautiful! Your head is an amazing design, I love the look, the quality of the voice and the words/language you have chosen - it's quite elegant. I'm really looking forward to watching your success and really getting to know EZrobot too! Thanks! Carol and Carl

PRO
USA
#110  

Thanks guys and welcome to EZ Robots. You've made the right choice in micro controllers. DJ is commited to advancing his EZB. It's is without a doubt the EZ-ist platform to learn. Good luck with your R2. There are a few on here building droids and can give you some pointers. This is a great community with lots of helpful people.

#111  

Will, OMG! This is AWESOME!

You will have to let me know when you get things rolling! I too have dabbled with InMOOV but I'm still learning to crawl with servo motors...I also have EZB to help. I have also dabbled with Arduino and Raspian PI but both of them require you to know more about programming. EZB is so much more simpler.

Bob Jaconetti :D

Belgium
#112  

YESSSS! Can't wait to pledge for this! So close to have a new friend :))

#113  

Will,

I'm coming into this late (been working on B9, plus trying to move... long story). IN any case, I will be signing up for your Kickstarter.

Alan appears (to me) like Sonny from iRobot, but he made some upgrades to himself using T-800 parts (if the other way around, we're doomed! :P). Beautiful design and workmanship, and the attention to details is amazing.

I can haz Alan droid? :D

PRO
USA
#114  

Thanks Tex! We are getting ever so close to opening the launch site. Then a ton more video to shoot for kickstarter. Still hoping for a August 1st kickstarter!

#115  

Will,

Just my $.02 on timing: I personally feel quality trumps deadlines. So if you hit any snags (you mentioned a couple suppliers have been slow in responding), know that you will never hear a complaint from me if dates slip. Alan is well worth waiting for!

On a totally different note: it's funny how strongly color affects perception. In the different color comps, the droid looks very feminine in aqua (Alana?:) ).

It's going to be a lot of fun seeing how people personalize these! :D

PRO
USA
#116  

I agree completely on color. After running with my red comp I turned photoshop on a sat and watch as my wife and kids each respond to their favorite color as I changed the hue. For my landing page video I'm turning him blue!

As for the kickstarter, we are expecting a good turn out. As the volume increases the molding costs increase to keep up with the demand/delivery time line as we duplicate the molds. We would like everyone to have received their Alan by Christmas. But again that's based on volume. If we go above 500 orders then the date would change. We start a PR and EPK at the end of this week and hope we get good coverage. More exposure = more orders. I don't think we sell as fast as Pepper the Japanese robot, but we can always hope!

PS I'm stealing Alana for our upcoming female upgrade! Brilliant!

#117  

You can use "Alana", but I get dibs on being among the first to order! :D

PRO
Canada
#119  

Oh man, I definitely am going to have to back this! :D

PRO
USA
#120  

Well two weeks behind on the website. Building it ourselves and running into one last issue. I have alove / hate relationship with wordpress. Hoping to be live in the next few days or so. That puts Kickstarter behind a couple weeks as well.

Until then, here are a few product shots that will be up on the site when live. Enjoy.

User-inserted image

User-inserted image

PRO
Canada
#121  

Oh man those shots look so clean I thought they were renders! Really excited for the Kickstarter :)

#122  

The one with the face open looks very "Westworld". Cool stuff.

Alan

#123  

@fxrtst How does the front of the face attach and hold to the the rest of the head? Are there some sort of clips that are not shown? Can you provide pics of this?

I can only hope that this work of art will be affordable, cause I definitely want one! Absolutely awesome......

PRO
USA
#125  

@rgordon, The sub skull is attached with magnets to the back of the head. Tiny very powerful magnets. This is the magnetic modular system I spoke about. It allows customers to buy new sub skulls and silicone faces to upgrade Alan to any of the other offerings of customization without having to buy a whole new head, ie female etc. The magnets make it cleaner looking without having to use screws on the outside. (Very unfuturistic looking :)

PRO
USA
#127  

Hey guys finally got the website up, a few hickups but its up for PR. Still a few weeks away for Kickstarter. Please report any issues you have.

Get A Head In Robotics

#128  

Will, I'm super impressed. That web site and it's content is very professional and well put together. I almost felt like I was watching a award willing documentary when I was watching the videos and browsing through the site. Your background really shows in the way you designed it all.

PRO
USA
#129  

Thanks David. It's been a longer road than I thought it would be. Taking rest tonight and just watched you new arm video, getting very excited. Looks great!

#130  

Great job. One thing I think would be important is to offer an option that contains everything you need in the kit, such as servos, wire, battery, controller, software, etc.

#131  

Great presentation! Best of Luck. I look forward to the release.

Ron

#132  

Will, Great job on the website and videos. Also, thank you for showing some of the EZ-AI features in the video.

Good luck friend. I think you will be very successful in your endeavor.

#133  

@Will, I know it's been a long road and hard at times. Just remember that the journey "is" the reward. Your hard work is really showing off in your successes. Alan truly seems like a high end product. Very classy, well thought through and well constructed. Your web site design reflects this also. I'm very happy for you. Your going to be a big hit.

Also thanks for mentioning my B9 arm build in your thread here. Don't get too excited until I can actually get it to move in and out of the torso. ;) I had your silicone rubber arm over it before I took that video and it looks awesome and fits just right. Your a true artisan. Just to be clear of what I mean, here's the definition of the word Artisan:

Noun: Artisan,

  1. a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsperson.
  2. a person or company that makes a high-quality or distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods.

That's you to the word my friend! ;)

PRO
USA
#134  

@69developer, that will be one of the early rewards levels. They will most likely go very quickly.

@d.cochran, thanks again for creating EZ-AI for the community. It brings a new level of reality to creations like ALAN.

PRO
USA
#135  

@dave, thanks so much for those very very kind words! It makes the pain of that journey hurt less :)

I'm so looking forward to those arms moving in and out!

United Kingdom
#136  

Will, a brilliant job! I so look forward to hopefully buying one of your masterpieces in the near future!

Tony

#137  

Will,

For the time being, I am using a JD humanoid head to develop a prototype for personalized robot interfaces in a university/college/community college/technical college/high school computer lab environment - one bot head per PC. After proof of concept, I hope to garner some "angel investments" to proceed with full product development. At that point, I would be looking for existing human interface products such at your Alan to serve as the "point of contact" between students and the math learning system I am developing. Your expertise has already produced quite a winner for that sort of role in my product development.

I guess what I'm saying is that in a couple of months or so, I would be contacting you in order to acquire an Alan for beta testing and to price out volume purchases.

What an outstanding accomplishment you have in Alan!

Ron

PRO
USA
#138  

@toymaker, thanks very much. Means a lot coming from you :)

@mathprof, that sounds great. I had always envisioned Alan being utilized in that environment. Feel free to use anything from our website to help procure your investments.

#139  

Website looks great. Love the video as well. So very cool!

Bob Jaconetti

#141  

WOW! Very slick. Nice presentation.

#142  

I'm speechless. It's like Sonny from iRobot, but real.

Waiting for the Kickstarter announcement with bated breath! eek

#143  

I tried getting on you website but is shows as NOT YET AVAILABLE.

PRO
USA
#144  

@rb550f, could you tell me what browser you are attempting to connect with?

Perhaps try with another and see.

Netherlands
#145  

@fxrtst the website works for me and is looking amazing.

If the kickstarter is successful, will you then prioritize extra development for the head or the development of other body parts? (I hope the first, I'd love to see a future upgrade with more facial expression possibilities)

#146  

I was able to get to your website Chrome

PRO
USA
#147  

@rb550f, Great!

@Bas, There will be development in both directions.

PRO
USA
#148  

Hey guys, we are currently deep into our PR mode. And want to gather as much info on blogs, magazines, google plus groups, etc, where we can post about Alan. We want a successful campaign and to do so we need to get the word out. At our current level of projections taking into account with time frames, we look to reward 400 to 500 units on this first pass.

We have already been notified by several companies who want to take over production and hand out royalties. We are not interested in that at this time. So if You can think of any tech sites etc, please post them here. We want to be very thorough to make sure we hit our goal.

Thanks in advance.

#149  

Servo magazine: http://www.servomagazine.com/index.php/contact/

Tested: http://www.tested.com/ Adam Savage (from Mythbusters) will eat this up when he finds put about it. Get him a prototype and you'll get loads of PR!

Post to The RPF: http://www.therpf.com/

Post to the Motion Picture Prop Community: http://www.themppc.com/forums/

The former two are fan sites and probably require membership (if you're not already a member). You'll probably need to post Alan as a "project" thread. Especially The RPF - not adhering to the strict guidelines can get you banned.

That's about all I can think of now... unless you want to consider skywriting? :P

PRO
USA
#150  

Thanks we got servo magazine but others were not on out list. Thanks we will check them out.

United Kingdom
#152  

Will, servo has done an article on my robots and also there has been a couple in Robot Magazine, I have contacts in each publication, let me know if you want them or me to send an introductory email for you?

Very exciting times for Alan, you have done a fabulous job!

I have recently completed some extensive new hardware for the ALTAIR robot heads that has multiple PIC microntrollers all working in parallel. The head can do amazing amounts of things independently and puts minimal processing on the v4. This path may be of interest to you later on, if you want to make version 2 ans 3 of the Alan head.

My invention House has so far licensed 63 toy,game and gift products Worldwide, to some of the biggest companies like Mattel. If I can be of any help to you there (with advice), then let me know I would be happy to help if I can.

Tony

PRO
USA
#153  

@bas, thanks!

@tony I'd be greatful for either a contact OR an intro by you. I've reached out to both magazines and heard nothing back. I'm sure sitting in email box with a million other submissions.

And again thank you for the compliments on ALAN. I'd be very interested in the pic controllers for future versions. Alan's head is but a fraction of the future of what I'm attempting to do. I'm developing a system to teach androids how to record and mimic facial expressions, in a live recording environment. He obviously will be a complete body as well. If Kickstarter/Indiegogo is successful we will be purchasing a large format 3d printer to continue with his body. Great plans for his future, just like Altair!

And again thank you for the offer on mentorship with licensing. When they come I will be asking a lot of questions!

And thanks everyone for the suggestions of contacts, keep them coming.

It's funny if I was promoting a make up product, I'd call up my actor friend Brad Pitt And that would be that. But here in robot/toy land I'm starting from the bottom. So any and all help is very appreciated!

#154  

Brad Pitt? I'm told quite often that I look like him....... 50 years from now. Seriously though, I'm not one to spend my cash on startups. However there are two that I couldn't wait to throw money at; EZ Robot and now your little guy here. One question though, do you plan to have some type of base available to cut down on the illusion of not having a body attached? eek That would be the first add on I want to look into. Casual visitors to my home may find him a little unsettling. I'm thinking of something quite simple like the start of a shirt or shoulders. Do you know of the busts of Will Robenson and Dr Smith? Put the ducky on them and it makes all the difference in the world. Something like that available as an add on would make it a little more family friendly and generate added income.;) EDIT - He does have a start of a chest but I get the urge to move my arms around in sympathy for the poor guy. Dont get me wrong and maybe I'm just looking at it wrong. He's just fine as he sits and very cool looking but for me a little more shoulder and a shirt would go a long way.

#155  

Will,

I would suggest posting to the various Babylon5 groups on Facebook (2 named Babylon5, The Observation Dome, and the Zocalo Today). Very active groups, and your connection to the show will draw a lot of faces to your kickstarter page, and some of these people spend money like water...

If there are fan sites to the other movies and shows you have worked on they might be good too (I'll bet AI and Wild Wild West fans would go for this).

Alan

PRO
USA
#156   — Edited

Great questions. And here are several answers for everyone.

First, I designed it as a starting point for a full sized human. Certainly would not have been interesting selling his feet first! So the head was a likely starting point. It's where all humans communicate.

Next building an animatronic head for the films industry costs 10s of thousands of dollars, so creating "enough " of a head and shoulders for consumers at an affordable price meant thinking about the volume of material used in casting/molding. I went for the greek and roman type bust without the pedestal for balancing issues (the head has alot of torque and weight with the silicone face.)

Then there is the process for making them to consider. Knowing these would not be pressure injected plastic, and would be cold cast resin many factors come into play, including: the molds must fit into a 10 gallon pressure pot for curing, to create bubble free castings. A large shoulder piece would not have fit.

Finally, the "rest" of his torso and shoulders and body are designed to accept the head, neck and shoulder bit of the current Alan.

As this is a kit. I urge and encourage modifications by consumers. If ya want some shoulders to hug on in a shirt feel free to add them until the rest of the body is available! I really looking forward to see the mods people come up with!

#157  

I Want one..........maybe even 2!......1 for my InMoov certainly. looks very robust and well designed. very good job !

PRO
USA
#158  

@Alan very good ideas. I've just posted to google plus groups reaching 500k of people interested in tech and robots.

@nano, I'm glad you like it. I'm working on the mods for the STLs on inmoov to accept my head and neck.

United Kingdom
#159  

Will, the ALTAIR head now has a dedicated emotion PIC (part of the PIC head network) that is capable of displaying 32 different facial expressions. The emotion side of the ALTAIR is pretty cool I will do some videos soon to show all this in operation.

For servo magazine I will send an introductory email to David Geer and for Robot Magazine an email to Tom Atwood, but I need your email address so I can cc you in. My email address is toymaker(dot)tony@gmail(dot)com

Tony

#160  

@Toymaker

what is "ALTAIR head" ?

i was searching on google, but i found nothing.

It sounds interesting!

Boris

PRO
USA
#162  

@tony I would love to see that! That's is exactly what I'm talking about. If I can train an emotion live and record that motion, the pic could in essence activate that expression when appropriate, happy ,sad, etc? That would be amazing looking forward to video!

Thank you so much for helping and reaching out to servo magazine. I will send you my email for robot magazine! I can't thank you enough.

Will

#163  

Will,

In his current state, what is Alan's "intelligence level"? Can he hold a conversation? Can he learn?

PRO
USA
#164  

That's a great question. I'm relying on EZ -AI. David explained that a lot of AI is dependent on databases. The more you put in the more you get out. The current software version for download doesn't have the database that his current version has. That is a whopping 300 gigs of data! So unless David is sending out hard drives with his software it will be sometime before we can see what is capable. (David chime in here and correct me if I've made a mistake.) Hes a busy guy so we will see how/when and what when he's ready. Until then here is what Alan is capable (this is like half a day of programming and experimenting)

Alan knows every family member by facial recognition and will say hello to them. (Roborealm) Building a database of objects but unsure of a use for when he sees recognizes and object. (Roborealm) Reminders, web look up, and other EZ-AI items (ez-AI). I've not had much success with EZ-AI chat bot. But ARCs works great some days with out a lag and some days painfully slow. But you are the mercy of servers Internet traffic etc. To me the chat bot is the best to make make Alan seem alive. The banter back and forth is amazing. I believe a chatbot last year passed the Turning test for the first time. Meaning the chatbot fooled the interviewer into thinking it was human. You can also build your own chatbot from scratch. Building a personality if you want. So to recap, he is learning, like faces and objects. He can carry on a conversation via a chatbot you build or using an exsisting one. As for intelligence, I think Alan is just mimicking some human behavior and not at all intelligent... Yet!

#165  

Will, Very cool! I asked because I'm puzzling on what AI direction to take with my B9. A chatbot is definitely a way to mimic intelligence - but I'm still on the fence on what chatbot technology to use. I've been playing around with a program called Ultra Hal, but it's not easily integrated with EZB. It also uses a different architecture than AIML, which is both good and bad.

I recently came across an application called Program O, which allows/is (I believe) a chatbot server installation on a local machine. That allows you to use a standard AIML chatbot.

The ultimate goal here is to get an Alan, and get him and B9 in a conversation together. Should be interesting!

PRO
USA
#166  

Program O is what David has incorporated into EZ-AI. I should clarify, my issue with chatbot on EZ-AI is that voice recogician doesn't work well with it on my system. It works great with everything else, just doesn't seem to understand what I'm saying. Perhaps I need to spend more time with Program O , by downloading some AIML files?!?

I'd like to see Alan and B9 talking back and forth! Fun.

#167  

Tex, I'd love to use AI or the Chatbot with my B9 also. However the limitation I see is the actual voice of B9. To me, if he's not talking in Dick T's voice then he's really not B9. Sadly we only have so many voice files with Mr. Dick's voice. The chatbot would work great but not with the voice of "The Robot". Is this something your's willing to do without?

PRO
USA
#168  

Dave is right then we end up right back with limited vocabulary with Dick. Too bad he is not still alive. The company I bought Alans voice has a process where after like 4 hours of recording they can create digitized voice from the recordings, I believe its cerepoc.

#170  

I don't want to derail the thread with B9 stuff, but to answer a couple musings: a custom voice would cost about $10K. Enough voice samples of The Robot exist that it could be done (I checked into it!). The possible hurdles: permission from the Tufeld estate and/or Kevin Burns to duplicate the voice, and (of course) the $$$.

I'm also investigating a way to modify a synthesized voice to sound like The Robot. While the inflection and emotion won't be there, the "image" will be. It's in development, so I won't know for a bit if it's a total disappointment.

EDIT: I just read Tony's post the Cereproc can do a voice for under $1000 USD! That could be a game-changer.

PRO
USA
#171  

If they can do Arnold and Obama from existing material (news and interviews etc) i bet if everyone whose purchased recordings from Dick over the years pooled them together we would have enough material to do it. But as you say there would be the Tufeld family and Kevin to get approval. The $1000 is not an issue. Be very interesting to find out how much information they need to create the database.

#172  

My inquiries were back in June 2014. Turns out it was with Cereproc; at that time they quoted me $11K to create an HTS voice using recorded data. I had sent them a sample, which they said would work fine - as long as they had enough variation. With the hours and hours of recordings, that part isn't a problem. The problem is the ownership issue - but because I don't have a spare $11K lying around, I didn't go much further. We can discuss this over on the B9 board - I've derailed you enough here.

OK, let's get this thread back to Alan: I'm really happy that his AI uses Program O. Maybe once things get rolling, we'll be able to pool/share databases to help Alan "grow".

As for the recognition: what if the input was via a (wireless) microphone? That would cut down on background noise.

PRO
USA
#173  

I always had imagined Alan being in the cloud, so all the people with Alan could share their programming and the AI learning part. I again believe that David had talked about that as well.

As far a s recognician, the issue is specific to EZ-AI. When used with windows and ARC, it works incredibly well and very accurate. So not sure whats happening. Although I am using ver1.0.0.5 (current is 1.0.0.7) so might have been some fixes in there. I also get alot of .net errors and have to restart things, but again it might be i have an older ver.

#174  

Yep, old version. There are still plans for the cloud. My direction has changed a bit though. There are a lot of technologies that are pushing a lot of things toward the cloud that I am leveraging in Rafiki. Once that is done, there will be a free version (still EZ-AI) but it is a complete rewrite to be platform agnostic. Give me a few months and I should have pretty much all of the features of EZ-AI able to run on an arm processor single board computer. From there, we will then start getting things to work on a PC platform. I expect it to take a couple of weeks to iron out any bugs but, very good things are coming for EZ-AI.

I have a team of 3 developers working on nothing but this now while I do the other things necessary to release a product. You know how that goes.

PRO
USA
#175  

Wow that's impressive and exciting Dave!

#176  

still following with interest and awe!

PRO
USA
#177  

Just a small update. We have had alot of interest in ALAN from different sectors. We were contacted by a couple of companies interested in licensing. At this point we still want to move forward with crowdfunding.

We have decided to go with INDIEGOGO instead of Kickstarter. There are alot of reasons, but one is the ability to do hi res 1080 videos for the opening. Something Kickstarter does not yet support. We think Alan looks great and we want to display him in high detail. Another reason for the change is they seem to represent a different kinda tech start up companies than Kickstarter.

We are still working on the video and when done we will release. We want a August date, but might be September if we cant get one part of the video finished because of a sliding date.

Oh and as a side note, thanks to Toymaker (Tony) for a connection he has at servo magazine. They might be featuring ALAN in a column. Thanks again Tony. He is simply the best and we are lucky to have him hear with us!

PRO
USA
#178   — Edited

Adding a few of the press images that have been going out.

User-inserted image

User-inserted image

Gibraltar
#179  

what do you mean "Nothing exciting" everything about Alan is exciting.

United Kingdom
#180  

Will, no problem I am really glad that I could help. The new pictures look awesome!

A fantastic new option for ALAN would be the B5T Omron sensor, that me a David are looking at, it could add so much new functionality - maybe worth looking at for a possible upgrade or ALAN ver.2?

When I start working with the B5T, I can let you know how it all goes.

Tony

PRO
USA
#181  

Thanks Tony, I watched Daves video on it. It absolutely has my head spinning. I'll be very interested to see how it develops! I have a very interesting use for that system! Anyone know what the street price will be for it?

United Kingdom
#182  

Will, the one off price for the UART board (thats the only board you will need if its connected to a dedicated microcontroller) is around $200. The cost for volume purchase would greatly reduce this cost, possibly below $100 and if it is possible to purchase direct from Omron then this cost would reduce much further as you would not have the distributor mark-up. To me the B5T offers so much that even the full $200 cost is still viable as it would lift our robots abilities to levels that we could only dream of a few months back.

Tony

Netherlands
#183  

More and more sensors are released that partially process data (like the B5T). At the same time we see cloud services coming up that allow you to process data remotely (like Emotient's web API). Both options seem to drop in price as time progresses.

Personally, if budget allows it, I would prefer cloud based services. First of all it seems that Alan's head is already quite full with electronics. Second, to me it seems that it is easier to combine multiple cloud services compared to combining these hardware based sensors. Third, a webservice can be more easily updated and modified.

#184  

@fxrtst, I'm always impressed with what you are doing. I'm sure you will reap rewards for your efforts! I love all the color possibilities you've done too.

United Kingdom
#185  

@Bas Testerink. thats interesting I was not aware of any cloud services that can do what the single B5T does (functions listed below) - can you gives some links so I can check the services you refer to out and what they would cost? Thanks.

Face recognition Face detection Facial pose estimation Estimation of facial expressions

  1. Satisfied
  2. Unsatisfied Five different emotion expressions:
  3. Happiness
  4. Surprise
  5. Anger
  6. Sadness
  7. Neutral Human body detection Gender estimation Age estimation Gaze estimation Hand detection Blink estimation
#186  

This service would also need to do all of this for up to 20 items of each and need to be able to report back the position of each.

I think the best approach is to use a multitude of sensors and services in conjunction. The services should be used to get access to multiple forms of data or perform analysis on data that is provided. The sensors should pickup the local environment to supply the services with the data needed to perform the analysis. These services could be cloud based or local on the device depending on the need of the service. Also, speed is a consideration. For example, if you need to do recognition, you need to be able to perform this recognition pretty quickly. Taking an image from a camera, passing it to the local device, which then sends it to the internet for processing, waiting for this processing, and then getting the data back is much slower than the sensor handling these functions and just passing back the important data. There are also network considerations. Undue network traffic isn't a good thing when you are dependent on this network traffic for other services. Also, you have to consider what happens when your network is down. Does this make your device useless all of the sudden?

There is a lot that goes into designing a good solution.

#187  

Maybe I'm at the point in my life that technology has passed me by but the "Cloud" seems a little to much of a gamble for me with a lot of things. I don't totally know what happens to information once it's sent off and where it goes to. I may be way off here but what happens if the company (or where ever your information goes) ends up shutting down, goes out of business or makes a change that makes your connection useless? Don't you end up with a pile of good looking junk that you've worked tons of hours on and shed blood and tears over? I just can't get behind placing my trust in some phantom hard drive and ghost computer that may be over seen by a pail faced teenager recluse living on his parents basement in South America (do they have basements in South America?). This may sound paranoid or unlikely but can anyone promise something like this wont happen? Nobody seems to be able to answer my fears or even care to think this through. We live in a throw away world nowadays. Maybe that's it. People get board or things become obsolete so fast and we move on.

Personally, (admitting my limited knowledge) I feel the cloud is OK to store things on that aren't to critical as long as you have local backup. Cloud processing? Well, maybe if it's not mission critical and short trim. For things I want to keep or keep running I'll trust my own equipment and storage, thank you.

Just my thoughts and fears. ;)

@Will, I think your making some real great choices and moving in the right direction. I'm excited to see where this takes you. I'm honored you are letting us be a small part of this. :)

United Kingdom
#188  

Great point Dave! I also see big problems with Cloud processing - when you have a large robot depending on all this cloud processing and the link fails (which it will) you either have a big hunk of robot that is useless or even worse dangerous. I personally believe that we should never get away from local processing with independent sensors and (some) onboard intelligence - thats the way I design my robots.

The cloud does have fascinating possibilities though, say their were a few thousand ALTAIR's out their all with cloud linked learning, where you teach your robot something and then all the ALTAIRs can then do the same function - this is possible now and I have already done this with my Ai ARIEL where 3 separate people are teaching her at different locations, different things, but what she learns is then available to all 3 of us. This is very cool, but what happens when their are thousand of users out there and one teaches the robot to something bonkers like wield a knife etc, it gets dangerous. I know our robots of today cannot do the mechanical part of this easily, but we are not far off from the time when they will have the mechanical capabilities.

Tony

#189  

I feel the same as Dave S. and Tony. If you entrust your data to a "cloud" without having a local backup and that cloud dissapates (business reasons or tactical), you are stranded. I have too much of a Mulder-like paranoia; I'll keep my data local, and obtain as many processors or drives as it takes to accomplish what I need. If my Alan require it, he'll wear a backpack with extra processors and hardware. Whe Skynet becomes active, he'll help me fight rather than turn on me.

There was a story - I believe it was "When the Machine Stops" - that was about a society that was so dependent on automation that one day when the power failed, people sat in their homes and died because they couldn't care for themselves.

Technology is wonderful - but it's a tool to be used, not the other way around.

Whew! That got a bit heavy. Sorry eek

PRO
USA
#190  

Wow woke up to some great conversations! @bas, I would love to see where this takes us. I think as Internet and maybe even cell service reaches giga bit speed might make some applications viable on the cloud. It will be an interesting area to watch develop.

@troy thanks for the kind words and the support. There are days where I wake up and say this is never gonna work, I'm never going to reach the goal, or there's not enough exposure, or? But waking to support like that really keeps the hopes up! Thanks!

@d.cochran, yeah its alot of info to be processed, maybe it is a hybrid of the two like you suggested. I think alot of depends on whats in development and how it utilizes the data. Each device might be different.

@Dave S, i here ya on that and the cloud, it is a very ambigous concept. Who and where is that data being stored. It seems that if you put a fluffy name to a new technology like "cloud", it seems benign and people won't question. And thanks for the Kudos!

@toymaker, Thanks for the data on pricing for the B5T sensor. I think this would be amazing for our robots! With the speed of evolving technology and the length of time it takes to get to market, it seems you can continually evolve a product, increasing the capabilities! Exciting times!

PRO
Canada
#191  

Out of curiousity, I know the B5T has some unique features, but has anyone experimented with the additional Haar Cascades that can be added to the ARC camera control?

PRO
USA
#192  

@jeremie Is it possible to create custom Haar cascades for facial expressions?

Netherlands
#193  

@toymaker, @d.cochran, @dave, @warpig: A lot of well-founded concerns I think. Cloudservices rely on your connection, without it your machinery is not operating properly. Also the dedicated sensors and local processing probably outperform whatever you can find as a service.

I'm am a software guy. For me it is easier to build a larger software system rather than expanding the hardware configuration. If I have an Alan standing in my house I want it to operate whenever I talk to it, without having a computer running 24/7 in my apartment. Hence my setup would probably be to turn my A.I. software in a cloud service and run it on some rented cloud processing power. Alan can then obtain all required input from the wifi router. The ezb4 would be permanently plugged in.

3rd party services I might use are the ivona voice service and perhaps emotient (though I haven't really looked close at it). Also I'm wondering what frameworks like IBM's Watson platform may offer in the near future in terms of cognitive computing services.

My downtime per year is about 5 hours on average. My privacy would be decreased as Alan will share privacy sensitive data to the cloud which may be intercepted. But I can live with that risk. Alan won't be an life-depending system. I see it as a piece of art and entertainment. If a cloud service stops, I can look at alternatives/use some 3rd party local software or perhaps even homebrew. Finally, data can be backed up locally or across two cloud parties if necessary. The chance of losing everything is then about as high as losing the data in the cloud and simultaneously having a fire in your local storage area.

#194  

Hey Bas, As far as Watson goes, one of my devs is up to his ears in it. It is really cool and cognitive reasoning and learning is being done there. There are costs associated but they are very minimal for a single person or household. If you stay with java it is pretty much free. Check out BlueMix. I am debating on becoming an IBM partner for Watson but I need to look over the paperwork involved.

Anyway, I too am a software person, about 23 years of programming experience. I understand where you are coming from. If I were building something for myself, I would look at software driven systems. Something that I can write and take care of for myself for only myself is one thing and those are nice times. Once you go beyond that, there are a lot of other considerations.

I have no problem with the cloud but I also know how to tell what is going out of my network to the cloud. I also understand concerns about privacy. It is something that will be going away soon I am afraid. IoT will make a lot of great advancements but there are a lot of security issues that come with it.

Anyway, Alan is going to do great Will. I think you have something really cool going on and I cant wait to see it go live.

#195  

I don't know. Are we hijacking this thread with all this talk of cloud-based vs local processing? I thought I'd ask before throwing in my two cents worth.

#196  

While it pertains, I do feel like it has been hijacked. That is the reason for my last statement. It is good to see conversations of how people plan to use Alan and so I do think it pertains.

#197  

I think Will will jump in if he thinks we're hijacking the thread. I think the cloud discussion is valuable. It's nice to know if Alan's future AI will be in the cloud, local, or a hybrid of both - that will help set my expectations of what I'll be doing wiyh him.

Bottom line for me though is I'm ready to support this project!

Question for Will: after Alan is launched, is there going to be an Alan forum at the getaheadinrobotics.com site, or will continue discussion here?

#198  

Alan is only hardware. There is no software or robot controller that comes with it. That is entirely up to what you want to do with it. This is the last that I heard anyway. Maybe it has changed but I don't think it will.

PRO
USA
#199  

Absolutely keep discussing on topic or not, it does keep my gears a turning! I've loved all the discussions, comments and questions!

@warpig, there will be a forum once he's released. I also am planning an extensive video library on assembling every component, another on creating mods like LEDs, and extensive painting videos, etc. the forums will allow for personal trouble shooting, upgrade suggestions and so on.

PRO
USA
#200  

@d.cochran just wanted you to know, EZ-AI is mentioned on nearly every paragraph of my servo magazine article! Ha! Your gonna have a ton of users. I just released info on Facebook today and the people went crazy... Looking very very good!

PRO
USA
#201  

Watson and Bluemix are fascinating!

United Kingdom
#202  

Hi Will, I have tried to find you on Facebook with no success, can you give more details so I can connect. Thanks

Tony

#203  

@fxrtst

Thanks for the mentions. It is very kind of you. I can't wait to see the article.

PRO
USA
#204  

@toymaker, I'm looking for you as well. Nothing. What email do you have connected to your Facebook account? I believe mine is the same we have been using to email each other back and forth.

PRO
USA
#205  

There may be some confusion as to whats happening with ALAN, so ill take this time to explain the crowdfunding process for those that don;t understand.

First it looks more like we will indeed go with Indiegogo.

Alan is in prototype mode right now, meaning we have a working prototype. When we start the Indiegogo process it will be live for 30 days. During the 30 days, people then offer "rewards" and "perks" for "donations". In the early years, it was designed to help someone make a film, etc and you could donate to help them achieve that goal.

Today people offer complete products, like Alan as the "rewards". You usually get discounts off what will be the sticker price, plus one of the first people on the block to have one.

To make all this happen I have had to sit down and budget out everything that needs to molded, materials, tools to be purchased and so on. The list is enormous. Then I have to add in wages, the time it will take to build everything , shop over head, on and on .....so loosely this number becomes your "goal"on Indiegogo, that is the minimum of what it takes to tool up and finish all the orders.

Lets say that number is $125,000. If you meet your goal or go over then ALANs are on their way. If not, if you fall short, then there will be no ALAN's using this venue. And we have to start all over again and rethink our strategy.

Hope this helps

PRO
USA
#206  

I've also had a question about the servos used on another thread and i'd like to keep them all together so we don't have duplicate questions.

ALAN, has 5 axis of motion, two neck servos and one jaw servo and two for the eyes.

The jaw servo is a standard servo, altho because its dragging on the silicone I suggest a stronger servo running at higher voltage. (Alan is designed to work at 7.4 volts.)

The two eye servos are the micro size. I think i tried about 3 different kinds and in the end speedy servos were more important than torque, to get realist fast eye motion.

The most important are the neck servos. Now quick story here, Early in development i tried to make all the servos stand in size. The head is just to heavy and everyhorm would just strip out. So I looked for a cost effective, larger servo.

I went with 1/5th scale as it had torque up to 560 oz/in, I ended up designing the neck around a Chinese servo called the Power HD 1235MG. It had to have a metal gear and horn to take the weight and torque of the head and silicone.

These servos can be purchased for $40 each on ebay. I will eventually sell an upgrade kit that will use the Savox SV-0236MG , but this servo runs at about $100 each and I have to find the extra 10 mm of room in size, that will be a problem in the neck.

Mind you the PowerHD servos are power hungry and stall torque can be as high as 9 amps each. So we are still looking for the perfect power supply for him. Lipos can be used but you are limited the time they last.

PRO
USA
#208  

Just an update. We are spending a little more time creating additional tiers of rewards before we launch Indiegogo. This has slowed down the launch of the campaign, due to gathering and pricing of additional hardware that will ship with the upper tiers containing complete kits. Our current launch date is now sometime in the last week in September.

To all those interested in Alan, thanks for the wait!

PRO
USA
#209  

ALAN has his own Facebook page. Be sure to head over to like and share!

https://www.facebook.com/Robomodix

PRO
USA
#212  

Ok so I have to get ugly here.

I have no idea how this gallery works but I complained awhile back about this when nomad posted an image and it went into my gallery.

Frank Lopez (who has now renamed himself J11 for some reason) came here uninvited to tout his work and then came crying that I had used his work without his permission, I'm assuming he means he thinks I placed his work it in my gallery. I have sent him a private email asking him to remove his posts and therefore his image from the gallery. Absurd.

So @DJ can you tell me why does the gallery place any image from anyone in a project? wouldn't it make more since that the author of the project is the only one who can place images in the gallery?

PRO
Canada
#214  

Sorry I don't have the permissions to remove the image but I believe if @J11 simply edits and deletes his photo in his post it should be removed from the gallery.

PRO
USA
#215  

Edit #1

I think I can repost 9 of my pictures and it will boot his picture out of the gallery as it only holds 10 images at a time.

Edit #2 Worked

#216  

That sounds like the best option. Also, block his emails. Clearly he is unreasonable and irrational.

Canada
#219  

Quote:

So @DJ can you tell me why does the gallery place any image from anyone in a project? wouldn't it make more since that the author of the project is the only one who can place images in the gallery?

@ jeremie no author would accept that whoever adds elements to its work without its agreement. It is obvious that if the system allows anyone to add photographs in the project of someone else, that will cause a lot of frustration. Hopefully the forum admin will get the permission to fix the issue.

#220  

Will, your presentation skills blow me away. I'm so glad your using your Oscar willing talent and experience in the way your offering this android. I think the way your showcasing him is going to make the difference. You have a truly mind blowing robot here to sell but no one will know it if the presentation is common or sub par. Wow, there's no way you can loose.

Just wondering, I've seen a few different skin colors on the face. Are you going to offer different colors based on race? What about voice choices, language or accents (is that even possible)? A Jamaican android would be so over the top. :P

#221  

@Aerius,

Limiting images and videos to just the OP would seriously reduce any interaction of ideas and understanding of processes. Anyone really following the thread or even reading the posters comments made along with the inserted image can easily understand what is happening. If you go that route you may as well just lock out any interaction with the community in a project showcase. I think any limitation of the exchange of ideas would be a true mistake. As is, I don't see any issue to fix.

The only issue that could effect any project showcase would be an abusive poster. This has happened in the past the admin has removed them from the forum.

Just my opinion. :)

#222  

@Dave,

I disagree. In a normal thread, you are of course correct, anyone should be able to post whatever they want, but a Project Showcase should "belong" to the original poster. If the forum didn't push the latest pictures up to the top of the showcase, my opinion might be different, so there are clearly multiple possible solutions to the issue, but fxfrst should not need to keep adding his pictures back into the thread just to have the showcase display "Alan" vs someone else's pictures.

(the other) Alan

#223  

@Alen, I see your point and do understand where you guys are coming from. However I just hate to see exchanges of ideas shut down. If the biggest complaint is what image is showing as the Showcase then there is a simple solution (Hopefully as I don't know what would need to be changed in the coding of this forum). I think a good solution would be to have an option for the OP of a Project Showcase to be able to chose one pic or video thumbnail as a Showcase Display. That would give us the power to show off the best or latest example of our robot and not limit creative interaction. I've often wanted to change the picture that shows on my one and only project showcase and cant seem to figure out how to do it. I also don't want to or think I should have to hack around to do this.

I'm going to start another thread asking EZ Robot to take a look at doing this. I dont want to divert Will's project more then we already have. Sorry Will. Back to your Android. :P

PRO
USA
#224  

@Dave, Yes there will be many colors and even different genders offered if the campaign is successful. There will be an online store offering these products and eventually upgrades to parts to make more movements like brows and lip movement just to name a few. Because its a kit we are encouraging people to customize, the voices will be any SAPI5 voice the user has or purchases separate from ALAN and used with Windows.

Thanks for the Kudos on the presentation, I'm glad people are responding well to it!

@dave pt2. I agree with a standard thread, but disagree on a project thread, altho if changes were made where if someone posted a picture in your project and it DID NOT go into the gallery images would be acceptable. As an example as it is now, if I goto your B9 project page and post a picture of my grandma, it will show up in your gallery. Something I think would take away from what you have displayed there?!?

@Alan and Aerius, yes you guys get it, thanks for supporting me on this.

Now all this said if i had been dealing with a rational person, when i asked him to remove his image to remove it from the gallery as I did with NOMAD, then this would be a slightly muted issue. But because he is not rational or sane, it escalated into a fury of emails threatening to steal the designs of ALAN and reproduce and I quote:

"i think i will take all of those pictures and work my magic remake alan here using AutoCAD and Photoshop 3D print him and use one of those stupid ez boards with its free software "

And to that Frank Lopez...my attorneys will be calling you soon.

United Kingdom
#225  

@Will.

I just checked out Alan's Facebook page and "Liked" it a lot. I showed this thread to some friends who came over for the weekend, and they were blown away when I showed them the pictures and played your videos for them. I left a short comment on the Facebook page saying something which I stand by... This is not just a wonderful interactive robot, but it really is a work of art as well.

Steve.

PRO
USA
#226  

Thank you so much Steve! I really appreciate that!

#227  

@fxrtst

will - Any updates or progress ?. are we still looking at a september release date ?

PRO
USA
#228  

We are hoping! Working feverishly, making our daily deadlines. I'll know better in another week.

Brazil
#229  

Man.. You're a genius artist! I want so much one of these "ALAN" ! Just can't wait to get it!

PRO
USA
#230  

Thank you tevans!

Belgium
#232  

This is the one I prefer :)

PRO
USA
#233  

Another update. Do to obligations on a world premier event for the release of my last film "Goosebumps", I am once again delayed with ALANS release on crowdfunding. Most likely a mid October release. This is the last delay.

#234  

You should make the "two-face" mask more ragged and re-install the "lidless" eye panel. Then light it up red for a Terminator...

We will anxiously await Alan's release. Good luck with the premiere!

PRO
USA
#235  

Last update before the release. Wayyyyy behind schedule, but what can you do? Down to the final editing and some green screen fun. Still a lot of elements to get it all together. We are releasing Halloween! How very apropos for what I do for a living?! Anyways, here is a dramatic shot, from one of our locations for the shoot.

User-inserted image

#236  

"I don't always look at my robot and backyard at the same time, but when I do I drink coffee!"

LOL, had to do it. The photo look awesome, Alan looks awesome. You seem to have a very, very cool job and work on the coolest stuff! I'm super excited to see the Alan kit in the future!

PRO
USA
#237  

Ahahaha that's perfect! And thanks!

#239  

I was wondering the model and make of printer that you used to print these items up with.

Thanks,

Mel

PRO
USA
#240  

@moviemaker, I used 3d systems projet 1500. It's a dlp printer and uses uv resin. It's my own personal printer. It produces parts at minimum thickness of 100 microns. If Kickstarter is successful I will have it reprinted at a service bureau at 50 microns to gain even more detail from my original 3d design.

PRO
USA
#242  

As we head into our last week of prep for ALAN campaign on Kickstarter (no really Kickstarter) we ended up with this amazing article in servo Magazine. Again a massive thank you to Tony Ellis for hooking me up with David Geer!

User-inserted image

#243  

Congratulations!

PRO
USA
#244  

Thanks...timing could not be better.

#247  

Wow, you're a star now! Oh, wait, you already were.

Lol, congrats! ! :)

PRO
Canada
#249  

Also wanted to say "Congrats!" to you Will, making the cover of a magazine is no small feat!

Looking forward to the Kickstarter!

PRO
USA
#250  

Thanks Jeremie! Plastered the article with EZ-Robot... And David EZ-AI has a couple of mentions too!

United Kingdom
#251  

Will, front page that is fantastic! This is one of the best front covers that I have ever seen, well done.

I am so glad I was able to help you here, David Geer is a great guy who I knew would see the great innovation in Alan.

Tony

United Kingdom
#252  

That is really cool Will, I'm so pleased for you. The front cover is looking great and has done "Alan" and yourself proud.

#253  

Great Job.... Your efforts and hard work is coming together and getting out there. We all look forward to the Kickstarter.

Best of Luck !

Ron R

Brazil
#254  

Congratulations Will! Your talent is endless and is so great to have an artist like you sharing time and knowledge with us. Alan will be a success. Just can't wait to jump into the campaign!

PRO
USA
#255  

Thank you guys for all the great words of encouragement and support. I'd like to again, thank Tony E, David C, Anthony and DJ for helping out directly with Alan. Its been an unbelievably long en-devour. It took twice as long to get to this point than I thought it would. But we have had some amazing talks with some investors and backers and we have some really amazing upgrades and advancements coming up right after the campaign ends. We also have some really cool new robots in development.

We are still sticking with a Halloween launch, but depends on how long Kickstarter takes to screen the submission (hopefully not long).

#256  

Will,

CONGRATS on scoring a cover-page article!

What's especially cool is that servo mag has pretty much ignored EZ-Robot. I've been a subscriber for a few years, and I can't remember EZ-Robot ever being mentioned.

Can't wait to jump on the Kickstarter offering! :D

#257  

Really great creativity reaching maximum velocity just in time for Halloween ! Good luck Will.

#258  

As a subscriber to servo magazine, I get access to the online version when the issue is published. I just read the ALAN article. WAY TO GO, WILL!

PRO
USA
#261  

Sorry worked the entire weekend to resolve an issue. Sorry to say there will be a delay. We are so close! But somethings you can't control. Friday at the earliest.

I keep saying this is the last time. But this is the final delay. It has to be, because we are ready!

Netherlands
#262  

@fxrtst Friday, ok, then me and my girlfriend can stop refreshing kickstarter and your webpage for a week to see whether Alan is available yet. :)

PRO
USA
#263  

@anthony, great! Made a quick appearance in video and we have a shot on the kickstarter site. Just what we needed. Thanks for busting that out so fast!

@Bas ! Ha ! Glad you guys are getting excited!

PRO
USA
#264  

OK, after a zillion delays, disasters and what seemed like sabotage from people from the future :)...we have uploaded to KickStarter. Its up for review now. So it can go live at anytime. If you have emailed us thru GETAHEAD website we will be sending out a mass email as a reminder when the page is live.

Again thanks for all the support and lets see how this goes!

Netherlands
#265  

Thank you for the update. I wish you very successful campaign! Alan is a beautiful product and I can't wait to get my hands on one.

PRO
USA
#266  

..it seems Kickstarter can take as long as one week to review tech products...ugh. Stay tuned.

PRO
USA
#269  

Still on hold. Kickstarter making us make changes. I think they are under the impression that this is not real.. CGI or something. Odd questions and requests. Just making them comfortable. It's like one email a day with a single response. So it's going...... Slow.

Hopefully they respond positively today, do we can go live!

#270  

They don't think it's real - that's both funny and sad. Guess your experience as a SFX professional is throwing them off. Tell them "Original Trilogy", not "Prequels". :P

CGI. Harrumph! mad

#271  

Sad and Funny, I agree. I mean it looks better than a movie a prop I think.

Belgium
#272  

There is no way they refuse Alan. I'm a long time kickstarter user and this project is really well prepared compared to what I use to see. So well done that it's unbelievable for them. IMO, one of the project of the year.

And if we look closely, it's my birthday on friday, so let us be honest: this is definitely the reason why Alan has not yet showed up... He await that day, I see no further valid reason. :)

More seriously, I saw on your website that some tutorials on programming will be published soon. Maybe can we expect a new version of EZ-AI besides Alan? Have you worked together with David on that part? Which version are you running for now?

I am using v1.0.07 and I'm stuck on a few issues. I'm still making progress, slowly, but if an update is released soon, I'll stop with headaches and I wait for the new one. Moreover it seems to be a major update, not sure if it will be out soon or not. It would be so nice to have both at same time.

#273  

Ez-ai will be have an announcement made about where it is in a couple of weeks with an unedited video demonstrating it's status. I just got off the phone with my son, now the lead developer on it. I am blown away by it now. He has done a really good job on it. Right now it is missing some of the features it once had, but we are bringing in another developer soon (someone I know who is a great programmer) to start adding features. It is the AI for Rafiki and is really going to be amazing with Alan. We are focusing on how we keep the two products working great together but seperate so that ez-ai can still be a seperate stand alone product.

PRO
USA
#274  

Great to hear Dave! I'm looking forward to that! And so glad your son is spearheading and doing an amazing job!

@Justin and Warpig....I know its really weird. I guess they have had people in the past fooled backers into believing they had a product but was just a photo rendered computer shot. No product. I understand they are protecting the customers, but its killing our deadlines.

On another note, I've been in talks with Steven Gentner the creator of RoboRealm...alot of cool things coming up cross promotion etc. H'es very active helping out folks who have kickstarter projects using his software. Also not sure if I am allowed to say or not, but hints of a plug in for EZ coming.

Germany
#275  

the problem that I see is the function. its a cool looking humanoid-bust like the Wowwee Alive Elvis.. but what people wanna do with this head? its a perfect addon for an inmoov robot .. but only a few people have inmoov at home. the most people have no idea how to use ez-robot software. or dont want to use them. I love this powerfull project and I hope you're lucky but I think kickstarter bringing not enough money. its the same like Anthony's project. different things but with same result. I would not wish you to misunderstand me.. I want to buy a ALAN-Bust for sure. but I miss teeth like elvis and without latex/ rubber-mask he looks more perfect ^^! the skin wobbles.. the mask looks funny and unfinished. this is my opinion.

User-inserted image

you produced the best 3D printed head I ever seen! now you need a perfect software programming and a lot functions for everyone

regards Smarty

#276  

This project can use any robot platform as it doesn't come with any robot controller specifically or any software. This can be driven by any robot software platform dependent on what the purchaser wants to put in it.

What is for sale is the kit. It is for builders to do whatever they want to do with it. It's not a built working product. This is up to the purchaser to do and to decide what they use to drive it. Will has chosen to use an EZ-B V4 for his build. It's the best software and controller so it is only logical that he would go this route, but he could have used anything available.

Germany
#277  

yes, you can use any robot platform.. but the head is the same like the Elvis Bust and the elvis bust was a flop for wowwee. I say it again, this head is only for robot makers and so its hard to make money with it. fxrtst invest a lot time and money and I hope he gets his money back. thats what im saying.

PRO
USA
#278  

@smarty, I thank you for your concerns. Wow wee, mass produces their parts in China an like most and have to sell a lot of units to make their money back. We only need to sell 160 units to make a profit because we are hand making the units from molds.

Alan also is upgradable, meaning we will be offering female faces, really cool mechanical faces that simply replace your exciting face. You don't have to buy another head to have a different robot!

Lastly your right it's not a product for everyday consumers... Yet. Builders will need to have a certain skill level and interest to get the most out of a kit.

We now have several rewards available, not just a base kit. We have units all the way up to assembled and painted and several in between kits to hit all levels of builders.

#279  

I have a WowWee Elvis (actually, a few of them). Unless you only want "The King", modifications are difficult at best. It's not surprising that the product tanked; having an animatronic Elvis head gets old real fast.

ALAN, on the other hand, will be able to be easily modified. Even if Will never comes out with another molded component, the user will be able to change ALAN's personality using easily-available tools such as EZ-B, software and other controllers.

Basically, I see the difference between Elvis and ALAN about the same as a WWI biplane and the Starship Enterprise: they both fly, but one is able to go where no one has gone before.

PRO
Canada
#280  

Lol, nicely said @WarPig

#281  

@Warpig... begs the question why you own a few of them then? :P

#282  

@Richard-R: I said they can be modified, but it's a PITA. One is slated to be Alex Murphy (RoboCop) with his helmet off. The Elvis base will animated a custom face skin. The others are parts donors, or money-generators for eBay ;)

As for when the animated RoboCop will take life, well, he's on the back burner while I work on my B9

PRO
USA
#283  

Thanks WarPig, nicely said!

And on that note...I'm announcing that we have been approved by KickStarter and will be going live tomorrow Friday November the 13th at about 10 AM Pacific time.

#284  

@fxrtst Good luck... Friday the 13th... May @Smarty "eat crow sandwich"...

Good luck Will....

#286  

Congrats Will! And your off and running. I will be watching and pushing on social media.

PRO
USA
#287  

If I couldn't make Halloween might as well go with Friday the 13th!

Thanks David! (Ck your email I responded) BTW do you ever sleep?

#288  

Will do, head been in programming all day. Sleep, who has time for that? Actually I have been waking up early to get some coding done before the family wakes up. I get about 5 hours of sleep now because my brain won't let me rest. It keeps coming up with new ideas...

Germany
#289  

@Richard R that was inappropriate. criticism is important. congratulations only if it succeeds.:D ;)

I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST @fxrtst

@WarPig memories of the old elvis :

regards Smarty

#290  

Just a few more minutes and we're live! cool

Please post a link when the magic moment happens.

#291  

It's there: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/710470832/alan-the-robot-development-kit?ref=discovery

Chchchchchchchchchchch...Ahhhhhhhhh

PRO
USA
#292  

Whew! Made it! Again thanks for all the support guys, all the help, suggestions along the way! And again a Big thanks to DJ, for for creating a product that allowed ALAN to come to life!

Kickstarter Live Link

Netherlands
#293  

Whoohoo!

I hope my pledge went well. I had an error in my credit card info, then tried to change it but I can't see Alan in my backed projects list. Re-did pledge, but still nowhere to be seen...

#294  

The Magic happened.......got mine ordered :)........now for the wait :(

#295  

I just posted about the Kickstarter to some of the Babylon 5 facebook groups. Some of the fans of your work there also have disposable income....

Alan

#297  

Holy crap... in less than an hour you already have more pledges than Anthony's ill fated campaign had over the entire 30 days.... Awesome Will!

Northern Ireland
#298  

Hi Richard,

First, I have to say ALAN is incredible (aesthetically & functionally)!

Just a suggestion, would it be conceivable to open a lower pledge tier to become involved in building ALAN? The reason I suggest this is because even the bronze level reward pledge level will be a major barrier to market for most potential backers.

Bear with me while I explain further. If a new $125 pledge level was opened for full 3d printable stl's & recommended hardware/build guide, 1000x backers at that tier and you're home & dry.

This approach will also have the inherent benefit of all backers who back at $125 level beginning to build, experiment, improve, eval out any unknown issues, posting their builds keeping all bronze, silver, gold & titanium backers eveloped with the project while you're busy fulfilling their pledge levels, plus additional benefit of the 1000+ lower tier backers build experiences.

MHO, ALAN's success now resides in its community now you're ready to release him into the wild. The question is whether a community of 100+ is better than a community of 1000+.

What does weigh heavy in this approach is, if a $125 tier is offered, will all the current backers drop from bronze, silver, gold & platinum level to the lower tier? The answer is Likely yes, probably a large percent. But does this then have the knock-on effect that the campaign is successful, but high-level backer numbers are too low to handcraft,mold, assemble & ship, & still be commercially viable?

whatever happens I do genuinely hope & wish this campaign every success. The level of painstaking detail getting this far, failure isn't an option!

Kindest Regards, Andrew

#299  

@A84M How are you going to keep the stls from being shared illegally after the kickstarter? Why pay $125 when you can just wait until the stls become available as a pirated download?

PRO
USA
#300  

@bas, Thank you and i will check and see if it went thru..let you know shortly!

@nanomole40, thank you so very much for your pledge.

@Alan, Thank you so much...I love me some B-5'ers

@warpig! Thank you thank you!

@richard..its going well...fingers crossed....apparently 80% of projects are funded if they meet 30% of their goal by the end of the first week...hmmm !?

...and lastly @a84m, I hear ya buddy. There are so many things to say to respond, so I will try and approach like this. Because we are hand making Alan the labor costs are extensive for the amount of time to produce all the ALANS (also the $125,000 goal). If there were some way to pressure inject these intricate parts in CHINA i would need $1.5 million dollars upfront and everyone would have to wait for 18 months for a product with no hardware and no software or electronics to go with it and the price would be ridiculous.

We have well thought out that this is the best way to get ALANs out into the field for people to build in a timely manner and then we can concentrate on all the upgrades to ALAN. All the proceeds go back into the evolution of ALAN into ALANA the female face and many many other additions. We believe this is a very special product and we are not just moving on after the campaign is over.

You kinda answered you own question, many backers would drop off and go with the stls and it also would not be long before there are duplicate molds and parts and stl's flowing freely (will happen eventually) in the market place. The only way to move forward with ALAN is to place him in a low volume high demand market. This way, ALAN, his parts and evolution will not suffer from desegregation in quality.

Brazil
#301  

Will, first of all, may I giv you congratulations on your achievement! I would love so much to be part of the early birds who will build it! In fact, I was waiting so much to be a backer... But unfortunately $700 dollars is too much expensive for me. Specially this days when half of the world is in a big economic crisis and the dollar reaches stupid value in foreign currency.

But, I wish you all the success. I'm sad I can't be in your backers list.

If, at some point you find a way to allow a lower contribution... I'll certainly keep my enthusiasm about the project. Best wishes.

Tevans

Northern Ireland
#302  

Sorry, after watching KS video IT looks like you've already the molds which was no doubt very time consuming/expensive. If that is the case then you needn't worry about being commercially viable if there aren't many high-level backers, it just means less manpower to deliver (heavily cutting down costs/increasing amount out of $125k you pocket)!

Answering what is stopping the stl's being freely distributed you are right on point. But with the advent of cheap & easy methods of 3d scanning objects there is also nothing preventing, and I should add, somebody definitely will 3d scan a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum reward ALAN. This is the unfortunate reality of the 21st century.

Believe me when I say I understand your concerns, especially when you have laboured as arduously as you clearly have. When your soo focused on what you're working on, making it the best, with your own vision of where you want it to go/to achieve, it's hard to accept people will try to copy your work, it's not fair, rude & offensive. But it cannot blind you to the objective reality of the following possible outcomes;

A) If you did offer the lower level tier & the campaign is successful, you have opened lowered the barrier to entry to hobbyists who otherwise could not afford it & have bolstered a much larger, livelier & contributing community simultaneously keeping high-level backers interest peeks during their wait period, also drastically reducing the man-hours/money required delivering to them, also giving ALAN a greater chance of being released into the wild.

B) No lower level tier is offered however campaign is still successful, all rewards require manufacturer, more man-power required, less money remains from $125k (-kickstarter %), many very interested backers prevented from becoming involved with ALAN, despite being extremely interested in project, shortly after 2016 release there's still possibility ALAN will appear somewhere in stl form.

Inversely, possibilities;

C) lower tier is made available, KS doesn't reach $125k, no stl files are released to anyone (nothing ventured=nothing gained)

D) no lower tier is made available, campaign continues as is, KS doesn't achieve $125k, you're left with molds (time/money invested in) not being cycled, many backers desperate to have own ALAN disappointed at not having one to look forward to working on next year, & probably some people you had in mind for helping deliver with no work to provide, possibly some stock already inhand now surplus to demand.

Please appreciate I mean no offence in my comments, everything I've said is obviously of my own opinion & I cannot stress how much I hope the ALAN project succeeds. I just genuinely see possibility A) as the most positive, best result all round, and appreciate how it can be difficult to think more objectively when you are soo absorbed in a labour of passion.

Warmest Regards, Andrew

PRO
USA
#303  

@tevens,

I thank you for your long time support and kinds words. When we use the word "affordable" its all relative to each person and their place in the world. As a world traveler I can appreciate those who work hard and struggle to make it financially through each day and month.

Again thanks for the support!

PRO
USA
#304  

@a84m Absolutely none taken.

I wish the single mold you saw was the only mold to be made. Haha. That was the mold for the prototype. We have 22 molds that have to be built and duplicated to the amount of 10, so thats 220 molds. Then we have all the equipment including pressure pots to cure the parts under pressure, and degassing machines to remove the bubbles from the liquid plastic, then we have to add pressure injection systems for the silicone faces. Mold making alone costs are 4 men for a month to create 220 molds, plus materials and equipment. Then there are the eyes. Every single eye has to be 3D printed, so say we sell 200 units, we print 400 eyes. Trust me when I say there is VERY little left over to go back into ALAN after its all done. But if it was easy then everyone would be doing it. But what it will do is begin the demand for ALAN. And that can only mean great things.

I'm speaking from the perspective of ALAN and keeping a standard on my product. You are a user coming from the perspective of not being able to afford one. And thats ok. There are alot of people who cant afford an Apple product, but that doesn't force Apple to release cardboard $10 versions to quell those consumers.

As Richard suggested just wait for the pirated stl's to hit the market in a year or so and you can print your own.

I appreciate your perspective though. There is nothing wrong with debate.

Edit: Lets face it robotics in general is an expensive sport/hobby. That's why the good stuff is at DARPA and at University...

PRO
USA
#305  

@bas, I looked in the bakers list and you are not there unless under a different name?

Netherlands
#306  

Thank you for checking. My account's name is Bas so it should've been there. I'll retry tomorrow, screenshot it all the way, and contact kickstarter about it.

On the one hand I hope I can get a silver early bird, on the other hand it would be good if they're sold out before I can get my hands on it ;)

#307  

Pledged. I wish I could help more. Nice design. I hope all the best to your success .

PRO
USA
#308  

@Bas, ok let me know how it goes.

@Merne, thanks very much! Every penny helps reach our goal! Much appreciated.

#309  

A thought on possibly being able to offer a lower tier: what if you offered a version of ALAN without the skin? I'm assuming you'll be selling parts after launch; that would give an initial lower-cost option that would remain very appealing, as people would be able upgrade.

Just a thought...

PRO
USA
#310  

Tex that is something that we discussed early on but felt like that was not really selling the complete "look" of ALAN, but you bring up a valid point for giving people another lower cost option. We are going to go back to the table to discuss this.

PRO
USA
#311  

In the mean time here is a great shot I love of ALAN.

User-inserted image

#312  

Truth be told on my part: the skin is a "nice to have"; were I were purchasing ALAN from a web store, I'd probably get his skin later.

The sheer coolness of his "basic" look and behavior sell it for me; the skin is even better for the iRobot "Sonny" look.

#313  

Hi Will, Congrats on launching Alan on KS. I pledged. I would have loved to pledge silver but I couldn't hide that much on the credit card from wifey! Lol! Hope everything moves forward. I will just need a BOM for electronics and other stuff not included in the basic bronze package. I loved the commercial. I put it on the 60" TV to show the wife. She liked it. :)

Another thought if the project is successful is to offer a package to add the electronics and other stuff as an upgrade.

Bob J

#314  

@bobjacon - yeah, we have B9's to feed as well!

ALAN is planned as a companion for my B9; they can plot taking over when I'm not around. ;)

PRO
USA
#315  

@bob thanks and totally understand! Lol. As for electronics package we were going to include as a reward but didn't make since if we have the kit that has it. But definitely will do by the time we start shipping units. We plan having every single part of Alan available as replacement parts in our shopify store, and electronics kits too!

@tex I got your email and will respond in the morning.. I'm pooped after a stressful day , but doing well 12 hours and up to $17,000 hopefully we can keep up a momentum. ZD Net is doing coverage on us and I think they have 20,000,000 subscribers . That will help get the word out.

#316  

Damm, My old car just died last week and I had to get a new one. What crappy timing. I need to find some extra cash for this. This is too cool not to get in on the bottom floor. With or without me this little guy is going to be earth shattering!

PRO
USA
#317  

No worries my friend. Thanks for all your kind works and support over all these months!

United Kingdom
#318  

@Will.

Really pleased the Kickstarter is up and running now, and you're off to a great start. I'll be making a pledge next week and I'll try and get a few friends in voles as well, as I know a couple of them were well impressed with ALAN's design when I showed them your project showcase.

Not that I think you need it, but I'll say it anyway... good luck. :)

PRO
USA
#319  

Thanks Steve! Yes send your friends over! Every pledge will help!

Netherlands
#320  

It seems to be a credit card issue for me (today it clearly shows an error, yesterday it said the pledge was OK but simply didn't show). I have contacted my bank and predict I should be able to pledge later on this week.

With 95% certainty I will be able to research affective dialogue systems in 2016. It seems that Alan will be delivered nicely around the time that prototypes are shaping up to their final form :)

PRO
USA
#321  

Ok Bas sounds great. I can't wait to see what you do with Alan and your evolving program!

Northern Ireland
#322  

Hi William,

When you state "The only way to move forward with ALAN is to place him in a low volume high demand market", I noticed in KS 'Risks & Challenges' section it mentions "That said, we are attempting to mass produce, by hand, a really cool robot."?

I agree 'affordability' is relative to each person in a financial sense, although it's probably more so relative to "what's already out there at a similar (cheaper even) price", the incredible InMoov project with an already large & thriving community, being a point in case.

I think holding firm to a high barrier of entry, for what appears (at this point) purely to maintain a level of 'exclusivity' to ALAN is, at best 'Schoolboy Error', at worst 'Highly Arrogant'.

I'll be genuinely very impressed if funding breaks the $30k mark by campaign end with the current pledge level structure. The old saying "be careful what you wish for" seems appropriate, ALAN may very well be the most 'exclusive' (one-of-a-kind) robotic head on planet Earth.

Regards, Andrew

PRO
USA
#323  

Low volume, because if we had 1000 orders we could not fill them in a year. Our cap would be 400 units for this campaign to get them done in a timely manner. I think you are missing the point. Alan is priced according to the bottom line that we can afford to do so and in the time line we set forth. We would love everyone to have our version of Alan at a lower price point but it's impossible to do so with our current way to manufacture him. I can't go into business in the red. No one can.

An animatronic head like this in the film industry would cost 10s of thousands of dollars. I attempted to build one at a much lower cost and did so. Is it priced for everyone nope. Will it be available for download to print, nope.

Will we fail? We will know in 29 days. If so, no one can say I didn't work hard for 2 years to try and bring to market a really cool and different robot platform. It certainly won't be the end.

If all else I've shown that there is great interest in unique designs and colors In robotics.

And I think I've been respectful to your queries. But I don't appreciate your last paragraph. And I no longer feel the need to explain myself to you. Good day sir.

#324  

@Will ... whatever you do don't release the stls... We all know how hard you worked.... Don't give this guy the satisfaction....

PRO
USA
#325  

Certainly will not :)

Northern Ireland
#326  

"Satisfaction"?

If you mean don't give me the satisfaction of having the opportunity to be part of the ALAN project (and 1000's of others), of making the ALAN community much, MUCH larger. Of heavily spiking sales of EZ V4's that everyone will need to obtain same level of functionality as ALAN, of William (rightfully) monetising on the stl designs before some random backer inevitably scans & distributes them, of generally making robotics more accessible.

Then yes, don't satisfy me, satisfy Richard R in accomplishing; inaccessibility Small community slow improvements due to lack of contributors Do nothing to improve sales of EZ V4's when he had EVERY OPPORTUNITY to explode sales!?... Await the unfortunate truth of 'when' (not 'if') some dude scans WILLIAM's designs in the future and uploads the stl's anyway.

I did touch earlier on my understanding of heavily investing your time working intensly on a project creating something special, & the tendency to become hyper-protective of it. When I said that I wasn't just shooting the breeze writing it for nothing? There comes a time in the business world when you just have to let it out into the wild, of course we as the pro's & cons of all eventualities & possibilities, however you HAVE to acknowledge inevitability e's and mitigate the risks to the best of your power.

I apologise for trying to gently steer you toward better business sense, maybe Richard R has a better business background & can offer more informed suggestions to make ALAN a success?

Lastly, I wouldn't lend too much credence to Kicktraq, it's a VERY basic algorithm (very linear-line in nature). If you expect to bang out $9k/day for 30days straight I've bad news for you,...

Kindest Regards, Andrew

#327  

@A84M ... so your only contribution to the forum so far is criticism?.... Why don't you do a tutorial or help another member with a problem instead of being so critical and arrogant?....

Dude, seriously... what's it to you how @Will runs/market's his Alan project? Don't you think he has the right to do it his own way? I don't remember him asking for your opinion anyway.... If you don't like the way he is doing it, why don't you just go design and create your own instead?

Northern Ireland
#328  

If I have offered criticism it has only been towards what will ultimately be the outcome of following your advice. Of course, if Williams vision is for ALAN to be confined to the research lab he has EVERY right (that's not what's at dispute here).

With regards to why don't i offer help or advice to a forum member with a problem, I thought my advice here was just that, offering the best possible outcome for hackers/hobbyists, the EZ-Robot guys, William & Robomodix itself respectively?

If I appear arrogant it's likely in rebuke to William saying a head like ALAN's would cost 10's of thousands in the film industry, with ALL DUE RESPECT, any perceived value in ALAN resides in the EZB V4 ($135). To suggest the no electronics ALAN and the 20-22pieces he's comprised off costs $669-$775 is folly at best. To further suggest the complete SILVER level is nearly double that @ $1325 for the inclusion of the EZB V4, 1x standard servo, 2x 1/5 scale servos, 2x micro servos, eye LED's, sound card & a PSU, for what costs in-and-around $200rrp. A $425 markup is maybe a bit generous in the houses favour, no?

The GOLD level at $1900, so it will cost $500 time/labour to assemble? How many hours does ALAN take to assemble with all parts on hand William?..

Visiting the PLATINUM level at $3499, a handsome $1600 jump. Where does this considerable leap in cost go? ALAN gets a) a paint job, b) a tablet computer & c) an LED light array. All I can say on this is if you're a PLATINUM backer you should be expecting a very, VERY powerful/expensive tablet here.

At the end of the day, without an EZB V4 fitted, ALAN is essentially an inanimate bust (albeit a well designed, aesthetically pleasing one). To suggest the BRONZE level 'parts only' kit is 5x more expensive than the EZB V4, which coincidently gives ALAN 'ALL' his functionality,.. Any accusations of arrogance would maybe be better made at that point?.. Or the shameless mark-up on a SILVER level 'with electronics' kit, presumably you are earmarking a share of that huge profit/markup to contribute back to the guys responsible for making the EZB V4 possible (the electronics, the hardware and ESPECIALLY the software/coding guys)?

Regards, Andrew

#329  

@andrew, you appear to have an axe to grind here... Your attempts to tarnish or degrade the amount of effort that's gone into ALAN almost seems personal. You mad bro? You speak of business sense but then attempt to slam @will due to the implied level of profit he's taking on some of the rewards. The best price for anything, for the merchant to list a product at, is the one people purchase. Certainly you'd agree that consumer prices aren't simply cost of goods + some small amount for overhead. If you believe you're right, why not keep your mouth closed and wait for the implosion? What are you gaining from this at this point?

@will, I'm mostly a lurker but If was one of, if not the first backer of the project. I've increased the reward level I originally I signed up for. I upgraded to the gold level. Hopefully my message will speak louder than @andrews.

Keep up the amazing work.

Germany
#330  

first of all. I love Alans design.

@A84M yes, the price is extremely high. the biggest problem.. a 3D scanner. one day someone share the part-data online for free.. then nobody need this parts from the usa. thats the same like ez-robot parts. you can print all by yourself. for china servos, ez-robot controller, camera, a few leds and coloring you pay 400,00 dollar + 100 dollar for the parts-printing. = 500 dollar for a complete alan without rubber mask. 3500 or 500 .. what you wanna pay ? before I saw the prices, I thought.. uhh, only a few robot-builders want Alan. now I think only rich robot-builders want Alan.. so its not possible to make a big business with this robot-bust. its more expensive as aldebaran pepper or a Sony AIBO at the beginning.

its really high priced. the animation is like a movie-robot but not the material.

in movies the most parts are metal, aluminium, high quality servos and masks. it's the same as compared wowwee dinosaur with the Jurassic Park robots.

Alan is a very cool looking product but the perfect calculation is 1000 dollar for a colored version and not 3500. I think the production-costs are to high at the moment and this will be breaking Alans neck in future.

at the moment Alan has 19 supporters, it's hard to say but I think the most are from this forum ^^!

I will let myself be surprised and wish all the best.. I hope this idea bears fruit.

Northern Ireland
#331  

Seanb, if you think I'll take some kind of perverse Joy from the KS campaign failing, you're mistaken.

You're perfectly entitled to call me mad, jaded or whatever else you imagine, that's your right. But this debate doesn't boil down to 'whose right' & 'whose wrong', more so 'what's right' & 'what's wrong', but I suppose that comes down to what Williams vision is for ALAN and progressing Robomodix's business activities, that is OF COURSE, up to him. If he wants to provide to a niche market and/or university institutions that is perfectly fine.

Forgive me if I've suggested an alternative route to market of which is more beneficial to EVERYONE.

Ps, you should maybe negotiate on your GOLD level pledge to get it 'Unassembled' but with the tablet PC in leu of the assembly/labour costs.

Regards, Andrew

#332  

Here is my view point, not that anyone cares...

A kickstarter is used to get funds to build a product or company. ALAN is no exception. Will has every right to charge what he believes is right for his product and has the right and responsibility to protect his design for all of those who invest in his endevor.

ALAN is the most advanced humanoid platform available on the market today. The head is just the beginning. My hope is that Will will be successful in this first stage of marketing.

ALAN is an expandable robot platform. By this, I mean that the head is just the first part of the overall product. It is also able to be expanded upon by those who support the kickstarter and receive their product. It isn't tied specifically to the EZB controller. Other software can drive the robot head. With most kickstarter for robot platforms, there are multiple levels with one of these levels being a developer version. ALAN is the developer platform level of the product and as such should carry the costs associated with this level of product.

Every good design will be copied and will be given away eventually. There is no way to protect from this happening. Will could spend many hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to protect from this but he is smart enough to realize this inevitable outcome. He and I have had conversations on this topic in the last year. There is nothing wrong with him trying to profit prior to this occurance. The amount he will profit will be up to his supporters and his advertising.

The software to drive this robot can cost as much or as little as the builder is willing to pay. What this robot ultimately does is up to the builder. Will has been nice enough to put his design out for sale and ultimately copied. If it wasn't a good design we wouldn't be having this conversation, but he has done so not to make a huge amount of money, but to further is work on this project. $125000 isn't a crazy amount of money for a company to start up on. It is really pretty low, and I know this doesn't cover the cost of the equipment and time spent over the last 2 years to develop ALAN.

Ultimately, it is Will's product to do what he sees fit to do with. I support will in other areas of this project other than the KickStarter because I believe it will be beneficial to both of us.

Could he have released the stl files, sure. Is it good business practice to do so, doubtful IMO, but it is just that, my opinion. By all accounts this is an awesome product that many people want to own. Ultimately all that matters is that Will proceeds the way that Will sees fit to proceed. Everything else is just bytes stored in a database and displayed on a forum.

Express your opinion, and then know it was expressed. That's about all it amounts to and Will will proceed with what he believes is best. These are his decisions to make and he is the one with the information to make the decission.

Netherlands
#333  

@Cochran I totally agree!

@Smarty Pepper costs about $1600 + a mandatory contract which lasts a minimum of 36 months and costs another $440 a month. Meaning that in 36 months you pay roughly $17,600. It is a completely different product from Alan as its value is largely in the delivered software. My personal feeling is that Pepper is not used for much more than conversation for which Alan is a way more affordable alternative, especially if you want to try out your own software.

I agree that 3D scanners are an unavoidable issue. You can see 3D scanners slowly creeping up in for instance the Warhammer hobby world where Chinese websites offer 1/5th of the price for miniatures compared to Games Workshop. However, this does not instant-kill Games Workshop. Most people try to buy at least some products from GW in order to support the hobby.

Also, with respect to @A84M concerns about costs, I believe that there will always be people (like me) who'll buy from companies like Robomodix so that these companies can further develop products and release awesome new ones in the future. Such people won't mind paying extra for the initial development costs of the current product and for partially funding future developments (or indeed for some general profit). If @fxrtst can find 160 such investors through PR this month, then he's done :)

Given how many people spend over $1500 on gadgets like drones, copters, games PCs, etc, I wouldn't be surprised that there would be at least 160 people out there willing to spend that amount on a fantastic looking robot bust and invest in its further development.

#334  

Will, a fantastic product! You have to be very proud of what you have accomplished. I wish you nothing but success.

Germany
#335  

@CochranRobotics.com "ALAN is the most advanced humanoid platform available on the market today. " Alan is a printed bust, all technologie and software is from EZ-Robots and a animatronic bust you find in all holiday parks, halloween shops and in japan supermarkets since 20 years. without the hardware its only a filament PLA/ ABS or another PVC statue/ bust. It is a 3D printed artwork.

Alan is a cool looking robot-bust like NS-5 from the I-Robot movie with more details. I love the design! Yes, Will has every right to charge what he believes.. but! If Will want a successful company, he needs other prices.

first a head and later a complete body.. Google gives billions of dollars on robotic technology.. "Will" have only a animatronic ez-robot head.. without ez-robot "Will" never build this toy. If all people want a EZ-Robot Bust.. how many years you need to build it ? at the moment one ez-robot needs two months for shipping from china to europe or usa. there is a logistic problem. the InMoov project is very cool, but how much people have an InMoov worldwide ? 200?

it's a visionary project with lot of dreams but no business-man will invest in this bust, because its only a printed bust and you need own technologie or ez-robot hardware for a full working robot. 700 for a printed head is expensive - all normal people will agree with me.

I know what kickstarter is and I hope this visionary product has a chance on market. It's always hard to make money when you are dependent on other people.

If EZ-Robot goes away.. or has a financial crisis.. then alan is only a bust without any technologie.. and then ? you think you sell thousand of bust-parts without color for 700 dollar worldwide ? I dont think so. for 99,00 dollars, yes but not for 700 :-) and then you earn no money or not enough.

#336  

@Smarty, you don't know all of the details. Yes, if you buy just the manufactured parts (resin parts by the way) you are correct. It is artwork. Again, Will chose to use the EZB for many reasons, but this product is not tied exclusively to the EZB. It is up to the buyer to make it what they want it to be.

Btw, artwork carries a high price tag.

The motors you add make it what you want it to be. These are built by master builders with many years of experience in the movie industry. They are not slapped together in a factory in China that has no care for the quality of the final product.

What you want is the mercades at Kia prices. This is a very high quality product hand made by master craftsmen who get paid a lot of money to do what they do by major motion picture companies. Will is not willing to sacrifice quality manufacturing in order to produce poor quality products. I applaud him for that.

If DJ has an issue with Will using their products and software to make money, that is their fight, not ours. You could say the same thing if Will used arduinos and sketches posted on the internet. Would that make it any better for you? Still the craftsmanship comes with a cost. Customer satisfaction has very little to do with cost. Of you paid 100 dollars and it was a pile of junk, you would be upset. If you pay 1000 dollars and everything fits and works properly, you appreciate the craftsmanship, and you have a working product for years to come. This makes a happy customer.

#337  

One more thought...

Who's to say that manufacturing doesn't get to a more automated level eventually? It would ultimately reduce the cost of the robot and at that time, maybe it drops in price to a level you are willing to pay. It isn't at that point yet and the costs reflect this. Will has to start somewhere and he has decided to start by delivering very high quality products. It only is logical if he wants to have happy customers and grow his business. It also allows him to then have more funds to explore more automated and cost effective manufacturing processes.

PRO
Belgium
#338  

one thing is for sure,you cannot argue about colors and prices. its diff for avery one.second you will never find something good for 100 doll or euro.talking about prices see bolt links.

ubteh robot belgium

ubteh robot ebay

Brazil
#339  

Well.. I'm just a journalist, with technology and robotics as a hobby that I love and that gives me hours of pure joy. I'm no business man. So, as an average consumer, all that I can say is: it's a wonderful product, but it's not for everyone.. 700 dollars is very expensive. But, Not everyone has a Rollex on the wrist... I would love to, but I can't. It's the same here. I hope someday it reaches the real consumer level price and we can put our hands on one. Until there, I'll keep trying to build my own heads from what I can get in the market.. Best wishes.

Germany
#340  

@CochranRobotics.com yes but a expensive art-work is not for everyone. the next problem: printed objects are look cheap.. because.. no real robot material.. thats a big problem too. anthonys robot designs are cool in a computer.. but the printed material not. its the quality of products what I dont like. alan has more quality as normal printing parts.. but not the quality like a 30 years old Omnibot or anything else. cast parts have a lot more quality. I never want a Iroman Sculpture from a 3D Printer.. but from Hot Toys! Because Hot Toys has a pefect quality. For Hot Toys I wanna pay 500.. for a printed model 30-50. You know what I mean. Alan is like a Scale Military Tank.. gluing and coloring, ready..

Will has my respect for the design and the kickstarter page is great. It is not about Will's work itself. He has a lot talent. But Will has at the moment with this price no chance of success and a big business.

I´m not a hater, it´s well-meaning criticism.

#341  

What you would receive isn't printed parts, they are manufactured (cast), not printed. The prototype is 3d printed.

The eyes will be 3d printed at higher quality than is in the video.

United Kingdom
#342  

So what constitutes as "real robot materials"?

Anyhow, this is a KS campaign don't forget. Prices may be a little high for some (I'm a real person, and I think the prices are okay concidering the amount of work to make each head, and the quality of the end product people will be getting), but if/when Will's target is reached and the head goes in to the manufacturing stage, then prices will probably drop a bit when production becomes easier and cheaper.

I'll through out another analogy. Why pay +£700 for an iPhone or Samsung edge, when you can by a £200 Sony Xperia E3? They do pretty much the same thing with similar options. The reason, the former are superior products.

Anyway, good luck Will (not that I think you need it). I think you have a something great here, and there will be a lot of lucky owners how end up getting their hands on one.

Germany
#343  

@CochranRobotics.com I saw this video: https://youtu.be/ijrTc_jk1XA

the quality is good but like a high quality scale military tank model.. not like a 3500 dollar robot. what is the weight of the head without technics, 500 gram ?

I never saw Alan "live". I can only describe what I see online.. like all other people in the world.

@Steve G

for me, real robots are not from a 3D printer.. 3D prints = artwork. I love the EZ-Robot Technologie and Software but I dont like JD.. its a child toy. I dont like Darwin-Mini .. its like mindstorms.. I bet DJ sells much more Controller and spare parts as complete robots because it has a cheap look.

best wishes

#344  

Yes, the video is of building a prototype, not the finished product for sale.

Again, you are missing information that is important to your viewpoint.

Germany
#345  

@CochranRobotics.com

that sounds great! I hope someone make a review from the end-modell. then I want to buy him! but not for 700 bucks. 499 with color, without technics will be fine :D

#346  

And I hope one day the price will be at that level. That means Will is successful and is mass producing ALAN. That would be awesome for all involved.

Have a great day @smarty!

Northern Ireland
#347  

In any case, a $550-$626 increase from BRONZE to SILVER for the electronics is impossible to reconcile with the 'Why the $125,000 goal' from campaign page that states "We have worked hard to negotiate cost effective suppliers to minimize production costs as well as secure a manufacturing team. To ensure we can deliver ALAN to our backers, we have also included a risk mitigation factor to account for unforeseen". if William 'negotiated hard' with suppliers to secure 2.5x the RRP of the electronics, he should probably get someone else to do his negotiating for him, or maybe he's using extortionately expensive packaging to pack extra electronics, who knows?..

Regards, Andrew

Northern Ireland
#348  

And there isn't a shadow of doubt the level of craftsmanship that goes into producing each ALAN bust, but to add $550-$626 for adding electronics, it immediately casts doubt on adding $525 to assemble, and moreover $1599 to paint & tablet PC.

I'm afraid William is the architect of his own misfortune on this endeavour? It's a damn shame too as it had every hallmark of success before greed overtook him.

Warmest Regards, Andrew

United Kingdom
#349  

@Andrew.

I guess we'll see then, won't we. Time will tell.

From what you've been saying already, I take it that you're not going to make a pledge then? If not, then you don't really have any reason to make any more posts on this thread, do you. You have made you're thoughts quite clear now which is fair enough, and repeating yourself is getting a bit boring now.

Northern Ireland
#350  

@Steve G, obviously you have backed then, kudos to you you're happy to throw money without engaging any wise judgement.

The deepest shame is that, the very backers that are able to contribute/participate (afford) ALAN, have scant regard for anyone else's abilit to contribute/participate at a lower level. vis-a-vis, prohibiting the 'other', 'poor' people, nobody will receive an ALAN 'bust' as a direct consequence.

Let me get the crystal ball out & see what Kicktraq trending/campaign end might look like over the course of the coming week,.. Mon 16th- $132,255 Tues 17th- $105,804 Wed 18th- $88,170 Thurs 19th- $75,754 Fri 20th- $66,127 This prediction is no coincidence, there's no chance or 'luck' at play here, people are than what you obviously pay credit to. Do you genuinely stand behind William 100% in respect to the price jumps between BRONZE, SILVER, GOLD & PLATINUM, if you do your unashamedly answering from a subjective, vested-interest point of view, and this is my point, this turning a blind eye to essentially extortion (ironically justified by existing backers?) locking out the common hacker/hobbyist which is conspiring against the ALAN campaign, nobody else. It's dissapointing is all,..

Regards, Andrew

#351  

^^^ Good grief, man. Let it rest. I want one too. I can't afford it. There's lots of things that I want but can't afford. That does not mean I'm going to write the manufacturer of each thing I can't aford and ask them to make it affordable for me specifically. His pricing structure is what it is. Who am I or you to question? He's been working on this a long long time and trust me, he knows more about his needs than you do. You are coming off like a whiny, petulant child that's not getting his/her way.

I'm going to contribute something eventually just because I want to see these things get out the door even though I may never have one.

United Kingdom
#352  

Yes I do 100% stand behind Will and I have no vested interest in the campaign whatsoever. I just like to see the guy who is at least trying something new, to succeed. Anyway, there are lower level pledge tiers available, such as the $10 one for anyone who wants to do so.

And actually, no, I have not backed... yet. But when I do, I will not be backing to get a product of any type, but solely to support Will.

Again, you're not making a pledge, said your piece, and seem to have nothing constructive to say, so you have no need to say anything else here on this thread.

How about wishing the guy luck or say nothing and leave it at that.

#353  

My 2 cents,

Alan is a beautifully designed and skillfully made. It looks like something from a big budget Hollywood movie. Seeing the price I was in for a sticker shock, I was hoping for a little lower price point, but I honestly don't now how to judge this product for price because it includes some things I have not seen in other robots, for instance the silicon face and the level of detail work. Speaking only for myself, I have no idea how to judge what a good market price for an item like this is.

Is it just a robot head? Is it a Hollywood prop? Is it a piece of art? Is it all 3 and more? - I don't know. I know it's cool and I would like one.

I know Will seems like a super cool dude and a is valued member of this community. My hope is the campaign and his new company are very successful!

#354  

Each tier also carries with it a level of effort that has to be paid for.

If you want to go get your own hardware, there is a tier for that. If you don't want to do that, there is a level of effort in stocking inventory and in configuring the hardware. If you want a completely built and functioning head, there is a level of effort making sure that all of the servos are at the correct position prior to assembling the product. There is a level of effort in wiring. There is a level of effort in making sure that all of the electronics work perfectly with the robot.

Each tier has a different level of effort which requires more time and coordination. This is factored into the cost I am sure. It is not simply just the cost of the components. Not to do this would be poor business.

Northern Ireland
#355  

@Zap, whiny? I'm just wondering how he's calculated the price hike between pledge levels? I understand he's to make a profit, but when it appears he's taken the RRP price of 3rd party components, added a '0' to the end, and divided by 4 or 5 to get his resale value?

And @ Steve G, you actually stand behind such business practices as mentioned above, really?

I'd be surprised if the genuine guys behind EZB V4 don't move to distance themselves from this extortionate practice, by a dude that's marketing his bust on essentially ALL the fruits of their labour & hard work. Heck, it's not even entirely clear to somebody viewing the campaign that the EZB V4 is not a Robomodix product, you'd be forgiven for believing it was an innovation of Williams.

I've seen it before & it strikes me as a case of "I just officially registered the company name as a trading entity,... Now I'm kinda like Sir Alan Sugar or Donald Trump". Don't work like that. I'd guess he's forgotten hinself, in the respect he thinks the ALAN bust is what makes the EZB V4, ignoring the reality it's very much the opposite.

If you's two are happy enough with it then that's What's important to me (apologies for not standing idly by while someone is getting ripped off), I'll leave you's to it, enjoy!

Warmest Regards, Andrew

#356  

@People... Stop feeding Shamus the condescending, potato eating, Blarney stone kissing, IRA loven' troll....

#357  

Richard, you made me laugh.

Thanks for that. I need to get to coding again but today in just not feeling it. Normally if I push myself when feeling like this I am able to do a lot. Going back to work.

United Kingdom
#358  

Agreed. I said my piece.

#359  

@David... I hate being an a** but he deserved it... I have respect for guys like you and @Will ... I want both of you guys to succeed... We don't need trolls like this coming on here dissing people that work as hard as you guys do....

P.S. I guess I better check under my car before heading to work tomorrow.... :P

Ok, now I am done... :)

Northern Ireland
#360  

It's nice to see racism is still alive & well, I assumed such behaviour was forbidden in EZ-robot's 'terms of use' we all accepted during member registration, no? Nonetheless, I'm glad it's amusing to some,... I just wonder is there a blasé approach to enforcement or is it very strict?

In rebuttal to being a troll, since when did questioning how $200 worth of off-the-shelf electronics becomes becomes $550-$626 extra, since when did that become trolling? What then does that say of you, standing in defense of a person exercising such shady business practices?...

Regards, Andrew

PRO
USA
#361  

emotional discussion, from a marketing perspective Alan project is touching everyone :)

we can't forget all the effort to create a Kick starter campaign, the marketing video is fantastic, once is the campaign is out, nothing mentioned here matters.

It's very easy to criticize the costs, margins and choices but this is not an average consumer device (ks text) and is not for a regular JOE who plays/DIY robots or enjoys 3d printing.

I think is more an ART than technology product, is an entry point for a bigger vision.

If you like the ART work you will spend at least $700.

The other levels will depend if you trust the creator choices or not.

PRO
USA
#362  

Again thanks guys for all the support and understanding.

We have decided to add an additional reward, the FACE OFF version. Faces are one of the most time consuming and expensive parts to manufacture. We can cut costs to the consumer and offer this entry level kit. Faces will be available in our online store and can be purchased anytime after the final rewards are shipped.

A lot of folks like him with his face off so it seems like a reward we over looked. Feel free to jockey into this new reward position if you have already backed us.

This new reward will be up in about an hour.

Thanks again!

#363  

Will, Your a classy guy. Keep smiling and don't let them get you down. You have a clever and engaging product that people will want. I know I do. Don't worry about people that think making a profit is a sin. You have every right to give people what they want and make money because of your vision and effort. No way you should accept being bullied into giving away your creation and dream. Do the math; two people think you're greedy, many more want what you're offering. Also look at the Apple IPhone and what they charge for it. It's just a little case of soldered together electronic parts and only does as much as a common cheap laptop. I imagine the actual production cost of that little wonder is 2/3rds less than the selling cost and take a look around, they're everywhere. Your little wonder has a good chance of doing just as well as the IPhone. Hang in there and don't sell off your dream. Do like Apple and Just give us what we don't know what we want yet. ;)

#364  

Congrats Will! Your Alen project just moved into the #3 spot of the all time "Most Viewed" threads in EZ Robot history! And in such a relatively short time. I imagine Alen will be #1 very soon. However you're up against a 3D thread that has been hijacked for trouble shooting 3D printers and that's huge competition. Till 3D printers become plug and play your going to have a fight on your hands here. ;)

PRO
USA
#365  

HaHa thanks good to know Dave. As for my skin, its pretty damn thick. Its years of dealing with producers yelling at you that you are costing them $100,000 a minute..hurry up! Or a director tearing you apart in front of the crew, and oh some actors..well lets not speak of that:) Lots of high school drama on movie sets. Ha!

We will move forward, determined. There are other options if this KS doesn't make it. We are getting some impressive contacts, that could lead to some amazing things.

Hi jacking my own thread for a moment:

Speaking of 3d printers , here's a plug. I have a garage full of them, DLP, FDM and SLA all do great jobs. But I bought Robo 3D R1 plus (FDM) and all I can say this is the first outta the box plug and print machine I've ever had. I bought it for its large build 10x9x8 for printing my BB-8 and only cost $799.00. Prints at 100 microns are fantastic looking and smooth. They have sold 25,000 units and have a 5 star rating. Now I know why. Software is very simple and easy to use. If anyone is thinking about getting an entry level machine, this is the one for you. IMHO. I think they have them now at Best Buy, but got mine at Amazon.

Netherlands
#366  

Pledged!

@fxrtst Have you considered posting a message on the A.I. and robotics subreddits? (/r/robotics, /r/artificial) I'm not sure if it's the demographic that buys kits like Alan, but they have over 20 thousand subscribers, so who knows. For /r/artificial I'd emphasize Alan is an amazing testbed, for /r/robotics I'd emphasize the art (most people will already have control boards).

PRO
USA
#367  

Thanks so much Bas! Great idea too. Will do it tonight. We have a new PR campaign rolling out in a couple days, with all guns cocked and loaded. Right now we need to increase traffic, only about 1500 in 5 days , we need to waaaayyyy more traffic per day, and this just might do it.

PRO
USA
#368  

Ok guys. Here is the scoop. We have had a good run, but the writing is on the wall. We just could not get enough public exposure to get us to meet our goal. Kickstarter was probably the wrong platform for him. But we gave it a try.

We've made some crazy unbelievable waves and got attention from the commercial, medical and academia fields. We even got a call today from the London Observer for the "5 Coolest Things" in an upcoming tech section article. We've also made connections with those interested in investment, which will help us move him forward to the next level. ALAN is destined for greater things.

We are going to reorganize and prepare business plans to meet these markets and organize with the investors. In the mean time I have to take a time out to work on a film. I've taken off more time than I should have marketing ALAN. But the draw back is its a long big budget film lasting almost 6 months. When I finish, hopefully everything will be in place for ALAN's future.

I want to thank everyone who has shown support all along the very very long road!

#369  

Good luck in the future with Alan, Will. I think it is a wonderful product and still hope to own one some day. Keep following your dream.

Germany
#370  

thats what Im talking about all the time. Alan is a cool looking bust but only for robot makers, no other people need him. there are a lot of toys with same futures like iphone app robots for 90 bucks. Alan is something special like a sculpture but not a toy for everyone. nobody who invest in alan can make money with him. Kickstarter was not the wrong place.. your end-product and prices are only for a few people in this world. nobody buy Alan to learn french. for 700-1000 dollar you can buy a teacher:D with the lighting eyes the most children are scared and not happy. in your video he looks more like a demon as a storyteller:D this head is a special thing for special people. again, I love him!

someone on your kickstarter page asked you: "How do I convince people that ALAN can do much more than Siri or Echo by Amazon? Any quick examples?" That's what everyone thinks, "what can I do with the 1000 Dollar Alan Bust" ?!?!

there are two options: reduce the price and productions-costs extremely or make a real robot with body, arms, hands etc. the bust is not enough to make a own business.

the next problem: a complete body kit will be much more expensive.. 2015 is the star wars- but not the humanoid-time.. so only a hand full people buy a big complete animatronic robot who comes from a printer.

2015 wowwee sold cheap pvc children toys only. with cheap child-toys you can make money, with a RS MEDIA V2, NOT.

thats why sony kill AIBO and Qrio.

the robot business is a hard business.

good luck!

PRO
USA
#371  

I appreciate your point of view. But my intended target audience was not the general consumer. If it was easy and cheap to produce serious robots then there would be plenty of heads, bodies and arms to purchase for everyone on the cheap. As I had said before I was able to take something that would have costs tens of thousands of dollars to produce for tv or a film and bring the price waaaayyyy down. And the companies that have contacted us about how to use ALAN could see that and want more.

Kickstarter was the wrong place. In 20 days we only had 5,000 people visit. Imagine if we had 1,000 a day or 100,000 hits in 30 days? With 5,000 views we still managed 38 backers at $31,000. One word VISIBILITY.

I guess for consumer consumption ALAN would have to be a Chinese manufactured watered down vacuum formed/pressure injected piece of crap. Something I'm not interested in. ALAN will still be produced, but it just won't be in the marketplace.

Robotics is a hard business, but I believe I'm still paving the way for a better aesthetic robotic world. Something I think most can appreciate.

B of A and Merrill just predicted that the robot industry will be valued at $125 billion dollars in just 5 years. Plenty of room for my good looking robots :)

And Smarty remember this: Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.

PRO
USA
#372  

Will,

I liked very much the last paragraph, i think is very positive.

It's easy to predict failures, products like Alan, EZ-AI and others (integration products) are not easy to sell, they are not consumer friendly, and not final products.

There are 2 social robots coming out (2016) Jibo and Buddy, different products, different audiences and different investment strategies, i think it will be a good way to understand and learn about the trends.

I presume Alan project will be off for at least 6 months ?

Best Luck

PRO
USA
#373  

Yes there will be a bit of restructuring, meeting with investors and travel. By the time I'm finished with this film we will have a better view of ALANs direction and development.

Germany
#374  

@ ptp

you forgot Alpha 2: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/alpha-2-the-first-humanoid-robot-for-the-family#/

Alpa 2 looks like a child toy cost 700,00 bucks but a lot people want him! $1.066.838 in 20 days :O

#375  

Will, I imagine that there are more people than Smarty thinking they are dancing on Alan's grave. Personally I think he's just taken his first step into the world and has a clear path ahead of him (even if he doesn't have feet). That's why I decided to invest in your visionary journey. Seems to me that Kickstarter was a needed first step. It may have given you just the right amount of exposure and credibility. You now have lots of high profile investors, potential partners and news exposure.

Good luck on your continuing adventure. :)

#376  

Will,

This is just a first attempt at publicity. 5000 people saw ALAN that previously probably had not seen him. That is okay. There are other opportunities available to you.

There are not many people who have the ability to envision a product and bring it to market. It is a tough thing that only a few people attempt and very few are successful at. Pushing technology allows it to grow. Sitting back and waiting for others to push technology is a much easier thing to do. It is easy to sit back and say this or that will fail. Failure isn't the end. It is just a learning process. Most fail initially. Some fight through the failure to become successful. Many sit back and encourage. Many also sit back and are critical.

As far as EZ-AI not being a consumer product, you are correct at this point. Without saying too much, EZ-AI is software that will be able to be integrated into a wide variety of products by design. The client is 350 lines of code that will run great on Android, Windows, Linux and Mac. It runs on very small devices (routers, cable boxes, TV's and other light weight computers). My interest is in robotics so that is the first place that it will be released. There are many other things that will come later for this software.

United Kingdom
#377  

@Will.

Just to echo what the two David's said, this was a first step which has got you some great exspoure with the Kickstarter, and by all accounts there are other interested parties, as you mentioned. Well, good luck with the new movie, and for ALAN's future progress.

PRO
USA
#378  

Thanks fellas. We have so many new avenues to pursue. David C is correct the exposure and connections we did get made the campaign worth it.

#379  

Bummer!..............@NO ALAN (for now!)

Netherlands
#380  

It's a pity that we have to wait longer on Alan. I cannot understand the comment at the kickstarter that calls Alan aesthetics unnerving, and then proceeds to call the Ohbot more comfortable. The Ohbot seems to be a fantastic educational tool for children, but I wouldn't say its looks come anywhere close to Alan.

United Kingdom
#381  

Will, wishing you all the best for your Alan project, it is so neat and such a brilliant design that I am sure it will make it to market soon. It is the best robot head I have ever seen! and in my opinion the pricepoint is right and good value.

Going forward, if I can help in any way to get Alan to market, please let me know.

Tony

#382  

Sorry the Kickstarter didn't work out Will. I was hoping to get in at the low end before it closed, but money has been tight this summer, so I probably would have missed it, but my one contribution clearly would not have pushed it over the edge.

I do hope your other avenues work out and you are able to get to market one day. In the meantime, good luck on the movie.

Alan

PRO
USA
#383  

@bas, I know such an odd comment, complains its to expensive (like he wants one if lower price point), but says scares him like a clown picture in his room as a kid. LOL. When you see the Cat music for cats make a quarter million dollars you have to wonder....

@tony, Thanks so much for all your help over these past few months! I appreciate all your support. Once we reorganize, I'll certainly get a hold of you to discuss these new venues!

@alan Thanks for the support and thanks on the movie.

Northern Ireland
#384  

Been using AB3D Labs recently,.. http://ab3dlabs.com/ab3dpro.aspx

Works with stock 2d images to generate a 3d mesh, allowing you to work with (repair, refine, modify, personalise) & then export to stl. or obj. format to 3d print.

Is very interesting to experiment with, getting impressive results so far & think I may just have a robot developement platform after all.

Peace Out!

#385  

Don't Give up. Alan has a LOT of potential.

Hang in there!

:)

PRO
USA
#386  

@moviemaker We are definitely hanging!

#388  

You are still getting noticed Will... I think you still have something here... I am not going to speak for you since when I was still self employed it was in a quite a different industry.... But maybe take a little step back, re-group and look for a different avenue... "Luck is the residue of design" as the saying goes...

#389  

Cool Will, Your right in there with 4 other real neat items. Alen is the neatest though. Can't wait to see his next reincarnation. Please keep us posted.

PRO
USA
#390  

It's amazing the contact we've had. A couple of interesting companies was a quantum physics lab and a company on the cutting edge of cognitive computing, We are into some amazing talks. Speaking of talks I got invited to speak at either Tokyo or Amsterdam at the FITC : here's the Amsterdam one: fitc.ca/event/am16/ Unfortunately I won't be able to make either of these. Anyways moving ahead ( pun intended) with ALAN, just seems natural with all the great words and interest in him. Like Richard said we just need to regroup. Kickstarter was a great place to gather information about a product, no doubt about that.

PRO
USA
#391  

Just a quick update. We have been busy working through our contacts and our business plans. We're working on deferring the start up costs for production and we hope this will bring the price down quite a bit. That said we have been contacted directly from Indiegogo and they want to work with us to create a better and hopefully successful campaign. I've been told by many to just get it licensed and let others deal with the headaches. But I think I want to try one more time.

In the mean time I'm off to work February on Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for 6 months. During my down time on the weekends I'm going to be working on an a female sub skull and skin for ALAN, so when/if we relaunch we will have two choices available. There are alot of other items such as new ears, sub skulls and new eyes in the works.

I've spent alot of time over the holidays on the upper body and arms for ALAN and its looking really cool. I don't think these will be coming to the consumer market anytime soon, but investors want to try other venues, so I'm working on that.

I hope everyone had Happy Holidays and a great New Years!

Northern Ireland
#392  

Indiegogo,

Pledge Level: $100

Reward: stl's (+Assembly Guide)

Campaign Goal: $100,000*

Backers Required: 1000

(*If campaign goal isn't reached campaign is cancelled)

Minimum of $100,000 is quite a tidy return for what only requires the addition of documentation on assembly. Not to mention the 'Instant Community' of a 1000+ members.

:)

PRO
USA
#393  

@a84m you're persistent, I'll give you that :)

Netherlands
#394  

I'm looking forward to progress pictures on those new parts during the next few months :D

I prefer buying a product from a company rather than pledging to a crowdfunding campaign, but I'll support you on Indiegogo should that be your choice. Even if you do not release stl's :P

Northern Ireland
#395  

Revise that campaign goal amount back down to $50,000. 500x backers is a reasonable expectation for niche product. May seem counterintuitive but setting it lower will ehance the likelihood of pulling in a higher amount/return.

Releasing the stl's as the only reward tier is the only way 'crowdfunding-wise' forward.

Launch campaign Set campaign duration to 30days collect handsome cheque E-mail backers stl's & assembly instructions Finally, in between your movie prop work, in your spare time setup ALAN builders community forum & continue with arms/torso design work.

I'm soo glad that ALAN is finally going to be affordable everyone! Including us peasants & pauper's aswell, even if we did have to take the scenic-route to get there. Thanks William!

Regards, Andy :)

#396  

There is no way I would release the STL files even to my closest friends. Simply no way. 50K or even 100K wouldn't be near enough for the loss you would sustain in the long run. Basically, you would give away what you have done for a pitince at that point. If someone wanted to pay 7 figures, I would still have to think about it pretty hard.

People just don't seem to understand how little $100K is worth. It's not the 80's anymore.

#397  

I agree with CochranRobotics, keep the STL files safe. Can't wait to see how Alan pans out, and congrats on working on Guardians 2.

PRO
USA
#398  

Yeah unfortunately stl's will never be released until scanned by someone :/ Won't waste my breath again on this one.

@bas, I know I know, just trying to keep ALAN looking and performing awesomely. So much will be lost in a Chinese mass produced environment. I have to give crowd funding one more chance, if only because Indiegogo sought me out and believe in the product and that it can succeed. If it fails again we will move on to a dozen other options we have. I'm determined to get one in your hands. I want to see your AI program running ALAN!

#399  

Yep keep those stls under your pillow, Will.... Find another way to get your blood sweat and tears on the market...

Cheers man

#400  

As much as I think US (and UK) copyright is broken, and dislike intrusive DRM, I think the next big innovation in 3D printers is going to be some kind of DRM control on design files. Something that will allow only the purchaser to make prints, or limit the number of times a file can be used so that people can sell designs without trying to take on the impossible task of protecting their work. There are plenty of people out there willing to give away designs (just look at the diverse selection on Thingverse) but for those who want to provide low cost home manufacturing without giving away their intellectual property, there are really no options currently other than EULAs, trust and courts. There needs to be a better way.

Alan

Northern Ireland
#401  

As long as William gets rich, that's the important thing at stake,..

If the complete ALAN kit (EZB V4, servos, electronics et al) is offered for $500, I'm sure you'd get 100x backers willing to beg, borrow or steal to afford it, except for a couple of problems I struggle to reconcile with that plan; a) it doesn't make much economic sense to do that considering the labour, time & expense involved to manufacture. b) The creators current work schedule/commitments means either, another ALAN campaign will be postponed for at least 6months, or ALAN production operations would have to proceed away from watchful eye of creator. c) I'm not sure the creator would be able to stomach EZB-V4's being sold of the back of his totally amazing creation & benefiting anyone else (in any way).

Regarding the prickly subject of IP & its relationship with respect to hardware. ALAN is designed as such where it wouldn't be possible to 'patent', the furthest you could protect ALAN would be to copyright the stl's. However that would only afford you protection of other business' from reselling the original source stl files (and/or from being listed on an online/public 3D file sharing site). It would not however, afford protection nor be practical pursuing individuals quietly sharing the files amongst themselves, especially in international instances.

Finally, I'd just like to say I'm genuinely excited to receive my copy of the ALAN stl's and begin printing this! Keep up the great work!

Andy

#402  

I don't really know how many times it has to be stated, but Alan doesn't have to run off of an EZ-B. If someone wanted to, they could run it off of something else. The V4 is just the option that Will chose to use. If I remember right, there was an option with the kickstarter that included a v4. There were many options that didn't. I think you made a post saying that Will was trying to make money from DJ's work previously. Now you post that DJ would make money from Will's work. Seems pretty symbiotic so I really don't understand point C I guess. Arduino or Intel or the cable company, battery manufacturer, filament manufacturer, 3d printer companies, wire companies, and so on down the line would make money off of someone else's work so, the point is moot.

Will may wait 6 months and who knows what might happen in that time. Its up to Will, so if he waits, you wait to get your "STL" files.

I also know the struggle with financial backing and keeping the control of the product that you create. Will hasn't found the right investor yet that is willing to just provide the financial backing and allow him to take the product where he feels is best for him to take it. Because of this, it is best for Will to keep control of this and see what other methods of funding are available. It could be that someone comes along, or it could be that it is crowd funded. It could be that neither of these happen. I still wouldn't sell the STL files for many reasons. If I were 4 or 5 years down the line and there were no investors, maybe I would, idk.

I give away almost everything that I do, so it's not a case of me being greedy or anything like that. It is a case of the marketability of what has been made. It is also a case of supporting STL files not printing on someones homemade 3d printer. There is no way to prevent the files from being pirated at that point so the value of the STL files drops to 0 as soon as they are released.

I look at it like a painting. If a painting could be reproduced and the value of the original drop significantly, I think my painting would stay hanging in my house for me to enjoy. If the value would rise because of copycats, maybe release it. The issue is that there is no way that the value of Alan would rise to Will if he essentially gave it away. One person getting it for a couple hundred dollars would pretty quickly mean that hundreds of people have it for the same couple hundred dollars. There is no way to protect it from being stolen. It isn't software, it is a physical product. Software has its own ways of being protected, however ineffective they are. STL files have nothing to keep them protected. Nothing at all.

So the only chance that Will would have to make money on the STL files is to sell them at such a high cost that the person buying them would be hesitant to give them away. We all know how long that would last. Sure, Alan will be scanned and duplicated, but it won't be the same as the original. If the STL files were released, and someone had the right printer and such, it could be as good or better than the original. Value lost in scenario 2, not as much value lost in scenario 1. There is a reason that people didn't care so much about VHS copy protection or cassette tape copy protection, but digital media like DVD, Blu-Ray and other digital media have had cases taken to the highest courts in the land. There is no degradation with them. There would be no degradation with the STL file distribution either.

You know, it really is sad that people have to deal with these types of things now. It used to be so much simpler when these types of products required some sort of skill to copy and emulate. Now though, its expected that you should give away your work for really nothing.

#403  

@David... I try to never argue with an idiot.... because people watching may not be able to tell the difference...

#404  

I wasn't really arguing so much as just trying to show why it would be stupid for Will to give away what he has worked on. I don't even think my blood pressure rose while I was typing the response.

#405  

@David... I know man.... you're a logical, make sense kinda' guy, some people just aren't, though... sigh....

@Will Your STLs must be magically delicious because they are always after your lucky charms dude..... :D

PRO
USA
#406  

Round 2... ;)

@David:

I liked your argumentation, you are right there is no away to protect the STL files, once delivered, the value will drop to zero.

I'm not capable to judge if 10K or 100K are enough to pay the creativity & time spent, but if the Alan's head is a begin of a bigger idea, why cash it now ?

I've serious doubts in convincing 1000 bakers to buy the STLs for $100, for the same reason, once released the value is zero.

The discussion started with the STLs, if someone prints the STLs is the result as good as seen in Alan video ?

@A84M:

You are very persistent... can you tell more about your age and what you do for living ?

#407  

Speaking of the STL files. There ought to be some way to key them so they would only work with the key. For example, encrypt the file itself and provide a "dongle" interface to be able to use it. It's an old technique, but might be applicable in this context since the STL files would not be something just given out willy-nilly. Instead they are to be given to specific buyers/investors. A decrypter dongle interface device would not be all that expensive and can be made so as to hide the internal operations. Someone might be able to figure out how the dongle is designed to work and the code therein, but it would be a difficult task and probably not worth the effort to most people.

Perhaps there might be a purely software method as well, but a hardware method is very tough to crack. It has worked for many years for a company which markets a court reporting software called "Eclipse" . The dongles for that software are much sought after and go for hundreds of dollars each. Of course, it would not be your intention to make a profit on the dongles.

The dongle can also be keyed to a specific computer so that it will only work on that machine unless they come to you for a new key for the new computer. Microsoft tends to use that technique.

For software only there is the variation that requires the computer using the software that decodes the STL file to be connected to the internet so that it can get an "okay" or "heartbeat" signal from the creating company for it to work. No connection, no operation. It also relies on a key. This can also be keyed to a specific computer to further limit it's usage.

Anyway, something to consider. Naturally, once Alan physically is out in the wild, all bets are off and your only recourse then is copyright and patent infringement.

#408  

@ptp Agreed.... Nobody in their right mind would pay $100 for stls knowing within months they will be free on someone's"hacker space" somewhere...

Northern Ireland
#409  

You can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink,..

Northern Ireland
#410  

The bottom line is MOST (essentially all) people WILL use the EZB-V4 in their ALAN.

Obviously this will spike sales & interest in EZB-V4 sales, greatly increase the EZ-robot community with fresh blood, and subsequently increase sales of future releases of EZB boards (EZB-V5).

Most people would be willing to hand ove $100 for stl's to support a creator & have early access to the project.

Incidentally, I haven't heard any alternative routes to market as of yet?

@ptp, that's a bit of an off topic question, albeit I'll entertain it. Early thirties, maintenance technician at company specialises in production of ruggedised transportation solutions. Previously self-employed in construction sector but due to uk economy it made sense winding down operations to work in larger corporation. Any other peculiar questions, fire away! :)

Thanks, Andy

PRO
USA
#411  

@A84M:

I like different point of views but sometimes is very difficult when you don't know what kind of person is on the other side.

I've engaged in a long argumentation before, later i discovered the guy was 15 and his main motivation was only the argumentation, not the subject.

I noticed some provocative comments before, so i was trying to understand if you are trolling around or really making your point.

#412  

A84M,

I hope you are right that most people will use the EZ-B to power something like this. The point is that the option is open to use whatever the person wants to use. This is also the problem that Will is facing. He isn't selling this as a "go to the store and buy it complete and ready to use" type of product. This scares those who are not makers or enthusiasts away. If he opted to go that route, and sell all of them with the EZ-B, that would do nothing but help to build the community which is good for all of us here, and for him in the long run. More money into EZ-Robot means more development on the next product. I still see no issue with this. It is a good thing to me and most of the people who frequent this community.

Just because something hasn't been posted on the forum doesn't mean that it isn't in the works. Many of us communicate away from this forum through other means. Many times information is exchanged with others through other means to express ideas or get information about things that are not meant to be public yet. Some of us knew about Alan long before he was announced here.

I think once trust is built, this type of communication becomes more available. There have been some who have taken ideas and marketed them as their own from posts that had been made here. There was not even credit given to the person who had the idea or solution in the first place. This tends to drive people away from the community for posting their work. This is a very bad thing and is nothing but disruptive. Because of this, people communicate via other means with people who have proven themselves trust worthy.

I post my email address in my profile. I know others do also. Many people also have my phone number and know that they are welcome to call at any time. I don't always answer, but they have it and often send text messages. If you post yours, and if you gain credibility through helping others to achieve their goals, I am sure that someone would find you to ask you questions or bounce ideas off of you that they had and maybe were not comfortable asking in the community. You may not want this. Either way, it's really up to you and them.

If there was some sort of DRM on STL files, I would be right there with you on your opinion of how Will could make startup money. There isn't, so if Will is willing to make $50-100K and then never expect to see another dime from his head STL files in order to be able to go on to build other body parts, that is cool. Your idea would work great. The issue that I see here is that he would be expected to do the same for any other Alan parts he creates as those with the head would expect the same thing. This could work and I am not saying that it wouldn't. I think Will is just exploring all of his options, and building publicity for Alan through other means prior to making that call. Its a wise thing to do. There Isn't anything driving people away from Alan, so what would Will's rush be in doing this? If there were something on the horizon that would take sales from Will, sure, it could be a strategic move for will to release his STL files to undercut the competition. That could happen. I haven't seen anything else coming out like Alan. There may be, and it is very possible that nobody except for its creator knows about it. There has not been publicity given to it to the level that Alan has had, so why wouldn't Will keep publicizing Alan to see if there is anyone willing to invest while still allowing Will to control the direction that he takes Alan?

Once he makes the move that you are proposing, all of the other options stop. Investors are not going to jump on board a product if it is free for people to get. They are also not interested in making $100K. They are interested in a product that people would have to go through them to get. What makes Alan not easily copyable? Its not the software, or servos, or electronics. All of that is purchasable with 2 day shipping for free from Amazon. The one thing that keeps others from cutting into the profits that are possible are the STL and CAD files. That's it. Why would he give those away essentially? Its not like Will doesn't have a means of making money outside of this product. His family isn't in danger of going hungry. He doesn't need $100K in order for him to continue developing Alan. I am sure it would help, but it's not critical.

Just my two cents and my viewpoint. I understand you have yours. Im not arguing with you. It is healthy to express different view points. It is healthy to understand and be able to express your own. It is what makes us adults and not children.

I look forward to your reply.

Northern Ireland
#413  

CochranRobotics,

Some very interesting & insightful viewpoints, enjoyable reading.

However, I think William does find himself under somewhat of a rush to act. What he has done is proven the market of an aesthetically impressive head, the stl's of which would in all likelihood generate tens of thousands. Because of this he has effectively begun a countdown timer until someone with efficient CAD/CAM skills puts together the stl's required to 3d print an essentially the same, aesthetically impressive head. This WILL happen, because the market for it is already proven, and ultimately you CAN'T patent the design of the humans head. Heck, if seriously struggle to see a patent granted for the ALAN head, unless of course it contains some novel mechanism incorporated into the design. Copyright of ALAN's stl's is, of course possible, however 'when' (not if) somebody else creates their own head, most likely undercutting ALAN's offering, I can't foresee ALAN selling thousands, because that's what it will take for William to comfortably live of for the rest of his days, and let's be honest, this is his primary goal.

A lot of potential contributors don't just see a project and scream "take my money", and the true 'hardcore' potential backers further like to understand a creators motives, vision, values & direction. From what I have witnessed here, Williams motives, vision, values & direction are $$$$, sell thousands, 'This Is MINE!', sell millions more.

Now, Regarding motives & vision, there s no shame associated to making money from your efforts, that has not been disputed, however charging 3-4times the price for off-the-shelf electronics is a sure-fire way of losing potential interested backer, and 'reputation-suicide'. Most (if not all) potential backers will run a mile, only to return when the enterprise has collapsed to pick at the bones (stl's) freely available.

With respect to values, the attitude of 'This Is MINE!', well that IS indeed the case. However with the overemphasis on protection of works this brings Williams values into sharp focus. Not once have I heard 'I want to put an ALAN into every classroom', or 'Robomodix's vision is to put an aesthetically pleasing robotic research platform affordable & on the test bench of makers, hobbyists & students around the world, who otherwise may have been unable to afford entry to that research'. Of course these would fall into the category of company vision, however a companies vision is deeply intertwined with its values.

What compounds this even further is these statements have not just been omitted, in earlier posts when the price/affordability of ALAN was first raised to William, his response was essentially, "I understand, unfortunately there are the 'haves' & the 'have-nots', ALAN is geared toward the 'haves' market (peasants & pauper's need not apply). Because of this attitude it is impossible to renege at this point and now claim 'ALAN was built to help starving children'.

"Pride comes before a lofty fall"

At this stage, I'll probably wait 6-8weeks until someone releases an alternative on one of the many file sharing sites (paid or otherwise).

The sadest part (besides Will refusing every opportunity afforded him to mend his ways) is Will has intricately grafted himself on to the EZ-robot brand, who by all accounts have a great reputation. Most companies would cut you loose before you can say "But,.." for attempting to quadruple the resale value of their products?..

What's fundamentally at the bottom of all this, is Williams valuation of ALAN. Is ALAN a great design?.. There isn't a doubt he is. Is ALAN going to make William rich?.. Most likely no. Are more robotic heads going to appear early 2016?.. Without a doubt.

Because of the last point, putting a valuation on ALAN is extraordinarily difficult, although one thing is for certain, that valuation can only diminish with every passing day,..

Warm Regards, Andrew

#414  

Andrew,

All great points and I see where you are coming from. There has been a misconception from the get go, perhaps because of the video show, that Alan is a 3d printed head. The only part of the head (from my understanding) that was going to be 3d printed is the eye balls. The other parts are all produced by people who are master craftsmen and would hand craft the parts through cold cast molds, and custom fitting.

As far as the electronics that are in Alan go, there are so many other things that go into this cost. WILL would not use a just in time model as a supply chain. These parts would have to be housed. They would have to be shipped to and from California I believe. Inventory would have to be kept. This caries its own costs that are rolled into the cost of these parts. There is a reason that Will was also offered as a kit of resin pieces. Will knows that these parts could be purchased more cheaply elsewhere, and I am sure that Will wouldn't want to stock these electronic components. There is risk associated with this that in order to mitigate, you have to charge more. It is much better to get these from a distributors, parts shops or anyone who's business is geared to distribute these types of components. That's not what Will's business is geared to do, so obviously it would cost him more, which would be passed onto the consumer for providing this service. ***Inventory is also taxed in the US ***

I don't think it is pride, as I have talked to Will multiple times and he has never come across as prideful. I think you are reading it completely wrong. I think that he knows what his business is, and knows what he wants it to be. I think your making an assumption based on something you read. I think he is simply saying "The costs are what they are. I can't give it away, and right now this is what I have to charge with the current arrangements that I have."

Will is very closely tied to education, far more than you realize. He will understand what I am saying, but I can assure you that his first thought was education and how it can be used in colleges and universities. This is from a conversation that I had with him quite some time back.

I am sure that others will come out. I am sure that Alan sparked some people attention and as such caused some people to want to emulate it. He has ammo to counter this if he wants to do this. He would just follow your plan and raise what he could for this one part. I don't see anyone else who has this ammo at this point. Once someone else pushes him to make a move, I am sure that he will. Its not that time yet. That time could be 8 weeks away. That time could be 6 months away. Who knows, but making a move prior to needing to is normally the wrong move iMHO.

Will has been a long time member of this community. This project didn't bring him closer or further away from this community than he already was. He has used EZ-Robot products for a very long time, so naturally he would demo his product with an EZ-B just the same as someone else who was familiar with an arduino would use it to demo their product. I am confused as to why this is sad. Again, what Will wants you to do is purchase the resin pieces and not the electronics I think. The EZ-B is a part of the electronics. You can use it if you want, you don't have to. I am sure that many of the people who were looking at this were looking at it not caring what controller the demo had with it. I am sure a lot were looking at it knowing it had an ez-b and it probably brought more people to the community already. Nothing bad here.

I feel like you have made assumptions based on limited information, like I have said in the past. It is easy to assume that someone is a certain way from a comment on a forum. I can assure you that you have Will all wrong.

Have a great weekend! David

*** I got interrupted about 10 times while writing this. I have gone back and corrected the things that I found that were obviously mistakes during these interruptions. ***

Patents and copy-writes are pretty useless in today's society. I have spoken to Will about this, and he is well aware of the impossibility of defending a patent or copy-write. China will end up mass producing something similar in the long run, so really it is a total waste of time to even pursue. Also, tech giants like Google, IBM, Apple and many others have abused this system of protection to the point that it is useless. Ask any car manufacturer about trying to defend a patent in China. They will all tell you that there is nothing that can be done outside of your own boarders, and even then it really doesn't matter once China gets ahold of what you have.

PRO
USA
#415  

@Richard they are indeed magically delicious!

Someone here asked would stls even look as good as my finals parts..nope not unless you print them on a $15,000 + 3d printer. Anyways there would be no way to create the skins even if you could print the rest of the head, so there would only be the skinless version.

As for dongle protected stl's , I've seen hacked dongle software..nothing is impossible to hack. ALANS value would be "0", as Richard pointed out.

As for investors, many are accountant types, where the numbers are the most important. As a self employed person I understand that to a degree. BUT, there are moral values, logistics and artist integrity at stake, i.e. I'm not selling out. For example I would not develop ALAN for the military or as a sex toy.

As David C pointed out I'm not going broke and I don't need $125K to proceed with developing him for other uses. I make a six figure income, so I'm not trying to get rich. What I am trying to do, is build a business, creating new and unique robot platforms to test on. In the next six months ALAN may indeed become something bigger than what he is now, moving him out of the consumer arena. There are many possibilities. But, I don't have to rush to get there.

Oh Andy from Ireland..you can fan the fire as much you want but it won't produce your stl's:) I could sit here all day opening my production books to you explaining why this costs that and how much this costs and why that part does this and needs to be that instead of this. But in the end of the day all you want is your deservedly owed $100 worth of stl's. I got a great idea. Go build your own robot head. Learn a CAD program, learn EZB, learn how cheap all the hardware is, take a business class and quit whining. You spend your time here trying to fill in all the gaps with your own foul opinion, not knowing anything about me and my business plans (which is alot). As an example, my wife works for UCLA (University of California Los Angeles).

You love the sound of your own voice and to create overall negativity. Go be fruitful, we will all be waiting to see your version of a very affordable EZB controlled android head.

#416  

@Will.... bravo Sir:) ....@A84M Time to troll another forum and make some new friends... :D

#417  

@Will ... Well done !

@A84m As Madame Ninndo says, Be gone!

Northern Ireland
#418  

Hi Will,

I'm uncertain what relevance my location nor your wife's occupation has on the discussion so I'll skip those points.

As CochranRobotics correctly points out, holding stock has an inherent cost & associated risks in traditional business models, a cost/risk which invariably works its way into the end user RRP. In no way should these costs add up to more than 10% on top of the RRP. To increase COTS items cost by 300-400% of their respective RRP is in actual fact to increase the natural overhead (skim) associated with holding/dispatching COTS items from 10% to 300-400%. To put that in perspective, if we treated that 10% as an amount rightly due which should be correctly added on to the RRP, that 10% has mutated into 30-40x times what it originally was supposed to be. That 10% fair amount has somehow transformed into 3000-4000%? There is absolutely no grounds to support these business operations as standard business practice, or even remotely legitimate for that matter.

It's not necessary to go over all your figures to explain this mark up, even if you're storing COTS items in a penthouse suite in the Taj Mahal and transiting via limo, it should still be relatively simple to explain.

The business model you have already, & are again pursuing is crowdfunding, and is far removed from traditional business financing operations (minimising costs & risk in the houses favour).

A powerful advantage in crowdfunding is the creator is paid upfront (minus small fee), contrary to traditional business operations. As D.Cochran quite rightly indicated, a business will operate through loans, personal finances & supplier credit. If you are successful through crowdfunding next time you would find Robomodix immediately in credit (thus eliminating associated risk of expenditure you later depend upon recouping).

It is safe to conclude that the majority of successful crowdfunding campaigns do not fall into the category of 'mass-produced'. So it's a safe assumption to state the volume of electronics requiring storage/housed (EZB-V4's, servo's, et al) will be negligible, insofar it can be stored in a safe/secure (alarmed & insured) personal property. To charge or suggest that the storage of such goods would incur a 300-400% mark up on original cost is disingenuous.

Even if the volume of backers was large, to the point storage on personal property were impractical (or impossible), all good suppliers will produce & hold stock of a large order as long as they're provided/in receipt of a signed 'letter of intent'.

Any logical person viewing the Kickstarter campaign will quickly deduce the extortionate attempt at marking up C.O.T.S items 3-4 fold (3000-4000% standard markup). And any rational person would also dismiss explanations as cost of storage, increased weight in shipping, or the phone to suppliers to make an order & transfer monies upon receiving good, or any further excuses as not just folly, but a dishonest attempt at screwing them over for something they can acquire for 25% the cost (compared to Robomodix).

Much worse is those potential backers will not only think "hmm, I think I'll give the electronics kit a miss and just get unassembled parts kit", most sane people will view Robomodix as just a disreputable operation & give any form of the offering a WIDE-BERTH

I don't think many will see it as simply saying "The costs are what they are. I can't give it away, and right now this is what I have to charge with the current arrangements that I have."

After the unfortunate Kickstarter saga anyone with half a brain would see the reward tiers like this; "It's $500-700 for parts only (because I'm $$$ deep into the resin & molds already, I want to recoup that at your expense thanks). for full kit of parts ($700) & $200 worth of electronics I'd need $1325 (packaging, storage, insurance, my dogs medical insurance because a box of parts fell on top of him). For a snip @ $1900 you'll get it fully assembled, just needs painted (Only $575* extra-*while stock lasts). And for a mere $3500 you'll get him built, painted & I'll even through in an unspecified pre-programmed tablet (@ +$1600, adding paint job, and going by the previous markup on electronics, you can expect a tablet PC with RRP of $400-500).

In business, reputation is king, and at this point Will/Robomodix's is shot,... At this stage it doesn't matter how many orphans or cats stuck in trees you save, you won't escape that dishonest reputation.

There are many reasons for this I have already (and previously) alluded to, because of which many investors won't entertain you or Robomodix once you start to talk figures (derived from a faulty calculator), albeit they'll love ALAN, but that's where the intrigue will end,.

Crowdfunding is honestly your (and ALAN's) last chance to succeed, I just hope you give this campaign a bit more thought & exercise a little more business nous compared to the last campaign.

Check out the fanboys. It's not Apple you know guys?.. ??

I look forward to my stl's ??

PRO
USA
#419  

I won't even begin to read your manifesto. I'm sure it's the same crap you've dished out over the past few months. You're beating a dead horse man. Have fun building your very unique and individual android head. I won't engage with you again. And I plead that everyone else do the same so this troll will evaporate.

#420  

Will, you have no need to explain yourself to this guy.

His constant mouth diarrhea is getting boring. I'M GONE.

#421  

@Will, Well done. I was wondering how long it would take you to blow this guy off and stop being "Mr nice because of potential customers".

What this clown doesn't understand is that no matter how much he and his like minded friends would like it, there is no limit on profit percentage. At least in free market countries like the USA. They just don't want to understand the economics behind it. In reality virtually all business owners plow any extra profit (whether it's 10% or 100%) into building the business by making the products better and hiring people like him so they can earn money of their own. Look at DJ and EZ Robot for example. Heck DJ is the lowest paid employee in the company and he started out in his bedroom just a few years ago. Now look at where his company is! In his own life A84M has actually profited from this concept by quitting a job he couldn't profit at and going to work for someone else who was able to make it work. It's just a guess but I'd bet he was pissed off at the "system" for not "giving" him success in his chosen carrier path when it was probably his lack of talent or his own ideology that did him in. Socialist's like him want to limit profit and give away any extra prophet above a very clear level to the "poor" and the government. His Socialist concept actually turns you as a business owner into a slave and limits his ability to raise himself above the dependence status. Capitalism is not ideology, it's simple facts and figures of economics. Facts that are proven to work to pull many more people out of dependency then any other social concept ever conceived, ever.

Sorry for bringing ideologies into this but A84M opened the door himself each time he screamed how greedy and self serving Will is. I thought it was time for a economics lesson. ;)

Northern Ireland
#422  

Hi Dave,

I don't know what my work history remains pertinent to the discussion?

Anyway, for those of us that find the Robomodix offering a bit 'too rich' for our pockets but still LOVE the capabilities of the EZB-V4, try this link to design file repository (incl stl files for the open-source iCub; https://svn.robotology.eu/repos/iCubHardware-pub/trunk/mechanics/public/icub1_icub2/prodoc/

if you would like to jump right in & begin printing iCubs head & to save you searching the large volume of files to find the head, here are the reference number for head pieces; RC_IST_009_P_077 rc_iit_010_p_067 rc_ist_009_p_076_r_A1

1st file is front face 2nd file is back of head 3rd file is internal mount eyelids

iCub is completely open-source and costs complete circa 1/3 million $

This offers an extremely affordable alternative (& equally aesthetically pleasing head) to explore human/robot interactions based on one of the worlds most advanced robotics platforms. This alternative will also hopefully encourage further sales of EZB-V4's via direct sales (cutting out the 'middleman'/con-artist) strongly contributing towards the future development of EZ-robot products.

Albeit, fans of this very competent alternative platform may need to start our own 'poor-mans corner' here on the EZ-robot forum

Hope this helps someone out there with an interest in robotics & moreover the EZB-V4 platform that otherwise could not contribute due to prohibitive expense involved with 'some' platforms.

Thanks :)

#423  

Quote:

equally aesthetically pleasing head

User-inserted image

Funny...