Let's Make Robots!

The Ard-Vark. Arduino compatible box that allows control of servos and motors fast. No soldering. No study.No nerd degree needed

You could use this to drive 2 DC motors, 4 servos, and get sensor data like sonar sensor; all wirelessly using a smart phone for control. Support the project if you like it. Give a buck or $10 if you don't want to buy one but would like to support its development.

The Ard-Vark is a simple to use box that allows you to drive servos or DC motors and get input from sensors, and easily control on your smart phone. It is a project now at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/694850905/the-ard-vark I made one of these for myself because I was tired of cobbling together pieces to get simple wireless control of projects. I frequently do a simple little project where I add a servo motor or two to something for fun. Like making a stuff animal move in a co-worker's cube to scare them. But every time I did one of these little projects, I had to re-invent several wheels. Finally, I did a design, made a circuit board and wrote the code and wrote the code for a smart phone app to control it. It occurred to me that others might like to have this kind of stuff simplified for them, so I put it on kickstarter.com to see if I could get funded to make it enough quantities to make it relatively cheaply as a product. The wifi control bit was not simple. I'm an electrical engineer and do know what I'm doing. Yet, it took me several hours to get a project working whenever I wanted to do this stuff. For a beginner, it would take weeks. If you would like to concentrate on building and creating, not on learning electronics, you should give this a look. If you don't want to pre-order one at a price of $105 with shipping, then maybe you would consider giving $1, or $10 and get a "I kickstarted an Ard-Vark" hackey sack or $25 for a way cool T shirt. Thanks, Kerwin

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good luck with your device ... looked further and checked out the kickstarter site and overall found it very interesting, lots of different projets looking for and getting support from CNC machines to 3D printers,  

The point of this project seems more in line with some of what we have seen Geir do. I will, however, admit that $105 seems awfully steep for wireless control of servos and motors.

I actually think this is a great little device for its target group. What I would add are a couple of solid state relays to handle bigger loads and then you could control lots of stuff via your wireless network. As it’s built on Arduino it would be very hackable to the more advanced user. But for that to be of any use he needs to have a header for all the IO pins.

I don’t know if the plan is to build on top of a regular Arduino or if he will make his own custom board. But I hope it will be open source (hardware/software).

Again, we are probably not in the target group and a price of $ 105,- doesn’t seem that bad. A Arduino Uno might cost you $30,- the WiFi module $35,- a Arduino protoboard $10,- a sturdy project box $20,- So for a user that doesn’t want to figure out all the parts and how to hook them up and have no interest in programing, this is not a bad price at all.

That said, I have no problem with him asking for support in here as there are other that are advertising their products as well.

Hello.  I have seen several questions asking about technical details, so I added a page to the Active Innovations web site at

http://activeinnov.com/Ard-Vark_Tech_Details.html 

This shows a block diagram, photos of the prototype board, etc.  So clearly, this is for the "Advanced Users" noted in the kickstarter video. Note that photos are of the prototype board, not of the final version.  The whole point of putting this on kickstarter was to see how much interest there was in producing the Ard-Vark in quantities to get the price down.  So a final version of the board will take all the hodge podge pieces shown on the proto and condense it down to a single board for lower cost.  The hardware and software for the Ard-Vark will be open source for anyone that wants to make it themselves.

Thanks to Geir Anderson for tallying up the individual piece costs.  I think you'll find it's difficult to cobble together all the pieces yourself for under $105.  But, as I say on the kickstarter page, the audience for this is not the hard core DIY enthusiast.  Sure the fun is in learning this stuff.  But I've been doing this stuff for 15 years. I got tired of fooling with re-inventing a solution for wireless microcontroller control, etc.  And, this project includes a mobile app development. "Learn" for 7 or 8 years and it's not as fun anymore.  If you've already learned it it's no longer fun.  It's just work then.  At least that was my attitude and why I made this stuff.

Just buy a robot kit like the Asuro or a complete robot and be happy with it if you're too lazy too build a chassis. No need to spend any money on this.

So it takes away all the fun of learning about robots :(

indeed it will

Funny thing, but are you posting a project on LMR just to beg for money?