PingPong Builds Many Robots from One Central Module
Tom Spendlove posted on February 28, 2019 |

When Sang Bin Yim began to develop his new robotics platform he wanted the system based on one robot module with several possible connections. Many robots were not cost effective, and were difficult to use without experience. With his team of engineers and designers at the Robot Factory Yim developed PINGPONG, the singular module robot. The group is running a Kickstarter funding campaign for the first production run of components.

PINGPONG starts with the Cube in the middle of any robot, containing a stepper motor, charging port, proximity sensor, piezo buzzer, LEDs, inertial measurement unit, power button, and extension port. Robot Factory has developed Links that give the Cubes the ability to create motion, some links are specific to one type of robot and others connect to other Cubes or allow users to connect Lego blocks to the Cubes. Male and female connectors are present on every Cube for charging and up to six Cubes can be connected in a link. An IR keypad is available for controlling a robot, or the system can be programmed using the app, Entry or Scratch. Android support is available as of this writing and iOS support is planned for Summer 2019.

The Cube robot looks ready to make a dent in the entry-level robotics field. From the campaign page and video it looks like the robots are in a manufacturing phase. There’s definitely a language barrier here in many of the printed promotional materials and videos, but this campaign video is eight minutes of the team showing the different robot variations that they’ve built using the Cubes and Links. An extensive prototype display shows different models of Cubes before reaching this final form, and the Robot Factory’s YouTube channel has several more example videos and a discussion from Sang Bin Yim. I really appreciate the group’s commitment to an open source system, allowing users to create their own programming beyond the graphical blocks in the app, and placing STL files for the links and Cube online to let makers create their own robot modules. The campaign ends on March 10, 2019.





















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