MOSS – The Dynamic Robot Construction Kit

 

 

Build your own robots with MOSS! Simple, fun, magnetic robot construction kits. No coding, no wires, oodles of configurations!

What is MOSS?

MOSS is a brand new robot construction system from Modular Robotics. It was designed, prototyped and engineered over the last two and a half years. Building with MOSS is incredibly fun and easy thanks to an intuitive, magnetic construction system.

With MOSS there is no need for coding or wiring your construction. The power and data are sent through an elegant single button contact, while the ground passes through the steel spheres.

MOSS uses over-molded neodymium, “rare earth,” magnets and carbon steel ball bearings to build a wide variety of constructions. The tactile click of building with MOSS is enough to keep you entertained for hours.

How does MOSS work?

It’s easy to snap MOSS modules together to make a static structure, but to make things move and light up, you’ll need to understand the color coding system for the individual faces. Keep in mind that production MOSS kits will be different colors from the versions shown here. We’ll use these versions for this example, though, since we’re surrounded by the pretty colors.

Yellow faces conduct power. If you look at the BATTERY module, you’ll see that it has only yellow faces; this module’s main purpose is to supply power to other modules. To power up a MOSS module like a SPIN, for instance, you’ll need to connect one of its yellow faces directly or indirectly to one of the yellow faces on a BATTERY module. Blue and green faces conduct data: blue is data output and green is input. If you want a DISTANCE sensor to control the speed of a SPIN, for instance, you’ll need to connect the DISTANCE’s blue data out to the SPIN’s green data input. Get it? There’s only one more face, the pink passthrough face, which can pass any signal, either power or data. If your BATTERY is a few modules away from something you need to power, use the pink faces on a FLEXIBLE module (or a few single cubes in series) to transfer the power.

What is included?

Stretch Goals

NEW: The reward for stretch goal #1 has to do with apps, and on the happy day where we reach $286,000.00 we have details and specifics galore about the what, when, and why of the apps we’re gearing up for in this stretch goal. For now, rest assured that this reward will mean a wider variety of apps, on a faster release schedule, and a fun secret to be announced later. We’ll unlock the fabulous secrets of the second and third stretch goals when we reach the $304 thousand and $564 thousand marks. Keep spreading the word about MOSS to help us get there because we can’t wait to tell you more!

MOSS Design Process

Work on MOSS began in 2010 as a research project funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the ASEE. Since then, we’ve been working to turn MOSS from a concept to a production ready robotics kit.

MOSS started with sketches, ideas, and thousands of prototypes. The original concept used 3D printed frames, laser cut faces, copper connections and hand strung wire. Over thousands and thousands of hours in development, the various product concepts became the prototypes you see now.

Over that time, while we were producing and selling Cubelets, we learned all about injection molding, over-molding magnets, metal stamping, and the other mass-production manufacturing processes needed to make MOSS on a commercial scale. One big challenge was getting enough magnetic holding force between blocks so people could build large constructions. We solved this with custom rare-earth magnets that have a concave face for maximum contact with the steel spheres.

The plastic shells for MOSS were designed to snap together with appropriate draft angles for injection molding. The magnets were over-molded into the plastic shells in order to eliminate any chance of them coming out. Now that we’ve got the designs dialed, we’re excited to share our work with you.

MOSS Production Plan

The prototypes you see in the video represent “T2” plastics construction. We are tweaking the last few details before we order production ready plastics from our suppliers. Other parts like the microcontrollers and circuit boards are already on order. We expect Modular Robotics will receive final MOSS production ready components in mid-December 2013. Our supply chain manager has toured our plastics and battery suppliers and verified that everything is proceeding according to plan. Production and assembly are scheduled to start near the holidays, continuing through January and beyond!

All MOSS modules will be hand assembled in our robot factory in Boulder, CO.  It’s uncommon to build toys or consumer electronics in the USA, let alone in Boulder.  But fundamentally, we believe that by making our robots ourselves is the right thing to do.  It’s fun, too, especially since we get to build robots to help us build robots. Here’s how we assemble circuit boards. Just like our previous product, Cubelets, we’re building everything ourselves so that we can ensure high quality and adapt quickly to changing conditions. Every assembly step of every MOSS module will be tested as it progresses through our factory

Orders for each kit type will be fulfilled on a first come, first served basis. So the sooner you support our campaign, the sooner you can start playing with MOSS! We are going to start shipping kits as soon as we have modules, packaging and instruction booklets ready.

One note on color... The robots shown here are all prototypes. Production MOSS will have better tolerance, fit, and finish. But we haven’t chosen the colors yet! We may pick a color scheme that you hate, which is a risk. Currently we really like this one, but it’s not final.

Written by Thinker

Real name is Onil Maruri and I am an Entrepreneur giving a helping hand to others I can help.

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