Romo – The Smartphone Robot for Everyone

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Romotive is back with a brand new bot! Romo is an affordable, personal robot that uses your iDevice as his brain.

  • Launched:Oct 16, 2012
  • Funding ends:Nov 15, 2012
  • 223 Backers $33,024
  • Pledged of $100,000 goal with 29 days to go

We came to Kickstarter last fall to make the robots we always dreamed of when we were kids. And thanks to you, we DID.

Our first Romo. Love.
Our first Romo. Love.  We spent 4 crazy months constructing 2,000 Romos by hand.

The first 100 went out before Christmas, in boxes stuffed with candy canes. The next 1,900 went out in batches as we learned how to build them here in our apartment in Las Vegas.

Peter, Bobby, and Oskar man the shipping station for our first Kickstarter. For months we had to crawl through a tunnel of boxes to get to the bathroom...
Peter, Bobby, and Oskar man the shipping station for our first Kickstarter. For months we had to crawl through a tunnel of boxes to get to the bathroom...

But as we were building your Romos, we kept obsessing over how we could make the robot even better. We listened to your feedback and we went back to the drawing board.

We wanted to make Romo smarter, faster, and easier to use.

Since then, we've put together a team of brilliant nerds and worked our butts off to build you a new robot.

Phu snags some downtime. Some face-downtime.
Phu snags some downtime. Some face-downtime.

Together we redesigned the robot from the circuitboard up. That was the easy part.

Then we set up our production line in China. That was the HARD part. But more on how to set up manufacturing later...

Peter and Jen arrive in Shenzhen after 34+ hours travel time. Thus began our tour of 14 factories before we picked our contract manufacturers. That was in May.
Peter and Jen arrive in Shenzhen after 34+ hours travel time. Thus began our tour of 14 factories before we picked our contract manufacturers. That was in May.

After months of wrangling a production development schedule and working through design, material, logistics, supply chain, and testing issues, we hit tool start and began to test prototype robots.

Here are 3 actual robots that came off the production line during our EP1 (engineering prototype 1) phase.

Pick a robot, any robot.
Pick a robot, any robot.

We're super proud of our all new robot.

This next-gen Romo is *almost* everything a personal robot should be. He’s cute, responsive, and really fast, but he’s still not capable of doing all that stuff you see in the movies.

That’s why we’re back on Kickstarter.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Now that we’ve got a bigger/faster/stronger robot, we need your help to develop software that will make him even better.

We've created great basic apps for Romo, and he's super fun to play with.

But we have a bigger vision. We want to create really advanced software that lets Romo do the things robots do in the movies.

Romo reviews the advanced software actions we want him to perform...
Romo reviews the advanced software actions we want him to perform...

Right now, there’s no wallet-friendly, backpack-sized consumer robot on the market that does these things:

  • Remote 2-way telepresence
  • Computer vision
  • Autonomous navigation
  • Facial recognition

We want to change that, and we need your support.

Your pledge funds the development of these features, which we'll release in updated apps.

We'll also wrap an SDK around each of these functions so other developers can create their own apps and share them with you.

The mechbots designing your new Romo in SolidWorks.
The mechbots designing your new Romo in SolidWorks.

WHAT YOU GET

With a pledge of $150, you will be one of the first to receive a brand new, next generation Romo.

You're our beta testers. Tell us what you think of features we've toiled over like the all new tilt mechanism.

Romo's waiting to hear what features Kickstarter will help us build in next.
Romo's waiting to hear what features Kickstarter will help us build in next.

WHAT YOU NEED TO GET GOING

Romo is a BYOD robot (bring your own devices). We've made him easy to operate using a wide variety of iDevices.

Just a few of the devices you can use with Romo.
Just a few of the devices you can use with Romo.

Dock any one of these babies on your mobile robotic base:

  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPod Touch 4th Generation

Drive your Romo using one of the following:

  • iPod Touch 3rd Generation and up
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad 2
  • New iPad
  • any Mac computer running OS 10.6 or later
  • Web browsers including any version of Chrome (Google), Safari (Apple), and Firefox (Mozilla)

We're back on Kickstarter because we want to put our robot into the hands of hackers, creatives, and robot nerds before anyone else.

This robot is your sandbox. Together we can make the robot-for-everyone dream a reality.

FAQs:

Q: You keep calling Romo a "he." Is this robot a boy?

A: Yes. Our new robot progeny is male. However, we plan a female version of Romo next, code name "Julia."

Q: Your first robot supported Android, but this one says "iDevice." What's the deal?

A: We asked our engineering team if they would support Android again and they ran screaming. No seriously, it was taking us a ton of time to support various Android platforms, so we decided to focus on Apple devices for initial development. There are Android devotees among us though, so plans are in the works.

Q: Does this Romo work with an iPhone 5?

A: Yep, well, sort of. Our new Romo can be controlled by an iPhone 5 running our app - but use an older device with the 30 pin dock connector on the robotic base. We're designing the next robot to use the new Lightning connector as a docking station. Check on our website for a complete list of iDevice combos that work.

We did this for a few reasons. First, cause we're still testing the Lightning connector with our robot. Second, because supply is constrained for production-capacity orders, and third, most of our users will take 3-6 months to buy their new iPhones.

Plus, we heard most of you want to put an older device on the robot and keep your new iPhone in your hot little hands.

Q: Why come back to Kickstarter?

A: Easy. Kickstarter is home. It's where we launched, and where you saved us from a fate worse than death - one potential investor's recommendation that we pivot out of smartphone robotics and into laser-controlled robot light shows. You told us you loved Romo, and there's no better place, with no better people, to figure out how to build a robot with advanced functions packed into a beautiful, easy to use robot for everyone.

Q: Your Romo Rebooted tier says "The Classic." Does that mean you're giving me the older robot instead of a new one?! WTH?!

A: Nope, sorry about that one, we just meant it's 'the classic' Kickstarter tier - pledge one amount, get one awesome reward in the form of one small, new robot.

Q: The guys who built Romo are pretty hot. Are they single?

B: Unfortunately the founders are taken. Romo, however, replies "it's complicated."

Source:   http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/peterseid/romo-the-smartphone-robot-for-everyone

 

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