Educational Robotics platform merging Cardboard and Electronics

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Developing an educational toy robotics platform consisting of recycled cardboard, state-of-the-art electronics, and toy parts for hand built construction and assembly.

Problem: Facilitate the understanding of technology hands-on, at eye level will ingrain the knowledge necessary for our kids to venture into the future.

Solution: Develop a low cost, easy to use, educational STEM based learning platform that allows for unlimited creativity. Due to the low cost easily modifiable cardboard, this project will enable robotics projects across the world. With an hack-able base platform anyone can control motors, interface to sensors, and communicate wirelessly to their creations.


How do you teach kids (and adults) about engineering in a fun and creative way? Can you build a platform so it is not a one time build and forget type of experience like so many other educational toys?  


Cardboard Boxes + Robotics == BoxBotics

Why Cardboard:

The obvious reason being costs and accessibly. Why not reuse your Amazon boxes and have some fun with them before they go to recycling. Also the brings up recycling, not only are you using recycled material in your project, but once you are done with it, you can easily recycle it where is was going to go anyways.  But the most important is accessibility as a building material as it is in reach of everyone. It puts everyone on the same playing field. Everyone can share their designs and everyone can make them. It's like 3d-printers in a way, but recyclable and even lower cost. 

The only real tools needed is a knife or scissors and your imagination. 

Why Robotics:

Sure, there are a ton of fun and creative things you can do with just cardboard, but add to the mix cutting edge electronics and sensors and your can really take it to the next level. What kid wants to program on a computer without any interaction with the outside world. Having the ability to program something that moves is an important driver to learning what you can do with programming and pushes you to see what else you can do. 

  • Video of the first prototype

    Pure Engineering04/18/2018 at 00:59 0 comments

    Slowly making some progress here. 

  • Cardboard

    Pure Engineering04/11/2018 at 21:12 0 comments

    We have secured some cardboard samples. We will be working on different designs and see what thicknesses will work best for our base unit. I think the thinner stuff with the white outside will look the best.

  • Controller

    Pure Engineering04/06/2018 at 16:07 0 comments

    Mockup controller interface.. 


  • Hackaday blog

    Pure Engineering04/02/2018 at 17:03 0 comments

    Wow, got mentioned in the hackaday main blog, Thanks!

  • New base concept

    Pure Engineering03/22/2018 at 16:07 0 comments

    New base concept

  • ESP32 anyone

    Pure Engineering03/21/2018 at 02:00 0 comments

    So the plan is to build around the ESP32. Why? for a few reasons

    1. Large community of developers: 

    This is the most import reason, as without a community of developers a processor intended to be used by hobbyists is useless without support. Sure if you are a commercial developer there is lots of support for many other chips, but unless you are spending the $, your support is limited to the community. 

    2. Hackability

    Being able to hack the toy is key. Sure it will come with code to make it easy to use and program and play with out the box. But the big kids want to pay too. Being able to replace the brains with something you built from the ground up is the end game. 

    3. Connectivity 

    What fun is being tethered to something. Ble is great for turning those old phones into bluetooth controllers. But Wi-Fi is even better for making an IoT connected smart toy. Why not build a robot dog that knows the weather and barks when you have e-mail?

    Any comments or votes for something different. There is time to change now.  

  • Prototypes

    Pure Engineering03/19/2018 at 00:20 0 comments

    Some early prototypes. Anyone have some feedback on the best robot base to start with?

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Pure Engineering wrote 03/19/2018 at 03:28 point

Those are great, I searched for others and didn't find them. I'm glad I'm not the only one :)  keep the list going ;)

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Dr. Cockroach wrote 03/19/2018 at 07:42 point

A list? Now I have my work cut out for me :-D

Great project and glad that cardboard is catching on as a building material :-)

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ActualDragon wrote 03/19/2018 at 02:06 point

you should check out #Cardware, #Origaime (Cardware-bis), #The Cardboard Computer - IO is my name, and other projects from @Yann Guidon / YGDES and @Morning.Star for some inspiration, finally, someone as crazy about cardboard as they are!

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Ted Yapo wrote 03/19/2018 at 02:07 point

Is there no cardboard project list?  @Dr. Cockroach should really start one :-)

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ActualDragon wrote 03/19/2018 at 02:09 point

oh yeah, he's one of you guys too. sorry dr, i completely forgot XD

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Yann Guidon / YGDES wrote 03/19/2018 at 03:24 point

So the list is created :-D

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