Now, you can make your own robot

Jan 17, 2015, 06:02 IST | Suprita Mitter

The makers of the pizza delivery drone are out now with simple DIY robotic kits for kids and teens

In May 2014, Mumbai saw a box of pizza being delivered to a tower block negotiating its urban jungle with a remote-controlled, GPS-enabled, four-rotor drone. Flying at 30 km ph, it made the trip in about 10 minutes. The makers of this product, Robosoft Systems, had generated a lot of curiosity at the time.

Now, the same people have come up with easy-to-use DIY robot kits. Having been involved in a lot of work in Mobile Robotics for the duct cleaning industry and creating experimental drones, the company decided to move into Educational Robotics. A team of 13 people works on generating new concepts and ideas which can help teach kids about robotics.

“When we were young, the toys we had to play with were good for entertainment but did not teach us much. We wanted to add educational value to these toys and came up with DIY Robotics Kits for different age groups of children, in the edutainment space,” says Farooq Syed, founder Robosoft systems.

“Initially, we made a lot of prototypes. We invited a few kids to check these out. We then fine-tuned the prototypes according to the feedback from the kids. What we are now offering are the full-fledged DIY kits, which we are using to teach kids about robotics,” he shares.

Robosoft conducts workshops for students across India. This is done with two objectives — to make robotics accessible to a wide range of students across India (thus generating interest in further studies and research in robotics) and to bridge the gap between theory and practice where live, hands-on experience helps understand the theory better.

“Many schools and colleges across India procure DIY Robotic Kits from us to teach their students about robotics. Sadly, robotics is still not integrated in schools as a part of their curriculum, as it is in the US. I hope things change in the near future,” Syed signs off.

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Pick your DIY kit
Mobile Robotic Arm

This basic-level robot helps to gauge robotics better. It is a manually controlled, wired robot used for mobile lifting purposes. It has an arm, which is lifted with the help of a gearbox. The gearbox is mainly a mechanical assembly, which uses different types of gears, namely Worm gear, Spur gear, etc.
Age group
10 to 15-year-olds
Cost Rs 3,355

Mobile Robotic Arm
This is designed to follow a black or white line on the ground, without getting off the line too much. The robot has four sensors installed underneath the front part of the body, and two DC motors drive wheels moving forward. These robots teach basic construction and electronics techniques.
Age group
12 to 18-year-olds
Cost Rs 1, 940

The Robo Dumpster
This is also a basic level robot, and is used for dumping purposes and therefore, it has a bucket, which is lifted with the help of a gearbox.
Age group
8 to 12-year-olds
Cost Rs 2,860

SOLAR BUG v1.0 Robot
SOLAR BUG v1.0 Robot
This is an autonomous robot with crawling locomotion, which always follows light. The name emerged from the original prototype being powered by a solar panel. It utilises tiny, high-efficiency motors, in combination with elegant circuitry to make an active solar powered robot, capable of covering a metre’s (3.3 feet) distance in under a minute! It is powered entirely by solar energy and has light-sensing directional optics (eyes), and a pair of obstacle-avoidance sensors.
Age group
12 to 18-year-olds
Cost R1,640

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