Back in 2015, Marin Troselj and his team from Croatia launched a successful Indigogo campaign to bring about STEMI--a six-legged BIY (Build it Yourself) educational robot. As the name implies, they’re a company aimed at creating products with a STEM emphasis in an effort to introduce kids to the sciences. Since then, they’ve sent out their first batch of kits and now want to bring the bots to market.
STEMI is a hexapod robot, a kit complete with multiple components that users put together with the help of instructions and media-based lessons. According to the STEMI website, the idea is centered on ‘learning by creating’ and the approach that ‘will empower you to master STEM fields, to the point where you can confidently create innovations on your own.’
The learning experience does indeed encompass a STEM focus and could help kids prepare for the jobs of the future. By building the bot, kids will gain knowledge in 3D modeling, electronics, mechanics and mobile app coding. To that end, the team has made all of the schematics, 3D models and source code open-source, so everyone can use and change them to suit their own designs.
While the first round of STEMI Hexapod had an earlybird price of $235 (along with $279 for a kit with a body cover, up to $339 for a kit plus video tutorials), we’re unsure of the the retail price for future production model kits. We expect to see it at the $300-350 dollar mark. Would you pay more? Less? Remember, it is a kit. Speaking of, the kit includes a solid aluminum base frame with an Arduino DUE-based development board as well as a Arduino Shield outfitted with a Bluetooth module, USB battery charger and several pin-outs to connect additional add-ons.
The cool parts? You also get 18 servomotors, hip connectors (for the motors) and all the hardware needed to assemble the robot. You also get the STEMI app, which lets you control the robot by tilting your mobile device in the direction you want it to travel. With the Indiegogo campaign funded over a year ago (Dec. 2015) and the first round already shipped, we expect more to be coming soon. As it stands right now, STEMI is taking preorders for their Hexapod and additional information can be found here (http://www.stemi.education/home/).
Aside from building the bots and loading firmware, what’s the next step? Learning through experience does have a high retention value, but I would like to see more in the kit. Mainly, to build something else. (Part validated to work with everything else. Just a thought, STEMI.)