MOSS modular system keeps DIY robotics simple
By Darren Quick
November 28, 2013
Colorado-based Modular Robotics has taken its Cubelets robotic building blocks to the next level with MOSS, a modular robot construction system that requires no coding or wiring skills on the part of the user. The kits are made up of various modules that communicate with each other via a single button contact and can be snapped together using magnets.
Like the Cubelets system, the individual modules of MOSS boast different capabilities that are signified with simple color-coding. The current color scheme – which may change – sees yellow faces conducting power, blue faces sending data, green faces receiving data, and purple faces allowing power and data to pass through uninterrupted. Some modules with multiple capabilities sport faces of different colors.
However, unlike Cubelets, which are all cube-shaped and feature magnets on each cube face that allows them to be connected together, MOSS modules feature neodymium rare earth magnets that allow them to be connected with each other using carbon steel ball bearings. This offers much more freedom in terms of robot design.
Cube-shaped modules still form the heart of the MOSS system, providing everything from power, a variety of sensors, and even Bluetooth connectivity, but the addition of various connection pieces, wheels, knobs, braces, etc, allows users to really let their creative juices flow.
The ball bearing/magnet connection system alone opens up a host of possibilities, with a single ball bearing connection creating a ball joint, two ball bearings creating a hinge, and three or four forming a rigid structure.
Through its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, Modular Robotics is offering various kits that start at US$59 for a Simple Starter Kit that can be used to build (among other things) a robot that will turn itself towards a light source, through $379 for an Advanced Builder Kit to construct a Bluetooth controlled car, up to $949 for a Mega Bundle that includes a number of bundles in one. There is also a Shogun Tank kit designed by Huck Gee that features a projectile-shooting turret that is controlled via Bluetooth.
The company has already passed its $100,000 goal with still more than 10 days remaining in the campaign. Deliveries are expected to begin in February, 2014.
The team's video pitch that demonstrates the MOSS system can be viewed below.
Source: Modular Robotics
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