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CoroWare seeks to fund open robotics education platform

13 Feb 2015

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CoroWare introduced its CoroBot Spark, a robotics platform and kit that can be used for middle school and high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programmes, and for university research and education programmes. CoroWare has also launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to get those who support robotics and technology education involved. Those who pledge will be first to receive the CoroBot Spark.

STEM educators and university researchers are looking for affordable, open and scalable platforms on which they can develop mobile robot applications in order to teach STEM classes and research robotics concepts.

The CoroBot Spark is an open and state-of-the-art mobile robotics platform that is based on the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B embedded computer and the CoroBot Pi Hat embedded controller card, and will support the development of mobile applications that run on both Linux and Windows 10 operating systems. The CoroBot Spark platform will include open and cross-platform application programming interfaces (APIs) that support the development of mobile robot applications.

"We chose to launch the CoroBot Spark programme using Indiegogo because the site can help us reach STEM educators, robotics clubs and university researchers," said Lloyd Spencer, CEO of CoroWare. "The CoroBot Spark platform is especially attractive because the chassis design, software and APIs will all be available through open source channels such as GitHub."

The CoroBot Spark is designed to provide an open platform that can be used in a number of educational settings. It is applicable to middle school students who want to learn the principles of robotics and develop basic robotics applications, high school students who want to develop more advanced robotics applications and university students who want to research in-depth concepts using Robotic Operating System (ROS).

The CoroBot Pi Hat embedded controller card is programmable and is designed to extend the CoroBot Spark platform with a wide range of peripheral devices, such as variable speed motors, touch sensors, ultrasonic sensors, infrared sensors, sound sensors and custom-built sensors.

In order to help drive the growth of STEM and robotics education programmes worldwide, CoroWare will donate 15 per cent of all contributions to fund programme proposals submitted by schools, universities and non-profit organisations. After the campaign achieves its goal of $45,000, CoroWare will donate 30 per cent of all contributions made above its campaign goal.

Pricing and Availability

The CoroBot Spark will initially be available at promotional prices through an Indiegogo campaign that comprises multiple contribution levels.

Contributors who pledge $350 will receive a complete CoroBot Spark kit, including mobile robot chassis, Raspberry Pi board, CoroBot Pi Hat, motors, wheels, camera, sensors, battery and assembly instructions.

General availability and pricing for the CoroBot Spark product line will be announced at a later date.

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