Crowdfunding robots: Robot Film Festival

27 June 2013

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While I love getting robots in the mail, crowdfunding sites are also good for supporting a whole range of robot related activities. The 3rd annual Robot Film Festival just launched a Kickstarter campaign to complement ticket sales on Eventbrite. This year, the Robot Film Festival is at Bot&Dolly studios in San Francisco on July 20-21, after very successful previous events in New York.

The Robot Film Festival was founded by Heather Knight and Marek Michalowski as a way of showcasing a diverse range of robotic visions, both real and fictional, in a thought provoking and entertaining fashion. The festival also serves to create a cultural snapshot of the current state of robotics.

Most crowdfunding sites are vehicles for cultural or charitable projects rather than shopfronts for physical goods, so this is a robot project likely to reach it’s very reasonable target. And while ticket sales are only going to be of interest to those in the Bay Area in July, the Kickstarter campaign has rewards for interested people anywhere.

Robot Adam Z1 from David Hanson

Some of the other robots on crowdfunding sites at the moment include both projects and products, hardware and software, complete robots and controller boards/shields. Projects include;

  • Neko (an oil painting robot)  $1008 / $3000 funded with 18 days to go
  • Superbolt Theater (taking their play The Uncanny Valley, about love between man and robot, to the Edinburgh Film Festival) $4307 / $7000 funded with 4 days to go
  • RiPPLe (a high schooler prototyping a low cost humanoid robot) $1515 / $5500 funded with 11 days to go
  • Hex (a humanoid platform out of Baltimore Hackerspace)$772 / $35,000 funded with 33 days to go
  • Robot Adam Z1 (David Hanson’s project to get more smarts into a cute robot ) $3408 / $300,000 funded with 35 days to go
  • Coralbots (nonprofit science team using swarm robotics to save coral reefs) $10,830 / $30,000 with 30 days left

Nessie 4 from Coralbots

Products include;

  • mOwayduino (an affordable small wheeled platform with range of programming languages) $8452 / $50,000 funded with 33 days to go
  • Rapiro (humonoid robot kit for Raspberry Pi) $35,170 / $20,000 with 55 days to go
  • Bugzy (a wireless remote controlled robot bug) $0 / $5000 funded with 57 days to go
  • Bot-Logic (a full hexapod kit or just the arduino logic shield) $3509 / $10,000 funded with 13 days to go
  • Foldimate (industrial laundry folding machine) $7018 / $250,000 funded with 10 days to go
  • Sunnybot (smart moving solar reflector) $6138 / $200,000 funded with 18 days to go
  • RK-1 (wifi mobile arduino robot) $2674 / $5000 funded with 10 days to go
  • Fiona (smart AI interface from Adele Robots) $17,462 / $100,000 funded with 30 days to go

mOwayduino from Spanish company MiniRobots

Components include;

  •  TiltyIMU (open source robotics controller for self balancing robots) $170 / $5000 funded with 29 days to go
  • Motor PiTX (motor controller for Raspberry Pi robots) $2535 / $1500 funded with 11 days to go

Successful recently finished campaigns include;

  • Linkbots from Barobo $45,792 / $40,000
  • Sparki from Arcbotics $188,786 / $60,000

Sparki from Arcbotics



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Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.
Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.

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