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About Modular Robotics
We’re the creators of Cubelets robot blocks and the MOSS robot construction system. At Modular Robotics, we believe that toys shape the way children think about the world. The toys we design aim to give young minds models for understanding and manipulating complex systems. By integrating learning and play, we hope to create a new generation of problem solvers that can better handle complexity and the problems that stem from interconnected systems.
Modular Robotics is a spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University. Funding for Modular Robotics has been provided, in part, by SBIR grant funding from the National Science Foundation. To date, over half of all Cubelets are used in education, helping young minds learn in classrooms, camps and museums.
Cubelets Robot Blocks
Cubelets® robot blocks are a fast and easy way to inspire kids to become better thinkers. Simply snap Cubelets together to easily create your own robots, no programming required. The behavior of your robot is determined by your construction. How your robot behaves emerges from what blocks you use and how you orient them.
Cubelets are unique in that you can code any Cubelet to do something new. Programming the various parts in parallel helps you learn about how systems work. It provides intuitions about how parts interact to become something bigger than themselves.
MOSS Robot Construction System
MOSS is a block-based robot construction system from Modular Robotics. Each block is a different part of a robot. Combine the blocks in new ways to create new robot designs. Think of them as building blocks for the 21st century! By playing with MOSS, users can build a basic understanding of mechanical construction, basic circuitry, kinematic motion, robotics, software integration and programming.
The system is built around a unique sphere-based connection system. Overmolded magnets within the corner of each block connect to inert steel spheres that bridge multiple blocks together. One of the more surprising aspects of the spheres is that they can create simple motion primitives like ball joints, hinges and rigid construction. MOSS was designed, prototyped, and engineered for two and half years with a grant from the National Science foundation. It debuted on Kickstarter in November 2013. The campaign surpassed the $100,000 funding goal in only 12 hours.
History of Modular Robotics
Eric Schweikardt (now Founder and CEO of Modular Robotics) received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue roBlocks, an evolutionary design program for modular robotic constructions, the product that would eventually be called Cubelets.
Eric Schweikardt completed his PhD from the Computational Design Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University and as a result launched Modular Robotics.
Modular Robotics received its Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR Phase II) program to continue developing Cubelets.
Opened a toy robot factory in Boulder, Colorado where all of Modular Robotics construction systems are developed, assembled, packaged and shipped.
Publicly introduced Cubelets after developing them for over three years.
Commercial manufacturing of Cubelets began along with the first pre-orders.
Jon Hiller joined the Modular Robotics team in Boulder and began developing a new robot project through a National Science Foundation post-doctoral funded fellowship. Modular Robotics started shipping Cubelets.
Announced $3M in venture funding from Foundry Group.
Established an education program to make thousands of tiny robots available to children in schools and museums across the country.
Launched the first generation of the Bluetooth Cubelet – 194,000 Cubelets in one!
Received a Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation to continue researching and developing MOSS, a kinematic robot construction system for kids.
Announced decision not to outsource operations and to manufacture all of the company’s robotic construction systems at its toy factory located in Boulder, Colorado.
Launched a Kickstarter campaign for MOSS and successfully raised over $360,000 in pledges for MOSS pre-orders.
Announced Lego Brick Adapters for Cubelets and Bluetooth Cubelet 2.0.
Received a Phase II grant for MOSS from the National Science Foundation to enhance the company’s educational materials including curriculum about how to reprogram MOSS.