EZ-Robot offers a robot creation kit for beginners, which takes care of the hardware and software programming and provides tutorials to help people build their own robot. This is the latest step in the emergence of the Internet of Things for the general public.
Robots are becoming steadily more convenient and accessible for the general public, with voice recognition capability, 3D printing and interaction in the cloud. The question remains however as to how far real novices can get into robotics. Now DJ Sures, a Canadian who has created many robots and is the founder of startup company EZ-Robot Incorporated, has provided an answer to this problem with a kit which enables a customer to create his/her own personalised robot without having to be a computer expert. The kit comprises the hardware part of the robot – the basic circuit board, known as EZ-B – plus the EZ-Builder software interface which enables the user to programme and control the functionality of the EZ robot, including any software updates or extra programming s/he would like to undertake.
Creating a personalised robot without programming skills
The startup stresses that most of its customers who use the EZ-Robot platform have no prior experience in robotics. The EZ-Builder software uses graphics to make life easy for beginners and does not require any programming. All you have to do is to connect the sensors in the kit to the robot and your computer via Bluetooth. At the same time there are different levels in the software interface so that more advanced users can access more customising functionality. Explaining the rationale behind the setting up of EZ-Robot, the company points out the difficulties of programming in C code or Assembler on a microcontroller, as home-robot enthusiasts have hitherto had to do. “The method of writing complex C code, compiling, connecting programmer to PCB, transferring code to chip, testing, rinse, repeat is not desirable and hinders creativity,” underlines the company website. EZ-Robot is therefore on a mission to give customers the means to “help build your dream robot” using “powerful PC-driven” tools.
Platform for sharing ideas
The company further underlines that “the less time you spend fiddling with compilers, hardware programmers and debuggers, the more time you spend building and designing robotic projects.” One of DJ Sures’ aims is in fact to develop a community of robotics enthusiasts. On the EZ-Robot platform, customers can share with the community their ideas and suggestions for building personalised robots. The company encourages any user who develops code using the EZ-SDK software library to release it open-source, protecting it under any software license s/he chooses. For those who are interested in programming, the EZ-SDK allows them to integrate advanced functionality such as camera tracking, facial tracking, speech recognition, speech synthesis, and more.