Open-Source Kits Put Robots In Many Hands

John Titus | Design News | October 11, 2012

I recently received an interesting press release about Multiplo, a four-person startup seeking venture funds in small amounts to create and manufacture kits for anyone interested in robotics.

The company has used Kickstarter, a Web-based business that helps connect sponsors with small groups that want to pursue a specific project. The Kickstarter approach lets people involved with a project -- which must have a specific goal -- solicit funds and offer "rewards" to people who contribute funds.

The Multiplo project goal involves creating open-source robotics kits people can buy. Anyone interested in the Multiplo kits also can download information and fabricate their own components, rework Multiplo code for their own purposes, modify CAD files to create new components, and so on. I admire that goal. (Multiplo calls its open-source Fab Lab.)