What We Do
At Neuron Robotics we provide hardware, software and support for robotics projects and classes. Our goal if to provide a premium, cutting edge, but low cost solution for building robotic systems. This platform also works as an excellent functional teaching tool for educators looking to implement their own robotics engineering courses.Hardware:
- The DyIO is our flagship product. It provides Dynamic Input and Output access to your computer.
- The NR Hexapod is a low cost Hexapod kit that includes everything you need to get started with multi-leg projects.
- The NRDK, or Neuron Robotics Development Kit, is a software suite that is gives access to all Neuron Robotics hardware using Java. This library is Open Source and availible on our NRDK Google Code page.
- Our "Course-In-A-Box" kit includes hardware, software and a complete set of course materials for teaching robotics. Our courses were developed in cooperation with Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is used in their robotics engineering major.
- We provide educator training to teach the teachers, assistants and lab managers about robots and robotics education.
- We also provide professional engineering services for custom solutions for new projects or retrofits. In addition, we provide professional training for smoother integration into your robotic system.
What We Stand For
At Neuron Robotics we believe in education. We want the next generation of engineers to have the skills to take on the challenges of a modern and integrated world. To that end, our primary focus is to get robotics education into as many schools as possible by lowering the bar for starting and running classes. Our system closely models how real-world robotic systems work, thus giving students hands on experience with the cutting technology.
We also believe the best way to educate new students is to give them access to as much information on how a system works as possible. We have open-sourced our Java library, and will be open sourcing any product that we discontinue. We have taken the mantra of "If your going to kill it, open source it!" to heart. Only the firmware on the DyIO is closed while it is on the market. We make regular (Usually once a month) updates and even new feature adds to continually add value to your device. And to add community involvement even though it is closed, we take suggestions for features to add in future releases.
How We Got Started
The founding of Neuron Robotics came about through the desire to solve a mutual problem in robotics development. In 2008 Kevin Harrington and Bob Breznak, undergraduate students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), encountered a similar problem during their senior projects. Kevin Harrington, whose project researched the use of Telepresence, and Bob Breznak, who explored simultaneous localization and mapping, found that robotics development lacked a unified system. This critical problem led them to develop a better, more unified, way to allow developers to access the physical world from their computers. What began as a small weekend project, aimed to facilitate the completion of their senior projects, quickly escalated into a driving passion. With the assistance of their fellow student Alex Camilo, they set out to start a company which would build better tools for developing robotics and cyber-physical systems. Inspired by a common problem, they set out to develop a system which linked software to hardware; a system which would provide developers with an accessible way to program micro-controllers, and allow average people, people without any background in robotics, electrical engineering or any specialized knowledge , to build robotics /cyber-physical systems.
They produced the Bowler Communications System, a programmable cross platform solution. The Bowler Communications System lowers the costs of entry into robotics and puts CPS development within the ability range of most people. The success of the Bowler Communications System led to the development of the Dynamic Input Output Device (DyIO). The Dynamic I/O Module (DyIO) is a general purpose module that allows users to dynamically change the function of any of the 24 channels during standard operation. All channels are capable of the standard Digital I/O functionality while some channels are capable of extended functionality (i.e. analog input, PWM control, etc..). Their flagship product, the DyIO, allows anyone with a computer to build a robot within 8 minutes.
In July of 2011, Kevin Harrington, now the acting President/CEO of Neuron Robotics, expanded the company's focus on education. Currently Neuron Robotics is in contact with several national youth organizations, local colleges and educational programs to bring robotics development to the classroom. Moving forward, Neuron Robotics aims to continue to lower the cost of robotics development to fit into the financial (and education) model of most state institutions.