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Published by: 20:49, 06 May 2021

Roadmap-road. Instructions for changing the planet in a muscular way

Robotics. Roadmap-road. Instructions for changing the planet in a muscular way. At first, I wanted to describe in great detail everything about the product that I conceived. And to show in detail how the theoretical considerations in the previous, sixth part of the story about MVP, resulted in the sequence of product development. But then I decided that the shorter the better. It turned out to be long anyway. This is the final part of this series of articles, beginning here here.


roadmap robotics roadmap

The product should be able to quickly be made, quickly implemented MVP, and further develop it with small!), very small iterations until the number of product users is comparable (or better than) the number of Facebook users. Yes, I'm talking about a hardware product. Yes, I know that this does not happen, all 6 previous parts were about this. And here I am talking about how it can still be done.


Let's start with MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for muscle tech. Let me remind you that the new artificial muscle that I invented four years after the first one allows you to assemble new devices (robots) without designing in CAD. “If you have SolidWorks, shut it up. Give solidwork a rest, - it seems that this is exactly what the very engineering Kozma Prutkov dreamed of in far from San Francisco, snowy Russia.



Who needs it - turning a robotic iron project into an easy project? Like making a robot is as easy as making a website or building something out of Lego? And so that the result is serious, and not a toy?


The military needs! Space needs! Scientists need! Doctors need! A must for the arts and entertainment industry. Children would also be delighted to be able to play pranks at home and in schools. (But we will not give them anything at this stage. Only on the following.) I have already gained potential customers on a small niche, and the MVP is such a less-demonstrated and lung - Robotic Kit for Serious People. If you do not believe that this military or children need - ask me, I will tell the details.



What is good at this stage? The size of the initial market immediately allows you to sell several thousand (50 thousand? 100 thousand?) Sets, sometimes with additional orders and projects. 


Achieve this relatively simple even at the level of the seed round investment. Muscles produce - there is nothing particularly impossible, all the technologies are tested. I know the name of all those who help me launch production. SOFT, too - I did it a lot - many times in my life.



It looks like a Czech manufacturer of 3D printers. They still sell their beautiful printer in the form of a DIY Kit set (do it yourself). But sell and assembled printer, just more expensive.


The difference, of course, is. Robots that can be assembled from such a kit are suitable not only for the training laboratory. Unlike a 3D printer, robots are much more versatile. In principle, it is quite possible to launch them into space, and even leave them bastard (arrange discos and jump) on some asteroid. These robots and mechanisms are very serious. Such a kit, although it looks like a toy, is not a toy. 


Just like Prusa, it would be possible to sell the most interesting completed projects in the collection. Someone invented a spider for harvesting carrots, there is a demand for it - great! We help the developer to bring the product to mind. We help to sell. Perhaps we buy out the rights and develop the development ourselves.


The consequence of this development of the plot is that in a couple of years the muscles can no longer sleep ... I use the word "steal" according to your new Russian rules! Like this? - you ask. It's a good thing! But how are the Chinese rag? But how the Koreans are racing? But as the Israelis rag? Yes, and in America itself, too, who neither fall back, and it will begin to produce muscles for their own enrichment. That is, sleep ... I can not get used to the new rules, that is, they will decoke!

   

Paradoxically, but I am interested in the muscles in this situation crawl! I am interested in muscles to produce different manufacturers, and competed with each other. The more billion muscles will produce, the more massive and acceptable for users, the robots on these muscles become!



At the end of the nineties, my Moscow company released a product called Baikonur App Server. Each new version worked until a certain point in time, and then stopped working. To continue to work, it was necessary to enter the license number. In order to steal the product more actively, we sometimes secretly distributed these secret numbers to potential users, and they secretly distributed them to their friends. Stolen goods are tastier, as practice has shown.


Once the muscle has started to be produced, keeping this secret is pointless. The value of the project is not at all in how much you can cook on the muscles. The value of the project is that it allows for the first time to create a certain growing hardware-com of devices on a single technology, which scales no worse than the Internet. Just as the value of the Internet is not in routers and the number of gigabits per second, so here the main value is not in muscles, but in the fact that you can quickly prototype on them, quickly debug products and quickly release them to the market. 


And scaling happens because a specific robot for some purpose will be made as easy as a website or online store is now. The appearance of a new website in the user's browser is a matter of a few seconds, the appearance of a new robot is a matter of a couple of hours. Comparable. The more users, the cheaper the base (muscles, bones, etc.).d.) and the more users for a particular spider, or fish. The more such robots running around the streets, the larger the sales market. 



So, the first stop is achievable within the seed round and is called MVP - Robotic Kit for Serious People. And this thing allows people who really need it for their own projects to try the technology. This is a viral thing in itself, if it can really be used to make seriously walking, jumping, flying and floating vehicles.


At this time, you need to choose the next site, that is, where you need to jump after creating the simplest Robotic Kit. Probably, at first these will be iterations of the Robotic Kit itself, but in the end it will be necessary to rename. 


  • Firstly, such a leap should be in line with the development of the previous product, that is, the Robotic Kit. 
  • Secondly, it shouldn't be much more difficult. The jump should not be too far, otherwise you might not jump. And the product or service must be perfect, as I wrote in the previous part, while the MVP may still not be perfect.


I went through many different scenarios, technologies, potential partners, and decided that the easiest way to add to the Robotic Kit is simply a small trunk with a 12 volt power supply. In my opinion, such a simple addition dramatically expands the potential area of applicability of the Robotic Kit on muscles.

 

At the moment when it is already possible to make some simple structures from a set of muscles, bones, sensors, you need to add a place to which you can screw additional content or equipment.



It doesn't seem to matter much, but it doesn't. Indeed, such a construction can already do a lot. She will be able to climb on a pole or get off it. Climb on the wall and wave a pen from there. Move on wires or in bushes. Carry communication equipment in the trunk. Or a spotlight. Or antenna. Or a wet glass cloth. The military can also put something interesting there. And the kids will load the trunk with candy. And the director in the theater will put confetti there.


Making the robot walk, walk, and keep balance is too difficult. Before our eyes, Boston Dynamics taught its dogs to move over rough terrain, snow, steps. It took several years. But I believe that this, too, will work out for the mass of other followers following, and much faster.



Sometimes, as in one of the current NASA projects, it is required to move in zero gravity along an extended structure (telescope). Asteroids are also waiting for compactly packed robots with arms and legs, capable of unpacking and assembling others of the same from light, compactly folded parts (muscles, bones, joints, sensors, batteries). Sometimes you just need to remove the snow in the yard, sometimes collect garbage, dilute reagents, dive for crayfish in a pond, but you never know? For all this, you can develop a special robot for a long, long time, or quickly and quickly make your own home solution without autocads and solidworks.


You can put something really interesting and stable income in the trunk-box. Here, I read about the Facebook Terragraph project. Every 5 years, internet traffic almost quadruples. Even if optical fiber was laid in the city, predictably, it will not be enough very, very soon. Paving new is slow and expensive. Shifting the old is also slow and expensive.  


Facebook proposes to put a box-node of a 1Gb air router-repeater on the poles and walls. Router cost $ 100- $ 150. Routers should be 100 meters apart. Facebook believes it is quick and cheap to roll out an additional network over the air with repeaters in months. And I believe that if the Terragraph router is placed in the trunk of a robot, then it will be possible to deploy the network in an hour or two in a city like San Francisco. Or deploy in general in the field. Or deploy a 5G network. Or ... And what about the military, by the way? 



And I immediately find a couple of American companies that are deploying such networks with military routers, but only for much more money. Because the military has its own nuances. And their robots are not made with a finger, but with the help of autocads and solidworks.  And if some stray bullet hits such an expensive military robot, it will honestly die on the battlefield, like a hero, and not reassemble itself on the spot, like a military robot from the Robotic Kit for Serious People.


In fact, we have just discovered a huge area on the way to a very large population of muscle robots. These are connected robots for mesh networks. That is, moving vehicles that help to quickly deploy and maintain communication without biting into the soil. Indeed, this is a rather large need. If you manage to reach the cost of the robot in 500-1000 dollars (you will be able to!), then even a crooked and oblique robot will allow a large number of entrepreneurs to do business in their city. Or even in the village. And then lie on the stove, occasionally moving the joystick, so that the gigabit network itself grows, reconfigures itself and repairs and upgrades itself. 


We chartered a small army of robots in routers in the trunk, insured their safety, collect money from users on a monthly basis and get profit by gravity. Or no profit, the city does the same for municipal taxes. Is it bad?


For me, this means that the number of such robots produced annually, their muscles, bones and sensors has grown by a couple of orders of magnitude. And, consequently, their prime cost has decreased, the quality has become much better, and the number of scenarios has increased where such robots could already be used. That is, from about 100 thousand robots, we stepped into a population of 5-10 million. 



If you think that by this moment these robots will not learn to run, jump, deftly grab objects and do the simplest work, then you are a desperate skeptic. 10 million robots and the attention of engineers around the world simply will not allow robots to remain slow and miserable, as they are now. Even before reaching this figure, muscles, software, sensors and other technologies for such constructions should get into opensource. It can't be owned! But you can make money on it.


Production of 5 million robots per year means a turnover of approximately $ 5 billion. Not bad already, but! But it seems to me just the beginning.
5 million Robotic Kits of the same type that can be easily transformed on the spot into concrete robot constructions - this is a springboard. Through the efforts of scientists and engineers, this technology is becoming more and more interesting. 



These robotic whales begin to walk normally, operate normally with objects, jump and climb normally, climb into pipes and conduct inspections normally, swim and fly normally (why do you think I came up with a flying saucer engine?). Constantly cheaper, or vice versa, keeping the same price level, but becoming more complex and becoming better and better, these robots finally reach the next new site - this is when they are already normally oriented in space, indoors and outdoors, and are capable do the simplest job. Tighten the nuts, drill a hole, lay a flat brick wall, pick apples from an apple tree, paint a fence or plant a tree. 


But the biggest thing at this stage is the work of the "give-and-bring" type. In the Middle Ages, an apprentice for years performed such work for a master, no matter what craft the master possessed. He brought. Materials, tools, he talked to the master. Now all this is still in demand and needed. And talk, and stupidly help. And groan and gasp with delight. And last mile delivery. For example, from a postman to a home. And by the way, why do we need postmen or loaders now?? 


Watch as a set of bones and muscles quickly transforms from a useful creature that provides the Internet to a useful creature that can provide a "bring-in" function, and with shouts of approval already clearly claiming a place in a doghouse. Or at least next to the booth.



At this stage, a very strong and agile robot begins to interact very closely with humans. No longer as a Robotic Kit, but as a ready-made character. Not yet in the apartment, but already in the family, in the yard or workshop. Already communicating with family members. Safety comes first in these scenarios. Maybe not 3 laws of robotics, but 33 or even 33 million filters for unacceptable situations.


The robot must be somehow protected from hacking, it must be designed so that Big Brother cannot spy on without additional equipment. The robot must be protected from being a source of danger to a child or adult. This is to be thought about in the following parts. 


In the meantime, I would like to emphasize that we have jumped from the figure of 5-10 million robots to the figure of 500 million robots, since one robot for each family is not a luxury, this is how normal people would imagine life.

 


Of course, this is no longer a Robotic Kit. Such a robot must be certified, therefore it must be an immutable whole.


Suppose we managed to achieve this goal as well. The figure of 500 million robots looms confidently on the horizon. Is further growth possible? Where will the money to buy from people come from? My answer is that growth will continue. And it will continue not so much as a robot for a family, but as several robots for a family, because people want to do something, to produce something interesting. And here such luck - specialized workers for a semi-finished business. They don't ask to eat, they don't ask for repairs, they do something useful around the clock, they come with a wave of the hand, leave with a wave of the hand. 


Banks like to issue loans for them, insurance companies like to insure them, the market capacity grows with the increase in the number of operating robots. Straight New Vasyuki some, how well everything turns out. And this is where the money for them comes from - this is investment money for creating small and medium-sized businesses. 


And the scope of application is not only domestic consumption, but the development of deserts, mountains, ocean, Antarctica, asteroids and nearby planets. Mastering means expanding the market. Market expansion means economic growth. Somehow like this.



Your Sasha Sergeev. Original post here

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