Electronics

The microbot designed to push all your buttons

The microbot designed to push ...
The Microbot Push lets ordinary switches be flipped remotely
The Microbot Push lets ordinary switches be flipped remotely
View 17 Images
The Microbot Push lets ordinary switches be flipped remotely
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The Microbot Push lets ordinary switches be flipped remotely
The Microbot Push variants
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The Microbot Push variants
The Microbot Push with the Prota server
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The Microbot Push with the Prota server
The Prota is designed to fit into living room decor
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The Prota is designed to fit into living room decor
The Microbot Push will ship next year if everything goes as planned
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The Microbot Push will ship next year if everything goes as planned
The Microbot Push robots connect via Bluetooth connectivity to the Prota small, personal server
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The Microbot Push robots connect via Bluetooth connectivity to the Prota small, personal server
Prota variants
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Prota variants
The Microbot Push compared to a US 50-cent piece
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The Microbot Push compared to a US 50-cent piece
Perspective and top views of the Microbot Push
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Perspective and top views of the Microbot Push
Microbot Pushes used for turning a switch on and off
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Microbot Pushes used for turning a switch on and off
The Microbot Push on an expresso machine
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The Microbot Push on an expresso machine
The Microbot Push on a computer
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The Microbot Push on a computer
The Microbot Push showing the battery unit
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The Microbot Push showing the battery unit
The Microbot Push and prototypes
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The Microbot Push and prototypes
The Microbot Push lets ordinary switches be flipped remotely
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The Microbot Push lets ordinary switches be flipped remotely
The Microbot Push attaches to surfaces using foamed tape
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The Microbot Push attaches to surfaces using foamed tape
The Microbot Push can be installed on appliances
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The Microbot Push can be installed on appliances
View gallery - 17 images

The mechanical button or switch is that most simple of user interfaces. So simple that just about every electrical device in the home, from lights to coffee machines, will have one. With the goal of letting these legacy devices join the home automation bandwagon, South Korean startup Naran has come up with Microbot Push – a wireless robotic "finger" designed to operate standard buttons and switches.

According to Naran, the Microbot Push allows users to integrate conventional, non-smart devices into the Internet of Things (IoT). The device is basically a pair of small boxes consisting of the push body (26.6 x 26.6 x 28 mm) and the Micro-USB-charged battery pack (26.6 x 15.2 x 35 mm), which attach to a surface next to a button or switch using foam tape. Despite this seemingly flimsy anchor, the company says that the microbot can apply 1 kg (2.2 lb) of force, which is enough to flip just about any switch you can throw at it.

In addition to the actuator, the Push also has built-in sensors to detect light, motion, and sound. There's also Bluetooth connectivity to allow it to network with a small, personal server computer called a Prota, which packs an ARMv7 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, up to 2 GB RAM, 8 GB built-in flash storage and runs the company's proprietary Prota OS Agatha. Prota also boasts built in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi so you can control a Push from anywhere there's an internet connection.

The Prota automatically detects and pairs with any nearby microbots and runs user-defined actions based on if this then that logic, that trigger the Push microbots to activate a button when certain conditions are met, such as time of day, lighting conditions, or when movement is detected.

The Microbot Push variants
The Microbot Push variants

The Push can be controlled either through these programs, called "stories," or directly with the smartphone app used for writing the programs, both of which the company emphasizes require no coding knowledge. According to Naran, the Push microbots allow users to carry out any number of tasks automatically, such as turning lights on and off while away, switching on a coffeemaker when the morning alarm sounds, or activating a desktop computer when someone comes in the door.

Naran says that the Microbot Push is the first in a line of microbots being developed by the company. Others will include the Microbot Twist for twisting knobs, an infrared control station known as the IR bridge, the Microbot Sense multi­-sensor station, the Microbot View wireless camera, and the Microbot Scan wireless fingerprint reader.

The Prota is slated to be available later this year, while the Microbot Push will be the subject of a crowdfunding campaign that is set to begin this November, with the first units scheduled to roll out to backers next April if all goes to plan.

The video below introduces the Microbot Push.

Source: Naran via Red Ferret

Microbot Push [Teaser 1]

View gallery - 17 images
4 comments
SteveO
They show this on a light switch. Unless it was a momentary switch, you would need 2 per switch. 1 to turn the light on and the other to turn it off. I imagine it would be way cheaper to just get a Wi-Fi enabled switch. Maybe I could put it on my alarm clock and it could push the snooze button every time it heard the alarm. That would at least save me from waking up to do it...
Smitty Jl
A hard wired solution is always preferable, however, it is not always practical. Case in point I live in an apartment with a kitchen light fixture that neither lends itself to screw in or plug in controllers. And, I can assure you that my apartment manager would frown upon me rewiring the light switch. In these cases this could be a great solution.
MatChurchill
I can list a lot of things that don't work with wifi controlled power sockets: Computers, Bread machines, dehumidifiers, pellet wood burners (that are not thermostat controlled) etc etc. A lot of modern electrical devices can have there power turned on via the internet but still need someone/thing to press the On switch. If I was heading off to my cabin in the country, with a bunch of these I could turn on my dehumidifier a few days before, my pellet wood burner a day before, my bread machine 3.5 hours before I turned up !! Would be great.
JohnChu
Perfect tool to add desktop to home automation! even Logitech remotes.