TechSpot

Switch-Bot is the mechanical button-presser you've always wanted

By Shawn Knight
Nov 24, 2016
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  1. I had the opportunity last year to look at littleBits’ Smart Home Kit, a collection of small electronic modules that can snap together and be used to automate otherwise ordinary appliances and gadgets – essentially transforming them into smart, connected devices.

    The littleBits Smart Home Kit was certainly fun to tinker around with but in my opinion, it’s more of a teaching tool than anything else. Given its $249 price tag (which has dropped to around $225 as of writing), it isn’t cost-efficient to buy the entire kit if you have a very specific purpose in mind.

    Indeed, if you’ve got a specific purpose in mind that happens to involve pressing a button or switch, a device like the Switch-Bot might do the trick for far less money.

    The Switch-Bot is a smart IoT “robot” designed to mechanically control switches and buttons wirelessly. Powered by a replaceable lithium battery that lasts up to two years, it’s essentially a remote switch-flipper / button-pusher that uses a small motor to physically turn devices in your home on or off.

    Using another gadget dubbed the Switch-Link lets you connect the Switch-Bot to your Wi-Fi network for control when away from your home (without the Switch-Link, you’re limited to local Bluetooth control). Users can even set schedules to have Switch-Bots activate automatically at certain times during the day or pair them with IFTTT recipes for added flexibility.

    While there are plenty of use cases where this would be handy, it’s not without a few shortcomings like the fact that it’ll stick out like a sore thumb in an otherwise nice-looking home. What’s more, is the included 3M VHB tape used strong enough to assist in pushing buttons that require a decent amount of force? How will the tape hold up over time?

    The Switch-Bot is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. The campaign has already blown past its modest $3,000 funding goal with just shy of $23,000 having been pledged from 257 backers as of writing.

    A pledge of $49 will get your name on the list for a pair of Switch-Bots in your choice of white, green or pink color schemes. If you want Internet connectivity via the Switch-Link, you’ll need to pledge at least $79.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,684   +791

    It looks pretty cool, but unless they keep the price point down it won't be much of a competitor. I've seen a number of controllable monitors out there in the range of $25 so unless they can meet or beat that price they will be just another "also ran". Let's hope for the best!
     
  3. StephenThere

    StephenThere TS Rookie

    $49 for 2 which means $25 each bot. I think the price is quite OK.
     
  4. EClyde

    EClyde TS Guru Posts: 715   +184

    Another "DUMB" product. Keep your money or donate it
     
  5. andrewdoyle88

    andrewdoyle88 TS Enthusiast Posts: 56   +39

    Wait another few years and most household items will have wifi/bluetooth built into them. Sticking a big white square on anything I own wouldn't be at the top of my list.
     
    EClyde likes this.
  6. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    Great, now I can spend hundreds of dollars to do what my finger does for free, when I need it no less.
    nothing like needing a cellphone to use your internet connection to turn your TV on or to make a cup of coffee
    Only in the First world do you require a $1000+ ecosystem to boil water, have a cup of coffee or turn on the tv set.
     
    IsThisTS likes this.
  7. IsThisTS

    IsThisTS TS Rookie

    Wonderful idea! I cannot wait another unpredictable few years then spend thousands of dollars to replace my current ones... This robot is the best way to go now.
     
  8. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    No. Just no.
     
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,045   +276

    I wonder when we will see the first news stories about the buttons being pushed in any number of nefarious ways because IoT STILL lacks any decent security, and these devices are just another target for hackers.
     
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,560   +2,901

    Have you ever known someone whom you just love pressing their buttons? This would be perfect, now you have an app for it.
     

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