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May 13, 2015 2:31 EST

Roominate 2.0: New Smart Toys to Inspire Girls in STEM: Now you can design, program, and control your world; every girl is an artist, engineer, architect, and visionary!

iCrowdNewswire - May 13, 2015

Roominate 2.0: New Smart Toys to Inspire Girls in STEM

by Maykah Inc.

Now you can design, program, and control your world. Every girl is an artist, engineer, architect, and visionary!

Maykah Inc.

See full bio Contact me

About this project

Kids can build, wire, and design anything they imagine…then play for hours!

Unleash their creativity! Roominators make anything they can imagine!
Unleash their creativity! Roominators make anything they can imagine!

Roominate is an award-winning line of wired building systems designed to inspire girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Kids can build, wire, and design the world they want to play in, and everyone makes something unique. From a light up Golden Gate Bridge, to a bunny elevator, to a car wash with spinning brushes, anything is possible!

Our goal is to expand girls’ possibilities from a young age so that they realize they can do and be anything. As it turns out, boys love Roominate too!

Kids build and play with their Roominate creations for hours at a time. While playing, they are developing important skills: 

  • Hands-on problem solving
  • Spatial and fine motor skills
  • Circuits
  • Self-confidence

Roominate rPower is the next generation in toys

We listened to your feedback, and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to take the technology behind Roominate to the next level.

Control circuits from the Roominate App

Plug multiple circuits into rPower, turn on the Roominate App, and go! 

You can make motors spin faster and slower, reverse direction, turn lights on and off, and set lights to blink.

Speed up and change directions on your fan from your phone! Roominate's new pieces carry wiring through the plastic so you simply snap them together to build a circuit.
Speed up and change directions on your fan from your phone! Roominate’s new pieces carry wiring through the plastic so you simply snap them together to build a circuit.

Easily build working circuits with exclusive new modular wire pieces

The wires are built right into the plastic pieces. Snap them together easily to create working circuits. Then, attach furniture building pieces to build out your creation. The new wire pieces integrate seamlessly into the Roominate system.

Snap the battery to a wire piece to a light! Roominate furniture building pieces snap right in so that you can use the circuit pieces structurally.
Snap the battery to a wire piece to a light! Roominate furniture building pieces snap right in so that you can use the circuit pieces structurally.

rPower and the new wire pieces are compatible with all existing Roominate sets

Plug in two circuits into one battery pack, or even more into rPower! All rPower reward levels come with two converter cables. Use the cables to plug in any motors or lights from any existing Roominate set.

To top it off, we’ve added three new girls and pets to the Roominate world! 

We started Roominate 3 years ago, when we were both finishing masters degrees in engineering at Stanford. Before that, Bettina studied Electrical Engineering at Caltech and Alice studied Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Shocked by the low number of women in engineering around us, we set out to figure out why.

We started talking about why we chose engineering and realized we shared something in common: toys inspired both of us! We loved engineering before we even knew what the word meant. For Alice, it was her own saw, and for Bettina, it was building elaborate Lego creations with her brother.

We spent the next few months researching girls, talking to parents and teachers, and testing out new ideas for toys that could get more girls building and playing with circuits. After a whole lot of cardboard prototypes and testing with hundreds of girls, we came up with the original idea for Roominate: a dollhouse that girls would construct and then wire up with working circuits. 

We put our idea on Kickstarter in May 2012, and the response was overwhelming. We set up manufacturing and shipped out rewards in December 2012. 

Thank you so much to everyone who backed our original project, shared it with friends, and cheered us on. We would not be where we are today without you! We are so grateful for your support.

With your help getting launched, we’ve spent the past 3 years building our company and continuing to improve our products for you.

We’ve released new versions of Roominate, earned the top toy awards, launched in major retailers, and secured funding from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank!

We will use Kickstarter funds to build the tooling for the new circuits system

We’ve already started tooling for rPower. We hope to get your support on Kickstarter so that we can launch tooling for our new circuits system earlier than otherwise possible.

Safety certifications and recommended ages

While designing Roominate, we have made sure that Roominate meets and exceeds all toy safety standards through extensive safety testing. Roominate complies to the following safety standards:

  • ASTM F963 (American Society for Testing and Materials)
  • CPSC / CPSIA 2008 / FCC
  • EN 71 / EMC
  • EN 62115
  • EU Directive 2005/84/EC
  • RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU
  • ISO 8124
  • Canadian Hazardous Products (Toys) Regulations

Roominate is recommended for kids 6 and up.

Risks and challenges

Manufacturing a physical product comes with a lot of potential risks and delays. We’ve gained 3 years of experience since our first Kickstarter campaign. We delivered on our first campaign within our target of 6 months and have gained really valuable experience manufacturing at scale since then. We’ve built buffer into every step of the process to account for the risks that we’ve identified.

Tooling: Since getting started, we have gone through the mold making process multiple times. All of the plastic Roominate parts are made by injection molding. Every time we add new parts to the Roominate system, we need to make new molds to produce them. When first shots come back from our mold makers, we’ll give them feedback on the fit between pieces. They’ll do revisions to the mold until the fit is perfect.
Our mold makers have experience making our products and are very familiar with our tolerance and fit requirements. It is likely that they’ll get the parts pretty close at first shots and only have to do minor revisions. We’ve still built in plenty of time in case extra revisions are necessary.

Freight: There is always a chance of port delays or additional customs screening time, both of which are beyond our control. We’ve had both happen to our shipments in the past, so we’ve built extra time into our delivery schedule in case either or both happen.

Delivering Rewards: Our fulfillment center has been in operation since 1989 and has extensive experience in working with both startups and well-established companies. For the past two years, they have handled all of our online orders from individual customers, as well as larger shipments from our retailers. They have also worked with many other companies to ship Kickstarter rewards.

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