By Albert Ornelas
DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST
The MicroBot Push is one among a set of advanced smart gadgets that connect your things to the Internet, thereby turning analog home devices into modern digital marvels.
Buttons and switches are the simplest forms of user interfaces, and almost every product in the world has one. Yet the inventors at Naran Inc. saw a new possibility in those old analog buttons. Terance Park, the founder and CEO of Naran Inc., and his team created the MicroBot Push 2nd Generation so that you can bring outdated buttons and switches into the modern age using your smartphone or tablet. Once you have connected via the Smartphone Apple iOS or the Android app, you will be able to control your favorite electronic devices easily—with just the robotic push of a button.
Place MicroBot Push atop a light switch, coffee maker, air conditioner, digital door lock, garage door, electric fan, or intercom, and turn it into a smart device using a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth.
Park and Naran Inc.—which has offices both abroad in South Korea and Japan and here in the United States in Santa Barbara County, California—began their journey to make the MicroBot Push with a crowd-sourcing page in 2015. Their goal was to create a robotic finger for your buttons. Park invited potential funders to “Notice how many buttons surround you. You press them regularly: to turn something on or off. We created MicroBot Push to connect these buttons and switches to the Internet, making dumb devices smart.”
The original MicroBot Push has been updated with a 2nd Generation edition that is more capable than its predecessor. For example, the MicroBot Push 2nd Generation has gears that are stronger, quieter, and last longer. The internal structure of this device has been completely redesigned to maximize each useful feature, including touchscreen support and more stable Bluetooth wireless connectivity from as far away as thirty to one hundred feet. Updates make it possible for a third-party companion hub to hook up to the internet on devices such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
The MicroBot Push 2nd Generation robotic technology enables you to press virtually any type of button. The Microbot Push can be added to a home device using the adhesive foam tape that is included with every unit. And if you need to move the Microbot Push after you have installed it, this tape can be removed without damaging the surfaces of walls or appliances, making it possible to reattach the Microbot Push but to a different device.
Although the product looks simple, producing it was a challenge. Park says, “There is a lot going on in this simple- looking button pusher. It’s wireless and battery-operated, contains mechanical gears and a very small motor inside, and communicates with a smartphone app. Orchestrating all these different components has been the most challenging.’’ He sums up the importance of his accomplishment in these words, “We value retrofitting existing appliances that you love and use every day.”
Currently, the connection via the smartphone and tablet app is only Bluetooth enabled. To connect to the Internet via WiFi, users will need to purchase the MicroBot Hub M (for about $80). It connects the MicroBot Push to the Cloud, thus enabling remote control, monitoring, and integration with third-party devices and services such as If This Then That (IFTTT), Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. The goal of MicroBot Hub M is to deliver an unlimited and consistent smart home experience. Naran Inc. will begin shipping the MicroBot Hub M in June 2019.
The MicroBot Push 2nd Generation retails for $49.99 and is one member of a family of products from the MicroBots division. Two other products are the MicroBot Alert, which is the smallest and smartest consumer sensor that tracks and measures your environment, and the Smart Sensor for Smarter Living, a single-button remote that allows you to point and control both of these smart home devices. For more information about the Microbot family of products, visit .