PCS Edventures and MINDS-i
Boise, Idaho – September 24, 2009 – PCS Edventures (OTCBB: PCSV-News) today announced the execution of two sales and distribution agreements with MINDS-i, Inc., of Liberty Lake, Washington. MINDS-i is the maker of advanced motorized and non-motorized construction systems for the education, hobby, and retail marketplace that provide a high level of interoperability and strength for advanced building and design applications.
Michael Marzetta, President of MINDS-i and the inventor of the system, said “MINDS-i is delighted to be forming this alliance with PCS Edventures! We have been collaborating and exploring synergies now for nearly a year and have seen the extraordinary capabilities PCS has in the education marketplace. In our time working together, MINDS-i has been profiled and introduced to hundreds of educators in multiple states and countries as PCS gathered market feedback. We couldn’t be more pleased with our partnership.” Marzetta went on to say “the PCS Brain and Cortex progressive programming environment are exactly what we needed to take the MINDS-i system to the next level with robotic control and sensor integration. The hobbyist world is changing and becoming more sophisticated. We feel the PCS Brain gives us the edge we need to outperform all of our competitors.” PCS introduced the MINDS-i and Brain solution to the leading professional technical educators in the state of Idaho at a Spring gathering. The materials are part of a pre-engineering solution that has been reviewed and accepted as one option Idaho schools can implement within their professional technical programs.
Tony Maher, PCS CEO, said “The robotics industry, which includes personal, entertainment, and educational robotics, is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world and personal robots sales are forecasted to quadruple, from $1.16B in 2009, to more than $5B by 2015. Over the past twenty years, our PCS robotics development group has been consistently dedicating resources to the development of proprietary methods, curriculum, hardware, and software with the singular goal of becoming the world leader in K12 robotics education. This partnership with MINDS-i provides another powerful tool to accomplish this goal. The MINDS-i system is simply remarkable.”
The recently signed agreements between PCS and MINDS-i address mutual sales and distribution points that provide MINDS-i with support and preferred access to PCS robotics technology for integration with MINDS-i systems and provide PCS with the exclusive, worldwide educational distribution rights for MINDS-i products. In addition, PCS has the exclusive distribution rights of MINDS-i for both retail and educational markets in 15 Middle Eastern countries.
DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF THE BRAIN-MINDS-i SYSTEM
Richard Mussler-Wright, PCS Edventures Director of Curriculum Development and manipulative expert known worldwide for his expertise in LEGO, KNEX, VEX, fischertechnik, and other systems evaluated the system over the past nine months and said, “This system is outstanding and provides the strength, versatility, and flexibility needed for advanced engineering applications. For truly sophisticated and robust design work, this system is superior to anything else on the market.”
PCS and MINDS-i have been experimenting with the potential of the system, prototyping different levels of starter kits for both the education and hobbyist marketplace. Integration with the PCS Brain has resulted in a variety of new developments within the PCS Brain solution including new commands within the Cortex that enable the use of high power speed controllers for high torque and high speed hobbyist motors. The flexibility of the PCS Brain and its application to multiple construction systems and uses continues to be demonstrated. “Experimenting with MINDS-i and integrating the Brain and our sensors has been a blast,” said David Chase, one of the primary developers on the PCS Brain team. Mr. Chase, the lead designer of the Brain case, included physical hooks for the MINDS-i system in the final production version of the Brain. The Brain now bolts right into the MINDS-i construction system with no problem. This functionality also makes it compatible with the entire R/C hobbyist industry, opening up unlimited integration possibilities with R/C aircraft, boats, and any other industry standard design.
A MINDS-i Marz Rover package, complete with the PCS Brain, sensors, and programming environment was shipped to NASA Ames for testing by engineers and students this summer. The review team said “Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to test your product! We have been particularly impressed and excited with its size and power. There is a picture of how we are using it attached to this email.” Detailed feedback from NASA Ames and their high school student testers was garnered on ease of use and flexibility of both the MINDS-i construction system and the PCS Brain and Cortex progressive programming environment. Consistent feedback on both systems was highly positive and provided additional direction on areas of improvement that are being addressed.
THE INTERNATIONAL MARKETPLACE
Dr. Tony Pugatschew of Intellecta technologies in Australia said, “The MINDS-i construction system brings a tough, robust and innovative construction system to a new generation of robotics and engineering students.” Current systems that have been in the marketplace for some time have lost the original flexibility of products such as Meccanno from the UK. MINDS-i rekindles this simple, yet powerful construction system that is ideal for powerful servos and motors. We are looking forward to the launch of this material in Australia and feel that the system is an ideal integration into the PCS Robotics systems and other control technology.”
Dr. Mohammed Yasser Refai, Managing Director of PCS Middle East, expressed enthusiasm saying “MINDS-i is an extraordinary system that offers capabilities beyond anything on the market today. In the Middle Eastern marketplace, we have already identified channels for distributing the product into both the retail and educational space. Technical educators will love the flexibility and power of this system and the capabilities of its advanced electro-mechanical systems when combined with the PCS Brain.“ MINDS-i and PCS employees are currently working on a MINDS-i Marz Rover demonstration and promotion package that will ship to the Middle East in October to be part of ongoing marketing programs in the areas of K12 robotics education and teacher professional development.
This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations or forecasts of future events, can be affected by inaccurate assumptions, and are subject to various business risks and known and unknown uncertainties, a number of which are beyond the control of management. Therefore, actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Additional information respecting factors that could materially affect the Company and its operations are contained in its annual report on Form 10-KSB for the year ended March 31, 2009 and Form 10-Q for the three months ended June 30, 2009 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.