Thursday, 20 June 2013

RAPIRO: The Humanoid Robot Kit Powered By Raspberry Pi

Oh wow, this guy is cute and very cool. RAPIRO is a kit to build a humanoid robot that uses a Raspberry Pi for his brain. He's on Kickstarter trying to get funding for a production run.

RAPIRO is designed by from Shota Ishiwatari from Japan, a country known for its advanced robotics research.

Now we've seen quite a few robot kits on Kickstarter recently, but they have been vehicle or modular in design. RAPIRO is very much a mini humanoid - he's

RAPIRO is shown performing helpful tasks around the house - a nod towards the idea of humanoid robots performing everyday household tasks in the future.

This very much appeals. My 6 year old son has the long term goal of building a tidying up robot. This is something he has been thinking about since he had just turned five and is gradually picking up the skills for.

"The name RAPIRO comes from RAspberry PI RObot."
I'm very impressed with the visual design of RAPIRO - he looks very cute and engaging and the promotional pictures are very well done. He definitely evokes an emotional response.

RAPIRO works with your existing Raspberry Pi, plus RPi camera and other components. The full kit does include 12 servo motors that control the movement in his joints. The servo control board is Arduino compatible.

You also get an RGB LED board (good, we like lights) and the bits and bobs to connect everything up. And of course you get the plastic parts that make RAPIRO's body.

The robot is designed for extensibility and you can add other components to allow him to do more.

RAPIRO can be assembled with just a screwdriver - there's no soldering involved.

I think he would be an excellent tech project for a teenager or school club or group. And younger kids would love him with some parental support to assemble and program him.

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