A lot of real robotics research is based around understanding biology so it's good to see that theme in Kamigami (the inventors have academic experience in bio-inspired robots.)
- Don't miss: Guide to backing kids tech crowdfunded projects
Kamigami moves away from the typical robot on wheels 'floor turtle' design that we see so frequently and uses motors to power insert-like legs that move really quickly to create a scuttling movement.
Kids build the robot themselves so they really get to see how the robot goes together and what's happening on the inside. There are online videos that show the assembly process so kids will be able to follow along.
The robots are programmable via an iOS and Android app which uses a drag and drop blocks based approach.
The Kamigami robots have a great set of sensors included which provides lots of options for programming robots that interact with their environment and with each other.
There are sensors to detect light levels and movement. The robots also have infrared emitters and detectors which can be used to send signals to other Kamigami.
There's also an RGB LED which can be used to give the effect of the eyes changing colour.
Kamigami charges via Micro USB so you don't need to worry about batteries.
"Back it Mum. You've got to back it."
Kamigami definitely scores highly on kid-appeal. It ticks all the buttons of being cool and fun and stacks up well against mainstream tech toys for wow factor. But it has the added bonus of teaching kids about nature-inspired robotics.
Unfortunately for us the Kickstarter only offers rewards in the US and Canada.
- Update 27 Oct 2015: Kamigami have launched an new reward on their Kickstarter project "International Backers" at $120 for backers outside the USA and Canada. Note this reward will only be delivered in May 2016 and subject to safety certifications.
The Kamigami robots are quite affordable too. Just as well as you'll probably want a 2-pack to get the most of the interaction features.
Update: Kamigami robots in three designs are now available to order on Amazon with delivery when available: