Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Gemini Robot - Sleek Robot for Families that want to Play and Learn, not Build

Image Credit: Gemini Robot, MakeBlock
Gemini is a new crowdfunded robot from MakeBlock. MakeBlock already have lots of fab products for Maker families including the fantastic mBot.

Gemini is a very different kind of robot. It's sleek and consumer-friendly. It comes ready to play with rather than being a kit to assemble. Now we rather enjoy the building side of robotics, but there are plenty of families that just want to use a robot, not put it together.

Gemini is a cool self-balancing robot which is designed for two main scenarios.

The first is to be a cute and entertaining robot that is fun to play with and which can also be programmed.

The second is as a battle-bot with a mounted turret attachment. Gemini robots can be controlled from an iPad is this mode for robot combat.

Gemini has some very nice features. The LED matrix is fantastic (I know kids will love this from our experience with the mBot LED faceplate.)

Gemini supports voice commands. I've not seen voice recognition work brilliantly with children yet, but it's a fun trick. There's also a voice-recording and changing feature.

Gemini has lights and speakers and also dances to music so there's lots of entertainment to be had.

We love the fact that this isn't just a tech toy though, Gemini supports mBlockly , a google Blockly-based language that can be used to program the robot on an iPad. There's also a remote-control app that allows the robot to be controlled from an iPad.

Lay Gemini down flat and add a turret and it becomes a battling robot. These are always popular (my older son is turning his mBot into a battling robot.) This means that this is a robot that will appeal to older kids and teens too. Of course you'll need Gemini twins to make use of this feature.

MakeBlock have had lots of experience with crowdfunding and robotics. This is quite a different kind of product for them though. It looks like there's a lot here for a family that wants a robot that they can have fun with and which also gives them the opportunity to try some coding.

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