Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Q.bo One Programmable AI Robot for Kids and Hobbyists

 Q.bo One is a programmable AI robot. We don't write about all the home assistant / companion robots as there are so many! But Q.bo One is a bit different. It's designed as a platform for developers, makers and kids to experiment with to design the next generation of AI companions. That's our kind of robot.

Q.bo One uses a combination of a Raspberry Pi 3 and Arduino - both of which we regularly cover here at Tech Age Kids as fab ways to get kids and young people into creating with technology.

The robot has two camera eyes, three microphones for listening from all angles, a mouth of LEDs, a speaker, servos to control up/down and left/right movement of the head and three capacitative touch sensors on the top of the head.

This isn't a tiny desktop robot, it's 40cm (16 inches) tall - typical of robots designed for human interaction rather than as toys. Although the pictures show a white robot, the FAQ says that the available colours are pink and blue! Oh no. We're not sure if this is an attempt to apply a gender to the robots or to show that they are suitable for boys and girls, but we'd highly recommend choosing any other colours. White is very nice and parents will be happy to have a white robot on display. Other colours are planned for the future.

Q.bo One comes as a kit for assembly (an assembled version is also available.)

Q.bo can integrate with cognitive services such as IBM's Watson which uses artificial intelligence to answer questions posed using natural language.

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One of the features that we love is that Q.bo has support for programming in Scratch. We're big fans of Scratch, it takes all the boring and tedious stuff out of coding so that kids can focus on the interesting stuff.

We think it's important for children to understand how the technology around them works and to start using it. We love that kids can be at the cutting edge of robotics and start thinking about how people interact with robots and what they would like them to be able to do.

Thecorpora robotics company from Barcelona, Spain are crowdfunding on Indiegogo to launch the Q.Bo one robotics platform.

Find out more about Q.Bo One on Indiegogo.

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