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Topobo ??? robot with kinetic memory

2017-11-30 11:08  
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Robot toys are very popular among children these days. Especially DIY robot kits are getting more popular as these kits simulate imagination and creativity. Topobo kit is becoming a most playful robot kit with kinetic memory where assembled robot can memorize it motion and play it back. It is possible to teach robot various motions like animal walk, dance by simply guiding it.

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Topobo was developed by three researchers of MIT Media Lab. This is not new toy, but since 2003 it was used for various exhibits and only few luckies could try this toy. Now this kit is widely accessible.

Topobo kit consists ofpassives– different building blocks based on cubic and tetrahedral crystals andactivesthat are robotic nodes withkinetic memory. There also are so calledQueen activesthat can be used as remote controllers or for centralized control. Other special parts are backpack or simply blocks with sensors and feedback, where without special knowledge they can be used without special programming. Of course there also is a remote controller which enables to control robot remotely. There is also useful controlled called Topobo Remix which acts as a sampler / sequencer to compose robotic motion.

active-passive-backpack

By using these components it is possible to assemble various robots that mimic real life animals like dogs, crabs or even futuristic creatures. The main thing remains that it is possible to program any motion you can imagine without need of computer. So how it is possible?

Probably every knows Lego Mindstorms kit NXT which can be programmed using PC. Programming interface of NXT-bots is pretty simple – based on drag’n drop (of course it is possible to write own programs by using one of the languages including RCX code, ROBOLAB, C ). But this still need some computer skills that 5 year old kids may not have. Topobo kit removes the need of computer – everything is built inside and combines so that children could play like with regular toys.

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Just assemble a bot walk through the table and then allow it to repeat the action.

Right now Topobo is available in market as various kits starting from $499 where kit includes two actives, 85 passives; and ending with $4999 1000 part kit that includes 16 actives. Prices are quite high, but image the time spent with kids building various moving monsters.


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