This is a lovely, “little” Kickstarter project, perfect for kids, or for those starting out in the maker world. Little Robot friends is an idea thought up and produced by custom interactive-devices manufacturer Aesthetec Studio. The Little Robot Friends (LRF’s) are Arduino-compatible, customisable mini robots, with unique personalities that develop the more you interact with them.
The initial robots, Spikey, Ghosty or Curvy shaped, each have six resistor ‘shoelaces,’ with a separate personality trait for each resistor. The individual resistors are set at unique values and, in turn, the six resistors on the robots are set differently from each other, ensuring a separate personality for each LRF.
Along with this, when you interact with a LRF it is stored as memory, and this can change how it behaves over time.
The robots are driven by an 8-bit 32K Arduino compatible microcontroller, loads of room for you to build those cherished memories together, and runs on two rechargeable AAA batteries.They are autonomous and have touch-sensitive hair, RGB LED eyes, a speaker mouth, an ambient light sensor, a MEMs microphone and a IrDA transceiver.
This means, amongst other things, you can stroke them, talk to them and even tell what kind of mood they’re in by the looking at the colour of their RGB LED eye’s.
If you wish to customise your robot, LRF’s have a lovely wood, CNC milled base, with a choice of Oak, Maple, Poplar and Baltic Birch, which you can customise to have square or round edges.
You can choose the robot shape, and the resistors can be customised to whatever personality you wish the robot to have. There are different sticker sets to pick from, which you can add to your LRF to give him/her that personal touch, and their own little character.
A development dock is also available, so you can develop your robot and maybe add to it’s abilities. It is arduino compatible so can easily be reprogrammed in the Arduino environment. Customisation varies dependant on how much you pledge.
However, you do not have to opt for a customise version, you can pledge to receive a uncustomised, unassembled robot to put together yourself at home. A simple, effective project to ease you in to electronics and the ever-expanding maker world.
Whatever you decide, this is technology you can watch grow, and as your skills develop you can take what you’ve learnt and improve your little friend.
We feel this project stands out from other robot campaigns, as it is the evident the time and care that has been put into this charming little object. It is all hand-made, and the use of natural materials like the wood gives the robot warmth, and adds to the quirkiness of its character.
The maker community is not just about the next big technology, it’s about taking materials from all around us, whether that be natural or man-made, new or recycled, and turning it into something practical, useful, educational, but above all else it’s about having fun!…….Little Robot Friend. Job done!