If there’s ever going to be a robopocalypse, this is how it’ll start.
Designed for kids ages 6 and up, DFRobot’s Antbo is a buildable and programmable insect robot that teaches kids about STEM education. It features Bluetooth, an accelerometer, a touch sensor, dual vision systems, stereo sound sensors, biomorphic motion, and powerful servos all powered by just four AAA batteries.Assembling Antbo takes about an hour, and kids should be able to follow the colored diagrams in the manual with the occasional help from a parent.Once constructed, kids can control Antbo in a number of different ways from as far as 15 meters away. First, they can use their smart device and the Antbo app (available on iOS and Android) and “path control mode” to move their new robot friend. This mode instructs Antbo to follow a coded route kids draw themselves in the app, so young ones can create a desired path of play and watch their six-legged friend march the same line.
When Antbo powers on, he will automatically enter automatic interaction mode. This mode lets kids put Antbo’s many sensors to use, as he reacts to various hand movements and noises. Kids can clap or speak to watch him back away in fear, or rub his head to watch him shimmy with excitement. The more kids play with Antbo, the more he’ll learn, adapt, and react.Essentially a connected bot, Antbo gathers data regularly and uploads it to the cloud, which allows kids to view stats such as distance traveled, level ranking, and more. They can even share these stats and accomplishments with friends who own their own Antbo.
Great for young inventors, Antbo offers a wide range of play possibilities, and his unique learning qualities allow him to adapt over time. Kids can utilize the sensor modules to navigate through complicated mazes, search for targets to knock down, or to play golf using path control mode. He can navigate on a variety of different terrain, but flat and hard surfaces work best.
Young ones can even make their bionic bot unique by painting their own patterns on his white outer shell, which fuels creativity and encourages artistic expression through a blank canvas. If kids have more than one Antbo, they can even have them race or battle it out for insect supremacy.
Once kids are comfortable enough with how Antbo works, they can tweak its code to make it do different things through programs such as Arduino, Scratch, or the WhenDo app. They can even upgrade their bot with different sensor modules.
See Antbo in action below: