Robby the Robot may not look like the most stunning robot that’s ever graced this earth, but what he does do is allow everyone to have a go at building and coding a robot, adding any sensors they wish to use.
Robby is a completely adaptable robot, changing however you like. There are four basic models: Starter, Explorer, Maker and Creator, which all come with different parts.
The Starter kit features a differential-wheeled robot and a Sonar sensor so it can avoid obstacles. It’s been designed to introduce people to robotics, so is pretty limited in features. The Explorer (€179) is more flexible. It’s still on a differential-wheeled base, but includes more sensors, plus Bluetooth and USB connectivity. It runs on an ARM Cortex M4-32 Bit 72 Mhz processor, with six plug and play ports and two motors.
The next step up, the Maker kit (€199), adds Wi-Fi to the connectivity mix, plus upgrades the processor to 12o Mhz. For the ultimate robot-building machine, the Creator Robby (€289) includes everything inside the Maker pack, but also adds in an extra motor and it’s omni-directional.
All of Robby’s different iterations are simple to put together. You don’t need to soldier them together, they simply screw in, with many just slotting in where they need to be, while sensors attach via magnets. They’re all programmed using Blockly, Arduino IDE or C++ programming languages, with children encouraged to progress through the three as they build confidence.
They should all be ready to ship in August and the company will be offering Educator kits for schools to help their pupils learn how to build a robot.
Robby is available to buy from Kickstarter at the moment, although Mr Robotics, the company behind Robby, wants to start selling them on its own website if the fundraising proves successful and the company can raise the £17,000 it needs.