RAPIRO: Humanoid Robot Kit for Raspberry Pi
Japanese robot builder Shota Ishiwatari has designed a new humanoid robot kit based around the Raspberry Pi.
The robot, called RAPIRO, is cute and surprisingly functional for its price. The complete kit sells out of the UK for 229 GBP (about US$350 at current rates), yet the robot has 12 servo motors and is able to walk, grasp and manipulate objects, and pivot at both head and waist. It also sports bright tricolor LEDs that let it express mood through its eyes. The shell is designed for easy installation of optional upgrades, including a camera, distance sensor, speakers, and other accessories you might connect to an RPi.
The robot is designed to be hackable; sample code and 3D models for all parts will be published for the community, allowing makers anywhere to modify and print their own versions. The servo driver board in RAPIRO’s head is even Arduino compatible, enabling you to use an Arduino board instead of an RPi if that’s your preference.
As of this moment, the KickStarter campaign is within 150 GBP of its 20,000 GBP goal — and that’s only two days into a 60-day campaign. So it’s safe to predict that this will be fully funded. They’re expecting to ship in December 2013. By mid-2014, I bet we’ll be seeing all sorts of cool hacks and upgrades being done to RAPIRO robots everywhere.