An Arduino-based robot for people who don’t know how to build robots

Sparki the robot. Isn’t it adorable?

There are plenty of Arduino-based robots in the world, but actually building one is a bit tough if you’re not familiar with Arduino programming. But a company called ArcBotics has created an Arduino-based robot called “Sparki” that can be used—and programmed—by anyone. You don’t have to assemble it yourself; the little plastic robot will be ready to go out of the box with an included remote control. To let users create additional functionality, ArcBotics is preparing programming samples and tutorials for controlling the robot’s sensors and actuators.

Sparki is a Kickstarter project (of course), one that has raised nearly $ 14,000 toward its minimum goal of $ 60,000, with 29 days left. The robot will be sold for $ 99 when it’s available, and Kickstarter pledges of $ 99 or more will reserve you a robot with an estimated delivery of October 2013. The robot designs will be released publicly for those who want to build their own.

ArcBotics previously used Kickstarter to raise money for its “Hexy the Hexapod” robot kit, aimed at more advanced users. ArcBotics’ stretch goals for Sparki of $ 100,000, $ 200,000, and $ 300,000 would allow it to build an Android app to control Sparki via Bluetooth, a wireless data radio for communicating with other Sparki robots, and a drag-and-drop block programming environment, respectively.

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Ars Technica » Technology Lab