Our article we decided to dedicate for young fans of technology. The selection criteria were simple: a thing (a robot, a game designer…) should be sufficiently affordable for ordinary modern man and sold on open exchanges.
Robotics – an important part of the front edge of modern science and industry. Robots active there as a military research and industrial vehicles. At home with robots can be found in the form of home appliances and promising commercial projects. Another area where the robots are not particularly surprised no one – goods for children and adolescents: toys, games, designers. Quite possibly, this focus on the mechanisms of smart developers younger generation there is an ulterior motive. Yet I want to believe that the generation of kids will communicate with the robots are much more likely than adults of today.
Wonder Workshop Dash & Dot
A couple of Dash and Dot Wonder Workshop on the company can be considered the champions in the category “my first robot.” These toys are designed specifically for children aged 5 to 12 years and have a corresponding “cartoon” appearance. However, you could say that that Dot is more like an octopus, and Dash – Wedge.
What makes funny Dash and Dot in robots? Ability to control toys via smartphone or tablet applications, among which there is quite a serious programming package (with graphic blocks commands). Of course, programming Dash and Dot – this activity for older users. But the youngest couples are offered to owners of applications that allow you to use your smartphone as a remote control.
Functionality Dash and Dot as educational toys include that they have speakers, microphones, port USB, Bluetooth module and placed LEDs. The little Dot no wheels or legs – so no sensors or motors are not necessary. But mobile Dash knows how to ride on the surface, turn the “head” trying to avoid obstacles and can be synchronized with Dot to perform various funny tricks.
The company produces Wonder Workshop for Dot Dash and a few toys, accessories, among which the most interesting is the xylophone. By attaching a shock stick to Dash, you can make the robot play the melody unsophisticated.
Buy Dot Dash and easiest on the website Wonder Workshop. One Dash will cost US residents and Canada $ 179, and a couple of Dash and Dot again – in 229. The manufacturer performs and sending robots to the world – but Russia in the list of available countries do not have.
Sony AIBO ERS-7
It seems that the most famous “child” robot on the planet is probably the dog Aibo. The robot was developed in the mid-1990s by Sony, and the commercial release of its first version was held in 1999.
During the existence of robots, Aibo was released three generations of models and 11 modifications. The last of the nomenclature has created name AIBO ERS-7M3, its production is completed in early 2006. However, until the spring of 2013 Sony has not waived firm support and repair the AIBO ERS-7M3 branded services ceased in the autumn of 2014.
Currently robopёs AIBO ERS-7M3 lives at the expense of components manufactured by third-party companies, and with the support of fan communities. Although, as mentioned above, the model is not issued for more than 9 years, buy it is still possible – at least in the online stores. However, the price on the AIBO ERS-7M3 in rubles does not fall below $ 150,000.
What is it like to Japanese dog-robot third generation? Letting AIBO ERS-7M3, Sony engineers solved the problem of creating a device whose artificial intelligence can reliably simulate consciousness pet. Namely: to move freely oriented in space, mimic emotions, respond to kindness and host team, be able to play with the app to set a bone and a ball, run commands, recognize the host in the face … To use such a vast palette of skills AIBO ERS-7M3 is equipped with 64 -bit MIPS R7000 processor with a frequency of 576 MHz, 64 MB of memory, a camera with a resolution of 0.3 megapixels, vibration sensors, temperature, interference, pressure (pressure on the legs and head) and acceleration, infrared range finder, microphone, speaker and the front display, and helper Memory Stick and the module Wi-Fi. The design of AIBO ERS-7M3 has a total of more than 20 degrees of freedom: moving legs, head, tail, ears, and lower jaw.
In addition to simulating a “live” activity, AIBO ERS-7M3 can behave like a robot. On the memory card, you can record the dog additional software to Aibo can connect to the network via HTML-interface now for iOS and Android platforms to create an application that let you control the dog from your smartphone and tablet.
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Deservedly won fame as the best tool for home robots create designer Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 significantly outdated. Appearing on the shelves in 2009, he found himself in the era that gave the world smartphones, tablets and other gadgets, which can and should be friends. Introduced in 2013, the designer Lego Mindstorms EV3 corrects these deficiencies.
As before, the third generation of designer Lego Mindstorms – EV3 – is a set of branded items Lego, which can be divided into three classes. The first – the details. This is all kinds of gears and bushings, plastic beams of various sizes, fasteners, brackets, wheels, clamps, plates. All are compatible with standard fixings “cubes» Lego. The second class of elements – it motors and sensors. They are represented by large and medium-sized motors (at first higher maximum torque, but lower speed), as well as touch sensors, color recognition, IR, gyro and ultrasound. Finally, for this class of elements includes infrared beacon which can be used in tandem with an infrared sensor as a remote.
Note that in the sale are two kinds of designers Lego Mindstorms EV3: Home Set and Education Core Set. They differ in the number of elements of the first class and the representation of different sensors.
The third in a row, but the main element is essentially Lego Mindstorms EV3 is the block itself EV3. It is associated with the main evolution of all generations Lego Mindstorms.
This time EV3 contains a processor Texas Instruments Sitara AM1808 ARM9 architecture with a core clock of 300 MHz. To this was added 16 megabytes of Flash memory and 64 MB of RAM. EV3 also has a slot for MicroSD cards up to 32 GB, the port miniUSB, speaker, six control buttons and a monochrome display with a resolution of 178 by 128 pixels.
The biggest innovation is the support unit EV3 Wi-Fi (via an external USB-transmitter) and USB-host. EV3 also supports synchronization with devices Apple.
Note that the unit EV3 is backward compatible with sensors and motors previous generations designer, but the software in your unit.
Programming Lego Mindstorms EV3 has plenty of tools: a graphical package creation algorithms LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Home Edition, an application for iOS and Android, firmware interpreters wide variety of programming languages …
Modular Robotics MOSS
If and Lego Mindstorms series seem to be too sophisticated, complex and small, the company Modular Robotics has a kind of alternative – set of cubes MOSS.
MOSS cubes are plastic cubes with recesses in the corners, painted in different colors and faces the contact pads on the same faces. Recesses cubes are needed to connect with each other using magnetic beads. This ensures ease of assembly structures and a certain freedom of compounds. Color labels on the faces of MOSS is a functional of the surface: green conducts electricity, red – output data path, brown – input, blue – just contact pad for energy and data transmission. In addition to the simple blocks in sets have special MOSS: sensors, batteries, motors, “processors” – all of them can also be fastened to the structure using magnetic beads.
The main advantage of Modular Robotics MOSS – ease of assembly robots. Perhaps because of the geometric roughness of elementary units and their size structure are somewhat primitive. However, with due skill and perseverance of their variety and functionality issues will not cause even the veterans amateur robotics.
The company currently Modular Robotics supplies the market with two variants of sets of dice MOSS: Zombonitron 1600 for $ 200 and Exofabulatronixx 5200 for 600. In the first 16 cubes can be found primitives, 56 magnetic beads, light sensor, proximity sensor, two motors and a dozen additional details-dodger. Set Exofabulatronixx 5200, of course, richer: 52 dice, 140 balls, power supply, 2 motors, 2 knee compound 2 flashlight, 2 light sensor, proximity sensor 2, microphone, and a lot of details-dodger. Also included is a cube-processor red. It has built-in Bluetooth and is compatible with the gadgets on Android and iOS.
In Russia MOSS Exofabulatronixx, 5200 can be ordered online at the price of about 45 thousand rubles. Offers for sale MOSS Zombonitron 1600 could not be found – perhaps in Russia, this set does not enjoy success.
Anki Drive and Overdrive
Compete with the robot – the cherished dream and the main fear of mankind. Well, if the robot hand, home – and resists strictly within the rules. Excellent balance between flashy invincibility and mystery game giveaway – this is a robot that people need, and especially – children.
Anki company could create if not an ideal, it is pretty close approach to it. Although their game Drive at first glance is just a racing simulator with radio-controlled cars, where instead of a bulky remote control can be used smartphones and tablets Apple, it’s not so simple.
Basic set Anki Drive includes carpet track sizes 1.07 to 2.6 meters and two cars (plus not relevant for our discussion accessories). The most logical to use them – is obvious: to spread a track, pose at the start of the machine, include them, taking up the smartphones on iOS, is charged with the AppStore application and start the race.
The secret, however, that in Anki Drive can be played alone. In fact, the cars in the game – not just a radio-controlled models and robots capable of 50 times per second to analyze his position on the track and through the development of artificial intelligence alone fight for the leadership. In fact, Anki Drive – a real embodiment of computer arcade race to the bottom with well-implemented single-user and multi-user modes.
The concept of “real video” made many elements Anki Drive. For example, cars have their own names, coloring, behavior of artificial intelligence and game performance. The basic package includes fireballs “Boson” and “Kur”. The other five can be purchased at any time, at the very Anki for $ 50 apiece. You can also purchase additional tracks ($ 70) – two types with different, rather than at the start, the configuration of the track. On the nuances of their bending robot machine, of course, well known.
In the US and Canada Anki Drive, starter kit can be purchased for $ 150. However, in other countries in their development Anki not officially delivers -a means that Russian prices include some “additive” for “anxiety”. As a result, our market can be bought for 11-15 thousand rubles. Additional machines can be found for about $ 6000.
Finally say that in early 2015 Anki announced the upcoming release of an updated version of the game – Overdrive. In the new product, which will appear in September, will be modular track that will have 8 different configurations, cars can be organized into teams, and the game itself will appear points for victory, which can be spent on improving the characteristics of the car.
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