Assemble and control your own robot with the shapes you imagine and the functions you want.
When it comes to the Maker Movement, modularity is king. Think littleBits. Think Microduino. Think Modulo. Think RePhone. But why stop at DIY devices? Sharing many of the same principles, Chinese startup KEYi Technology has introduced a customizable, reconfigurable robot that encourages users to devise their own creation, piece by piece.
As its name would suggest, CellRobot is comprised of various spherical “cells” that can be assembled together to make a wide variety of robots. Once connected, they can be manipulated into different shapes and programmed to perform an assortment of functions. Each building
block ball has a 360-degree angle sensor, a servo motor and an MCU, and can attach to any other cell at any angle thanks to its convenient snap joint system.
At the core of every pieced-together project is the “heart,” which supplies power to all of the other modules and wirelessly syncs the robot to its accompanying app. It features a charge port, a tiny speaker, a power indicator, a small screen and standard snap-twist connectors. Additionally, the heart houses a Bluetooth 4.0 module for communicating with your phone or tablet, as well as Wi-Fi and ZigBee for linking to other cells.
CellRobot also offers what the team calls “X-cells,” add-on modules that expand the functionality of the cells with wheels, connectors, spotlights and even a camera. All of the cells and supplemental parts are controlled through a companion iOS and Android app, which comes with two different modes — one that guides you through the building process and another that lets you create any shape or command — as well as a library with preexisting shapes for you to choose from. Despite whichever mode you’re using, the program recognizes the state and shape of your robot and visualizes it in 3D on your mobile device.
The question is: why only have one robot when you can have 100? Head over to CellRobot’s Kickstarter campaign, where KEYi Technology is currently seeking $75,000.