This DIY kit lets kids make their own nature-inspired robot while learning electronics, programming and more.
What’s better than a bio-inspired, crawling robot? A spider bot that you can build yourself, that’s what. Locomotion mimicking nature has been around for a little while, but up until now has only been available to university researchers. That’s all going to change. In an effort to entice more young Makers to pursue STEM fields, one Croatian startup has developed a DIY smartphone-controlled hexapod.
STEMI, a play on the acronym STEM, ships in the form of a DIY kit along with a series of multimedia tutorials that instruct its teenage Makers to piece together their gadget and bring it to life. More than just a robot, however, STEMI is designed to be a learning experience for users ages 13 and up as they explore the basics of 3D modeling, electronics, Arduino and programming. In the near future, they’ll also be able to create their own 3D-printable custom covers, ranging from Batman to a Walking Dead-like zombie.
Although primarily targeted for the younger generation, there’s nothing that says kids at heart can’t get in on the fun as well. STEMI is capable of performing complex movements, adjusting heights, walking in three different way and dancing. The best part? Using a smartphone’s built-in gyroscopic sensor, Makers can completely control the robot’s movement by simply tilting their handheld device.
Making it even cooler is the fact that STEMI is fully open source, meaning anyone can freely modify its code, blueprints, 3D models and more. The robot itself is built around an Arduino Due-compatible (SAM3X8E) board and a custom PCB packed with an Arduino shield, a Bluetooth module, a USB battery charger, voltage regulators and LED indicators. Aside from that, the kit comes with 18 servo motors, a rechargeable battery pack, aluminum body parts, rubber leg caps, as well as various nuts and spacers.
So, are you ready to begin assembling your own spider bot? Then crawl over to its Indiegogo campaign, where the STEMI team is currently seeking $16,000.