Tag Archives: DIY Robotic Kits

Roby is an Arduino-based, 3D-printable robotic platform


Young Makers can build their own customized, self-balancing robots as they explore programming and 3D design.


The brainchild of Seattle startup Socially Shaped, Roby is a 3D-printed robotic machine that not only drives on four wheels, but can walk on two. If it falls, it can even pick itself up again with its two arms.

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The open-source robotic platform features a programmable on-board computer along with an Arduino remote controller. Developed as a way to introduce young Makers to programming and basic electronic principles, users can customize a personality for their bot, as well as add new attributes like computer vision, sensors and voice recognition.

“Roby is not just an entertaining robot, it’s a robotic learning platform. When you build Roby you will have an opportunity to learn in a fun and engaging way,” its creators explain.

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In piecing together one’s very own Roby, Makers will have the unique ability to master programming languages, explore Arduino and Raspberry Pi, acquire rudimentary skills in Linux-based operating systems, and dabble with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communication. Moreover, a child can leverage 3D printing to put a personal touch on their design.

For its Kickstarter launch, the team has unveiled three Roby kits — Roby Junior, Roby Standard and Roby Genius — each varying in price, capabilities and levels of complexity. What’s nice is that the Maker-friendly platform is also entirely upgradeable, so that a a user can graduate from one stage to the next.

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Designed for novices, Roby Junior is an autonomous, RC robot controlled by an Arduino. Aside from the Atmel based board, the kit includes a pair of DC motors, a shield to drive the motors, an ultrasonic sensor to help Roby avoid obstacles and a remote control for enhanced entertainment.

Meanwhile, Roby Standard is an intermediate set for those seeking a little more adventure. The self-balancing bot can walk (well, sort of) on two wheels and is equipped with a pair arms to help it stand up should it fall. Beyond that, it can speed down a driveway in race car-like fashion or be outfitted with a set of tracks for some off-road fun. This Roby, which is a step up from the Junior model, features an Arduino, a custom shield, an ultra-sonic distance sensor, a gyroscope for self-balance, high-grade NEMA17 stepper motors for precision, servo motors for its arms, in addition to a few other electronic components.

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As a Maker progresses with their Roby, they will ultimately arrive at the aptly dubbed Genius. Like its name would suggest, this gadget packs an on-board Raspberry Pi that can carry out countless actions and respond to voice commands. Not only does this kit ship with everything found in the Standard, Genius boasts a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module for IoT exploration, a color graphical screen, a video camera, a microphone and a speaker.

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It’s always refreshing to see new DIY platforms, such as mBot to LocoRobo, emerge in an effort to introduce children to STEM-related fields. Is Roby right for you? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where the Socially Shaped team is seeking $25,000. Shipment is expected to begin in August 2015.