July 12, 2013
This Robot Fetches You Whatever Warm Beverage You Prefer
There’s a certain kind of person who takes much pleasure in building things with their hands. Some of these people even like soldering and wiring electronic devices, which they plan to use for their own good. An even smaller segment of these people like to build things with their fingers, tapping away at a keyboard and writing code that tells these electrical devices what to do.
What do all of these people have in common? They all need a warm beverage now and then.
Introducing a new Kickstarter project called “Rapiro,” a tiny humanoid robot kit meant to work with Raspberry Pi. For those unfamiliar with Raspberry Pi, it’s the credit card-sized computer capturing the hearts of tinkerers and computer science purists everywhere. This little chip has been used to power media centers, security cameras and supercomputers.
The best part about Raspberry Pi? The programming is completely DIY. While it runs Linux, anything else you want this computer to do must be programmed by hand.
The Rapiro is built with the Punk Rock, DIY nature of the Raspberry Pi in mind. In the introductory video, the tiny robot is seen walking up to a coffee maker with that stiff waddle only a real bot could muster. It then reaches out, grabs the cup of coffee and carries it to Shota Ishiwatari, its creator. This has already given Rapiro the reputation as being the robot which fetches you coffee.
What Rapiro does for you is largely up to your own imagination, however. Want Rapiro to grab you another hot beverage, like tea? It can do that for you. Prefer something colder and stronger, perhaps a refreshing Pilsner? Rapiro can do that for you, as well, so long as certain perimeters are met. (Its hands seem a bit too small to grasp a long neck.)
Rapiro is also seen doing a bit of dusting with an included broom, but judging from its performance in the clip, you might want to keep your maid around just in case.
The Rapiro robotic kit comes with a total of twelve servo motors; one for the neck, another four in the feet, and three in each of its arms. An Arduino board controls these servo motors and the Raspberry Pi acts as its brain. Rapiro will even ship with an extra hole in its head for the camera kit available with Raspberry Pi computers, turning it into a cute and innocent looking security camera. Just set it in the corner somewhere and let it look over your personal belongings whilst you’re out. Rapiro also comes equipped with a pair of LED eyes which can change color depending on its mood, or however you program its eyes to act at any given time.
Like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino board that live inside Rapiro, whatever you want the robot to do is completely up to you.
Ishiwatari makes some suggestions about coffee and sweeping and typing with a pen at a painfully slow rate of speed, but you can program it to do anything its components will allow.
In fact, you don’t even need a Raspberry Pi to power Rapiro if you don’t own one. However, it’s likely if you’re interested in programming your own desktop robot to fetch your coffee, you’ve already dropped the measly $25 to buy one or more of your own.
At the time of this writing, the Rapiro Kickstarter project has 41 days to go and has surpassed its goal of £20,000, raising £51,232.
(For those frightened by foreign currency, that’s $29,891.20 and $76,569.30, respectively.)
If Rapiro sounds like your cup of coffee, head on over to the Kickstarter page and support the project now.
Image Credit: Shota Ishiwatari