If you've always wanted a pet but get allergies whenever you're near one, don't fret. Here's Antbo, an insect robot companion you can build.
Antbo is a buildable and configurable robot that takes its design from ants.
You may hate those pesky little critters that crawl all over your food but Antbo might just give you a different perspective when it comes to those tiny insects.
If you're already wondering, Antbo is not as tiny as real world ants. Its dimensions measure at 223x125x152 mm or 8.78x4.92x5.98 inches and it weighs about 209 g or 7.37 oz. This setup makes Antbo easily graspable by any hand, be it a kid or an adult.
Once delivered, it comes in separated components that users need to assemble to complete its structure. Users may also tweak its system configurations by using increasingly advanced programs like Scratch, Arduino IDE and Whendo, the robot's own programming language.
Additional parts can also be added to Antbo's internal structure to further improve its currently available sensor modules: light, touch, distance and stereo sound sensors.
Inquisitive users willing to learn can program Antbo to do several things, be it to play golf or run through a maze, even competing with other Antbos in a game of race.
This insect companion is specifically designed to not just be a lovable pet, but also help owners learn robot design and programming. It is an effective tool to jumpstart and increase their knowledge in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education.
Antbo uses four AAA batteries with a warning system that alerts users if it's running low on energy. This can be checked through the robot's own app or a red light that flashes on Antbo, signifying that it's at 10 percent stored energy.
Through a user's smartphone, Antbo can be wirelessly controlled within a 15-meter radius or about 16 yards without any obstacles such as walls or barriers. Antbo can run on most surfaces except excessively hairy, furry, or rocky ones.
Fair warning, Antbo is not built to function under water.
Currently, its developer, DFRobot, is looking for supporters to kick-start Antbo's production. Interested users may visit its Indiegogo campaign to fund it for as low as $69 since the $59 option is now sold out.
To see Antbo in action, a promotional video that features an actual working prototype may be viewed below: