One of my other passions, is robotics.
Since I have the necessary “machinery” to build things, I don’t have so much urge to buy robotic kits anymore. (I create my own things now => Check out the topic about Andy hexapod) I now own an I-Sobot, Lego Mindstorms NXT bot, I-Cybie, I-Qbot and about 4 complete Lego Mindstorms Robotic Invention Systems, with several extra add-ons, like Lego Mindstorms Droid Development Kit and Lego Mindstorms Vision Command …
Most of the Lego Mindstorms set, where bought around the years 2000 and 2001.
Since then, I have made lots of “inventions” and “cool stuff” with them, resulting in beeing on the Lego Mindstorms “hall of fame” on the official forums, more then once 🙂
The I-Cybie must be the oldest “robot” that I have. (Mindstorms robotic sets not taken into account) I-Cybie is a robotic dog, compairable with the Sony Aibo. The dog does have some form or artificial intelligence builded-in. It also can do tricks (stand on his head, do card-tricks etc …) Furthermore it reacts with his environment trough light/sound/touch-sensors, and even voice commands. It can even “watch” your home, when you are out. (e.g. he “barks” when he notices sounds or movements)
When we visited Legoland in Germany, a few years ago, I couldn’t resist in buying this NXT robotics set. I was a very active member of the Lego Mindstorms community. I was even a “preselected” member, to do a review of the Vision Command set.
(I did receive this set for free, along with 4 other members worldwide, long before the final release-date). I was also a forum-host on the official Lego Mindstorms forum. (In return, I received some free Mindstorms pieces from time to time) So, this NXT set was a real “must have” for me, because it did contain a new CPU and new sensors, new ways of communication, a whole new way of “thinking” and “building” … Due to lack of time, I did build the “original robot” with the included instructions, since then it is sitting in a cabinet in our living-room 🙂 (I will surely do some nice stuff with this set, as like I did with the Mindstorms sets, it’s just a matter of time …)
It’s pretty save to assume, that the I-Sobot is the smallest biped robot available at the market for the moment. This little guy stands only about 10 cm in height. (about 4 inches for our non-metric readers). It comes with a remote control, and a few hundred preprogrammed movements. (from Kungfu-kicks, over romantic & aerobic guestures, to some music-playing and acrobatic stunts) He can even talk, and understands (a set of) voice commands 🙂
The I-Qbot must be the most complex and biggest robot I own for the moment. It did take me almost 2 year to build this robot. (mainly because it was a set from “Deagostini”, and parts where send to me over a period of about 90 weeks) It does have built-in bluetooth, cmos camera, light/sound sensors etc … You have to assemble this “kit” on your own, and it also comes with a (C-like) programming environment. Even an “extension-board” is available, so you can add your own custom-made electronic circuits to this robot.