Barobo's iMobot modular robotics system just launched earlier this year, and the folks behind it just started shipping the first kits last month. Turns out, they were on hand here at NEXT Aarhus with a bona fide demo, and we couldn't resist a quick demo. The actual kit is being hawked primarily to universities -- we're told that each $2,000 robot can be programmed to do just about anything, and if you stock up on a couple, you can produce full-on humanoids, a camera-toting rescue snake or something else that'll undoubtedly take over the world in just a few centuries. Each robotic piece is equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth, and aside from mounting points used for connecting family members, there's a couple of sensor ports that allow for rangefinders and proximity modules to be stacked on as well.
The real show, however, happened when Elmo's long-lost cousin made an appearance. We're told that the creature is strictly a prototype using miniaturized versions of the robotic pieces that are on sale now. Those minis aren't up for order per se, but cutting the right check might land you with more than a smile. As you'll see in the video past the break, the software program written for the bear allowed it to "learn" movements that were dictated by the human holding it, and once the latest cheer was burned into its cotton-filled brain, a simple button press played things out in fantastical fashion. Have a look. You won't be disappointed.
Barobo's iMobot modular robotics system hands-on at NEXT Aarhus