Robots. Some people love them, some people hate them, and some people are deeply afraid of them causing a Terminator-like apocalyptic future. No matter what your feelings on them are, everyone can agree that they’re pretty hard to build yourself, unless you possess some serious background knowledge in hardware and software engineering.
So for the rest of the world, more simplified robotics kits like the CellRobot Kickstarter, will continue to fill that gap. Bringing to mind Lego’s Mindstorm product line, the CellRobot consists of a bunch of different modules that can be combined together to create different robots.
According the company, each CellRobot consists of a "Heart" sphere, which contains the necessary power and Bluetooth components, and "Cell" spheres, which lock together. The Cell units consist of two rotating hemispheres, allowing the CellRobots to twist and move limbs. Additional wheel, camera, and table-mounting modules are also planned to allow more variety in CellRobot creations.
The accompanying iOS and Android app is expected to come with a number of different of different predesigned CellRobot projects, as well as allow users to create their own forms, using the app to control how the various Cells should move. However, despite the variety of possible configurations, it appears that CellRobots for now are mostly limited to simple walking or rolling robots, lacking some of the advanced touch and light sensors that make things like the more impressive Mindstorms robots possible.
As always, the usual Kickstarter caveats apply: the CellRobot team is a new company, with no past history of manufacturing or shipping any products, which becomes magnified when dealing with complex hardware and software. But for those who want to build their own robots and are willing to roll the dice, CellRobot is live on Kickstarter now with kits starting at $155.