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Smartibot: A.I. Enabled Cardboard Robot with Object Recognition

Smartibot: A.I. Enabled Cardboard Robot with Object Recognition

This little Kickstarter project caught my eye with the ‘A.I’ in the header. Is it just another make your own cardboard robot or is there something unique?

Smaribot is a DIY robot kit from The Crafty Robot. The kit will get you some cardboard parts to make a robot, teapot and unicorn with electronic components like a circuit board and motors etc. The team is working with Microsoft to use the MakeCode platform to code Smartibot.

So where does the Artificial Intelligence come in?

Well, they have a super smart app that uses the Yolo object detection software.

Basically, you strap your phone to the robot and it can detect objects in real time. The idea being you can get your robot to follow your dog, or a toy car or even follow you about with a cup of tea on the teapot holder. This is the kind of hook, to make things a little different from other electronic kits.

They are planning to eventually have expansion packs and at the moment there is an LED display and a board with distance and gesture sensors.

The Smartibot kit is compatible with any electronics, so you can build pretty much anything you want, it just gives you a little starting base. One can imagine some amazing projects with the object recognition element, and it’s one step to using A.I for kids in a practical application and a little less in research.

Although the Kickstarter is now closed, you can still get cool little cardboard robots from the crafty robot shop, albeit without the A.I, but still great fun to play with.