Dash Robotics Launches a New Toy That You Desperately Need

Kamigami is a fast, durable, and easy-to-build hexapod that you can buy for under $50

2 min read
Dash Robotics Launches a New Toy That You Desperately Need

We love Dash Robotics because they’ve managed to take serious research robots and turn them into serious toy robots that you can actually buy and play with, which is remarkable and kind of awesome. Two years ago, Dash comfortably surpassed its crowdfunding goal to bring you one skittery little robot, and now they’ve got a brand new one that’s easier to build and program and faster than ever.

This is Kamigami:

It’s easy to build in about 30 minutes with zero tools, using just pop rivets, no glue:

The robot is constructed out of a laser cut sheet of fabric/plastic composite that Dash Robotics invented, and it’s a significant upgrade from the previous paper/plastic composite. It’s durable enough to survive things like this:

And even in slow-mo, it looks fast:

This method of locomotion is, of course, based on DASH, which is based on (among other things) cockroaches. And since we’re tossing up lots of videos, how about UC Berkeley’s 2009 DASH presentation:

Kamigami is a major upgrade over the original robot. Here are the highlights:

  • Do-It-Yourself: Kamigami can be assembled without tools in under an hour. No glue or soldering required.
  • High-speed: High speed and robust locomotion inspired by some of nature’s fastest runners.
  • iOS compatible: Free app allows you to control and program the robot. Android app coming soon.
  • Programmable: Kamigami is programmable through the mobile app and a drag and drop programming interface.
  • Rechargeable: Built-in high performance rechargeable battery. Recharges in about 30 minutes. 45-60 minutes of playtime per charge.
  • Advanced sensor suite: Includes 10 different sensors, for things such as rotation, acceleration, sensing and responding to ambient light, sending and receiving infrared signals.
  • Robot-to-robot communication: Infrared communication allows robots to talk to each other, allowing the robots to cooperate or compete.
  • Durable: Robot’s flexible construction allows the robot to shrug off falls and collisions.

Kamigami is launching on Kickstarter today, and you can score one for $49, for delivery early next year. The robot is made domestically, and we’re not at all worried about Dash Robotics being able to come through and deliver. Retail price is closer to $70, and they only need $50k on Kickstarter to make it all happen.

[ Kamigami ]

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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