People say that learning coding can be a rather boring and intimidating hobby. Unless you have a pet robot. Ringo is a small, yet brisk desktop robot, which is aimed at providing you entertainment as well as helping people learn basics of programming. It should be fun for both old and young, girls and boys, making learning fun, but it is also surprisingly packed with technology.
Despite its small size, Ringo has Arduino UNO processor, 3 axis accelerometer and gyroscope, 6 LEDs, 3 ambient / IR light sensors, edge & line following sensors, TV remote receiver, Bot to Bot wireless communication. It is very agile and can perform interesting tricks and tasks. But for starters creators are saying that people should learn to do simple things, like making the motors go and shining lights.
Creator of Ringo explains how robot works and how his children were able to program it and help develop the project.
Afterwards you will be able to teach your Ringo a complex behaviours and tricks. It certainly has hardware to play with. It has 3 axis accelerometer, which can be used to program robot to travel specific distances or even play tag with you – it can sense from which side it was pushed and can either go towards it or run away like a real bug.
Gyroscope can be used to play games too – Ringo will face the same direction, no matter how many times you will turn it around. And then it can chase light you shine with a torch or even react to your TV remote control. Ringo can follow a graphic line, can stop before falling off the table, can play sounds and shine light through colourful LEDs. But the best bit is that you can personalize your pet robot yourself.
Creators of the Ringo encourage people to personalize their pet robot. You can make it do distinctive tricks, play games and move in a weird manner. It is easily programmable through Arduino UNO processor and includes pre-loaded behaviours as well. Creators also are providing code examples to help you started on the programming. But the best part is community building. Different units have the same hardware, which means that codes and behaviours can be shared freely. It should help users to explore the limits of the Ringo as well as enhance the experience into community and help learning new coding tricks.
Ringo uses programming adaptor to upload codes into the robot. While it is connected, it is also being charged. It can also be done separately using USB cable, battery does not have to be removed for this procedure. Battery itself in the final production model is going to be 250 mAh or 300 mAh Lithium Polymer battery with relatively long play time.
Ringo’s appeal is massive. It is cute, small, fun and educational. Currently its Kickstarter campaign has 562% of their initial $12,000 goal pledged. It is easy to see why people like this thing – for one it is going to be a device helping to learn secrets of coding, for other – cute little desktop friend. That you can program, of course.