Kickstarter's Rapiro kit for Raspberry Pi is the cute robot everyone wanted as kids

Rapiro, an adorable kit robot built for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer, has already made more than twice its funding goal on Kickstarter - and it still has 38 days to go.

The small bot is the brainchild of Shota Ishiwatari. He's a Japanese inventor who also developed the robotic tail, called Tailly, that reacts to a wearer's heart rate. But Rapiro is a bit more complex than Tailly.

Rapiro is a cute, hackable, customisable and programmable machine that will act as a catalyst between robotics and Raspberry Pi. The kit includes 12 servo motors, enabling a variety of movements such as gripping, and has LED eyes and a compartment in the brain area for Pi. Pi is not included.

The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It's the size of a credit card - and is used primarily to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools.

Read: Star Wars fan uses Raspberry Pi to build working R2-D2 (video)

Rapiro will also work with the Raspberry Pi camera module for computer-vision functionality. Users could even control Rapiro with a smartphone via a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth dongle, retrieve social network notifications and manage appointments through Wi-Fi capabilities, attach a USB microphone adapter for voice control or embed an IR LED to transform Rapiro into a remote control.

And that's just a few of the possibilities. The Kickstarter video demonstrated how Rapiro could fetch coffee, type at a computer and dust, among other things. As Ishiwatari said: Rapira is the "cool robot you always wanted as a kid!"

All Kickstarter pledges are currently filled, but the full kit costs £199 and should begin shipping in December.



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