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.
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.