Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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Little Robot Friends: A Cute Way to Learn About STEAM

Let your creativity flow with these tiny STEAM machines. Photo courtesy of Aesthetec Studio.
Let your creativity flow with these tiny STEAM machines. Photo courtesy of Aesthetec Studio.

Made by a small Canadian company called Aesthetec Studio, Little Robot Friends combine a cute aesthetic with the basics of electronics and programming. The tiny critters light up and chatter in a truly adorable way.

The bots feature an Atmel ATMega328p microprocessor, MEMS microphone, two full color LEDs, a speaker, touch sensor, and an IR LED/Phototransistor combo.

That might not sound like much, but the Aesthetect Studios team is good at coming up with novels ways to make use of the little characters. At Halloween, for example, they suggested making your LRF into a random color selector for choosing which lollipop to dole out next. There’s also a music tutorial for teaching your LRF to sing, and a tutorial for building feet for your bot, complete with STL files for 3D printing.

With the hacker dock, you can reprogram your Arduino-friendly bot. Six expansion ports give you the ability to grow your LRF into something grand, with additional sensors, motors and buttons.

The bots are available at the LRF online store as a DIY kit (a little experience with soldering is recommended), but can also be purchased prebuilt.

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