Lots of bots give kids the opportunity to code, but only a few can actually be built by little kids. PopPet, the robotic pet, is a do-it-yourself kit made with children in mind. Designed by Jaidyn Edwards of Adelaide, Australia, PopPet requires no soldering to build. The circuit board is already complete. But the major components and frame still need to be put together, and that’s a stellar challenge for a first-time roboticist.
“Teaching robotics is a strong passion of mine and I believe it to be my duty to help children follow their dreams in the areas of STEM, so providing them with the tools necessary is a great start,” Edwards says.
PopPet can perform a few simple tricks out of the box, such as obstacle avoidance. The small bot can also be expanded to include an Arduino board, for more advanced behaviors. Edwards says he plans to release brackets for adding sensors in the future. Four AAA batteries supply the power.
The robot’s body is composed of laser cut MDF and Edward’s claims the design is very durable. “Thanks to the ‘box’ shape design, a tumble off the table will do very minimal, if any damage,” he says. PopPet also features a removable faceplate, so that kids can change the look of the bot.
PopPet standard kits are currently available online for $95.00. Despite challenges a supplier, Edwards hopes to ship the kits in time for the Christmas rush.