Ever wanted your own personal robot companion? Well in Japan you can build your own!
Robi was created by Tomotaka Takahashi and by collecting the parts and following the instructions in the Weekly Robi magazine you receive every week, you can put together your very own little robot friend! Robi is designed to interact with people and his “big brother” was even sent up into space to keep Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata company on the International Space station.
All the instructions are in Japanese but the pictures and online videos are clear enough that you can follow along easily enough. Everything you need to make the robot is in the weekly magazine including the screwdriver which is the only tool you’ll need. Putting the robot together isn’t too difficult, his movement is controlled by a number of servo motors which are simply set up with the provided test board.
Robi himself is a charming little robot who will talk to you and obey your commands. He can dance and sing for you or play games and even help around the house! If you tell him he will polish your wooden floor with his special mop shoes, and also he can work as a timer for you and welcome you home as well as change the channel on the TV for you.
Once you’ve finished building Robi himself you can also build him a bike to ride which will react with him and dance along with him – the Robicle. The bike is remote controlled but can also move independently with Robi when he’s dancing and singing.
Robi has become so popular in Japan that he’s an entire brand now. There has been a Robi cafe in Ginza along with events bringing together 100 Robi’s at the same time to perform in sync. You can even buy Robi soft toys, and money banks.