These MoonBot DIY Kits Are Perfect for Learning About Robotics and AI
With the possible exception of your paranoid uncle, everyone loves robots. In today’s world anyone can go buy a Roomba and enjoy having a mass-produced cat-terrorizing robot in their home, but actually building your own can be an intimidating experience. That’s why you’ll want to start with a kit that contains everything you need to build your robot, and the new MoonBot kit is both affordable and versatile.
The MORPX MoonBot kit recently launched on Kickstarter, and is currently at about half of its funding goal. With the MoonBot kit anyone “8-years-old to 80” can build three distinct styles of robot: the MoonRover, the MoonMech, and the MoonBot. Those are the official designs that you can follow the instructions to create, or you can design and build your own custom robot. All three use tank tracks to drive around, and have servos to actuate arms, grippers, and other attachments.
The ace in MoonBot’s sleeve, however, is its intelligence. The main controller of the MoonBot is based on the ATMega1280, and is compatible with Arduino. But, the MU Vision Sensor is particularly special. It’s built on an ESP32 SoC and utilizes an OmniVision OV7725 camera running 640×480 at 60 fps. That module uses computer vision for object recognition, and artificial intelligence to take advantage of it for navigation and interaction. MoonBot ships with software, but how you choose to program it is ultimately up to you. Because it’s Arduino-compatible, you can program it through the Arduino IDE, in C, Scratch, or Python.