There was no shortage of gadgets at CES, and there will be no shortage at Toy Fair next month, of robots and gadgets promising artificial intelligence — and generally falling short. But a more modest approach from an actual AI researcher has produced a clever and accessible way to create lifelike behavior through a simple and elegant modification of a popular existing robot.
The kit is called bots_alive, and it’s looking for a mere $15,000 on Kickstarter. I talked with creator Brad Knox about the tech at CES, and came away pleased with the simplicity of the design at a time when overbearing, talking, dancing robot toys seem to be the norm.
It works like this: you start with a Hexbug Spider, a remote control legged toy robot you can buy for $25.