This Sparki robot is powered by Arduino

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Building or programming robots may sound like a lot of fun, but most people probably have no idea where to start. Well, all that is about to change, courtesy of Sparki.

Who is Sparki, you ask? Well, Sparki - who currently resides on Kickstarter - can best be described as an Arduino-powered robot.

The brainchild of ArcRobotics, Sparki is an ideal little robotic pal for children because he doesn't even have to assembled. Indeed, Sparki comes out-of-the-box ready to play and interact. However, you can create additional functionality for the robot by using an included remote control and programming actions via a software interface.

The project is seeking $60,000 for development with 29 days to go. So far, it has raised about $14,000. The company plans to sell the Sparki robot kits for $99 each. Currently, the company is estimating that backers who purchased via Kickstarter will receive their robot in October.

Subsequently, ArcRobotics plans to release designs for Sparki to the public to allow anyone to build a robot via a DIY kit. The people behind the project have added some interesting stretch goals if the project raises $100,000, $200,000, or $300,000, including the ability to control the robot via Bluetooth, a wireless radio allowing it to communicate with other Sparki robots, and easy-to-use drag-and-drop block programming.

"To write your own programs, just plug it in via USB, install the custom-enhanced Arduino software and try any of the dozens of example programs," an ArcRobotics rep  wrote in a recent blog post. "We have programs for every sensor and actuator on Sparki."