Just when we thought we had our Christmas wish list all sorted out and ready to mail it off to Santa, somebody comes along with a new robotic gadget that is unbelievably hot. This morning the Viper robot from Microbric in the Land Down Under totally wiped out and rewrote our wish list completely!
Thanks to Sprocket2cog (see link below) we found out that the wizards at Microbric have developed a modular robotics system that combines the best aspects of other block and mechanical module systems in a totally new way. The basic Microbrics can be screwed together to fashion any number of interesting robotic creations, and programmed using a Basic-like language system.
Their premier robot package, the Viper, has us drooling just from looking at the photos and reading the descriptions on their website. It allows you to work with a set of basic modules including a remote control:
And by assembling them in different configurations you can create a number of different Viper robots:
The Microbric screw together module approach seems to solve many of the stability and reliability problems people have experienced with other systems that popped apart too easily. It also keeps the mechanical and construction aspects of your robot design simple enough so that they are easy to master without getting frustrated.
There are also extra options available to extend your robots capabilities including a Sumo add-on, line follower, and additional wheels.
The 'bad news' is that according to their website, at this point they are only selling the Microbric Viper robot system via the Dick Smith stores in Australia. It lists for $199 - we're assuming that's Australian dollars, not US. We can hardly wait for them to make it available internationally.
Microbric Website [Australian]
Sprocket2cog's Website - Great source for robot hacking information and details