Have you ever had the desire to have your own robot, be able to program it and teach it to do a whole variety of actions and tricks – and don’t mind that it looks like a scary spider from that horror movie you watched some time ago? If that’s all fine, let me introduce you to HEXA: the six-legged robot that you can teach and program to do all these.
Meet HEXA: A programmable 6-legged robot for programmers and robot fanatics.
As with many products nowadays, this has also started life as a Kickstarter campaign which started more than a year ago, and is now available to purchase on the Vincross’ website. The aim of the product is to make easily understandable robots, and bring revolution to the robot industry by letting anyone interact with a drone/robot in a comfortable way – and to try and make life a little more easier. Here are three features that make this robot a must-have for all robot enthusiasts and programmers.
MIND: OS + SDK
Perhaps the best thing about this highly manoeuvrable, compact robot is its Operating system and Software Development Kit (SDK), which are built on a Linux kernel that is optimized for robots and work together – called “MIND”. This will make the young programmers shout “Hooray”. This means that you don’t need to fully understand or know the underlying hardware and complex mechanics to tinker and tweak the software and do some amazing stunts with the robot.
With MIND, you choose how you want to develop and build, using the Golang-powered SDK or a sandbox-style 3D simulator. For starters, you can also control it with an Android and IOS app – which are the primary ways to control it after you have finished programming it.
JAM-PACKED WITH GREAT SPECIFICATIONS
This first generation of HEXA comes with spiced up specs that will get all robot enthusiasts excited. Talking about sensors, it comes with a three-axis accelerometer, an infrared transmitter, a distance measuring sensor, and last but not least – my favourite – a 720p camera with night vision. Yes! You can set it up at night to see what that cat has been up to when you were asleep. The battery might not last a very long time on a single charge, but it’s really well suited for the tasks you might want it to do.
You can program it to dance and still be a Wifi access point at the same time – here’s a video showing off some of the things you can program it to do.
A COMMUNITY OF ROBOT ENTHUSIASTS
I think that this is one of the best things that the HEXA robot has, that other commercial robots do not – a community of robot developers and enthusiasts that share their experiences, help solve problems that others may be facing with their robots and make their projects available for all – to deploy and test what some other fellow HEXA owners have built. All of this allows you to have a great experience and be creative. You can also share your creations with a community that is focused on the same thing as you are.
So there you have it. HEXA in all of its glory. Personally, I think that this is one of the most innovative ways of making robots available to the mainstream market and for anyone – from a beginner level to a more advanced one. It doesn’t matter how much programming knowledge you have, you will likely find your own ways to enjoy using this robot.
You may have to shell out a bit more than you would expect – since it is not that cheap (I am talking as a student here) but as a whole package, it is definitely worth the price tag ($499). You can try and convince a group of your fellow enthusiast friends to put some money towards and start working on a group project – and hopefully come up with something very creative and fun. It might also help and motivate you to start bigger projects and start working on a real product, in the future.
What do think of HEXA? Do you think it’s more like a cool or a spooky looking robot? How will it change the young programmers life? Let us know in the comments down below!