Kids can’t have all the fun – especially when it comes to coding. Learning to program a smart robot toy has traditionally been isolated to S.T.E.M. classes in grade schools. In the past year, robotics manufacturers have released KOOV, LEGO Boost, Robo Wunderkind, and Anki Cozmo – all programmable robots designed to capture the budding roboticist from ages 8 and up. Vincross created the six-legged HEXA for the creative adult interested in tinkering with their own robot creation.
Hexa’s intelligent Design Features
Whether you want your robot to dance anytime your smartphone buzzes or have it give you the full weather forecast/traffic report the moment your alarm goes off, Vincross’ Linux-based MIND system gives beginner programmers an open-SDK platform for creativity. Equipped with a full suite of sensors that include voice activation, Hexa is only limited by the programmer’s imagination.
Standing 4.7 inches (12 cm) high and 10 inches (51 cm) across, Hexa is a pocket-sized insectoid designed specifically for adults looking for a cool hobby. Hexa programmers work in Vincross’ Linux-based MIND platform. This is where the coding magic happens.
Hexa comes with a collection of basic functions, like being able to “walk forward” but the majority of the programming comes from you – the developer. Capable of navigating with its built-in accelerometer, an infrared sensor, and a 720p camera, the Hexa robot is a rather intuitive robot that fully understands its environment. Equipped with obstacle avoidance technology and a night vision sensor, Hexa can roam your house as a surveillance robot or simply adjust the lighting by speaking to your Phillips Hue dimmers.
The best part about coding your Hexa robot: you get to share your newly developed skills with the Hexa hive mind community. After mastering a series of if/then statements, you get to experience the fruits of your labor. Your Droid can receive inputs from voice commands, gestures, light, temperature, or signals from smartphones and computers. As a DIYer, the satisfaction comes with being able to program your robot to raise the temperature of your Nest Thermostat the moment the outside temp reaches below freezing.
Hexa has the ability to walk, wave, grab, transmit data, or control your connected IoT devices. How the Droid does it is entirely up to its programmer. In a recent New Atlas article, Hexa was described as Raspberry Pi but with legs and eyes. Users are able to code by accessing the Vincross development kit (based on Go programming language) or through the visual simulator.
Programmers are able to upload their newly developed Hexa skill to the Vincross store – giving the Hivemind community access to a new way to control their robot. With an entire community of developers posting their newest Hexa skills, users have access to a complete encyclopedia of programming language – developing their coding skills. The Explore Mode, for example, allows the user to navigate Hexa through the robot’s eye – sending a live video feed to any connected smart device.
The Bottom Line
With close to $50,000 already raised from the company’s Kickstarter campaign, Vincross is filling a niche in the robotics industry: beginning adult coders interested in programming in an engaging way. Outside of the impressive Linux platform that allows complete creative freedom, Vincross gives new coders the much-needed support by way of the Hivemind community.