Your very own indestructible, roach-inspired robot

Dash Robotics has been developing roachbots as research platforms for years. Now, not only are they offering their steerable, origami robot for $65, they're making it hackable.

Dash Robotics has been developing bio-inspired research robots that, for years, have been doing awesome things -- like dashing up to a ledge, then swinging around to end up underneath and upside-down. In the lab, that is.

One day they might become speedy search-and-rescue robots. But starting now, an indestructible Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod (DASH) can be yours. Have it crawl over rocks and gravel, run it off tables and buildings... and it just keeps going. IEEE Spectrum reports.

A beta version includes a steerable, origami roachbot that fits in the palm of your hand. Along with a full electronics package, the foldable robot is $65.

According to the website, its creators are enabling us to make clever things with it by making it programmable:

The electronics are plug-and-play, so you can run Dash without any programming knowledge. But we’ve also made him hackable so you can take advantage of the sensors we’ve included, or even add your own.

Out of the box, you’ll have access to: gyroscope, visible light sensor, LEDs (red, green, yellow), IR emitters and sensors, I/O pins for expandability, Bluetooth Low Energy communications, and Micro USB connector.

  • The robot is controlled with Bluetooth via your smartphone or tablet.
  • A variety of on-board sensors will enable a range of apps including: running away from bright lights, autonomous steering with an on-board gyroscope, and sensing walls and obstacles with IR sensor/emitters.
  • The battery can be charged through the Micro-USB connector and lasts about 40 minutes.
  • You can assemble Dash in an hour with some glue, and it comes in blue, orange, yellow, or black

DASH foldable origami robot.png
They’re only selling 1,000 of them, and by participating in the crowdfunding campaign, you'll help figure out what the next generation of Dash will be like. Beta Dash kits will ship early next year.

[Dash Robotics via IEEE Spectrum]

Images: Dash Robotics

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com