Mar. 8, 2015 | By Simon

Thanks to 3D printing, you are now about to watch a robot dance like the Thriller himself: Michael Jackson.  How is that for getting your weekend started on the right foot?

BQ, a Spanish company that produces a large selection of mid-range smartphones, tablets and ebook readers (and also happens to be the second largest smartphone manufacturer in Spain) has recently released a robot kit for kids that was born out of the CEO’s passion for inspiring the next generation of engineers.

Alberto Mendez, who believes that robotics might hold the future for turning kids on to the STEM-focused career route, used his influence as CEO of the Spanish company to develop the sub-$100 kits that include a variety of electronic components so that engineers-in-training can develop their own custom robot designs.  While a large part of developing robots also entails a bit of programming know-how, Mendez and his company solved this hurdle by creating a simple drag and drop interface so that it’s easier for the kids to get up and running with their robot designs.  

Perhaps what’s most interesting about the robot kits however, is that they are designed to be able to accommodate additional hardware features and designs that can be created using a 3D printer.  While it’s unknown if the company will provide a pre-made library of 3D models similar to MakerBot’s Thingiverse and other 3D file sharing sites, this feature alone opens up an entirely new world of possibilities for young engineers and designers who have an interest in real-world applications for robotics.  

Similar to other hardware and software open source projects that have been taking the 3D printing world by storm in recent memory, Mendez his hoping that the robotics kit will make it easier for those with an interest in design, programming and mechanical engineering become more immersed in these skills.  

The decision to include everything in a single kit will make it much easier for kids to get started right away, too.  While there are many open source robotics projects available freely online, they oftentimes require multiple parts that need to be ordered from a variety of vendors.  By including everything that is needed into one simple package, all that is needed to get started is a single purchase before creating your own walking and dancing robot design.  

For those that can remember, US hobby store Radio Shack became a household name after selling their own all-in-one kits for a variety of electronics projects ranging from HAM radio to calculators.  While the interest for these older kits has slowly dwindled due to outdated technologies, BQ’s robot kit will hopefully rekindle the spirit of making electronic projects at home.  

According to Mendez, the kits will be ready to be sold to the public within the next two to three months and will cost between $90 and $100 (80 to 90 Euros).  If you’ve always wanted to learn how to dance like Michael Jackson but just couldn’t do it, why not program a robot to do it for you?  

Updated March 12, 2015:

The original work - BoB created by Kevin Biagini - can be found on Thingiverse and Instructables.


Posted in 3D Printer Applications


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RoboGuru wrote at 3/12/2015 10:55:13 PM:

This is a disgusting display of obvious credit theft! Don't pay these idiots for a kit, the original author Kevin Biagini made it OPEN SOURCE for a reason. HE'S the one with the passion for inspiring a new generation. The CEO of this company is blatently only interesting in putting money in his pocket. Visit the links in Ossipee's post above and easily create your own BoB. As well as being more rewarding it'll also be a lot cheaper than these rip-offs! The one line mention at the foot of the vid does not make up for the content of the article which should read in the initial paragraph that the Robot kit was born out of Kevin Biagini's original design using the resources available to the CEO. Be aware 3ders, the robotics community will not put up with this kind of rubbish!

Kevin Biagini wrote at 3/12/2015 2:47:38 PM:

like i said on the video posted on youtube. If anyone is interested in the original robot and supports the maker community, which BQ claims AND fails to do. go ahead and visit any of the links posted. this robot shows that BQ is clearly just trying to profit off the hard work of makers that want to share with the world while giving no credit whatsoever to the original designs they clearly have ripped off.

Ladvien wrote at 3/11/2015 1:30:58 AM:

I'm going to second Jinx. The creator, Kevin Biagini, doesn't seem to be referenced here at all. If anyone wants BoB parts, just email me. I'll print them for you at cost. cthomasbrittain {@} hot mail . com

bdk6 wrote at 3/11/2015 12:48:11 AM:

This is a really cool robot. But not nearly as cool as the one it's blatantly ripped off from: If you want one, you should really either build it yourself or contact the original creator, instead of some big business owner who takes the little guy's idea without so much as a mention.

ossipee wrote at 3/11/2015 12:36:49 AM:

That looks an awful lot like a bob, Kevin Biagini's robot hundreds have been built please see links, I think Alberto is not so honest. and the authors been living under a rock, I mean really

jinx wrote at 3/10/2015 7:58:54 AM:

give me a break, they a bunch of talentless drones that they steal an open source design and call it there own. its insulting to the creator Kevin Biagini. read more here and don't support cloners.

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