Jul 18, 2016

Meet Robi: The Cutest Talking, Walking & Dancing Robot Kids can Build from Scratch


Who is Robi?

That was the first question on the monkies' lips when they first heard that Robi would be having a 2-night staycation over at our place last week.

Two nights later, they loved Robi so much that they were visibly despondent to bid him farewell - especially Ale.

To put it simply, Robi is a robot.

But he is not just any robot.

Robi is a fusion of sophisticated design and advanced Japanese technology that was designed to provide interactive companionship with the entire family. How interactive?

Robi is very autonomous with voice recognition, with an extensive vocabulary of more than 250 phrases. In fact, the specially-designed Singapore version of Robi has also been programmed to speak English and Chinese, as well as some Singlish phrases!

Not only can Robi walk - it can even help to clean the house by slipping on cleaning shoes on its feet! - he can also groove too! Cooking and need a timer? He doubles as a timer or alarm clock... and even a TV remote!

So it was no surprise that the monkies were fascinated with Robi and were clamouring to interact with him. Fortunately, on the pretext of research and writing this post, I had the first priority to test out Robi. LOL.
A video posted by Kelvin Ang (@cheekiemonkies) on

As you can probably tell, it is very very difficult NOT to love this little guy.

And just for kicks, he even does push-ups... when commanded in Mandarin!

A video posted by Kelvin Ang (@cheekiemonkies) on

If you ask me, I think its appeal has got to be those eyes (and mouth) - the built-in LEDs allow Robi’s eyes and mouth to respond to words and movement. His eyes can glow red, yellow, green and blue, while his mouth will glow red.

And for that truly interactive touch, Robi’s motion sensors detect human presence and will turn his face in response to movement. No wonder the boys love the little guy!

But the truly smitten one has got to be Ale, who just love him to bits.

In fact, she loved him so much that she demanded requested to attend the Singapore launch event held at Marina Square two Fridays ago!

So what was intended for me to attend the event alone ended up me having to bring the monkies down as well... just so that that could get close to 100 Robis!

We also got up close with Professor Tomotaka Takahashi, the creator of Robi, who introduced Robi to the audience. Perhaps Ayd will be inspired to invent his own robot in future?

Besides getting acquainted with Robi through hands-on experiences at the interactive stations, we also had a special treat.

A special performance featuring 100 Robi robots in a synchronized dance!

How cool is that?

Okay, so you must be wondering now - where can I purchase Robi?

Because Robi is not your usual toy, it requires some assembly and patience.

Robi comes in parts bundled with a weekly educational magazine that costs S$28.90 per issue (the first issue will be available at the promotional price of just S$9.90) for 70 weeks.

The magazine contains more than just the mechanical parts though. Articles about robot news, interviews with designers, robots in sci-fi movies, background information and learning material about the components and of course, the assembling instructions. For sure, families and robotic enthusiasts can then look forward to assembling Robi with their own hands.

Fully assembling Robi will require you to buy all 70 issues of the magazine which I have to admit, is a pretty long wait. But just like building LEGO, scaffolding the building process will allow the child will be more independent and understand the logic approach in constructing a robot with his or her bare hands... and enhancing their knowledge about robots and technology at the same time.

And in case you are wondering, all it takes to assemble Robi is one screwdriver... and plenty of family bonding time. And that is all good. Confirm stamp chop.

Robi is retailing at $28.90 per issue and available at selected supermarkets, convenience stores, bookstores and newsstands. The first issue will be available at the promotional price of just $9.90. Customers who subscribe online will also have a promotional discount – More details can be found on the Robi online store, www.robi.sg.

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