What is PopPet?
PopPet is a fun and easy to build educational robotics platform for all ages.
The problem with many educational robotics platforms is that they restrict how much you can actually modify them. Most come pre-assembled and sealed, not allowing any access to the inner workings whatsoever. How can you learn robotics without knowing what makes up a robot? PopPet is different however. PopPet is a fully Open Hardware DIY robot kit that allows students or hobbyists alike to learn what goes into making a robot. Not only will you learn how to make a robot from scratch, you can also customize PopPet's looks to suit you by changing out the faceplate.
One of the main design features of PopPet is the interchangeable faceplates. The faceplates allow PopPet to express different personalities or moods. Want PopPet to be suprised, sad, happy or even turn PopPet into a cat? There's faceplates for that! You can browse the store to view the ever expanding amount of faceplates on offer.
What is the use of playing with a highly customizable and unique robot kit if you can't do any of your own customizing? Well, that is one of the main reasons why PopPet is an Open Hardware robot. The design plans have been released to allow you to make your own custom faceplates, add-ons, wheels or whatever else you can think of.
PopPet is laser cut but not everyone has access to a laser cutter. Don't fret, PopPet can also be 3D printed! This makes it much easier to make your own PopPet.
PopPet can do whatever you are capable of programming. Of course a lot of what PopPet can do is determined by what sensors she has.
There are many mounting points for sensors all over PopPet. There are places to mount several line following modules, LED's, Light sensors and even a piezo buzzer. There are also many places to zip strap things onto, because we know how important zip straps are in the robot building process.
Often robot kits are big and bulky making them difficult to transport, not PopPet! PopPet is just ever so slightly larger than a credit card!
What's inside PopPet?
Whilst PopPet does look great on the outside, it’s what’s in the inside that counts.
In terms of actuation PopPet uses two Little Black Duck DC Motors. These LBD’s come in a servo form factor making them very easy to mount. They are quite quick and come with handy female jumper cable connectors.
To ‘see’ PopPet uses the HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Distance Sensor. Using this sensor essentially means PopPet ‘sees’ just like a bat. It sends out an ultrasonic wave using one ‘eye’ and waits for it to return on the other. When this wave is heard we can calculate how far away an object is by using a simple mathematical formula.
For the ‘brains’ PopPet uses the DAGU Mini Driver. This is a great board as it has a small form factor and has an on-board H-bridge. Having an H-Bridge on-board means we can control two DC motors without any additionally circuitry.
What does PopPet do?
PopPet can do whatever you want her to do, she is Arduino compatible meaning she can be programmed using the Arduino IDE. Here are some examples of things she can do.
Basic Obstacle Avoidance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACw1BnKGG8o
Advanced Obstacle Avoidance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFUh5UFoYp0
Clean up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVECQEoFPGo
Protect your belongings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToHgGBk-vEA
The Advanced kit can also follow light and respond to sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYQ-drOfN1I