At Flexware’s recent appearance on Inside INdiana Business, Flexware CEO Scott Whitlock had the opportunity to try out a robotic toy kit invented by a Purdue University professor. Ziro is the creation of Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering Karthik Ramani.
As you can see in the video, Scott loved testing out Ziro, a robotics kit made up of individual modules that are controlled by a wireless smart glove. A mobile app connects the robot to the glove and the user can program hand gestures to control the robot without any coding. Kids to adults can design and construct robots out of any material available and simply attach the Ziro modules to animate their creations.
“A lot of kids have gotten into playing with tablets and smartphones—which has sort of kept us away from engaging in the real world and being spatially engaged,” said Ramani in a recent Inside INdiana Business interview. “When you puppeteer it [Ziro]—when you’re controlling it with your hand—you feel that it’s an extension of yourself. You start feeling the movement, and a lot of engagement is about feeling it.”
Debuted at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the toy received one of three CES “Best Maker-Friendly Technology” awards. Ziro is just months away from commercialization. While the target market is kids, adults will love it as well. You can bet Scott will be putting an order in as soon as he can.
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