If you are a Star Wars fan, like me, then, chances are, you have seen, if not currently in possession of, the smartphone-controlled BB8 toy, which is tons of fun and easy to use because of how seamlessly it connects with a smartphone. Because of this, I was instantly sold on Meeper Technology’s new Kickstarter campaign for their meeperBOTS, as they combine the functionality of the BB-8 toy with the ability to completely customize their bots. The meeperBOT looks to be a completely unique and fun toy that will satisfy kids of all ages (myself included).
The meeperBOT consists of 3 main parts: the chassis, which consists of the top and bottom parts of the bot; a power assembly that fits neatly into the chassis; and a wheel-set, which includes, tires, wheels, axles and hubs. One of the best parts about the setup is that each part can be taken out individually and used on custom bots or, in the case of the chassis and wheels, replaced with custom parts.
What makes the meeperBOT truly special is the ability to customize it. Customization can be done in a number of ways. The chassis is specially designed to fit LEGO blocks, Mega Blocks and other compatible bricks. This allows for easy customization, as you simply have to break out the blocks and get to work. Each chassis has room to build on the top, bottom and even the sides of the bots.
But, in addition to these mass-manufactured blocks, the meeperBOT is capable of even further customization, if you so please, as the power assembly and wheel-set can be removed and placed into a custom, 3D printed chassis of your own. You can design your own or download and print one of the growing number of custom designs on the Meeper website.
In addition to this customization, the meeperBOTS control system is awesome. They are controlled wirelessly by any smartphone with Bluetooth 4.0. In addition to standard, on-screen, controls, Meeper is working on motion control which will take advantage of the phone’s gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer, which would make for an even more fun and dynamic system. Meeper says that one smartphone can be used to control up to 8 meeperBOTS by toggling between the bots or in mirror mode, which they describe as “synchronized swimming” for the bots. Finally, there is a follow mode, which will allow the meeperBOT to follow you around without having to actively control the bot.
In addition to having what looks like a legitimately unique and fun toy, I like that Meeper is trying to build a strong community among its users by encouraging people to share creations through their Meeper Maker Market. I’m genuinely excited to see how this turns out, as the meeperBOT can lead to some fun and interesting designs. For more information, or to back the campaign, visit their Kickstarter here.