A recent post on Weibo by Xiaomi’s Lei Jun has brought everybody’s attention to a building block robot that the company is working on. Called the Toy Block, the robot can be assembled in different shapes (much like how a lego-building works), but what stands as the high point of the toy robot is that it will be controllable through an app. The Toy Block has been listed on Xiaomi’s official website, and along with details about what the toy robot is about and how it works, it also reveals that it will be priced at 499 Yuan, which translates to approximately Rs 5,000. Also, Lei Jun in his post announced that the robot will go on sale on November 11 in China.
Buying Xiaomi’s Toy Block will be like buying a bed from Ikea, which will give users an opportunity to build themselves a robot down from the root. The robot will come in a kit, which will comprise of various components like wheels, gears and chains, to make a moveable robot come to life. And Xiaomi claims that all parts of the robot are made of non-polluting secure raw material.
According to Xiaomi’s website the robot will be powered by an 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 chip, and will come with sensors such as a gyroscope and be able to keep itself upright. Additionally, the robot comes with a proprietary operating system to allow the robot to perform perfectly coordinated actions. The company claims that the structure of the toy will be stable enough to hold up to 3kg of weight while moving forward. (Note: the Google translation oddly converts the weight into 30,000 kg, however, in Chinese it clearly shows 3kg) Further, the robot comes with four USB Type-C interface for Android-powered smartphones, while also driving other expansion devices.
Along with that, the toy robot is accompanied by an app, which will allow users to set a sequence of moves for the robot. The app comes with three kinds of control mode, which are joystick mode, gyro control and path mode (essentially GPS). The app allows modular graphic programming, which allows users to give complex command code, which they can learn through a tutorial on the app. ALSO READ: Xiaomi partners with Hasbro for Soundwave, a Mi Pad 2 Transformer toy priced at Rs 1,700
It’s not the first time when Xiaomi has toyed (pun intended) with the idea of Lego. In April this year, Xiaomi had partnered with toy brand Hasbro to create Soundwave, a Mi Pad 2 Transformer. Priced at 169 Yuan (approximately Rs 1,700), the toy has pieces like LEGO that can be assembled and disassembled like jigsaw puzzles. The Mi Pad 2 could also transform into a 3D robot, like Transformers. The speaker grille turns into a hand as a gun while the other arm becomes a shield. Left and right side frames act as the leg guard while top of the camera module becomes shoulders.