We make fun learning tools that spark ideas and empower the next generation of inventors.
Made for girls and boys ages 7 and up, Little Robot Friends are connected toys for learning code and electronics in a fun way. They're pocket-sized robots you can program to perform tricks, play games, sing songs, and customize their personalities. The activities allow for development of technical literacy, creativity, and social-emotional learning.
From arts and crafts to computer programming, we want to empower kids to create their own special characters in infinitely unique ways, while also exploring their creative side with storytelling.
Little Robot Friends are available in two kits: Ready to Play & Ready to Make. The Ready to Make kit is great for young makers learning to solder. Each robot has a face circuit and a programmable base circuit. They're packed with several electronic components and sensors for you to tap, tickle, hug, tilt, and shake! Their parts include 2 RGB LEDs, 3 touch-capacitive sensors, a 1/4 W speaker, a microphone, a photocell, an accelerometer, an IR sensor, a WiFi chip, a 32-bit micro-controller, and a rechargeable li-po battery.
For beginners, we developed a drag-and-drop app that connects to the robot so you can easily customize different expressions with just a few simple actions. For pros, Little Robot Friends are compatible with the open-source platform Arduino, for tackling advanced projects like programming your robot to be an Internet of Things device.
There are tons of customizable experiences waiting to be discovered!
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We recognize our top users by making them a Tindarian. Tindarians have access to secret & unreleased features.
We look for the most active & best members of the Tindie community, and invite them to join. There isn't a selection process or form to fill out. The only way to become a Tindarian is by being a nice & active member of the Tindie community!
Little Robot Friends are designed and made with love in Toronto, Canada
For the past ten years, co-founders of Little Robot Friends — Mark Argo and Ann Poochareon — have been making interactive installations for science centres and museums. The majority of our design work revolves around taking complex, sometimes boring, subjects and making them fun to learn. We’ve brought a Thai history museum to life through storytelling, animation and interactive exhibits; developed an innovative multi-player game about sustainable mining practice for the Royal Ontario Museum; made dozens of ways to explore music and sound through visual and kinetic interfaces for science centres; and even helped explain the science behind hockey with an award-winning exhibit for Discovery Cube LA. To date, we have designed, produced and installed close to 100 interactive exhibits around the world.
In 2013, our first version of Little Robot Friends launched on Kickstarter as a novelty DIY robot targeted at electronic hobbyists. The project reached the funding goal in 36 hours and ended up raising more than $120,000 ($55k initial goal). We have made and sold more than 5,000 units of the original Little Robot Friends to buyers in more than 40 countries.
The enthusiasm and feedback we received from that Kickstarter launch and subsequent requests for teaching materials thereafter propelled us into thinking about Little Robot Friends as an educational tool. We’ve applied the same approach used throughout our museum projects – to make learning fun and engaging – to the hardware and apps we are creating for Little Robot Friends. As well, we’re using technical skills honed over ten years of producing interactive media and installations to craft a set of consumer products that is adorable, unique, and useful.