I tinkered with many gadgets as a child but it was in high school when I was allowed to skip out of my English class (1985-86) to sneak off to the advanced shop class that I was really bowled over. See, the shop class had a Hero. I had the privilege of participating in its construction and it left a lasting impression on me. Although I have never pursued robotics, the desire to get into robotics has remained in the back of my mind.
For 2008, Healthkit is reintroducing the Hero robot as HE-RObot! Our household so needs one of these! Noah has expressed interest in robotics and I think this is a golden opportunity to get him focused on a subject that could have him involved with the community (we have a club in town that competes at Lego Mindstorm designs), draw his attention in high school, focus him in college, and even possibly set him on a career path (provided he stays away from the iPix founders).
I also think this household needs a Lego Mindstorm and an iRobot Create. Yes, we have a hackable Roomba but the iRobot Create is intended for experimentation while our Roomba is intended for cleaning. We also need an iRobot ConnectIR (although I have a hard time looking at it and not thinking "the ultimate upskirt machine!" Who puts a camera on wheels at floor level?!)
The only problem with my desire to make 2008 the year of the robot for our house is that Evan is scared silly of anything electronic that moves on its own. He doesn’t like his own remote control car nor does he like the boys remote control cars. They elicit squeals. He is fascinated with the Roomba but the minute it turns on he can break into tears. This boy is going to have to adapt! Challenge one: Make robotics fun for the two year old…
Thanks to Tom Maszerowski for posting about the HE-RObot.