The Vincross Hexa is a six-legged walker robot that you will not like if you were at all creeped out by the insect-like robots in Minority Report. But what it lacks in cuddliness it makes up for in technological potential.
The Hexa is six-inch-tall robot that has six arachnidian legs. It comes equipped with a 720p camera, night vision, infrared transmitter, distance measuring sensor, and accelerometer. Hexa connects to the Internet via WiFi and lasts four hours on a single battery charge. As you control the Hexa, you can stream what it’s camera sees using a smartphone app. The real reason to be excited about this robot is its software.
The Hexa is powered by MIND, a Linux-based operating system that makes it easy to teach it to do different skills using its various components. These capabilities, known as skills, are nearly limitless. They can be as simple as teaching it to walk in different directions or as complex as what Vincross founder Sun Tianqi cooked up to keep his plant alive.
Tianqi put a succulent on top of his Hexa and wrote a skill that considered the needs of the plant — sunlight and water. The Hexa then detects when it’s in light and when it’s in darkness, so it can scramble towards the light when the plant needs some and into the shadows before it gets totally baked. When it’s time for some water, Tinaqi programmed his Hexa to do an “angry dance” to get the attention of nearby humans.
He shared the thought process behind the project in a forum post that reflects the kind of culture Vincross is trying to build. With a communal Skill Store available for the robot, the company is hoping to leverage the creativity of its users to give the Hexa more abilities out of the box and, hopefully, sell more units.
One small step for dying plants; one giant leap for dads who want a robot to bring them a beer.