Editor’s note: Kamigami is available in various models. This review highlights the Kamigami Spot.
What’s a Kamigami?
Kamigami is an origami-inspired robotics kit for kids ages 8 and up. The kit includes all the necessary parts and gizmos to build a fully functioning bug robot, but there’s a unique twist compared to other kits on the market. Kamigami is flat out of the box but can be folded into its final form — like origami.
The radical design approach brings a couple advantages. Firstly, kids can build the robot in less than half an hour. No tools required. Secondly, the Kamigami is extremely robust. Toss it across the room and it’ll still keep on crawling.
Kamigami Spot works with a smartphone companion app. In fact, that’s how kids play with and program the robot. It’s free to download on the App Store and Google play. Nothing too spiffy, but the app is easy to use.
Building the robot
Kamigami Spot ships in flat sheets of a composite material. The material, designed by Dash Robotics itself, is incredibly durable, lightweight, and, most importantly, foldable. Almost like origami, you piece the robot together by folding and connecting the material with plastic pop rivets. The included circuit board is all put together, and all that’s needed is to connect it to the plastic frame. No tools are required and the build time takes roughly 30 minutes.
Kamigami Spot works with a companion smartphone app. That’s a free app available for Android and iOS devices. If you’ve already built the robot, you can download the app for Android here and Apple here.
The app includes tap remote controls and a programming interface. It’s no Scratch or Blockly, but the programming you can do with Kamigami Spot is engaging nonetheless. Drag blocks to control the robot’s basic functions like eye color and movement. There’s minimal logic included, and for now, the programming is limited to connecting blocks in linear order.
Included on the Kamigami Spot circuit board are tiny infrared sensors. These sensors allow multiple Kamigami Spot robots to interact with each other. For example, a game of freeze tag where a robot can “freeze” the other by shooting an invisible infrared signal.
Kamigami Spot works on all indoor surfaces: carpet, tile, and hardwood. However, it’s more prone to tipping over after coming to a fast halt on carpeted floors. Unfortunately, this robot has not figured out how to flip itself back over.
The battery on the Kamigami Spot is rechargeable via an included USB charger. It lasts about 30 minutes before needing a quick rejuice. Bluetooth offers roughly 30-feet of range indoors and 20-feet outdoors.
Adopt a Spot
If you’re a parent or a teacher looking for an affordable robotics kit, consider the Kamigami Spot. It’s a fantastic robotics kit that is light on the programming but heavy on the construction. At $99, Kamigami Spot offers an inexpensive robot-building experience that most other kits do not offer at this price range. Available on Amazon and kamigamirobots.com.
Be sure to check out our newly-launched site, simplebotics.io, for dozens of more STEM toys!
Kamigami Spot is an affordable robotics kit that's light on the programming but heavy on the construction. Kids ages 8 and up can build the origami-inspired robot in less than an hour, no tools required. It's compatible with iOS and Android devices.