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Rabbit Robots Walrus v1.0
Hi All,

I've recently spotted a kickstarter campaign for an inexpensive yet feature-packed robot kit - the Walrus v1.0 from Rabbit Robots:

I have a different take on this campaign from many others - I can definitely recommend it, because I already have one!

I had the good fortune of meeting the folks from Rabbit Robots at the Dayton Hamvention this past May. They are also the folks behind Rabbit Lasers (, where they sell laser cutting systems. At the Hamvention, they had both their laser systems, and their robots. I took one look at the feature list of the Walrus, did a double-take on the price, and bought one on the spot.

They had a number of models, but it turns out I bought the one they are now offering on kickstarter. My box has the Walrun v1.0 labeling on it, but I know they are always working to improve things, so what I have may differ slightly from what's on offer in the campaign.

I have another robot, a Sparki from ArcBotics. The main differences are that the Sparki was fully assembled (where's the fun in that? :Smile ), and the Sparki uses stepper motors whereas the Walrus does not. The Sparki also includes a rudimentary gripper, which the Walrus doesn't have.

You can pick up the least expensive Walrus for $40 dollars. In my estimation, that is very inexpensive for what you get - the Sparki was $100 during its kickstarter, and now runs $150 on Amazon.

The Rabbit Robots people were very nice - we chatted for a while, even a little about this forum. I know they are for real, the project and robot is for real, and it's a fantastic little robot platform. I think teachers should be buying hundreds of these.

Go check it out - I think it's really cool.

EDIT: The walrus doesn't have a gripper, like I said, but it does have a front-mounted servo motor that can sort of hold things. I wonder if it couldn't also be adapted to actuate a gripper. I'll have to take a look.
Unfortunately, the kickstarter for this isn't doing very well at the moment. I _really_ don't understand why. I think it's a steal for all of what you get - heck, if you go out and try to buy just the arduino, the ping sensor, and the bluetooth module, I think you'd spend as much as the whole robot kit.

This thread isn't seeing very much traffic at the moment either, but if you read this, I'd really encourage you to go grab one of these. I don't think you can beat it for price/performance.

At this moment, 41 hours left in their campaign. Sadly, very few more backers have appeared.

I'm really at a loss to understand this - maybe someone seeing this post could offer me a clue. I can't even imagine why this wasn't more popular. Is the entry level robot market dead altogether? Did the maker movement expire without anyone telling me?

Of course, it could be that time it up for most crowd funding sites - I will darn sure never set foot on Indiegogo again after the BE Maker Kit scandal (BE = Borderless Electronics, scandal = they made off with a cool quarter million dollars, some of mine included).

I guess I'll rant on Indiegogo somewhere else.

Anyone have another idea why this project didn't catch on?


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