When we wrote about the PIX-E, a Raspberry Pi camera that only captures gifs, we thought we’d reached the height of the moving picture medium. Boy, were we wrong.
Peeqo is an animated desktop robot toy that not only moves around a lot, plays music, lights up and speaks to you, but it also expresses itself through gifs played over its front-facing screen.
Singh calls it “the love child of Amazon Echo and a Disney character” and we couldn’t agree more.
Peeqo began life as a series of sketches and the first few prototypes were rough 3D models. It was the birthed in a physical form made of a tennis ball and some foam. From there the complex mechanisms that enable the robot to move were designed and fitted into the final model, which was 3D printed.
The electronics to make everything work consist of a custom PCB, a Raspberry Pi 3, two Arduino Minis, four microphones, a camera, USB speaker and a bunch of motors powering a Stewart platform mechanism.
The final build is a very clever little robot that can be customised to your heart’s desire. One of our favourite functions at the moment is a productivity mode, in which Peeqo will glare at you angrily if you spend too much time messing around on social media.
Singh has included a full build log of this project on image sharing site Imgur. Peeqo is now being made fully open source and you can check out its official site to put your name down to help with future development, contribute to the project or just ask questions. Hopefully we see the community make Peeqo better and more version pop up in the future.