DJI, the world’s largest drone maker, has launched its first educational robot.
The RoboMaster S1 is a programmable tank toy with a camera. It can autonomously follow lines on the ground, recognize body and hand gestures as well as English letters, numbers, and certain symbols. It can also fire a laser beam or gel pellets from its barrel, according to DJI. The toy also features 46 programmable parts and six artificial intelligence programming modules, giving users the option of using Scratch or Python to program movements into the unit.
DJI’s latest release is priced at RMB 3,499 (USD 499).
Like DJI’s drones, users can use a smartphone or tablet to control the robot toy’s movements and watch real-time footage captured by its built-in HD camera.
DJI said RoboMaster is inspired by the RoboMaster robotics competition, which it has sponsored and hosted since 2015. More than 20,000 students from about 400 colleges have participated in the annual event.
Despite its name’s roots in robot fighting, DJI sees the RoboMaster S1 primarily as an educational tool.
“We want it to look like an interesting toy that then teaches basic programming and mechanical knowledge,” said Shuo Yang, one of the lead engineers, according to Bloomberg.