At BeatBots, we believe that dancing is one of the most worthwhile occupations a robot can have. We like making cute characters move in interesting ways, and as you’ll see, this doesn’t require expensive components or complicated programming. For Spazzi here, we decided to forego the rotational motors (servos and steppers) that many robots use. Instead, we went with solenoids, for movement that is fast, linear, and percussive.

We designed our popular teleoperated robot Keepon (pictured in Figure A, page 58) for research and the rigors of a child-filled playroom, so he’s made from high-end components and custom-machined metal parts. (A toy version, My Keepon, comes out later this year, and ...

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