Meet IXI-Play, the Dancing Robot Bird Kids Will Love

Kids these days! Why, back when I was a kid we had to use, you know, our imaginations when playing with toys. Now, thanks to robotics, toys can spring to life and react intelligently to a child’s input. The latest example of that is IXI-Play, an owl-like robot that can dance, make sounds, and interact with children.

IXI-Play is a project created by a Dutch company called WittyWorX, which hopes to crowd-fund their idea and have the little bird robot manufactured in time for this year’s holiday season.

So what’s inside the IXI-Play, and what can it do? Based on the Android operating system, the IXI-Play will use a variety of apps to interact and play games. For example, a built-in camera and vision software will allow it to identify faces, objects, special cards, colors, and even read books. Speech recognition will enable it to react to specific commands, and a touch sensor will allow simple physical interaction.

WittyWorX has plans for a number of other apps, including: language learning, time keeping, photo/video camera, music player, counting and math, and dancing. Speaking of dancing, IXI-Play is, in many ways, very similar to Keepon, the groovy yellow robot that became a YouTube sensation. Like Keepon, IXI-Play has a soft body that can tilt and flex, and like the latest version of Furby (Hasbro’s furry, shrieking owl/hamster robot), its eyes are actually small LCD screens that can blink and express emotions [pictured below]. The company is currently looking at developing accessories that will work together with the robot, as well as tablet and smartphone connectivity.

ixi-play robot

ixi-play robot

All of this tech puts it a cut above other robot toys (the terrifying Tickle Me Elmo comes to mind), and with that sophistication comes a higher price tag. WittyWorX expects the IXI-Play to retail for US $299, and plans to finance the first production run through a crowd-funding campaign slated for this summer. Which is to say there’s still a lot of uncertainty in terms of seeing this bird bot take flight. You can follow its development through WittyWorX’s website, Facebook, and Twitter, or if you’re itching for a robot toy on a budget, you can always build your own RoboBrrd.

And here’s IXI dancing to Deee-Lite:

Ariyan Jazmi

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2 thoughts on “Meet IXI-Play, the Dancing Robot Bird Kids Will Love

  1. I am glad you brought this up. I totally agree that children should play outside, get lots of hugs and active attention (not only 1:1 though, but also group activities).

    However, many parents are struggling with balancing time for the kids and other activities like household chores, work, etc. So they rely on media, which is all around us and definitely has its positive aspects when used appropriately. The negative side is that media like television are passive and reduce social interaction. What is worrying is that young children spend a lot of time behind screens, which can have serious negative side effects

  2. really excellent beneficial article

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