A group of Russian tech enthusiasts uploaded a video showing a cat reacting to a home-made robot inspired by Hasbro’s ‘My Little Pony’ franchise.
In the video, the robot, named ‘Sweetie Bot’ - a reference to the fan-made ‘Friendship is Witchcraft’ parody series – makes its first steps after the team implemented a fully-working walking routine in their project.
The project began on a wave of global popularity for the ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ animated series and remains a work in progress.
Created from scratch, the robot runs on an Arduino programmable controller, and sports a 3D-printed ‘pony’ head with eyes made of two colored LCD displays. While receiving general control from a remote control unit, the robot processes walking, turning and crouching movements autonomously. Unlike many big corporate robot projects, Sweetie Bot is a completely amateur enterprise.
The robot in the video is the Sweetie Bot project’s second revision and is acting as a testbed for a more streamlined third revision which will feature a full 3D-printed body imitating the My Little Pony branded figurine.
On their website, the team says the project will be completely open source, with all programming, assembly and printing instructions uploaded online once the device is complete.
In 2010, US toy maker Hasbro hired artist Lauren Faust to restart the franchise, originally created in 1981. Thanks to Faust’s vision, the franchise exploded into a massive global following, particularly among young men, in an apparent subversion of Hasbro’s target audience of pre-school girls. The 9th and final season of the show premiered in April of this year and is expected to wrap up 12 October.