Just a few years ago, artificial intelligence was nothing more than a buzzword. Now, it’s pretty much everywhere. From smart speakers and mobile assistants — like Siri or Alexa — to self-driving vehicles, the technology is powering some of the most advanced platforms.
It’s clear that AI will become a staple of advanced tech, because like coding it will be used everywhere and in everything. It won’t be long before knowing how to work with, program and modify AI will be integral to success. So, we’ll need engaging and memorable ways to learn and experience the technology — learning valuable skills for future opportunities.
Zumi is an AI-powered robot that is explicitly designed to help with that.
What Is Zumi?
Zumi is an educational self-driving car kit that teaches the concept of artificial intelligence.
Like the learn to code kits, Zumi is an educational self-driving and AI kit that teaches these technologies in a more engaging way. You use machine learning techniques to teach Zumi how to navigate through a miniature map. With each session she learns more and gets better. There are many different things you can do, as well, like programming “her” to find the most optimal route, or to avoid pedestrians and objects.
Zumi can also be trained to follow hand gestures, recognize faces, and much more.
In general, the kit will teach you the basics of robotics. Other concepts include machine learning, self-driving vehicle systems, mapping and navigation, and more. You’ll be working directly with Python too, a popular programming language.
How Do You Learn the Concepts?
Zumi owners have access to a library of in-depth and interactive tutorials, so there’s no coding experience needed.
You don’t need a strong technical background to work with Zumi or learn the various concepts. She comes with access to in-depth and interactive tutorials that walk you through everything from programming new functions to training her existing systems.
Even so, the technical specs of Zumi are quite impressive. She’s powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero, 6 IR sensors, 2 DC motors, an accelerometer and a gyrometer.
Where Can I Buy Zumi?
It’s like having a new-age train set, only in the form of a self-driving vehicle.
Robolink — the company responsible for Zumi — has taken to Kickstarter to fund the project. As of the time of this writing there’s just a little time left, but already the project has been funded well beyond the $50,000 goal. In fact, backers have invested over $140,000. Pre-order prices start at $119, but Zumi will cost $180 at retail.
The first shipments are expected to go out to backers in May, 2019. Shortly after, Zumi should be available to everyone else.