Robo Topobo

Hiroshi Ishii

Robo Topobo ,
Co-workers & Funding
Robo Topobo brings the improvisation and performative thrill of video games to hands-on modeling and invention. “Robo” is a controller that children can use to save, replay and adjust playback of up to four Topobo recordings. With Topobo a child can bring his creations to life, and with Robo he can direct them like robotic puppets in a performance or like organic machines in a competition.

To use Robo, a child will build a creation with Topobo and physically program it by twisting its body around. He can save the recording with Robo by pressing Robo’s “record” button and then pressing one of its four “playback” buttons to assign the motion to that button. He can also play the motion backwards and use two joysticks on Robo to change the speed and size of the motion.

We are using Topobo to remove many of the restrictions of computers for children. With Robo, we hope to make engineering lessons implicit in a child’s creative process rather than the focus of it, allowing children to explore the emotionally engaging aspects of performance through design and play.
Technology & Material
Exhibitions & Events