Shenzhen-based company Hippo Devices is introducing the Hippo-ADK, which allows robotics fans to build their dream gadget with its open-source electronics prototyping platform based on Android. With the Hippo-ADK, users can combine the power of both the microcontroller board with an Android device to build their hardware gadget. (Watch Intro Video on Youtube)

Users simply connect the Hippo-ADK to their Android device via Bluetooth or USB, and then harness the device components such as cameras, accelerometers and sensors for the gadgets they want to build by programming the Android platform.

“Everyone has a mobile phone, why not make use of it? Why not make use of these $300 worth of sensors that everyone already has?” said Hippo’s marketing coordinator, Charin Polpanumas, in a TechinAsia article. “[Smartphones] have the computing power to go to the moon, but nowadays we only use it for games and selfies.”

The platform is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter with 10 days to go, and has already amassed about $17,500 at the time of writing, surpassing its original $10,000 goal. The Kickstarter campaign highlights the potential of the Hippo-ADK used together with Lego Mindstorms, which combines Lego parts, modular sensors and motors to create various toy robots.

To create a robot with Hippo-ADK, you won’t need to learn difficult programming languages – simply use App Inventor or Java API to create your project. However, Arduino fans can also use Arduino and IDE to program the Hippo-ADK if they prefer.

The Hippo-ADK is expected to be shipped to backers in December this year.

Zen is a tech journalist with a fondness for tech gadgets and pandas. She is also a full-time grad student studying business journalism at Tsinghua University, and often spends much time dreaming about...

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