Lapin (pas) crétin.
Like Sebastian, I like to be surrounded by my little moving gizmos. Among all of them, the Nabaztag (rabbit in Armenian) has a sweet spot in my heart. First, because I think that rabbits are cute – ok, less than cats, but that’s not the topic today – and second, because for some evil reasons, rabbits are always killed in movies and TV shows. It is completely unfair and cruel! But more seriously, in 2005, when this little smart object was released, it was way ahead of its time. Too early I would say. Today, building such robot is almost trivial. Pick an Arduino or a Pie, plug in a Wi-Fi module, 3 RGB LEDs and 2 servos, and you are almost done. Almost, because you would still need to develop the software and this will take you some time to have it all right. Now, you may have the basic features down, but you are still missing one big ticket item: the design! And this is probably what could still make the difference today. For the small story, in 2008, a bunch of designers have dressed the rabbit in a pretty successful communication operation. Note that you could customize your rabbit’s ears by swapping them in a blitz (I’ve picked green, go figure). To show you the design choices of its creators, and to pay my tribute to the coolest rabbit ever, I’ve opened up the beast – and yes, it is still alive. The design is pretty clean – true, this is not one of the first models – and the robot is nicely built. Today, even though the Karotz is still alive in the community, in 2014, Bruno Maisonnier – founder & CEO of Aldebaran – announced that no further investments will be done into the rabbit. If you want to see more rabbits, you can watch Nabaz’mob, an opera by Antoine Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Birgé for 100 smart rabbits here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUnl0XOwqYE.