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Making the offensive component a central design element is... interesting. They could have designed a robot for kids like what anki did but.. this is what they came up with.



It's perhaps notable that Anki went out of business.

Given the popularity of games like Fortnite, the shooting dynamic seems somewhat inevitable. They may as well shoot at other toy robots and learn to program in the process.


I can only conclude they've actually met a child, unlike the Anki designers then. :)


Children don’t buy $500 toys, parents do.


I guess that's why there are no advertisements directed towards children on networks like Nickelodeon.


That is a cogent point but I fail to see how it benefits from the snarky tone.


From my experience companies try to design way too friendly and childish robots for kids. Kids at age 8-12 don’t like anki looking robots, they are not cool at all, maybe that’s the reason anki went out of business


It was also STUPIDLY overpriced for what it actually could do (not much)

Meanwhile this isn't a terrible price for what amounts to a programmable ground drone and even is just a fun looking toy


I can imagine, that some primitive gripper is many times more expensive than this offensive component. With a gripper robot must be also bigger and wider as well as more expensive.

As I can see in my home country (ex Soviet Union), parents have no problems when little kids play with guns, tanks or planes. Germans, for example, avoid this. I have mixed feelings, I love peace, but the guns also exist in this world.


I'm from the former Eastern Bloc. Not playing with a toy gun as a child is seen as weird. It's something that never happens, everyone has used a toy gun many many times and never ever thought it's wrong.


Same deal here in at least some (most?) parts of the US (the vocal minority of overzealously-violence-averse helicopter parents notwithstanding). Cap guns, squirt guns, Nerf guns, you name it, we had it (and to my knowledge still have it). Such toys are increasingly-frequently disallowed in schools, but they're still prevalent in homes and toy stores nationwide.


When I was a pre-school child, most kids' parents didn't have money to buy toy guns often, but we made toy guns ourselves from sticks, and these worked quite well :)


Really limiting their demographic though. A little thought and they could have have had all the Candy Crush kids too.


Do kids play Candy Crush? I’ve only ever seen adults playing it.


is... a reflection of where this technology came from


The fact that DJI releases an educational robot for kids that has a working cannon feels super icky from my western perspective. In China do they think it's a great idea? Is the culture gap that big, or is there another reason?

Also, how long until someone recreates the famous square scene with a lego character and 3 of these?

EDIT: This video from the promo page where it is hunting down a child - https://www1.djicdn.com/assets/uploads/v/1b34c0e069531a08639...

This would have been great without the cannon, with the cannon it feels... off.


> The fact that DJI releases a [toy] for kids that has a working cannon feels super icky from my western perspective.

I don't think that's a western perspective, I think that's your perspective. The actual western perspective likes robots, toys, toy weapons, robotic toys, and robotic toy weapons, and all the various combinations thereof. Nerf and Transformers have been cultural staples for decades.

This isn't even the first commercial toy robot with a toy gun on it: https://www.amazon.com/Nerf-Creatures-TerraDrone-Discontinue...

Or the second: https://www.amazon.com/TerraScout-Nerf-N-Strike-Official-Rec...

Or the third: https://www.amazon.com/Unknown-782-USB-Missile-Launcher/dp/B...

Or the hundredth: https://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Imports-Control-Military-Airs...

I guess you could argue the programmable nature of this somehow sets it apart, but I don't see how.

> Is the culture gap that big, or is there another reason?

I don't think the culture gap is where you imagine.


yes, there are many commercial toy robots with guns. And there are many gun toys and violent videogames etc etc.

But they are not educational. Educational + has a cannon. There is some cognitive dissonance right there. My opinion.


Educational toys which are not actually fun are pointless since no one uses them.


Toy guns itself is an educational toy. It teaches you on how to use it. As kid growing up with guns the only way I can have my own and learn it is by having a toy version.


Guns are not toys. The fact that you cannot draw the line demonstrates the problem perfectly.


Well yeah, guns are not toys. And thus logically, toys are not guns.

> toy, noun, an object for a child to play with, typically a model or miniature replica of something.

A model of something is not the thing itself, therefore, toys are not guns, thus a toy gun is fine for children to have. Because it's a toy, and as you say, toys are not guns. :)

(Sorry if this comes off snarky, but seriously, step back and consider your argument: Lots of toys, as per the definition above, are models or real things. Cars aren't toys; does that mean toy cars should be banned in case a 6 year old plows his 1:75 scale diecast model car into a crowd? Obviously not. Other common toys include airplanes, kitchen appliances and tools. You seem to have misunderstood the entire point of toys. If the toy is itself dangerous, that's an issue. If the toy is a model of something which is dangerous, well, that's why the kid has the toy and not the real thing. Ideally they may even learn some caution with the safe toy version.)


Educational about what? What about Lego, is it educational? Because you learn to stick bricks together. So I guess it teaches you to become a brick mason, I suppose?

To each their own, I suppose...


We used to build guns out of Lego which eventually over the years led to our invention of custom Lego crossbows using rubber bands to sling projectiles. Our competition quickly devolved from who could shoot the farthest to who could hit moving targets (each other, cats, etc). After being hit a few times from each other's weapons, we quickly learned it's not fun to be on the receiving end, even if it was just a few grams of plastic.


IMHO this comment qualifies as one of those "bizarre anti-Chinese sentiment" ones.

The #2 consumer drone maker in the world after DJI, Parrot from France, also sells an educational drone for kids with a cannon (it's an add-on but gets sold together in a popular set), and has done so for years: The Parrot Mambo.

There's countless other toys for children that include weaponry and/or glamorize it for that matter, like just about any toy for boys sold in the US throughout the 80s, or so it feels like. I'm also quite sure LEGO has sold sets with motors and plans to build catapult contraptions. Nothing about this is "super icky from a Western perspective".

I am deeply concerned about many things going on within China (e.g. Xinjiang), but this willful othering and breakdown of empathy has to stop. The bottom line here is that some people think it's fun and/or will sell well to have a toy that shoots things. You can absolutely criticize that, but it's a culturally universal phenomenon and doesn't need to divide us along borders.


Zero anti-chinese sentiment from my part.

I was wondering if the culture there makes it more acceptable. I understand it is a poor question to ask, as it immediately sets the tone that China is doing something wrong. Perhaps I should have worded it better.

Bare with me for a second though. I grew up watching western spaghetti films, playing with bb guns and thinking of cowboys as heroes. I was born and raised in Europe, not in the US (just to see how much things changed in a few decades). And I would not want my kids to grow up like that. Back then, that was normal. Today, luckily is not.

In the past, having robots that fight each other was cool, because it was in the realm of fantasy. Now that drones and unmanned vehicles are a reality, and the next step is to make them AI and metadata fully powered. Having robots fight each other begins to feel poor in taste, because the jump from toy to war machine becomes blurry.

I was just wondering what the general sentiment and how the culture in China is in regards to the above. Zero anti-sentiment, except honest questions.


>Bare with me for a second though. I grew up watching western spaghetti films, playing with bb guns and thinking of cowboys as heroes. I was born and raised in Europe, not in the US (just to see how much things changed in a few decades). And I would not want my kids to grow up like that. Back then, that was normal. Today, luckily is not.

As I see it, the world is a violent place, always has been and always will be, by not teaching your kids about it all you're doing is making them irrationally afraid of it. Then they want to be extra safe from it so they support politicians who says they'll keep them safe. Of course, safety involves constant control and oversight by the government but to those raised without violence it is a good tradeoff.


You wrote a rather leading "do they think it's a great idea?" (not a neutral way to ask this) and you said this would then constitute a large culture gap. If it's not sentiment, it's at the very least irrelevant - if the implied assumption holds that Western culture broadly considers this not a great idea (and I have my doubts on that one), then clearly it's not a requirement for the thing existing as the West does make and sell equivalent toys.


It's not normal? I'm only acquainted with a handful of children, but they all have toy guns and things. All I needed to read was your description "educational + cannon" on a drone to know I'll be getting this or something like it for my nephew this year.

I'm not Chinese and think this stuff is cool.


That drone wars are becoming a reality seems like a good reason to start learning how to program drones early, actually.


I'm Chinese.

China has strict control over gun-like toys, and it is difficult to buy gun toys that can launch ammunition on the market.

Story: A women sell balloon shooting game had been sentenced for violating the gun ban. https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%B6%99%E6%98%A5%E8%8F%AF%E6... (You should use google translate)

In fact I'm worry about is RoboMaster S1 safe for children when I just knew it?

I found faq page said that it's meets the safety requirements of major countries and regions around the world. https://www.dji.com/robomaster-s1/faq

It does not indicate age limit, but considering the complexity of assembly, I think it's most suitable for college students with programming skills.

And the adults around me think it’s cool.


Also from a Western perspective: this looks like a toy, they even include the orange tip. In context, and contrary to that western battle bots TV show, it seems to pretty much focus on education and competition. A goal which they seem to achieve or it wouldn't be viable to put commercial resources into it.

I don't get this finger pointing, can we please solve real gun violence in our midsts before going for educational resources?


Just preparing them to go to the MIT. Toying with guns is very much in line with western culture, not even mentioning video games. The ability to program the toy just makes it more attractive to nerds.


You mean the western perspective that have us bb guns, lawn dartsm, nerf guns, slingshots, and a plethora of other destructive devices? As a western kids I woukd have loved a robot with working Canon. As a western adult, even more so.


> where it is hunting down a child

You are explicitly trying to put it out of context and I don't understand why.

Thats tracking and object and not "hunting". Even the hover link which makes that video visible mentions this:

> People Recognition

> Thanks to advanced computer vision technology, the S1 is able to identify and track any individual you select in the S1’s FOV.


Very well then. The robot is tracking a child with weapons drawn! Better? That was meant as a joke, it looks poor in taste because it is running after a child with the cannister of the cannon pointed towards the child. It even has "cannon cam" vision!! Without the cannon it's a great display of modern technology. With it, it looks kinda funny.


So you must have same sentiments regarding paintball and lasertag as well ?


I grew up in a western country in the 80s; all my toys were war or military based.




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