Nanjing City-based startup Ovobot has launched its latest handheld console as a fun way for kids to learn how to program and create games, or other DIY projects, including wearables and mobile robots. The Xtron Pro looks similar in design to Nintendo’s Game Boy, but offers a fully modular platform that’s outfitted with an external four-pin header that enables users to connect sensors and modules with I2C buses, as well as game controllers, robotic platforms, and more using a magnetic pogo pin.
“With Xtron Pro, the user can define its functions through programming, run self-programmed games, customize smartwatches, and even build IoT and robot projects,” explains Ovobot. “We believe this approach will help to unleash the potential for children to let their imagination run wild.”
Ovobot developed the Xtron Pro using an STM32 microcontroller, 128 Mb of external Flash, DS1339 RTC, MPU6887 IMU, and a 1.8" TFT display. It packs a programmable D-pad, 8X physical buttons, a pair of buttons, a vibration motor, and an internal speaker. The console also comes equipped with a microphone, Jacdac phone jack, USB Type-C port, and a 500mAh LiPo battery.
Ovobot makes use of its MakeCode Arcade-based Xmaker visual programming language and lets users configure their devices via a drag-and-drop system using the company’s custom modules, which includes watch-related program blocks, IoT, and speech recognition blocks and more. The Xtron Pro features magnets that allows users swap-out add-on modules with ease for many projects, such as creating a smartwatch, pedometer, a countdown timer, and more.
Ovobot is currently crowdfunding its Xtron Pro on Kickstarter, with pledges starting at around $61. This comes with the Xtron Pro and gamepad, silicone case, watchband, and a USB Type-C cable. At the $130 price point, Ovobot includes a bevy of sensor add-ons like an ultrasonic module, potentiometer, soil moisture sensor, servo controller, a seven-segment display, and a touch/LED module.