Little Robot Friends are designed and made with love in Toronto, Canada
For the past ten years, co-founders of Little Robot Friends — Mark Argo and Ann Poochareon — have been making interactive installations for science centres and museums. The majority of our design work revolves around taking complex, sometimes boring, subjects and making them fun to learn. We’ve brought a Thai history museum to life through storytelling, animation and interactive exhibits; developed an innovative multi-player game about sustainable mining practice for the Royal Ontario Museum; made dozens of ways to explore music and sound through visual and kinetic interfaces for science centres; and even helped explain the science behind hockey with an award-winning exhibit for Discovery Cube LA. To date, we have designed, produced and installed close to 100 interactive exhibits around the world.
In 2013, our first version of Little Robot Friends launched on Kickstarter as a novelty DIY robot targeted at electronic hobbyists. The project reached the funding goal in 36 hours and ended up raising more than $120,000 ($55k initial goal). We have made and sold more than 5,000 units of the original Little Robot Friends to buyers in more than 40 countries.
The enthusiasm and feedback we received from that Kickstarter launch and subsequent requests for teaching materials thereafter propelled us into thinking about Little Robot Friends as an educational tool. We’ve applied the same approach used throughout our museum projects – to make learning fun and engaging – to the hardware and apps we are creating for Little Robot Friends. As well, we’re using technical skills honed over ten years of producing interactive media and installations to craft a set of consumer products that is adorable, unique, and useful.