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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Gadgets

Build your own adorable Plen2 robot with this kit from Japan

Mad scientists and robot-building novices alike will love the humanoid Plen2 robot kit, which lets you assemble your very own ball-kicking bot.

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Aloysius Low/CNET

Standing at 20 cm (7.8 inches) tall, the Plen2 is a cute robot from Japan that can do a variety of things, such as pick up a rubber ball or kick it. It's also capable of mirroring your actions through an Xbox Kinect camera, which is even cooler.

You control the Plen2 from your iOS or Android device via Bluetooth, and is compatible with the open-source software platform Arduino. Ideally, you'll want to build one yourself, and the company hopes that you will, as it wants more people learning how to build and program robots.

On show here at CES Asia in Shanghai, the Plen2 is on sale now and ships globally. The cheapest model, at $549 (around £380 or AU$750), requires you to assemble it yourself, as well as 3D print your own cover plates. The $899 (£620, AU$1,220) version still needs self-assembly but does come with plates. And if you're feeling lazy, $999 (£690, AU$1,350) will get you a fully assembled Plen2 -- but where's the fun in that?