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Meet Nikola, a camera-enabled smart companion robot

Arduino TeamJune 6th, 2022

For this year’s Embedded Vision Summit,’s Alex Glow created a companion robot successor to her previous Archimedes bot called Nikola. This time, the goal was to embed a privacy-focused camera and microphone as well as several other components that would increase its adorability.

The vision system uses a Nicla Vision board to read a QR code within the current frame thanks to the OpenMV IDE and the code Glow wrote. After it detects a code containing the correct URL, it activates Nikola’s red LED to signify that it’s taking a photo and storing it automatically.

Apart from the vision portion, Glow also included a pair of wiggly ears that move with the help of two micro servos controlled by a Gemma M0 board from Adafruit, which give it some extra character. And lastly, Nikola features an internal mount that holds a microphone for doing interviews, thus letting the bot itself get held near the interviewee. 

Nikola is a great compact and fuzzy companion robot that can be used not just for events, but also for interviews and simply meeting people. You can see how Glow made the robot in more detail here on or by watching her video below!