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Hippo-ADK: Create your dream gadget with a smart device's video poster

Hippo-ADK is an Android-powered Development Platform that helps create your dream robots and gadgets. Read more

Shenzhen, China Hardware
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This project was successfully funded on August 29, 2014.

Hippo-ADK is an Android-powered Development Platform that helps create your dream robots and gadgets.

Shenzhen, China Hardware
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About this project


For those who missed the campaign, don't worry! Check out Hippo-ADK at our website. Or,


#1 Thank You for An Amazing Start! Here Are Some Tutorials

#2 $10,000 Goal Reached! Thank You for Making Hippo-ADK Possible

#3 MoleMash! Create A Hardware Game with Hippo-ADK

#4 & #5 See Stretch Goals

#6 Hippo Robot Frenzy! MakeBlock, uArm, and Cute Doggie

#7 Alternate Route for Dual-Mode Bluetooth Hippo-ADK (2.1 & 4.0)


$40,000: Dual-Mode Bluetooth Module on Board (Bluetooth V2.0 & V4.0 BLE) Compatible with Both Android and iOS for all Hippo-ADK

$50,000: Hippo-ADK with Onboard Wi-Fi Module as new reward. This Hippo-ADK can connect to the Internet on its own. Talk about Internet of things!

$100,000: Simple iOS Applications and Tutorials such as GPIO and motor controls so that you can use your iPhone as a remote control for your robots and gadgets.



Hippo-ADK is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on Android. By combining an Arduino-like microcontroller board with Android, not only does it allows you to tap into the powerful resources of your smart devices, but also to do so in an amazingly simple and elegant manner.


Here are some cool things you can do with Hippo-ADK and LEGO® Mindstorms:

These are just examples of what we have come up with so far. We are looking forward to many fascinating applications by you.The possibilities are limitless.


No need to learn the mind-boggling hardware programming; Just use graphical programming platform App Inventor or Java API to create your project.


Hippo-ADK connects with your Android devices in real time through USB and Bluetooth.This allows you instant access to sensors,switches, accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, communication modules (Wi-Fi, GPS, GSM), cameras, and LCD screens without even having to spend a dollar on optional parts. It is all on your Android devices.


We are a big fan of Arduino. If you want to expand the capabilities of our firmware you can use Arduino language and IDE to program Hippo-ADK.


We are avid supporter of the open-source community. We hope to build a strong open-source community around Hippo-ADK.


Everyone who loves making awesome stuff. We envision a platform and community where people with different skill levels can channel their creativity into reality whether it is a do-it-yourself pet project, a startup idea, or an educational tool for your kids. We believe that, despite having different goals and levels of expertise, you all share our love for building.


Simplicity itself. Connect Hippo-ADK with your Android devices by USB or Bluetooth, and let it takes care of your hardware parts (sensors, motors, LED, and so on) for you. All you have to do is program them all from the Android platform.

Our development environment is extremely flexible. For beginners, use the graphical programming platform App Inventor to create your first “Hello World” Hippo-ADK project in less than 10 minutes. For the more experienced, enjoy the variety of high-level customization available by our Java API. In fact, if you have experience working with Arduino, you can utilize our full compatibility—including libraries and official IDE—to extend our hardware features even further.

Example Codes

Control LED with Proximity Sensor and Digital Write

Flame Sensor and Alarm using Digital Read/Write

Self-Balancing Robot (partial)

MoleMash Game (partial)

Hippo-ADK System Diagram

Comparison Between Bluetooth and USB Connection

We compare the delay time when Hippo-ADK sends a command to an Android device, and the device sends it back to Hippo-ADK. It takes 0.5-3 ms via USB ADK whereas it takes 20-120 ms via Bluetooth.



Hippo-Arduino (left), Hippo-LEGO (right)
Hippo-Arduino (left), Hippo-LEGO (right)

For those who want to make even cooler stuff with Hippo-ADK such as robots and intelligent homes, we provide expansion boards and modules to facilitate more rapid development of more sophisticated projects:

  • Hippo-Arduino
    A shield that connects Hippo-ADK and Arduino
  • Hippo-Lego
    A shield for your Hippo-ADK. It enables even further applications with your Android devices and LEGO® parts.
  • MPU6050 module
  • Building parts
  • High-torque motors
Self-Balancing Robot Frame Assembly
This is how we put together our custom-made frame for the self-balancing robot. You can use any other building parts of your choice, be it LEGO, MakeBlock, or what you made on your own.



General Specs

Hardware side

  • 5V-DCDC and USB OTG ensures high-speed, real-time connection with your Android devices via USB ports without any optional communication modules.
  • USB-UAR solves the compiling issue with Arduino IDE; you can print debug information while developing USB functions, thus speeding up the development process.
  • Blutooth module on board.
  • Easily attachable to a breadboard for more experiments and applications

Android side

  • Graphical programming via App Inventor
  • Customization by Java API

Hardware Specs

Note that this board layout is not final but you are guaranteed the following hardware specs:

  • STM32F405RG microcontroller.
  • 168 MHz Cortex-M4 CPU with 32-bit hardware floating point.
  • 1 MB flash memory, 192 KB RAM.
  • Micro-B USB connector, with software support for USB serial, USB mass storage, and USB HID (mouse, keyboard).
  • Micro SD slot
  • 1 Power LED, 2 user LEDs
  • 1 reset switch, 1 user switch
  • 5V DC-DC
  • 3.3V LDO regulator at 300mA, power from USB or external voltage source between 3.6V and 10V
  • Real-time clock with date and time
  • 30 general purpose I/O lines, 28 are 5V tolerant (unless in ADC mode)
  • Communication: 2x SPI, 2x CAN, 2x I2C, 5x USART.
  • 14x 12-bit ADC pins (analog signal in)
  • 2x DAC pins (analog signal out)
  • Board dimensions: 41mm x 54mm
  • Board weight: 6 grams.
  • Board I/O connectors: 46 holes, standard 0.1 inch separation.



For those who cannot make up their mind, this is how we recommend our backers consider which rewards they choose. It is just a suggestion and definitely not an ironclad guideline.


We have been developing Hippo-ADK for the past year, and we now need your help to bring it to the world. We have received useful comments from showing our working prototypes to collaborators and potential customers as well as audience and judges of various hacking events. With your backing and invaluable feedback, the final design will be ready for the large-scale production.

Our goal is not simply mass-producing the hardware but build a world-wide community of makers around Hippo-ADK. Your support will contribute to:

  • Large-scale manufacturing of Hippo-ADK
  • Development of new hardware parts and expansions
  • Development of new software customization such as Java API


We are based in Shenzhen, China where the world’s leading electronics such as Apple and Samsung are made. We have an excellent relationship with our handpicked manufacturers who we will work together to deliver your promised rewards on time.


Zipper Du is a typical electronics and computer geek with an exceptional dream: to turn an ordinary cellphone into a platform where people can make their ideas come true. He first pursued the dream with a project based on GPRS and ARM.

Later, Zipper discovered the mobile open-source platform Android. Intrigued by the rich internal resources it offered, he decided to realize his dream using the Android platform.

The result was a very first prototype of the self-balancing robot based on Google ADK. Building on the idea, Zipper together with his team went on to create Hippo-ADK. Being on Kickstarter marks the first step towards fulfilling his lifelong dream of a hardware prototyping platform based on mobile devices and a dynamic community around it.



You can see more cool pictures and videos as well as discuss more about Hippo-ADK at:


We would like to thank Roboter Soong and Eric Wang for their invaluable advice and help without which the campaign would not have been possible. 

We thank Peter Shoowit for his awesome narration. 

We are truly grateful to Andy Szefor his huge support in developing the Arduino-compatible STM32. 

Many thanks to Emily LuLu who introduced us to many foreign friends, especially our marketing Charin.

We express our gratitude to Professor Xiaorui Zhu and the Automation Technology Center for their helpful suggestions and the flying drone.

We appreciate Charvon for website technical support.

Last but not least, we thank all our investors who have supported us throughout this journey.

A shout-out to all the wonderful companies and institutions whose products were an inspiration and a support for our dream:


Risks and challenges

We have completed and tested our prototypes and are now ready for mass production. As with any manufacturing, there is a possibility such issues as lost parts, defects, and miscommunication with the manufacturers can cause delay in the process. In order to minimize these risks, we implement thorough product testing, strict quality control procedures and cultivate an excellent professional relationship with our manufacturers.

We opt for a transparent approach. We have a concrete schedule from manufacturing to fulfillment, and will immediately report the issues as well as proposed solutions to our backers if there has been any glitch or delay.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • Yes, every Hippo-ADK has both Bluetooth and USB connectivity so you don't have to buy separate modules

    Last updated:
  • Hippo-ADK’s USB ADK supports Android 2.3.4 and above;
    Bluetooth module supports Android 2.3 and above;
    Gyroscope support depends on specific models.But now most of Android phones already have it.

    Last updated:
  • We have found LEGO-compatible ports in ShenZhen, so when delivered you can directly use Hippo-ADK with your LEGO®.

    Last updated:
  • We have already confirmed the compatibility with both EV3 and EV2’s motors, touch sensors and EV2’s ultrasonic sensors. We are now working on color and brightness sensors. Nonetheless, at present you can use your phone’s camera and image recognition function to accomplish similar applications.

    Last updated:
  • App Inventor and its graphical interface offers one of the lowest learning curves to programming. We even recommend using Hippo-ADK to teach children how to code:)

    Last updated:


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    25 backers

    If you think our project is cool but you don't want a Hippo-ADK now, you can support us by choosing this option! With your help, we can make the Hippo-ADK better. Your donation is much appreciated!!

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    BIG THANK YOU for supporting Hippo-ADK and open-source hardware. Be immortalized in our First-Generation Backer Hall of Fame

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    49 backers Limited (1 left of 50)

    EARLY BIRD KIT. Be the first 50 backers to build a simple DIY project with Hippo-ADK and your smartphone at a special price.

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    16 backers

    STARTER KIT. Build a simple DIY project with Hippo-ADK and your smartphone. One Hippo-ADK board.

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    29 backers

    ARDUINO KIT. For those who want to use Hippo-ADK with Arduino, this is for you. One Hippo-ADK board and Hippo-Arduino shield.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $89 or more

    23 backers

    BASIC LEGO KIT. Already have LEGO® Mindstorms? This kit lets you make a unique LEGO® robot instantly! One Hippo-ADK board, Hippo-Arduino, and Hippo-Lego

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    Pledge $139 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD LEGO KIT. Your smartphone is not powerful enough? (e.g. no gyroscope), this kit has it all. One Hippo-ADK board, Hippo-Arduino, Hippo-Lego, MPU6050, 3S LiPo battery and charger at a special price. Only for the first 20 backers.

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    5 backers

    ULTIMATE LEGO KIT. For those of you who are serious about building awesome LEGO robots, this kit has it all. One Hippo-ADK board, Hippo-Arduino, Hippo-Lego, MPU6050, 3S LiPo battery and charger.

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    0 backers

    BASIC MAKEBLOCK KIT. Already have Makeblock building parts or want to build your own? Then this is for you! One Hippo-ADK board, Hippo-Arduino, Hippo-Lego, MPU6050, 2 motors, 2 wheels and small accessories.

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    8 backers

    ULTIMATE MAKEBLOCK KIT. The name said it all. With this set, you can make a very stable self-balancing robot out of the box. We will also provide a simple adapter to connect with your smartphone. One Hippo-ADK board, Hippo-Arduino, Hippo-Lego, MPU6050, 3S LiPo battery and charger, 2 motors, 2 wheels, small accessories, and Makeblock building parts.

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    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    TESTER LEGO KIT. Can't wait to get your hands on Hippo-ADK? We know the feeling. For this kit, We will send you the beta version before everyone else, AND the final product later. One Hippo-ADK board, Hippo-Arduino, Hippo-Lego, MPU6050, 3S LiPo battery and charger.

    Estimated delivery:
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Funding period

- (45 days)