Eventually, we all expect robots to do chores and other manual tasks performed by humans such as preparing and serving food at restaurants, carry objects over rough terrain as opposed to just inside the warehouse with a flat floor, or even moves pieces on a chessboard when other humans are no here to play with us.
I’m fully expecting to eventually own a robot maid of sorts to wash dishes, mop the floors, and perform other tasks on my behalf. We are not there yet, but Raspberry Pi 4 powered Pollen Robotics’ Reachy open source-hardware robot is getting us closer to the goal as it can handle small objects and via two robotic arms and a dual-camera head, and can also interact with humans using a microphone and a speaker.
Key features and specifications of Reachy robot:
- Main body
- SBC – Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 2GB according to a teardown on Tom’s hardware
- AI accelerator – Google Coral AI accelerator with Edge TPU
- I/O ports – HDMI, Ethernet, USB ports
- Audio – Microphone and speakers
- Power Supply – Built-in 100-240V power supply
- Mechanical mount
- Head – Dual-cameras head with two animated antennas using the company’s “Orbita” ball-joint mounting technology for multi-directional, 180-degree movement.
- Arm -7-degrees of Freedom (7-DoF) arms with 7x servo motors attached to the main body and allegedly dexterous enough to enable the development of prosthetic limbs.
The robot uses machine learning and relies on Python, Tensorflow, and Snips for programming, machine learning, and voice processing respectively. OS-wise we don’t have any official information, but based on Tom’s hardware report Raspbian runs on the Raspberry Pi 4 board, while Luos “RTOS for microcontroller” powered modules from Luos Robotics which are used by Reachy. Everything will be made open-source on their Github account once they ship and each part is stable, and there’s also some information in Reachy repository about the robotics arm.
The robot is fully modular for future development, and also to control the costs as this type of robot is still produced in very low quantity (the first batch will have 15 robots). That means you can buy the robot with the board and one arm only as a starter.
There are three options at this time:
- 7,990 Euros for Reachy Basic with three modules (body + 1x arm + 1x hand?)
- 9,990 Euros for Reachy Expressive with four modules
- 15,490 Euros for Reachy Advanced with six modules
The first Reachy robots will likely be sold to businesses for hospitality in public places such as stores or hotels, or research labs. You’ll be asked for a 30% deposit upon order, and 70% at delivery time. If interested, this is the buy link.
Reachy was unveiled right before CES 2020, and the first 15 units should ship in Q1 2020. The video below shows Reachy in action, and I suppose it could play chess, but you’d need a custom, largish chessboard as hand movements are not perfectly fluid just yet.
More details can be found on Pollen Robotics website.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.