You’ve probably already watched a video featuring Boston Dynamics Spot, a headless robot dog used in various industries including healthcare, public safety, construction, oil & gas, etc.. It could also be yours if you wanted a robotic pet dog at home, as long as you have $75,000 US to spare.
Petoi Bittle looks eerily similar, but it’s much smaller as it fits in your palm, and could be yours for $225 on KickStarter as a kit to assemble yourself that you may get as soon as December. Bittle robot dog is designed for STEM education and can be programmed using the Arduino IDE, Python, or even Codecraft visual programming IDE.
Bittle is comprised of 4 main hardware components:
- Plastic parts and fixtures – Body, four legs, head (which can be used to hold Arduino modules), springs, screws, etc…
- Actuators – 9x P1S servo with a controllable angle of 270 degrees, eight of which are used for walking joints, and the remaining one is for head movement
- NyBoard V1 Arduino compatible board with
- MCU – Microchip ATMega328p 8-bit AVR MCU as used in Arduino UNO
- Storage – 64Kbit EEPROM
- 12 PWM servos control
- 4x Grove sensor interfaces (2x digital, 1x Analog, 1x I2C)
- 10-pin header to connect Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ board over I2C
- Serial interface
- Sensor – 6-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit)
- Misc – IR receiver balancing, buzzer, PWM LEDs, Raspberry Pi / Arduino I2C switch
- Power Input – 7.4V battery interface
- Battery – Li-ion battery pack with a built-in charging and protection circuit, and an RGB LED to indicate the battery’s status. Battery life is around one hour in walking mode
The robot can work by itself, but if you want a smarter dog, simply connect a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A on top to make it better at analyzing more sensory data, and enable Internet connectivity and some light AI workloads. Larger sized Raspberry Pi boards can also be used, but not recommended because of the small size of the robot. I suppose Raspberry Pi Zero W would be a nice fit as long as mounting is not an issue. An ESP32 board is also being worked on, but won’t be available in the Kickstarter campaign. Petoi also has a Github account, but for now, only the resources for their Nyzzle robot cat are available.
The project way passed its $50,000 funding target with over $500,000 raised from around $1,900 backers. There are about 2 days to go before the end of the Kickstarter campaign.
If you’d like to learn more about the project or future plan, you can check out Charbax’ hour interview with RzLi, the developer of both Bittle and Nybble.
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.