Elephants Robotics myBuddy 280, aka myBuddy 280 Pi, is a dual-arm collaborative robot for education with a 7-inch display powered by Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, and also features three ESP32-based M5Stack core modules that help with the internal communication between the motors and the Raspberry Pi board.
It builds upon the earlier myCobot 280 Pi robot with a single arm, with the same 280mm working range, but the new robot offers two arms, and a total of 13 degrees of freedom (DoF). The robot is also equipped with two 2MP HD cameras for computer vision, a standard 3.3V expansion I/O interface, a LEGO expansion interface, and can be fitted with a variety of adapters such as suction pumps, grippers, little hands (see below), etc…
myBuddy 280 specifications:
- SBC – Raspberry Pi 4 (2GB or 4GB RAM) single board computer to control the display and communicate with the ESP32 modules
- IoT modules – 3x M5Stack ESP32 basic cores with 4MB flash each
- Display – 7-inch touchscreen display
- Video Output – HDMI port
- Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, digital audio via HDMI
- Networking – Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band WiFi 5, and Bluetooth 5.0 (via Raspberry Pi)
- USB – 1x USB port
- Degree of Freedom – 13
- 2x Arms each with
- Working radius – 280 mm
- Maximum load – 250 grams
- Repeatability – ± 0.5 mm
- Life span – 500 hours (CNXSoft: that seems like quite a short life span…)
- 5×5 LED matrix at the extremity
- Features – Free to move, Joint movement, Cartesian motion, Track record, Wireless control, Collision detection
- Motor parameters
- High-performance servo steering gear
- Range of joint rotation
- Left and right arm：
- J1 -165 ~ +165°
- J2 -165 ~ +165°
- J3 -165 ~ +165°
- J4 -165 ~ +165°
- J5 -165 ~ +165°
- J6 -175 ~ +175°
- Waist – J1 -120 ~+120°
- Left and right arm：
- Expansion – 3.3V IO header, 2x Grove connectors
- Power Supply – 24V/9.2A
- Dimensions / Weight – N/A
The myBuddy 280 can be programmed with visual programming (myBlockly) or Python both of which appear to be preferred programming methods for the education market, as we’ve seen in our recent review of CrowPi L Raspberry Pi 4 education laptop. You’ll find getting started guides for both, as well as more advanced instructions including ROS commands, on the documentation website.
Some of the potential applications (for education) include visual sorting with QR codes, playing the piano with both arms, face recognition, virtual reality control with a VR headset and two controllers emulating each arm, as well as all sort of fun projects you can think with a small dual-arm robot.
The company has a bunch of resources on the download section of its website for all its robots with Arduino, Python, and C libraries, an Android application, firmware for the M5Stack modules, and more. Public tutorials are not easy to find, but apparently, that’s what myStudio software is for. It runs on Windows, Linux, and mac OS, allows the user to update the firmware, and provides video tutorials on how to use the robot, as well as maintenance and repair information.
Elephant Robotics myBuddy 280 is sold on the company’s online store for $1,699 and up with options including various hand types (yeah, grab, praise). Suction and gripper are somehow not offered as options, but can be purchased separately. They also have an Amazon store, but a company representative told CNX Software they would not be selling for myBuddy 280 there any time soon (not in the next three months). More details may be found on the product page.
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.