The Spot is a tiny robot that can be programmed at home to execute certain actions, facial expressions, or avoid things.
Spot, the Boston Dynamics robot dog, is well-known for his viral performances in movies such as dancing or opening doors. His biggest followers may now have a more affordable variant at home and program him to accomplish different activities.
He’s been seen doing such activities as washing the laundry, working for the security team in various locations, and dancing K-pop. These robots, on the other hand, are intended to work in enterprises and governments, not as household pets.
Mini Pupper is a tiny pup with the yellow and black colors that characterize Spot. He’s got four legs and is about the same size as his big brother, Mini Pupper. Once assembled, it measures only 209 x 109 x 165 millimeters and weighs 560 grams, which is slightly larger and heavier than a modern cell phone, for example.
Mini Pupper’s capabilities are based on a Raspberry Pi 4B with ROS software, and it comes with the same software as other projects. This board is accompanied by several motors designed by the company Mang Dang for this robot.
It’s an open-source project that is still in development, but it allows everyone at home to experiment with Mini Pupper’s movement and response capabilities right now. Thanks to its artificial intelligence technology, this little robot knows where to go, avoids obstacles, and familiarizes itself with its surroundings.
Spot‘s design patterns were used to construct the e-Walker’s 3D printed construction, which was designed to mimic the balance and mobility that Boston Dynamics created using as close a replication as possible. It also has a small front LED screen, which may be programmed to display a variety of facial emotions.
It is compatible with OpenCV’s latest 3D camera module, OAK-D LITE. This allows Mini Pupper to run facial recognition, object detection, or environment analysis applications. It can even follow its owner’s hand, just like a pet would.
Its creators assure that they have taken this robot to another level of movement, leaving behind other models in this category, “we were finally able to create our quadruped robot with a DOF of 12 (degree of freedom) that allows it to follow biological movements, but at a price accessible to the average consumer”.
How to get it?
The Mini Pupper is available through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. It is feasible to cooperate with a modest financial contribution to the creation of this robot, but if you want it at home to use it, you can choose from a variety of packages.
The cheapest is about $257, the basic kit of Mini Pupper arrives anywhere in the world from next November. Stock is limited, but the price is usually 40% of the estimated retail price when it becomes available in a few months.
The options go up in price to the most expensive one of $480 approximately, and that would arrive with the complete kit on the same date. The shipment includes an SD card, the Raspberry Pi 4B with 2GB of memory, a battery, and a controller, and several 3D printing packages, among other details.