Mini Pupper: Open-Source ROS Robot Dog Kit ups the ante for semi-autonomous bots in both its facial and object recognition, as well as its adept movement abilities.
You have to watch the footage to really get a grasp on the Mini Pupper’s extraordinarily advanced powers!
It moves almost too life-like.
The Mini Pupper shuffles, hops, pivots, and leans, like a dancing machine.
This thing follows your facial’s movements, as well as your cup of coffee’s, and it can recognize the difference in both thanks to an OAK-D LITE OpenCV 3D camera module and its amazing spatial AI.
The bot lifts its whole body and flexes its legs like a dog would to follow your hand as it moves around.
To quote the Indiegogo page: With OAK-D-Lite vision, it’s now your Border-Collie-level smart robotic dog. Border Collies are amazing because they can learn very specific hand signals (and they’re neurotic about them).
That is a bar setting event: this unit, with its programmable faces that change expression can learn hand signals like a Collie, and be neurotic about it!
The freaky adeptness at moving like a living thing is explained in the twelve degrees of freedom built into the $600 Mini Pupper.
Where many mini-bots are limited with eight DOF, the Pupper is truly a hopping step above and beyond its bigger brothers.
Yes, it does remind us of Boston Dynamic and DARPA’s Legged Squad Support System (LS3) “Pack Mule” that is still haunting students in the campus woods of MIT, but there are several key differences.
The biggest one is the Mini Pupper is tiny by comparison.
This robot weighs in at 560 grams (19.75 ounces) and measures 209mm in length (just over 8” long).
Yes, the mini-part was kind of obvious, but the BIG difference in the two eerily Bradburyian bots is that the Mini Pupper is open source.
This little mechanized pup is inspired by the Stanford Pupper open source project and won a Hackaday Prize for its efforts.
All of the design files and source code are available from the Pupper Github, and this little guy has a Rasberry Pi-based board to make it extremely expandable, from the USB 3.0, SD card slots, two 4K mini-HDMI ports to a Gigabit Ethernet hookup.
If you like dogs and are allergic, or just love incredibly smart and capable bots like the new miniature king of robotics, the Mini Pupper, then an investment into this highly adaptable robot can be a great tool at a school or home.