A $ 250 Raspberry Pi based robot dog

It looks like the fashion for robots has come to the world. The Spot model from Boston Dynamics has been around for a long time, recently joined by fellow CyberDog from Xiaomi. Now the Mini Pupper project has appeared on Kickstarter. 

This is also a robot dog, only very small and cheap. You can buy a baby as part of a crowdfunding campaign at a price of $ 255 or more.  

Mini Pupper is a small robot with a Raspberry Pi 4 at its heart. It is based on the open-source Stanford Pupper platform. The robot is running Ubuntu or ROS. 

Despite its modest size, low-performance platform, and low price, this is not just a toy. The robot supports SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), that is, it is able to simultaneously display its environment and learn in real-time. For this, he has a camera and lidar. The robot is capable of building maps of premises and supports navigation. Mini Pupper also supports the OpenCV 3D camera module, which allows the robot to get hold of face recognition systems, gestures, object detection, and so on. 

And the robot is also able to imitate various gaits, which look very funny with such dimensions. By the way, it has 12 degrees of freedom against eight for many similar solutions of this class. The device also has a front display that allows you to display various animations. And, of course, you can configure them yourself.  

The robot is available in various configurations. The basic one, for $ 255, is a fully disassembled robot and no Raspberry Pi 4 included. In order to assemble such a kit, you will need a single board PC and even a 3D printer. The full set within the campaign is offered for a minimum of $ 480, and in retail, it will cost $ 800.  

The dimensions of the baby are 209 x 109 x 165 mm with a weight of 560 g. The robot is equipped with a pair of 1600 mAh batteries. The campaign has already raised more than $ 190,000 against the requested $ 10,000. Deliveries are expected to begin in November.

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