3D-Printed Robot Dog

You’ve likely seen a video of two Boston Dynamics’ Spot Mini robots collaborating to walk through a closed door. If you’d like one of these robo-pooches to keep you company, they are (for better or worse) not for sale. A company in China makes something similar for around $30,000, but this still represents a rather large expense for most people. Hacker Mike Rigsby decided to do something a bit different and instead made his own 3D-printed version for around $300, or 1% of the cost of a Chineese bot.

His robot uses 3D-printed legs actuated by a series of 12 high-torque servos, and the dog-bot uses an Arduino board for control. Though it can’t currently walk, or even stand, it can do a sort of push-up as seen in the video below. Still, this type of motion is an impressive feat, as each servo can draw over 4 amps under heavy load, and eight need to work together to lift it from a sitting to upright position. This means that it needs 30–40 amps available to get things to work correctly. To compensate, three ultracapacitors are used to provide temporary power.

Shoulder joints are also reinforced with a bearing assembly so that the servo itself doesn’t have to deal with extra stress. While still a prototype, it will be interesting to see how Rigsby’s build develops in the future!

More of a (robotic) cat person? Then check this out!

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