While many people are mesmerized by Boston Dynamics’ dog-inspired Spot four-legged robot, there’s no way they’ll ever be able to afford one of their own. However, they can still own another robot dog in the form of a smaller and cheaper Mini Pupper.
Measuring 209 mm long x 109 mm wide x 165 mm high (8.2 x 4.3 x 6.5 inches), the 560-gram (20 oz) Mini Pupper aircraft manufactured by the MangDang startup has headquarters in Hong Kong. It’s most definitely made for hackers / tinkerers, as it’s available in an open source kit that users assemble themselves – although there’s also a fully assembled option.
The robot can be pre-programmed or remotely controlled in real time, and its built-in Raspberry Pi 4B processor is compatible with Ubuntu and ROS operating systems. It can also be equipped with third-party devices such as a LiDAR module to scan and map its surroundings, as well as a depth-sensing camera to identify and track objects.
And yes, as you may have noticed, it also has an animated LCD screen face that can be programmed to display different expressions.
Thanks to its flexibility of 12 degrees of freedom, the Mini Pupper can walk in a variety of positions including brisk walking, sideways or trotting. A 30-minute charge with its 800 mAh battery is said to be good for about 25 minutes of use.
The Mini Pupper is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. While lower-priced packages are available to backers willing to supply some of their own parts and assemble the robot themselves, a fully assembled unit that includes all components can be The end result is $589 – assuming it’s manufactured, that is. Potential backers may also want to see the successful crowdfunding Petoi Bittle mini robot dog.
You can see the Mini Pupper in action in the video below.
Source: Kickstarter, MangDang