I just made a post on Makezine with a demo video: https://makershare.com/projects/opencat
A same post on Hackster: https://www.hackster.io/petoi/opencat-845129
If you are interested in the project and want to have one in hand sooner, please like the video and share. I also love to see your comments to make it better.
Thanks for your support!
original post below:
You may have seen Boston Dynamic Dogs and the recently released Sony Aibo. They are supper cool but are too expensive to enjoy. I'm providing some affordable alternatives that have most of their motion capabilities. Currently I have two functional prototypes:
* The mini model is a stand-alone 8-DoF Arduino motion module that holds all skills for multiple gaits and real-time adaptation. It can also be a "leg-hat" for your existing project. It's targeted at STEM education and Maker community. I'm already selling the kit to local institutes and this model will kickstart my initial campaign. Its price is similar to some robotic car kits.
* The full version uses a Pi for more AI-enhanced perception and instructs an upgraded 16-DoF motion module. Besides Pi's wifi and bluetooth, it also carries touch, infrared, distance, voice and vision interfaces. All modules have be tested on its light weighted body. It also adopts some bionic skeleton designs to make it morphologically resembles a cat. It's targeted at consumer market with less tech backgrounds. You can imaging it as a legged iPhone or Alexa that has an app store for third party extensions. I have a regular routine for duplicating the model, but need better industrialization to reduce the labor. I expect the price to be close to a smartphone.
* I also have an obsolete version that uses only Pi for controlling both AI and motion. The movement is not as good though.
You can focus on coding it on either motion (Arduino with C) or AI (Pi with Python) part. And the two can communicate with string tokens. Currently it can run at about 2.6 bodyLength/sec for 75 mins. And it's pretty easy to teach it new postures and behaviors with a couple lines of codes.
I bought my first RasPi in Jun.2016 to learn coding hardware. I made the 6 major iterations between Jul.2016 and Sep.2017. I bought an Arduino in Jul.2017 for better motion control. I really want to devote full-time for this project. However, I'm at the bottleneck with my personal resources. Now I'm applying for several accelerators and will probably try Indiegogo. Before that campaign, I'd like to know your needs and expectations for this kind of product.
- Would you be interested in this project?
- What features do you care the most for a quadruped robot?
- How much would you pay for your ideal robotic pet?
- Would you prefer a dog version?
- Most importantly, would you prefer it to be an open-source platform supported by our Maker community or a well-packed commercial product supported by investors? I may post the link to my demo video if appropriate.