Crowdfunding Watch: Arduino powers Petoi Bittle, the robo pup – Electronics Weekly


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Crowdfunding Watch: Arduino powers Petoi Bittle, the robo pup

It’s the Petoi Bittle – “A Palm-sized Robot Dog for STEM and Fun” – and it’s just about to finish it’s run on Kickstarter.

A nice variation on the sinister, headless Spot, though, is that various heads can be chosen to customise the robot. You can a headless version in action in the video below.

It’s smashed its funding targets, if you didn’t guess. At the time of writing, the project has raised £369,448 from 1,745 backers, smashing the £38,872 goal with six days to go.

.@PetoiCamp's Bittle is an Arduino-programmable, Boston Dynamics-inspired robopup that fits in the palm of your hand:

— Arduino (@arduino) September 15, 2020

The team behind it writes:

“Petoi Bittle is a tiny but powerful robot that can play tricks like real animals. We fine-tuned every bit to fit agile manoeuvrability into a palm-sized robot pet. You can bring Bittle to life by assembling its puzzle-like frame and downloading our demo codes on GitHub. You can also teach it new skills to win prizes in our community challenges. Bittle makes a perfect tool for learning, teaching, researching, or a surprising gift to impress your family and friends. Bittle is not a toy for small kids. We recommend parental guidance to appreciate its rich content and avoid damage or injury.”

In terms of the electronics involved, Bittle is driven by NyBoard V1, a customised Arduino Uno board extra peripherals. This can drive up to 12 PWM servos, and an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) is used for balancing.

Apparently, the device stores “muscle memory” and detects orientation and acceleration for balancing. An infrared remote can trigger basic movements. Commands – “walk”, “sit”, or more detailed instructions – can also be sent to the serial port.

The makers say they have developed a Bluetooth dongle for wirelessly uploading codes and controlling Bittle from PC or smartphone Apps, and there’s also a Wi-Fi dongle

Bittle has an interlocking frame with few screws involved. Most body parts are symmetric for simplicity and aesthetics, say the makers.

Read more on the KickStarter page or on the Arduino site.

Bittle is the second product of OpenCat, sibling of Nybble.

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