There was a time when quadruped robots were only available to deep-pocketed government or corporate clients, but we’re now seeing less-pricey miniature models hitting the market. One of the latest, the XGO 2, is the first such mini-bot to sport a robotic arm.
Created by Harbin Institute of Technology spinoff company Luwu Intelligent Technology, the “desktop-size” XGO 2 is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign.
As is the case with other miniature quadruped robots (namely the Bittle and Mini Pupper) the open-source XGO 2 can either be remotely controlled in real time via an app, or preprogrammed by tech-savvy types. It utilizes a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 processor, and is compatible with the Blockly, Python and ROS programming languages.
The robot can also be programmed simply by grasping it, and physically guiding it through the desired motions.
Integrated AI modules allow for visual, voice and gesture recognition, reportedly letting the XGO 2 “hear, recognize and reply to users, like a real dog.” It also sports six IMUs (inertial measurement units) and has 12 degrees of freedom, allowing it freely Trot, Walk or “High Walk” in any direction, and to remain stable on uneven or moving surfaces.
Its head combines a camera, microphone, speaker, LCD screen and pushbutton controls, the latter two of which can be used for basic programming and to switch between operational modes. The screen also displays an animated face, giving the bot a bit of personality.
And then there’s that arm …
It has three degrees of freedom, and is equipped with a gripper that can open from 2.5 to 5.5 cm wide (0.98 to 2.17 in). Utilizing that appendage, the robot can be instructed to grasp, lift, carry, place and drag a variety of objects … basically, whatever it can get ahold of.
The XGO 2 is being offered in two models – the standard Mini, and the smaller, slightly less powerful Lite. Assuming they reach production, a pledge of US$449 will get you a Lite, with $749 required for a Mini – the planned retail prices are $898 and $1,398, respectively.
You can see the XGO 2 in action, in the video below.
XGO 2, World’s First Raspberry Pi Robotic Dog with An Arm