Mini Pupper: Boston Dynamics' budget version of Spot
Fans of Boston Dynamics robots can already buy the Spot model for about $75,000, but many justifiably consider it overpriced. The product is too complicated and of little use, but almost everyone agrees that the robot-dog concept is excellent. Hong Kong startup MangDang has adopted it and created a tiny robot puppy, incomparably cheaper and more interesting than Spot.
The Mini Pupper design is about the same: the body on four legs, but sizes are small: 209 mm long, 109 mm wide and 165 mm high, weighing 560 grams. The limbs give the robot 12 degrees of freedom of movement, it can trot and jump. The battery capacity is 800 mA⋅h, which is enough for 25 minutes of activity.
The Mini Pupper is good because it is an open-source, modular platform. The robot has a Raspberry Pi 4B microprocessor, which allows you to program it in your own way, control it remotely and connect arbitrary modules. For example, a lidar or a 3D camera for self-orientation. It also has an LCD screen for displaying smiley faces and pictures that mimic Pupper’s facial expressions.
By default, the Mini Pupper is a builder for enthusiasts who will assemble their own versions of the robot. But a ready-made assembly is also provided, priced at $589. It’s definitely easier and cheaper than Spot.