We’ve seen enough creepier-than-fiction four (and two) legged robots from Boston Dynamics to know that these critters will rule over humans in the future. And now we can help the takeover start faster by making our own robo-doggos, with a project called Doggo.
A group of Stanford students created Doggo, a four-legged bot that can dance, backflip, jump and trot without requiring much fancy hardware. The mechanical canine is made of readily available supplies for a relatively minimal cost. For less than $3,000 (about R43,000) you can buy all the hardware and supplies needed to construct your own doggo. The engineering expertise? Well, you’ll need to acquire that at your own time and expense, unfortunately.
Instead of using springs to bounce around, it uses force-sensing external motors that continuously determine the levels of force and torque needed for each movement. If the robot’s ever out of position, the motors are ready to react as needed. As it’s both very light and dense, it can jump as high as a metre in the air. If you built it correctly, that is. If not, we’re not actually sure what’ll happen.
The doggo needs manual control, but all the code is open source. Which means that anyone with enough engineering know-how could expand on what Doggo offers. You could tweak its code to make it switch on the coffee machine at 7am… if you don’t mind your coffee on ground-level. Who’s a good Doggo? You are. You are! [insert happy mechanical Doggo noises]