Pneumatic walking, driving, wall climbing and tool using robot

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Naminukas is an ultimate indoor robot which can explore almost any part of the house including climbing on walls, ceiling and furniture. Robot is able to transform to either a bipedal walking robot which can hold on any hard flat surface with vacuum suction cups or a two wheel balancing robot which can drive on soft and porous surfaces like a carpet. Robot can be also used as 4 degrees of freedom pick & place arm. It even caries detachable tools which can be picked and used by feet. Here is a prototype in action:

  • Kitchen helper robot: opening a jar

    Mykolas Juraitis15 hours ago 0 comments

    I have been challenged to open a jar lid with naminukas robot. While most common jar lid has smaller diameter than vacuum suction cup I use, it is just big enough to reach cup lip and make a tight seal. Therefore challenge was not hard to pull off. Here is the result:

  • Caterpillar drive mode

    Mykolas Juraitis6 days ago 0 comments

    Recently I have seen the SAW (Single Actuator Wave-like Robot) which seems to be touching ground only at 2 points. This made me thinking if naminukas could exhibit caterpillar/worm/snake like behaviour with its 2 feet. Here is a result:

  • Half drive mode

    Mykolas Juraitis08/05/2020 at 09:15 0 comments

    Recently I have been drying figs on an oven wire grill and realized that a wire grill is quite a difficult terrain for a robot to traverse. I have unsuccessfully tried several approaches and then remembered what I call "half drive" mode. In this way of operation robot tilts one vacuum suction cup to drive mode and one stays on the ground. Tilted cup can drive in a circular trajectory while untilted one provides stability. I originally experimented with such way of locomotion when robot tried to conquer a doorstep but had no success at that time. Now I finally have an application for "half drive" mode:

  • Naminukas: sloth edition

    Mykolas Juraitis07/22/2020 at 23:11 0 comments

    Naminukas gains a new mode of locomotion - driving while hanging from a tree branch or similar structure like pole, pipe or bar:

    As you can see in the video robot also gained a new ability to drive in a statically stable way but only on flat and non inclined surfaces.

  • Robot skateboards on a glass ramp

    Mykolas Juraitis07/20/2020 at 14:26 0 comments

    Since naminukas in its current form is not very suitable for outdoor usage I was brainstorming solutions for a while now. One of options considered was to utilize a skateboard. For testing I made the simplest skateboard I could image. Wheels of prototype skateboard can't even be steered. To simulate uphill and downhill track I made a simple ramp from 4 pieces of old shower screen glass. This glass is supper strong and I tested that it can even survive a hit by a hammer. Here is a result of my initial experiments:

    As you can notice in the video robot can't even drive up to the very top of the ramp. Wheel starts slipping at some point. So before trying outdoors I need to upgrade tires. One of ideas I have is to try using inverted timing belt as a wide tire.

  • UVC banana and rubber test

    Mykolas Juraitis07/13/2020 at 08:20 1 comment

    Last week I have added a small UVA+UVC LED to naminukas. While I emphasized in the video that disinfecting function is just a proof of concept and in the final product more powerful ultraviolet lamps should be used, I got a few comments saying that a lot of UVC LEDs are fake and I should do a banana test. Banana skin is supposed to get darker under UVC light. While testing with bananas I also noticed that nitrile rubber tire near LED got cracked:

    Hopefully that proves that from sufficiently short distance my LED would kill bacteria too. I will need to replace rubber tire with silicone which is UV resistant.

    On the next day, an area surrounding darkened spot got darker too:

    UVC irradiated bananaI wonder if it is because of stray UV light or the original spot caused surrounding area to ripen faster. I you know more about UV exposure effects please let me know in the comments.

  • Naminukas: ultraviolet edition

    Mykolas Juraitis07/09/2020 at 14:26 0 comments

    Given ongoing coronavirus situation here is my humble attempt to add disinfection function to naminukas:

  • Robot on a swing

    Mykolas Juraitis06/25/2020 at 14:06 2 comments

    This week I was experimenting with unstable robot behaviour, namely pumping a swing:

    I tried various strategies like periodically turning robot on one leg, moving leg up an down aligned with swing seat or perpendicular to it. Apparently pumping a swing is quite a complicated process. In practice it is possible to achieve some results with a simple periodic motion. In the video above robot starts moving up and down with a period of 0.6s and decreases period by 2ms every swing. Motor acceleration speed also affects swing pumping so it had to be tuned.

  • Robot climbs the slide and gazes upon the sky

    Mykolas Juraitis06/19/2020 at 10:18 0 comments

    This week I have added a camera to naminukas. It doesn't do anything useful for autonomy yet and just captures images. Initially I used OpenCV library but apparently version 3.2 which is default on Debian Buster has a memory leak so robot runs out of memory in a few hours of continuous image capture. Therefore I re-implemented image capture using video4linux library which is way more complicated than using OpenCV but on the other hand more convenient for me as rest of my code is in C but modern versions of OpenCV require using C++. To convince myself that all memory leaks were eradicated I kept robot running for multiple hours capturing images. I have made a time-lapse video from one of these test runs:

  • Turntable

    Mykolas Juraitis06/05/2020 at 15:59 2 comments

    This week I was trying to make a more professional video about naminukas. Here is a result:

    This is my first video ever with a soundtrack instead of "natural" noise generated by a vacuum pump. For the introduction I wanted to make a cool effect of camera rotating around the robot. For that I made a super simple turntable from various scrap parts. Here is my video setup:

    Video setup

    It is probably the lowest tech contraption I ever made:

    Turntable from scrap

    At the bottom there is a leg from old shower tray screwed to the wooden plank. At the top I was lucky enough to find a nut with attached big washer which can spin freely. I believe it came from big old speaker. Since washer is still too small to reliably hold heavy object I clamped it with old 3D printed parts from naminukas. Table top is just part of ceramic tile left over from last renovation project with a surface nice enough to appear in the video.

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John Loefler wrote 07/13/2020 at 18:37 point

I would Try green bananas at a distance far enough away that heating effect would not cause burning.  Masking it would also give you a better contrast see this video (

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clive wrote 06/26/2020 at 01:25 point

Yes the wheels are funny ,its like its doing the splits .You might even think about , making it amphibious,, water proof .The wheel in some way have paddles  ,I am just guessing. Top marks !! :)

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 07/09/2020 at 14:40 point

Thanks! Robotis recently released waterproof Dynamixels (for example, electronics could be put in a sealed box and vacuum pump should work with non corrosive fluids out of the box so amphibious version seems feasible without too many changes.

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M Druiven wrote 04/29/2020 at 20:14 point

Nicely done! What are you using to generate vacuum?

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 04/29/2020 at 21:36 point

Thanks. Black thing in robot centre is a dual head vacuum pump which is making all the noise in walk/climb mode.

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Mike Szczys wrote 04/27/2020 at 19:06 point

That is awesome! The walking up walls is a delight, but moving from walking to rolling is the robot equivalent of the moonwalk. Wicked!

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 04/28/2020 at 08:43 point


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Dan Maloney wrote 04/09/2020 at 17:00 point

OK, gotta admit I didn't see the wheels thing coming. That's pretty clever!

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Mykolas Juraitis wrote 04/09/2020 at 20:15 point

Thanks. I was super excited when this idea came to me. Still working on how to make transition from walking to wheel mode autonomously (without me holding robot in the air) with minimal or no additional hardware. Servos are powerful enough to drag vacuum suction cups without robot being lifted and also one leg could be transformed while other leg is stuck to the floor but balancing process is not good enough for a transition phase. Software still can be improved a lot but it is not clear if it will be enough.

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