Outline:

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Mini Pupper 2 is already launched on Kickstarter till Dec. 11, 2022.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/336477435/mini-pupper-2-open-source-ros2-robot-kit-for-dreamers

Mini Pupper will make robotics easier for schools, homeschool families, enthusiasts and beyond.

Mini Pupper latest news:

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Mini Pupper was shown both on the first page of Kickstarter and Makuake campaign platform, and got many backers!

Mini Pupper will have a workshop on ROScon 2022 in Oct.


Problem

There is no ROS, open-source robot dog platform to study at less than $1,000USD.

You maybe see many demos from Boston Dynamics Spot Mini, many guys want to own their own robot dog to explore the functions, but the price is too high to accept, and it is not easy to explore the robot dog features.TurtleBot is very convenient for wheeled robot study, but not legged robots. 

Solution and Product

Beginning 2020, we shipped many Stanford Pupper units worldwide. After such global success with Pupper, we took to heart all the feedback from this endeavor. What do our customers want in our products? What kind of products do they like? After more than 11 months pursuing these requests, we would like to show you what we came up with. Mini Pupper!

Mini Pupper is the open-source robot dog platform that supports ROS SLAM, Navigation, and OpenCV AI features with Lidar, camera, and other sensors. It's really a Boston Dynamics Spot Robot Dog in the Palm and legged "TurtleBot"  for study at less than $500USD. 

Mini Pupper will make robotics easier for schools, homeschool families, enthusiasts, and beyond.

How to Purchase

If you purchase the parts yourself one by one, it’ll run you about $800 and more time. However, you can purchase a kit to build the robot on Tindie.

What's Mini Pupper's value?

Open source: DIY what your custom robot dog

In June 2021, MangDang released Mini Pupper on the Stanford Pupper website in collaboration with Nathan Kau, the original creator of Stanford Pupper, to bring to market a commercial and reasonably priced educational quadruped robot that anyone could engagingly use for fun robotics research and experiments.

Gait Performance

You can use Mini Pupper to explore many gait performances, such as Trot (diagonal pairs), Pace (lateral pairs), and the Bound (front and rear pairs).

Facial Animation

You can easily custom your own facial animation, mechanical shell, and your own algorithms, we will supply enough guide documents and videos to make it easy. Here are three preset animations, you can change and make your own set with just one click!

You can DIY and customize a UNIQUE MiniPupper in the world.  Check out those MiniPuppers created by our fans!

Raspberry Pi
Based on Raspberry Pi, MiniPupper is super expandable. You can explore more with MiniPupper!

ROS: A Dynamic System that You Can Keep Developing

Mini Pupper is a dog-shaped robot that is aimed at stimulating and empowering your creativity. That’s why we are not presenting it as a closed project that can’t evolve from here. On the contrary, Mini Pupper leverages Ubuntu and ROS to operate its FSN (Full Self-Navigation) System.

Mini Pupper supports not only Melodic but also Noetic. ROS2 is also in our pipeline.

MiniPupper supports SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), it can map its environment and learn in real-time from things around using Lidar or a camera sensor.

With the map, MiniPupper can answer "where am I? Where am I going?" you can call it self-driving technology.

AI: OpenCV

Mini Pupper supports OpenCV's latest 3D camera module, named OAK-D LITE, it brings the superpowers of Spatial AI to the price-point necessary to unlock all sorts of applications. With the module, Mini Pupper can run face detection, recognition, object detection, recognition, etc.

With OAK-D-Lite vision, it's now your Border-Collie-level smart robotic dog. Border Collies are amazing because they can learn very specific hand signals (and they're neurotic about them). Now Mini Pupper can be just as amazing (and neurotic)!

Why Mini Pupper Stands Out?

Custom Servo

Our Mini Pupper servo is a custom servo to meet the requirements of our new Pupper! Compact, Durable, Unique. To run the Mini Pupper organically and smoothly, high torque & high-fidelity servos were required. We tested many servos on the market and have not found any 9g servo up to the task. After too many Q.C issues we finally gave up on off-the-shelf hobbyist servos, the last thing we want is for our intelligent customers to be let down by poor quality servos. So, we spent several months optimizing and configuring a servo that would work for our project, including tuning the servo parameters ourselves! It is now named Mini Pupper servo.

12 DOF (degree of freedom)

The Mini Pupper has 12 DOF (degree of freedom), unlike the 8 DOF available through similar projects. There was a lot of debate within our team about whether we should keep with norms and produce the same 8 DOF. After much debate, we concluded 8 DOF robots lack the ability to follow natural biological movements. The benefits of an 8 DOF quadruped only seemed to benefit the producer as the cost of the robot and parts required would be less. But we would have lost the original inspiration of the project… Which was to provide our customers with the highest quality best performing robot in this price range. All the servos are controlled one by one by a PCA9685. The gait performance is dependent on the 12 servos control loop time, requiring more effort to optimize 12 DOF vs 8DOF. There were doubts we could accomplish this with such a low price point. Although it was a challenge, after several months Mini Pupper is the first consumer 12 DOF quadruped robot in the world with a mass production intention.

Education Courses

We are targeting Mini Pupper for education. To make the study of Mini Pupper easy and convenient, the courses will be released step by step, including mechanical, hardware, ROS, SLAM, navigation, AI functions, and so on. If you’ve been searching for an open-sourced consumer-grade quadruped research robot, Mini Pupper is the best platform for you.

How to use it? 

You can use the controller to enjoy and explore Mini Pupper's many features. Besides that, you can easily customize your own facial animation and algorithms by PC, we will supply enough guide documents and videos to make it easy.

How to Build

To get started, check out the pages linked below on part sourcing and assembly.

About Stanford Student Robotics

Stanford Student Robotics is an entirely student-run group dedicated to building cool robots and learning new things. You can find many amazing projects on the website. Mini Pupper project is supported by Nathan Kau from Stanford Student Robotics.

About MangDang Technology Co., Limited

Founded in 2020, MangDang specializes in the research, development, and production of robot products that make people's lives better. MangDang is headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in Beijing/China, and Tokyo/Japan. We are a global team with members from many countries and regions such as the United States, Japan, Canada, Europe, China, and so on.

We are all dreamers, and we look forward to connecting talents worldwide and innovating together to perform splendid times!