Dog's Head

A project log for Mike's Robot Dog

Boston Dynamics' robot dog, Spot Mini is unavailable at any price. A Chinese copy is $30,000. Cut 99% of the cost and build one at home.

Mike RigsbyMike Rigsby 06/03/2018 at 20:120 Comments

Here's the first version of a head--with flapping ears synchronized to barks.

I don't have a dog, so we had to visit a friend and record their dog's bark. Of course, Juston (the dog) just stood silently for all the many things that normally trigger a bark (treat, knock on the door, promise of a car ride). Finally, he was induced to talk.

This "Dog Head Module" is a 3d printed head with two servo motors that can be used to flap ears. It can be added to any dog robot (wheels or legs) and modified (the raw head files are available on this site).

My wife, Annelle, made a clay head for scanning.

The head is fairly large and was scanned on a Makerbot Digitizer.

The resulting scan file (included) was too large to import into Tinkercad. I reduced the file size (included) then imported the head into Tinkercad and made holes for the servo motors and wires.

I mounted the micro servo motors in their 3d printed brackets, then melted (using a soldering iron) the bracket into the head.

I added a servo horn extender to the servo horn so that the ear would move a reasonable amount.

Bearing brackets (3d printed) were melted onto the dog's head. They accommodate the 1 1/4 inch by 2-56 machine screws that allow the ear to move.

A bearing adapter piece must be melted to each ear.

A finished (not painted) ear looks like this.

Back to the art shop (Annelle) for a paint job.

Assembled, the head looks like this.

I used an Adafruit sound module board and trigger the bark file (included on this site) with an Arduino. I coordinated the ear flapping servo motors with the bark sound. 

You could put square 8x8 led modules in for the eyes. The mouth could be cut away and modified to move for the bark . . . this is just a starting place.