Bittle Open Source Robot Is Your Very Own "Boston Dynamics Spot" Lookalike

Bittle Robotic Dog 7 photos
Photo: Petoi LLC
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Robots are becoming more and more a part of our lives. Aside from use in military and search&rescue scenarios, they can be one heck of a toy... a Petoi to be specific.
Ladies and gents, this Boston Dynamics lookalike is Bittle, a robot pet that you can build like a set of Lego Technic. Best of all, it’s open source.

The company behind Bittle is known as Petoi. If you haven’t heard of Petoi, you aren’t alone, but here's the gist: this company specializes in producing programmable robotic pets that can be built in the comfort of your own home.

Their first project was OpenCat, an open source robotic pet from 2016. A couple of years later, in 2018, Nybble, another four-legged bag-o-bolts, successfully completed an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, and was delivered in 2019.

Now, the freshest trinket from the team is the Bittle, a robot dog that is ready to bring the experience of modern-day robotics to your doorstep. What makes this project so special is that it’s continually growing day by day; the Petoi team is constantly upgrading code, components, and apps to be used with your pet.

Bittle and Nybble
Photo: Petoi LLC
So, why should you care about this so-called toy? Just look at it: it’s a Boston Dynamics robo-dog in the palm of your hand. Bittle is compact, accessible and will give you a true taste of what robotics is all about.

During the IndieGoGo campaign, Bittle was selling for $250. Just $250 for a robot that seems to be breaking all the rules. (If you’ve ever heard of Sony’s Aibo, that sucker alone will cost you around $1,800, but I'm not so sure you can make Aibo do a backflip)

What do campaign backers get for spending $250? Time to find out

In the kit you’ll find everything you need to make your own fully functional robot. A box with servo motors, USB cable, Bittle body parts, NyBoard, and remote. The servo box includes ten motors to be used in making your robot move, plus a Wi-Fi and a Bluetooth dongle. These last two components are to be used for uploading code and controlling your pet via a smartphone app or PC.

Bittle Robotic Dog
Photo: Petoi LLC
The main body includes a preassembled inter-locking setup and a battery pack, a space where you will eventually hide components, and a head which can be used for holding motion-tracking devices. Yes, it can track objects and move accordingly. If you’ve got the smarts to crank out programming code that allows it to track your movements, you can probably program the Bittle to follow you around. Remaining components include the legs, some servo additions, screws, and a screwdriver (just in case you don’t have any around).

To assemble your newfound toy, Founder and CEO, Rongzhong Li, has a YouTube channel that will take you through a 30-minute process of assembling your bot. Once you’ve done all that, you’ve got to do a little bit of IT work and introduce the necessary code to make Bittle work. Don’t worry though, the team does one heck of a job in taking you through the entire process from A to Z.

That’s only the beginning of your robotics journey. Day in and day out, the Petoi team is uploading new code to make your Bittle do new things, including backflips. Folks, it’s a serious project.

Personally, since the whole design and everything in it are open source, I can’t wait to get a pack of five or ten of these little puppies and have them scouting the premises, and that’s only the beginning.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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