When it comes to academic projects, the adaptability of a Raspberry Pi-based undertaking is hard to surpass. Alexander Calvert and Nathan Ferguson, Monash Engineering students, have crafted an impressive quadruped robot known as the Dingo, employing the renowned Raspberry Pi single-board computer (SBC). Their objective was to develop an economical solution suitable for research purposes while remaining flexible enough to accommodate additional components.
The robot demonstrates various degrees of locomotion control. Users can fine-tune parameters such as pitch, roll, yaw, and speed — moreover, the Dingo possesses the ability to crouch and transport lightweight objects. The duo has ingeniously utilized a PlayStation 4 controller to operate the robot remotely. Notably, their work is inspired by Stanford’s Quadruped project, which is publicly available on GitHub.
While the team aimed to create an affordable robot, the overall cost might dissuade certain hobbyists; they have thoughtfully compiled a comprehensive component list that amounts to over $1,300, even so, it is feasible to substitute some of the parts with more cost-effective alternatives, albeit sacrificing performance in specific aspects. The robot’s body can be 3D-printed and its design is open source, enabling anyone to fabricate their own or make modifications. The necessary files can be found on GrabCAD.
The Dingo is controlled primarily by the Raspberry Pi 4 B, with additional support from an Arduino Nano. The extensive hardware array includes 12 servos, priced at $44.49 each, resulting in a total cost of over $530 for the servos alone. For a complete list of parts, refer to the project’s GitHub page.
Operating on the Ubuntu operating system, the Dingo necessitates a few additional tools for assembly, such as VSCode and ROS Noetic. The software package also incorporates custom Python scripts to manage controller input. For a more detailed insight into the software aspect of Dingo’s design, visit the official Dingo Quadruped GitHub page.
If you’re intrigued to witness the Raspberry Pi Quadruped in action, the students have shared a demonstration video on YouTube, which you can find in this very article. If you’re also excited about the project, show your support and appreciation for their diligent efforts throughout this semester. Furthermore, stay tuned for the future endeavors of these talented individuals as they continue to embark on innovative projects.
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