Nybble: The Open-Source Robot Kitten with Cattitude

Nybble formerly known as OpenCat is a Raspberry Pi & Arduino board compatible 10″ long robot cat by Chinese roboticist Rongzhong Li. Li a physics PhD and computer science master took Nybble to Indiegogo the crowdfunding website raising over $150,000 in investments.

Nybble Walking Cat Robot

Nybble Walking Cat Robot

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Nybble is the lightest (350g) and fastest robotic cat that actually walks. Built on an open source platform, Nybble has unlimited possibilities in the way you can code tricks, behaviors to help it grow.

Nybble Doing a Turtle Roll!

Want Nybble to think, mount a Raspberry Pi!

Nybble’s wooden frame is an easily assembled puzzle, it’s retro design is in honor of its popstick framed ancestor. The wisdom of traditional Chinese woodwork was borrowed to make the robot cats frame screw free.

NyBoard V0 Arduino Compatible Motion Controller Board

NyBoard V0 Arduino Compatible Motion Controller Board

NyBoard V0 Arduino Compatible Motion Controller Board

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An Arduino compatible controller called NyBoard V0 controls the movement of robot cats legs. The NyBoard includes an ATmega328P chip (same chip which powers an Arduino Uno) and when paired with a Raspberry Pi (not included) controls higher level functions including “perception and decision-making”.

Nybble is runs the OpenCat open source software which might make Nybble a great addition to a STEM robotics school curriculum in the near future: when the bugs are ironed out.

Well Thought Out Robot Design

I love how well thought out the design is of Nybble, the video below shows how to mount the battery compartment. A battery compartment isn’t exactly the most important aspect of a robots design per se, but being a relatively light bot at 350g get the batteries in the wrong location and the center of gravity won’t be ideal and the robot cat is liable to fall over!

Check out around 9 minutes 50 seconds into the video, the precise location of the battery compartment can be easily adjusted. A small, but very important design feature which could have easily been skipped.

Nybble Robot Cat vs Boston Dynamics SpotMini Robot Dog

Boston Dynamics SpotMini Robot Dog

Boston Dynamics SpotMini Robot Dog

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Will be very interested to see if the Nybble robot cat design is ever scaled up to the size of the Boston Dynamics quadruped robots like SpotMini.

SpotMini is a relatively small Boston Dynamics dog robot, but at 25KG to 30Kg vs Nybble at 350grams (~70 times lighter), would be interesting to see how the OpenCat code and the Nybble design works.