Elephant Robotics has released its latest Raspberry Pi-powered robot (opens in a new tab), the first of its kind with two arms. The bot’s six-jointed appendages move a 450 g (9 oz) weight over a radius of 1/8 inch (280 mm) and can be equipped with hand grippers, hands with hand movements and a pump suction.
The MyBuddy 280 is designed to protect against various social behaviors. It’s a Raspberry Pi 4 board (opens in a new tab) that’s connected to a seven-inch interactive display – a touchscreen – capable of displaying different facial expressions. Three additional ESP32 microcontroller modules sit between the Pi and the servos, of which a number of other vehicles exist. One arm can rotate at least 165 degrees in either direction, providing 13 degrees of freedom and over 100 control surfaces. Robots are controlled – using hands.
The rest of the hardware is made up of the Raspberry Pi 4; a 4 GB model is the brain of the robot. Elephant Robotics, which has yet to release an elephant-shaped robot, has also attached two cameras, one of which allows the robot to read QR codes, as well as locate and recognize objects. Facial recognition comes with the camera. Pis USB and wireless interfaces also connect the bot to the world around it; and two Grove connectors and two 5×5 LED arrays provide more I/O options.
The open-source tool MyStudio has all standard desktop operating systems, plus Android. On the Elephant Robotics download page, you can download the Arduino, Python and C library, as well as the Android app / and firmware / for the ESP32s, which are also available in the download section.
The MyBuddy 280 is currently available from the Elephant Robotics store (opens from new tab) for $1,699 or $1,729, when you add rubber hands to the package. Stock appears to be limited with only five store displays, and CNX Software (opens in a new tab) confirming with sellers that they will not be selling the robots in the Elephant Robotics store for at least three months.