Build Your Own Mini-Robot Dog Like Boston Dynamics

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Bittle is a tiny robot along the lines of the Boston Dynamics robot dog but in a palm-size package. It’s not a toy, as it requires assembly and also code downloads. You download demo codes to bring it to life. Petoi organizes challenges for open source codes to make Bittle do a myriad of skills. 

Bittle’s spring-loaded legs and body move like a real dog

Petoi Robot Dog Bittle | Petoi

There are lots of tutorials and project ideas online to make Bittle’s spring-loaded legs and body move like a real dog. It stores the ability to balance, walk, jump, and do tricks. It also stores muscle memory and detects and/or reacts to outside stimuli. You can wirelessly upload motion plans through Bluetooth or WiFi. 

It’s a bit offbeat from what you expect MotorBiscuit to cover. But, it’s a moving, powered machine, so it fits our coverage. It also allows enthusiasts to explore robotics. And it is an introduction to open source functions and code development.

We posted this unboxing on Facebook to give you an idea of what it looks like before assembly. The box of 10 Servos are driven by commands from the controller board. Nothing is off-the-shelf stuff. It’s all tailored to the Bittle. Note the Servos’ custom shape.

What comes with the Bittle kit?

three Petoi Robot Dog Bittle
Petoi Robot Dog Bittle | Petoi

All of the screws, springs, and connectors are included, as is the USB cable to download codes. But there are also BlueTooth and WiFi dongles to accept coding as well. There is even a screwdriver in case you don’t have one. Other than the screws needed for attaching the servos and a few other components, everything clips into place. 

The custom battery is also included. It slides for weight bias to help balance the Bittle. The plastic head is a clip that holds a camera or other components including a sensor for motion detection. You can also integrate a GoPro camera into the head as well. Neither the camera nor motion-sensor are included but can be purchased for a nominal price separately.

The Ny-board or controller board ties all of the functions together. The tail of Bittle is the receiver for code. There is also a remote control. Injected molded plastic body, legs, head, are sturdy and well-done. Bittle comes in blue/black/yellow or black/yellow like ours. The body houses the battery pack and control board.

There are different codes you can upload that control certain aspects of Bittle functions

Bittle heads with control circuits clipped into its jaws
Petoi Robot Dog Bittle | Petoi

Instructions and information are all on the Petoi website and in online forums. Once assembled, you download code from the internet. As mentioned there is a BlueTooth uploader or you can hardwire Bittle to your computer. There are different codes you can upload that control certain aspects of Bittle functions.

And there are a number of modules you can buy that range in price from just a few dollars to around $10 each. Specifically, we’ll be purchasing the module for motion detection or following.

Bittle control circuit board
Petoi Robot Dog Bittle | Petoi

There is a Bittle community to share different codes developed by owners. You can also modify the source codes to alter specific functions for a custom function. 

If this sounds intriguing check out our unboxing and then go over to the Petoi site to learn more about Bittle, the forums, instructional info, and the coding community.  We’ll update you after we build ours and download some functions.

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