If your budget will not stretch to the $75,000 pricetag of the Boston Dynamics’ Spot quadruped robot dog, you may be interested in a slightly more affordable open source Solo 8 robot. Solo 8 is specifically designed for the controlled environments witrhin laboratories and research institutes, rather than the outdoor environments capable of being traversed by Spot.
“We present a new open-source torque-controlled legged robot system, with a low-cost and low-complexity actuator module at its core. It consists of a high-torque brushless DC motor and a low-gear-ratio transmission suitable for impedance and force control. We also present a novel foot contact sensor suitable for legged locomotion with hard impacts. A 2.2 kg quadruped robot with a large range of motion is assembled from eight identical actuator modules and four lower legs with foot contact sensors.”
“Leveraging standard plastic 3D printing and off-the-shelf parts results in a lightweight and inexpensive robot, allowing for rapid distribution and duplication within the research community. We systematically characterize the achieved impedance at the foot in both static and dynamic scenarios, and measure a maximum dimensionless leg stiffness of 10.8 without active damping, which is comparable to the leg stiffness of a running human. Finally, to demonstrate the capabilities of the quadruped, we present a novel controller which combines feedforward contact forces computed from a kino-dynamic optimizer with impedance control of the center of mass and base orientation. The controller can regulate complex motions while being robust to environmental uncertainty.”