Putting their own twist on robots that amble through complicated landscapes, the Stanford Student Robotics club’s Extreme Mobility team at Stanford University has developed a four-legged robot that is capable of performing acrobatic tricks and traversing challenging terrain.
Anyone who wants their own version of the robot, dubbed Stanford Doggo, can consult comprehensive plans, code and a supply list that the students have made freely available online.
“We had seen these other quadruped robots used in research, but they weren’t something that you could bring into your own lab and use for your own projects,” said Nathan Kau, ’20, a mechanical engineering major and lead for Extreme Mobility. “We wanted Stanford Doggo to be this open source robot that you could build yourself on a relatively small budget.”
Whereas other similar robots can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and require customized parts, the Extreme Mobility students estimate the cost of Stanford Doggo at less than $3,000 – including manufacturing and shipping costs – and nearly all the components can be bought as-is online. They hope the accessibility of these resources inspires a community of Stanford Doggo makers and researchers who develop innovative and meaningful spinoffs from their work.
Already Stanford Doggo can walk, trot, dance, hop, jump and perform the occasional backflip. The students are working on a larger version of their creation – which is currently about the size of a beagle – but will take a short break to present Stanford Doggo at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation May 21, 2019 in Montreal, Canada.