Here is our review of the Bittle X Open-source Bionic Robot Dog from Petoi.
Bittle has expanded its Bittle robot dog lineup with the introduction of Bittle X, a palm-sized, open-source programmable robot dog, designed for STEM and robotics education. More advanced than previous versions, the small but mighty Bittle X can respond to voice commands, performing over 35 predefined actions such as sit, play dead and backflip with high performance, lifelike movements. Bittle X’s dynamic maneuverability and behaviors are features typically seen on luxury robots, but Petoi’s technology is now making it accessible to everyone.
Bittle X users can choose from two different options based on their ability. For those just starting out with STEM and younger users, a pre-assembled robot dog is ready for action. The advanced users can select the kit option where they assemble its puzzle-like frame themselves and build the robot.
Bittle X operates on OpenCat, Petoi’s open-source quadrupled robot platform that offers endless programming and customization possibilities. Its bionic construction of legs rather than wheels means that it is able to move more freely over unstructured terrain.
Bittle X comes with 35+ built-in voice commands allowing users to interact with their robot pet as they would with a real dog. It responds quickly and in a lifelike way to voice commands such as scratch, dig, jump and high five. Users can also program an additional 10 voice commands if they want Bittle X to learn new tricks and play games. Additionally, Bittle X can be easily configured and controlled using Petoi’s official mobile app or the included remote control. Users can use the free Petoi Desktop App to design new robotics skills in a visual way.
Bittle X is the first robot powered by Petoi’s latest quadruped robot controller Biboard, a customized ESP32 board with larger programming space and faster CPU resulting in better performance. BiBoard coordinates all instinctive and sophisticated movements. Users are able to attach various smart sensors to Bittle X to inject perception and artificial intelligence capabilities. The optional Petoi intelligent camera module and the newly released Petoi sensor pack, for example, enables Bittle X to recognize objects and patterns and sense of light, touch, gesture and movement, so users can program it to react and play games accordingly.
Perfect for STEM/coding beginners and those learning STEM at school, Bittle X comes with Petoi Coding Blocks, a Scratch-like, block-based programming environment for all ages. It also supports C++/Python programming for more advanced users such as software developers, IoT/robotics/AI application developers and researchers. To empower educators, Petoi offers the introduction to quadruped robotics curricula for free. They are available in block-based programming and C++ programming.
What’s in the box?
The box contains Bittle, a screwdriver, a small box of accessories including a remote control and an instruction card.
A Closer Look
I’ve always wanted a robot dog ever since I first saw K-9 in Doctor Who, so now was my chance to get my hands on another one after having got to play with the original Bittle robot dog earlier this year.
I chose the pre-built kit this time so that we got jump straight into playing with Bittle (last time we built him which was fun but took a long time).
You also need to install some software on your computer in order to upload commands and firmware to Bittle. This is a fairly straightforward process but can take some time – follow all the instruction on the Petoi website as there aren’t any instructions in the box.
Then the fun really begins – you can program Bittle to do all sorts of things, the possibilities are endless. There is also a remote control you can use to control Bittle or an app on your smartphone. This is a really good opportunity to learn coding in a fun and fairly straightforward way.
You can of course just use the remote control to tell Bittle what to do, and thats fun too, but the real fun is coding your own movements and actions, it really is a good learning experience. Bittle can even respond to voice commands, which is new to this edition.
The battery, when fully charged lasts about an hour, so enough for some fun, although you might want to buy an additional battery if you don’t want the fun to stop.
The Bittle X is available from www.Petoi.com from £221 / $279 USD. Bittle X will also be available on Amazon UK from late July 2023.