Fiddling around with robots is fun. With quadrupeds, it’s even more fun with their ability to traverse over rough terrain and unstructured obstacles. That’s why it’s become a popular design for hobby robots that you can program to do all sorts of things. The XGO 2 takes the classic quadruped design and adds a fifth limb to give it a functional robot arm.
Like other tabletop-sized robot dogs, the automaton can be programmed to waddle around like a four-legged pet, running across obstacles you set in its path. Unlike them, it’s also got an articulated arm on top of its head, allowing it to perform various robot arm tasks (e.g. pick and place) in conjunction with its mobile capabilities.
The XGO 2 is a quadruped robot with four articulated legs that allows it to mimic the movements of a dog, with the ability to move in any of three gait styles, namely trot, walk, and high walk. When moving, it relies on 12 degrees of freedom that allows it to go forward, backward, left, and right, all while exhibiting a very smooth, natural-looking gait It even retains six degrees of freedom when it’s still, allowing it to balance itself even on shaky ground without lifting its feet. It uses a six-axis IMU, joint position sensor, and electric current sensor to provide constant feedback on its own postures, allowing it to be in full control of its movements at all times.
It has a small LCD screen on its head for visually expressive nonverbal communications, as well as a camera, microphone, speaker, and a single button control. The camera and mic are specifically employed for the robot’s various AI modules that allow it to see and hear both people and objects alike, which it uses to distinguish faces, recognize obstacles, and identify gesture commands. This, of course, opens the way for more advanced functions you can program into the system, such as reading QR codes, analyzing audio, and identifying emotions, among others.
The XGO 2’s most unique characteristic is, of course, that articulated robot arm at the top, which comes with three degrees of freedom and a gripper hand able to open up to 5.5 cm wide. According to the outfit, it can grasp, lift, carry, place, and drag any object that fit within its grasp, allowing it to perform a lot more functions than your standard quadruped robot. All of its actions are coordinated through a Raspberry Pi CM4 module, which sports a quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of microSD card storage.
It comes in two variants: XGO-Mini 2 and XGO-Lite 2. The Mini 2 is the bigger of the pair, coming with a 3500 mAh battery and a 915g weight, while the Lite 2 is powered by a 2500 mAh battery and weighs 610g. According to the outfit, it can be programmed using Python for more advanced users, as well as with Blockly for those who prefer a graphical language. It comes with ROS packages preinstalled.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the XGO 2. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at $449.