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Nybble is the Lightest and Fastest Open Source Robotic Kitten
The project, based on something called the Open Cat, is a laser-cut cat that walks and “learns” and can even connect to a Raspberry Pi. Out of the box a complex motion controller allows the kitten to perform lifelike behaviors like balancing, walking and nuzzling.
“Nybble’s motion is driven by an Arduino compatible micro-controller. It stores instinctive ‘muscle memory’ to move around,” wrote its creator, Rongzhong Li.
Although Nybble comes with some pre-programmed muscle memory movements, the idea behind the robo-pet is that you program its cat-like behaviors yourself. Nybble’s creator, Rongzhong Li, recommends that you connect Nybble to an AI chip such as a Raspberry Pi, and code whatever tricks you desire from your silicon feline companion.
“People with different skill levels should find something interesting with Nybble,” Li says. “From 3D puzzle solving, application level programming, hardcore data structure and algorithms, or even research level motion planning and dynamic walking. I just tried to make an affordable platform that has the potential to lower the barriers, so that more talent could join this playground.”
The cat is surprisingly cute and the life-like movements make it look far more sophisticated than your average toy. You can get a single Nybble for $200 and the team aims to ship in April 2019. The kit itself includes a motion board and complete instructions, which makes the case for paying for a new Nybble pretty compelling.