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Elephant Robotics Release Raspberry Pi Dual-Armed Robot

The Elephant Robotics MyBuddy 280
(Image credit: Elephant Robotics)

Elephant Robotics has released its latest Raspberry Pi (opens in new tab)-powered robot, its first to have dual arms. The bot’s six-jointed appendages can move a 250g (9oz) weight through a radius of 11 inches (280mm), and can be outfitted with grippers, hands making various gestures, and even a suction pump.

The MyBuddy 280 (opens in new tab) is aimed at educational contexts, and features a Raspberry Pi 4 (opens in new tab) board connected to a seven-inch ‘interactive display’ - a touchscreen - capable of displaying various facial expressions. Three additional ESP32 microcontroller modules sit between the Pi and the servo motors, of which there are several. Each arm is capable of rotating at least 165 degrees in either direction giving 13 degrees of freedom and more than 100 control surfaces. It's also possible to control the robot in VR, with hand controllers moving the arms.

The rest of the specs are made up of the Raspberry Pi 4, with a 4GB model being the brains of the robot. Elephant Robotics, which has yet to release an elephant-shaped robot, has also attached two 2MP cameras, one allowing the robot to read QR codes, as well as location and object recognition, with face recognition handled by the second camera. The Pi’s USB ports and wireless interfaces also provide ways to connect the bot to the world around it, while a pair of Grove connectors and two 5x5 LED matrices provide more I/O options.

The Elephant Robotics MyBuddy 280

(Image credit: Elephant Robotics)

 Programming is via Python, C++, Arduino, C# and Javascript, with the open-source MyStudio tool running on all the usual desktop operating systems, plus Android. Arduino, Python and C libraries are available from the downloads section of the Elephant Robotics website, which also includes an Android app and firmware for the ESP32s. 

The MyBuddy 280 is currently available from the Elephant Robotics online store (opens in new tab) for $1,699, or $1,729 once you start adding rubber hands to the package. Stocks appear to be limited, with only five showing on the store, and CNX Software (opens in new tab) confirming with the sellers that they won’t be selling the bots on the Elephant Robotics Amazon store for at least the next three months.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.