Robohub.org
 

Marty: the little walking robot that’s more than a toy

by
08 August 2016



share this:
marty-robot1

Update: Only 4 days left to crowdfund Marty! They are over 70% towards reaching their goal! 

Marty is a WiFi enabled, programmable walking robot that can be customised with 3D printed parts. Designed to be easy to use for beginners, Marty can nonetheless be used for some pretty advanced stuff.

You can program Marty in various languages from widely used graphical language Scratch to Python and C++, and he has lots of ports for expansion. Marty can even be upgraded with an optional onboard Raspberry Pi. With one of those, you could do vision processing on board or even run ROS – the Robot Operating System.

Marty is on Indiegogo now priced at £95 ($125) for a full kit, with options to buy just the electronics (and 3D print your own plastic parts) for less.

One of the key technological innovations in Marty is the unique leg mechanism, which uses fewer motors than a traditional bipedal robot, while still retaining the ability to perform interesting movements like walking, turning (on the spot or while walking), dancing, and kicking a ball. Each leg has three motors and a pair of four bar linkages, as well as a spring to help carry some of the weight. The design reduces cost and weight, while making Marty easier to program and his battery last longer.

marty-robot2

Programming happens over WiFi – you write code in Scratch, Python, or another language on your computer, and your code controls Marty in real time. If you want to go fully autonomous you can write code to run on Marty’s control board, or you can add a secondary computer onboard – like a Raspberry Pi or Arduino.

The electronics themselves are designed to be an ideal controller for a robot. Servo ports with electrical current sensing give some feedback about how the robot is getting on – protecting the motors from damage and giving information on interactions. WiFi for communications, accelerometer for tilt data, and lots of spare ports for different types of sensors and outputs. Onboard power regulation means you can plug in a battery directly, and they’ll even output a 5V supply to power an onboard Pi.

marty-robot3

Alexander, designer of Marty, sees Marty as an engaging robot for kids, makers and educators.

“Marty started out as a side project during my PhD. I wanted to make something with a lot of the features of an expensive research robot, but at a consumer price point. In the lab, we did a lot of demos to visitors and walking robots always grabbed attention way more than wheeled bots. They’re more engaging and people empathise with them more, but they also allow the exploration of some more advanced topics of robotics. So I set out to make a walking robot about the price of a smart toy, one that provided some real open-ended opportunities for learning”

marty-robot5

Marty also embraces 3D printing, “We’ll be making the designs available so that anybody with a printer can make their own Marty, and we’ll encourage people to modify the designs and share what they make. We envisage a kind of ‘app store’ for both hardware and software, where 3D printable parts sit alongside the code to make them work.”

Robotical have been making their own mods as a start, from a Marty with gripping hands to “Disco Marty” , which is covered with LEDs.

What would you do with a Marty?

marty-robot4

Find out more about Marty at www.robotical.io, or pre-order a Marty of your very own on Robotical’s Indiegogo.



tags: , , ,


Alexander Enoch is the founder of Robotical, an educational robotics startup based in Scotland.
Alexander Enoch is the founder of Robotical, an educational robotics startup based in Scotland.





Related posts :



#ICRA2022 networking events

This year at ICRA there were great number of opportunities to involve and engage as well including networking events.
04 July 2022, by

ROS Awards 2022 results

The intention of these awards is to express recognition for contributions to the ROS community and the development of the ROS-based robot industry, and to help those contributions gain awareness.
02 July 2022, by
ep.

357

podcast

Origin Story of the OAK-D, with Brandon Gilles

Brandon Gilles, the founder of Luxonis and maker of the OAK-D, describes the journey and the flexibility of the OAK-D line of products
01 July 2022, by

The one-wheel Cubli

Researchers Matthias Hofer, Michael Muehlebach and Raffaello D’Andrea have developed the one-wheel Cubli, a three-dimensional pendulum system that can balance on its pivot using a single reaction wheel. How is it possible to stabilize the two tilt angles of the system with only a single reaction wheel?
30 June 2022, by and

At the forefront of building with biology

Raman is, as she puts it, “a mechanical engineer through and through.” Today, Ritu Raman leads the Raman Lab and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
28 June 2022, by

Hot Robotics Symposium celebrates UK success

An internationally leading robotics initiative that enables academia and industry to find innovative solutions to real world challenges, celebrated its success with a Hot Robotics Symposium hosted across three UK regions last week.
25 June 2022, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association