A laser-cut robot kitten that runs and learns from you.

Hi there,

This is Rongzhong from Pittsburgh. Eight months after my first post on OpenCat, I have quite a lot to update. Most importantly, I’m going to launch my first kitten on Indiegogo on Monday, Oct 22nd! The kitten’s name is Nybble. Links will be posted here, on my Twitter @PetoiCamp, or on Petoi.com.

Campaign is live on https://igg.me/at/nybble

I will need your support to keep working on it full-time. Subscribe and share to your friends who may like it. You awesome makers can also teach it new tricks and bring more fun to people around the world!

I’m having an excellent marketing team helping me on the Indiegogo side, so I can keep this post more technical. The following figures should be quite self-explanatory. I’ll very briefly introduce Nybble’s features, the OpenCat framework, timeline, and what I learned during the efforts in pushing the project forward. Feel free to ask questions so that I can make a more comprehensive documentation for the project. I have an invitation-only Slack group. For more general discussions, you can open issues on https://github.com/PetoiCamp/OpenCat. Please allow me another month to polish my codes though.

Before going into every details, I wanted to ask the following questions:

How much information does a machine need to walk?
How much shall we invest to implement such a machine?
How much does a cat eat?
I don’t have answers to the first two questions corresponding to software and hardware. But I do know that a cat doesn’t eat much to be an acrobat. Kitten, cat, Simba, they all move in a similar way. There should be some shared secret among Feloidea, and maybe across all walking mammals. I even tried baby crawling to remind myself of those secrets. It helped.

Nybble is probably the lightest and fastest robotic cat in the world that really walks. Its motion is driven by an Arduino compatible micro-controller. It stores instinctive “muscle memory” to move around. An optional AI chip, such as Raspberry Pi can be mounted on top of Nybble’s back, to help Nybble with perception and decision. You can program in your favorite language, and direct Nybble walk around simply by sending short commands, such as “walk” or “turn left”!”