PiMecha: The Pi-powered humanoid robot

By Lucy Hattersley. Posted

SB Components building humanoid robot with Raspberry Pi for all your customisable human-shaped-robot needs

SB Components’ latest creation, PiMecha, is a fully customisable, fully controllable humanoid robot capable of natural motion via its 17 digital servo motors.

Measuring 370×448 mm (H×W), PiMecha “is designed to allow learning from basic to advanced robotics,” says SB Components director Gajender Singh, adding that it “also enables students to learn Python programming.”.

If your Python skills aren’t so polished, there’s also a graphical control system. Each of the 17 servos is shown in place on a silhouette of PiMecha, allowing you to easily create very lifelike motions.

The Kickstarter page shows videos of PiMecha strutting his funky stuff, doing press-ups, walking, and even turning cartwheels.

PiMecha: Humanoid Raspberry Pi robot

While PiMecha’s dancing is impressively smooth, Gajender reveals that “as of now, audio sensing is not enabled by us.” However, “because the Raspberry Pi holds endless possibilities,” PiMecha owners can add audio sensing “easily”.
Some other potential upgrades are offered as part of Pledge bundles – the 4-inch LCD screen and Raspberry Pi Camera, for example.

Upgrading PiMecha in other ways is also possible, as Gajender confirms that “PiMecha also allows for connecting IR and ultrasonic detecting, for obstacle detection and distance measuring respectively.”

PiMecha: Agent of Shield

At the heart of the robot is the PiMecha Shield, governing not only the 17 servos but also managing the battery. Gajender reveals that you can connect the PiMecha Shield “either by using the GPIO stack [header] or by using the USB connection.”

PiMecha’s Kickstarter campaign is looking to raise a modest £25 000 by Sunday 17 June.

The cheapest Pledge option is for an unassembled PiMecha with no Pi for £299; a pre-assembled PiMecha with a Pi 3B+ is listed at £339. PiMecha is compatible with most Raspberry Pi models, including the Pi Zero.

Should PiMecha achieve its funding goal, robots should start shipping in September 2018.

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