Today I stumbled across a brilliant, innovative open source robot. Its new form factor has great potential and I hope this post can help bring it to a well-deserved spotlight within the robotics community. This project is currently competing for the Hackaday Prize 2020 by its creator Mykolas Juraitis.
Here is its website: https://naminukas.kikaitachi.com/
The robot can climb walls, manipulate stored tools as a 4-axis robot arm, drive around, and Juraitis shows it completing a variety of bizarre tasks such as straddling tree branches, disinfecting with a UV LED, and even riding a skateboard. Juraitis is spot-on when he says in his latest Hackaday post: “…it has the potential of becoming an industrial inspection robot, cleaning robot, kitchen helper, entertainment robot and much more.”
I am a roboticist in the San Francisco area and I am constantly surveying emerging tech. I have no affiliation with Juraitis or his project, I was just inspired by it and I believe this idea is in just the beginning of a long and interesting family tree of future robots. It was rightly described as having “most utility per servo robot” by Hackaday. I am confident that this form factor will find its niche and evolve into a common-place design for functional robotic platforms. I love that it’s open source and I already have gears turning in my head about how to make it better. What do you guys think of it?