KiwiDrive HouseBot

Forskningsavdelningen, a Swedish hackerspace, had a hackathon last weekend and the KiwiDrive HouseBot is one of the items that resulted from the group effort. They set a goal to use standard, easy to obtain parts, so that the robotic platform would be accessible for reproduction by individuals or at other hackerspaces. The three-limbed device rolls around on a triad of omni-directional wheels -which are probably the hardest part to source but you can always print your own. An Arduino Uno was used as the hardware interface, driving the three stepper motors for locomotion.

It’s not pictured above, but the fourth generation of the little guy also includes a webcam. The camera rides in the center of the body and is mounted on a servo. This makes it possible to turn the camera, meaning there’s no real front or back to this design. Future plans include adding an on-board computer (this is larger than it appears) and implementing emoticons on an 8×8 LED matrix, presumably so you can tell how the bot is feeling today.

[Thanks KiwiRay]


  1. Garreth says:

    I wonder if he came up with the idea after slipping off of the toilet while trying to hang a clock.

  2. mess_maker says:

    Forskningsavdelningen… I read that completely wrong the first time. I thought that was leet speak for foreskiningsaved… and that is where I realized it was another language.

  3. Jordan says:

    @mess_maker: it means Research Department (according to Google).

    As far as the name of the platform (kiwi-drive) I’ve always known that as a Killdough platform. Anyone know the difference?

  4. Jordan says:

    Oh, and Holonomic Platform. What’s the dif?

  5. Faidros says:

    Hmm. Wonder if my last comment is awaiting moderation or is in the spambin…..

    Well, forskningsavdelningen IS indeed the research departement. There is robotinfo on our wiki :)

  6. Scott says:

    The omni-directional wheels are not hard to spec, the ones they use are from the VEX robotics platform… (

  7. RJ says:

    @Jordan – I always assumed holonaumic bots to have 4 wheels to achieve motion in all 360 degrees…

  8. Amos says:

    @Jordan and RJ:

    I’ve loved this drive mechanism since I first learned about it. I’ve even thought about trying to make a street-legal passenger vehicle based on it. I just need three beefy motors, some equally beefy drive electronics, a big pile of batteries, and a whole lot of free time :P

  9. Ray Moore says:

    The omni wheels are easy to get. The ones they have there look exactly like the ones I have with my vex robotics stuff.

    Vex Omniwheels. Not exactly cheap but readily available.

    Ray Moore/Glorious leader of #emr on

  10. Olle says:

    The postage for the wheels was painful. If you ever make one of these, make sure to hear out any takers to order more than one set.

    Is there a service for that yet? Co-ordering?

  11. boitameu says:

    OMG ! A flux capacitor ?

  12. Faidros says:

    Its what makes time travel possible!

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