BAMF2011: Google’s SKPR Bot, not for arachnophobes

Google’s Maker Faire exhibit space is swarmed with robots…er, androids. Amidst some cool bipeds and Segway-balancers, our inner sci-fi nerd was most smitten with this hexapod design, which they’ve dubbed SKPR Bot. The “Skipper” is on hand to showcase the ease of various Google technologies: SketchUp, Android OS and the Android Open Accessory Development Kit. The whole project came together in less than six weeks.

18 servos are mounted to a framework designed in SketchUp and laser-cut by Ponoko. The low-level servo PWM control is handled by the Dev Kit (essentially a rebadged Arduino Mega, as we’ve seen), while an Android OS phone provides a slick GUI and handles all the inverse kinematics calculations required as the robot takes each step. The coolest bit is that it’s all up for grabs. At this moment you’ll have to scrounge around the ’net a bit to find the plans and code, but some time post-Faire they plan to bring everything together at the SKPR Bot site.


  1. says:

    Need a couple more legs to get that arachnophobia going. I just wonder how long before Google make the ANK wireless. That will make things really interesting.

  2. Our Antbots were at maker faire too… in fact we were the only platform to manage to operate remotely despite the wifi/cellphone glut… we donated a PropBridge to the Google guys to help them get their stuff going, and they were somewhat rude about it.

  3. DC says:

    @spiritplumber Probably because Google wouldn’t want the SHAME of using a platform that wasn’t their $400 Arduino board :\

  4. Grovenstien says:

    Its interesting to see the big cooperations getting into the hacking community, back to their roots!

    Although somtimes gafa tape and a glue gun can yield much more inventive results than billions of dollars!

  5. Erik Johnson says:

    I was setting up my table sat morning at maker faire and some random dude runs up to me, throws a tube at me and says “Here, use this to control whatever it is you’re doing there”. It was an Android Dev Kit, included the board, cables and 2 servos. Awesome!

  6. Pin says:

    how to control the arduino by android usb?

  7. Maave says:

    @Pin: the ADK does that. Google added an API to Android to control the Ardiuno.

  8. Pin says:

    I need to communicate to the serial port, thats why I need to use
    Alternatively, is there any other way to establish a connection to the
    serial port from andriod emulator.

  9. The above SKPR Bot site link:

    takes me to this content:
    The Google Account of a site owner has been disabled because of a perceived violation of the Terms of Service. The site owner needs to restore their Google Account before this site can be viewed.
    I guess using Google tools to discuss Google tools can get you banned. Did it contain a less-than-positive comment about one of the Google tools, or something? ;-(

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