Charlotte, the hexapod with 3D vision


Charlotte’s chassis comes from as a kit, but the stock electronics are based on an Arduino – not something for a robot that needs to run computer vision apps. [Kevin] ended up using a Raspi for the controller and gave Charlotte eyes with an Asus XTION. Edit: or a PrimeSense sensor These sensors are structured light depth cameras just like the kinect, only about smaller, lighter, and have a better color output.

Hardware is only one half of the equation, so [Kevin] tossed the Arduino-based stock electronics and replaced them with a Raspberry Pi. This allowed him to hone his C++ skills and add one very cool peripheral – the XTION depth camera.

To the surprise of many, we’re sure, [Kevin] is running OpenNI on his Raspberry Pi, allowing Charlotte to take readings from her depth camera and keep from colliding into any objects. The Raspberry Pi is overclocked, of course, and the CPU usage is hovering around 90%, but if you’re looking for a project that uses a depth sensor with a Pi, there you go.


  1. fred says:

    Impressive work! Just speculating here, but I figure if the rapsi doesn’t cut it, it could be ditched in favor of one of those dual/quad-core, ARM powered pc-on-a-stick for some more horsepower (and connectivity). Besides, four ARMs makes for a better balance with the six legs… :D

  2. Joejoedancer says:

    Hey you could get a 3D printer for the price of that chassis!

  3. A says:

    I could be mistaken, but that looks more like a PrimeSense sensor than the Asus XTION. See here.

  4. Kevin Ochs says:

    No it’s an Xtion Pro Live. I can vouch for it. :) There is very little difference between the two. The only exception is it says Xtion on the base which I took off to mount it to the servo bracket.
    Thank you for the write up Brian!

  5. MrKaroshi says:

    Could you please build it a thousand times bigger so we can chase Will Smith and Kevin Kline with it?

  6. thedoktorj says:

    Very nice! I’ve been saving for the AX18 version of that same chassis for a while now with a very similar project in mind. The only real difference in what I had planned was to use a PCDuino instead of the Raspi. Anyway, very nice work. I hope to proceed with my similar project in June when I get my bonus.

    • Kevin Ochs says:

      The above kit is the AX-18 version. AX-18’s speed is amazing though in the above video I didn’t showcase that. That PCDuino looks great! I shop at sparkfun all the time and have never noticed that product.

  7. Kris Lee says:

    Holy crab!!!

  8. colga1 says:

    I like the italian accent.

  9. Thomas Kirchner says:

    Nice work. I’m gonna use the Raspberry Pi as 3D Scanner on a Quadcopter and would like to know how much CPU and RAM your Raspberry has needed for your Project.

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