2022 Sci-Fi Contest: A Mac-Based Droid Named R.O.B.

Droids and robot assistants are still not really a part of our daily lives, even if they started showing up in movies many long decades ago. [Rudy Aramaryo] perhaps hopes that will change one day, and is pursuing this goal with their own droid build named R.O.B.

R.O.B. is quite a hefty ‘bot, weighing 140 lbs and sporting a full 80 Ah of lithium-iron-phosphate batteries for a long running time and plenty of power. For brains, R.O.B. packs in an Apple Mac Mini M1 and a Mac Studio, running OS X. It’s an unusual choice for a robot, but one that brings plenty of computing power to bear, nonetheless. Equipped with tracked propulsion, R.O.B. also features a slip-ring setup in the base allowing the droid to rotate endlessly without tangling wires.

By virtue of its size and power, R.O.B. goes a long way to emulating the general feel of the droids of the Star Wars series. It’s all about the roughly-human-scaled design, and the anthropomorphic features. Further helping the cause are a basic chat ability powered by Python, along with arms and actuators to interact with the world.

The name of this droid recalls us of the charming Nintendo console toy from the 1980s. If these aren’t the droids you’re looking for, and you’ve been hacking on ‘bots of your own, be sure to drop us a line. 

12 thoughts on “2022 Sci-Fi Contest: A Mac-Based Droid Named R.O.B.

    1. Erm… my 7yo Mac is still getting updates perfectly well. It has slowed a little, but nowhere near as badly as windows machines used to (though not as good as a headless nix box).

      1. My Macbook pro 2011 does not. With a fast clocked i7 and 16GB of RAM, it´s a perfectly capable machine, but it is stuck to an old OS that is plain unusable.

        If you don´t know yet what I am talking about, you´ll know soon enough.

        1. No problem, I will upgrade it to Ubuntu, and run a macos vm inside. Or Windows. This little machine will keep giving for a few years still.

          On the other hand, how may laptops from 2011 would you find that are worth carrying around? Not many, and they probably were not cheaper.

  1. This mix of neat, high-end, expensive parts cobbled together with horrendous cabling and mechanical parts is plain horrifying. I very much doubt the battery capacity is fully used before a repair is needed.
    Acrylic sprockets with bike metal chains, plywood split apart by screws force inserted with no pre-holes, Glue everywhere. Looking at the hardware, I can picture how the software looks. It´s got “all the latest Apple technologies to show off”

  2. “I wanted to make the simplest and most affordable Droid […] and I wanted to push the boundaries of technology just a bit further and beyond reach.”
    So he based it on Apple hardware…? 🤔🤷‍♂️
    If he really did get all that hardware for free, he’s at least a good salesman.

    1. But it is a world first, it is the only robot based on Mac hardware. Nobody ever made a better, military grade, open-source, Mac based robot.

      I need to leave the internet for while.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.