Robodog Goes Free Thanks To Unofficial SDK

What’s better than a pretty nice legged robot? One with an alternate SDK version that opens up expensive features, of course. The author didn’t like that the original SDK only came as pre-compiled binaries restricted to the most expensive models, so rolled up their sleeves and started writing a new one.

The manufacturer’s SDK limits access to programmatic functions, but that needn’t stop you.

There are a number of commercially-available robotic quadrupeds that can trace their heritage back to the MIT Mini Cheetah design, and one of them is the Unitree Go1 series which sports a distinctive X-shaped sensor cluster on its “face”. The basic models are affordable (as far as robots go, anyway) but Unitree claims only the high-priced EDU model can be controlled via the SDK. Happily, the Free Dog SDK provides a way to do exactly that.

The SDK is a work in progress, but fully usable and allows the user to send various high level and low level commands to the Go1 robots. High level examples include things like telling the robot to perform pushups, turn 90 degrees, or walk. Low level commands are things like specifying exact positions or torque levels for individual limbs. With the new SDK, doing those things programmatically is only a Python script away.

Know any other robots that might be based on the same system? This SDK might work on them, too.

7 thoughts on “Robodog Goes Free Thanks To Unofficial SDK

  1. Well done. I deeply dislike when businesses make such moves, “buy the expensive one to keep ewaste in check”
    Especially since it seems quite clear that the SDK in question is not where all the r&d went? If one person can remake it on their free time?

  2. I’d be tempted to buy the smallest model, but I’m concerned about dependencies on closed source apps, subscriptions and all similar potentially spyware-ish things. Does this work 100% unconnected, or connected only where the user wants? The purpose of a connection might be as a theft defense, since I’m completely sure that in some areas the chance of it to be stolen would be 1.

  3. At $2,700 I am still thinking this is not a toy.

    So… does anyone know, where are these and similar robots actually being used as tools?

    Or is that all still theoretical.

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