The myBuddy 280 two-armed robot includes Raspberry Pi 4 SBC and ESP32 controllers

Elephants Robotics myBuddy 280, aka myBuddy 280 Pi, is a two-armed collaborative robot for education with a 7-inch screen powered by Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, and also has three ESP32-based M5Stack base modules that help with the internal communication between the motors and the Raspberry Pi board.

It builds on the old myCobot 280 Pi robot with a single arm, with the same 280mm working range, but the new robot offers two arms and a total of 13 degrees of freedom (DoF). The robot is also equipped with two 2MP HD cameras for computer vision, a standard 3.3V expansion I/O interface, a LEGO expansion interface, and can be equipped with a variety of adapters such as suction pumps, clamps, small hands (see below), etc…

myBuddy 280 specifications:

  • SBC – Raspberry Pi 4 (2GB or 4GB RAM) single board computer to control the display and communicate with ESP32 modules
  • IoT modules – 3x M5Stack ESP32 core cores with 4MB flash memory each
  • Display – 7 inch touch screen
  • Video output – HDMI port
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, digital audio via HDMI
  • Networking – Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 (via Raspberry Pi)
  • USB – 1 USB port
  • Degree of freedom – 13
  • 2x arms each with
    • Working radius – 280mm
    • Maximum load – 250 grams
    • Repeatability – ±0.5mm
    • Lifespan – 500 hours (CNXSoft: seems like a pretty short lifespan…)
    • 5×5 LED matrix at the end
    • Features – Free to move, joint movement, Cartesian movement, track recording, wireless control, collision detection
  • Engine Parameters
    • High performance power steering gear
    • Joint rotation range
      • Left and right arm:
        • J1 -165 ~ +165°
        • J2 -165 ~ +165°
        • D3 -165 ~ +165°
        • J4 -165 ~ +165°
        • J5 -165 ~ +165°
        • J6 -175 ~ +175°
      • Waist circumference – J1 -120 ~+120°
  • Expansion – 3.3V IO header, 2 Grove connectors
  • Power supply – 24V/9.2A
  • Dimensions / Weight – N/A

robot robot myBuddy 280 Raspberry Pi 4

The myBuddy 280 can be programmed with visual programming (myBlockly) or Python which seem to be the preferred programming methods for the education market, as we saw in our recent review of the CrowPi L Raspberry education laptop Pi 4. You can find getting started guides for both, as well as more advanced instructions, including ROS commands, on the documentation website.

Some of the potential applications (for education) include visual sorting with QR codes, playing the piano with both arms, facial recognition, virtual reality control with a VR headset and two controllers emulating each arm, as well as all kinds of fun projects you can think up with a little two-armed robot.

The company offers plenty of resources in the download section of its website for all of its robots with Arduino, Python and C libraries, an Android app, firmware for M5Stack modules, and more. Public tutorials aren’t easy to find, but apparently that’s what the myStudio software is for. It works on Windows, Linux and mac OS, allows the user to update firmware and provides video tutorials on how to use the robot, as well as maintenance and repair information.

myStudio software

Elephant Robotics myBuddy 280 is sold on the company’s online store for $1,699 and up with options including different hand types (yeah, grab, rent). Suction and gripper are somehow not offered as an option, but can be purchased separately. They also have an Amazon store, but a company representative told CNX Software that they won’t be selling for myBuddy 280 anytime soon (not in the next three months). More details can be found on the product page.

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