[CFC] Make a Creature with the Darwin Mini humanoid robot using a Raspberry Pi

Darwin Mini is an Open Hardware and 3D printable robot from the Robotis company, physically similar to Darwin OP. It is way cheaper than his big brother, because based on the Dynamixel XL-320 motor (this servo is originally made for Darwin Mini). The approximative cost is around 500€, due to the 16 servos at 20€ each, electronic boards and plastic parts.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkoLh1o-qhk

You can find the 3D parts for printing at three places:

Darwin Mini has a large amount of advantages:

  • the skeleton is a commercial product, stable on his feet, solid, studied by mecatronic engineers.
  • he is able to walk, roll on itself, do a headstand, sit, stand up and more (lot of ideas on Youtube)
  • evolutive (Ollo holes system), hackable, lightweight, cheap, solid, easily reparable… and so cute!

But it miss some key features:

  • a Raspberry Pi (because of the community and available ressources) for connected applications, intelligence, autonomy, vision etc
  • a Pi camera module (hardware accelerated) in the head (for direction)
  • one or two microphones (on arms for directional analysis ? only one in the chest ?)
  • a speaker (Text To Speech, choregraphy…)
  • an IMU (accelerometer, gyroscop, magnetometer, compass…) in the chest (for stability and precision)
  • two hands, to grab objects, climb, or anything else

I wish to find people to brainstorm about these features, share ideas and then build the necessary 3D model parts.

For example, we can use Darwin OP hands as model (middle picture):

I’m not sure of the choice for the Pi version, between Pi Zero, Pi 2 B or Pi 3 B, because of different caracteristics (electric consumption, size, heat, power, connectic…).

There is also a choice about the motors driver, between OpenCM9.04 or the future hipi board, and the way to power the Raspberry Pi with the battery connector/voltage used in both of this projects.

My skills are mainly IT development, I made a little OpenSCAD but I don’t know to use either SolidWorks neither FreeCAD, that’s why I need your help!


Great project! You are probably already familiar with the following projects:

It might be worth brainstorming with them, each project is different but you might all have converging ideas about why to build small humanoid creatures and share useful tips and advice.

We recommend using onshape for your design, it is an online cloud CAD that we use a lot for other creatures. They also have very good tutorials if you want to learn. But I am sure you can find other members interested in an upgraded Darwin creature!

I’ve started a new thread about a possible cooperation on the hand.

Because I am always not interested in 3D design, I start over this project with some new elements found on internet!

First of all, someone designed a head with both Raspberry Pi Zero and Camera Module mounting supports! It could be interesting to have a dedicated Rasp for image processing. See https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3477379

I also found someone who did gripper for XL-320 and waiting for it to be published.

By now, I only need a support plate for raspberry pi, with holes in card format and a way to fix it on the original robot. If someone is okay to help me I would be happy to take care of all the software development :slight_smile: