PAL Robotics, a prominent developer of mobile robotics, has unveiled the SOLO 12 advanced quadruped platform. This platform is designed to provide an affordable and modular solution for research and testing applications. It is available for purchase either fully assembled or as a kit.
Weighing in at 2.5 kg (5.5 lb), the SOLO 12 consists of 12 identical actuator modules and four lower legs, each equipped with foot contact sensors. Its capabilities include performing dynamic actions such as jumping to waist height and recovering its stance after a fall. Such features position the SOLO 12 as a valuable tool for research, enabling swift testing of intricate algorithms.
The SOLO 12 platform is well-suited for research in various domains, including the study of animal-like limb movement, navigation across different laboratory surfaces like gravel and mud, reinforcement learning for complex behaviors, environmental manipulation, and many more.
For enthusiasts who prefer a hands-on approach, the SOLO 12 KIT offers an opportunity to construct their quadruped robot. This kit provides:
- A SOLO 12 quadruped 12DoF robot assembly set
- SOLO 12 calibration and bonding tooling kits
- SOLO 12 master board and micro driver programmers
A notable aspect of the SOLO 12's development is its association with the Open Dynamic Robot Initiative. This collaboration aimed to produce an open-source quadruped platform to enhance robotics education for researchers and students. The initiative, which began in 2016, emerged from a recognized lack of cost-effective advanced robotic platforms tailored for educational purposes.
Several institutions contributed to the platform's initial stages, including the Motion Generation and Control Group, the Dynamic Locomotion Group, and the Robotics Central Scientific Facility at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. Contributions also came from the Machines in Motion Laboratory at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering and the Gepetto Team at the LAAS/CNRS. PAL Robotics later acquired the project, reflecting their commitment to nourishing the community and fostering the advancement of open-source initiatives.