Build your own robotic cat: Petoi returns

Who wouldn’t want a robot kitten? Exactly — we knew you’d understand! And so does the Petoi team, hence their new crowdfunding campaign for Petoi Nybble.

Petoi mark 2

Earlier this year, we shared the robotic cat project Petoi by Rongzhong Li. You all loved it as much as we did, and eagerly requested more information on making one.

Petoi Raspberry Pi Robot Cat

Rongzhong’s goal always was for Petoi to be open-source, so that it can be a teaching aid as much as it is a pet. And with his team’s crowdfunding campaign, he has made building your own robot cat even easier.

Petoi the laser-cut robotic cat

Laser kitty

In the new Nybble version of Petoi, the team replaced 3D-printed parts with laser-cut wood, and cut down the parts list to be more manageable: a Raspberry Pi 3B+, a Sparkfun Arduino Pro Mini, and the Nybble kit, available in the Nybble IndieGoGo campaign.

Petoi the laser-cut robotic cat

The Nybble kit! “The wooden frame is a retro design in honor of its popstick-framed ancestor. I also borrowed the wisdom from traditional Chinese woodwork (in honor of my ancestors), to make the major frame screw-free.”

But Nybble is more than just wooden parts and servo motors! The robotic cat’s artificial intelligence lets users teach it as well as control it,  so every kitty will be unique.

Nybble’s motion is driven by an Arduino-compatible micro-controller. It stores instinctive “muscle memory” to move around. An optional AI chip, such as a Raspberry Pi, can be mounted on top of Nybble’s back, to help Nybble with perception and decision. You can program in your favorite language, and direct Nybble to walk around simply by sending short commands, such as “walk” or “turn left”!

The NyBoard

For this version, the Petoi team has created he NyBoard, an all-in-one controller board for the Raspberry Pi. It’s available to back for $45 if you don’t want to pledge $200 for the entire cat kit.

Petoi the laser-cut robotic cat

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about Nybble, visit its IndieGoGo campaign page, find more technical details on its project page, or check out the OpenCat GitHub repo.

Petoi the laser-cut robotic cat

And if you’ve built your own robotic pet, such as a K-9–inspired dog, or Raspberry Pi–connected android sheep, let us know!


Andrew Bills avatar

Definitely picking up one of those boards even if $45 USD became $99 AUD with postage least I can laser cut the parts myself (maybe in acrylic instead of ply…). Not as many sensors as my K9 but definitely further along than I am

Cat01 avatar

Excellent robot cat.

Steven avatar


Perfect, is what I’d say ;)
;; from the parts to the assembly..

$waggy As *** ===…

Thank you :)

[Moderator removed some very enthusiastic swears – we hear you, but there are kids reading this!]

fanoush avatar

Why not using with zero W instead of pi3? Could save space because of both smaller board and battery. Or does it really need Pi3 computing power?

cy avatar

where can i buy the wooden frame?

cy avatar

how can i get the wooden frame?

Venkat Reddy Palla avatar

How to get total kit including wooden frame and Pi board etc.

Jim Gabriel avatar

I found this link of the frame. Each of the parts can be downloaded as a separate (*.stl) for 3D printing. Other download formats are also available, but I’ll be printing mine.

mario avatar

it needs only fake skin and hairs and it is perfect :D

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