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Quadruped Robotics Competition: Unleashing Innovation and Excitement

Humans have always been fascinated by competition, captivated by the clash of skill, strategy, and endurance. This fascination extends beyond human endeavors, permeating the realm of robotics, where competitions have emerged as a captivating platform for showcasing the latest technological advancements and pushing the boundaries of robotic capabilities.

The world of robot competitions is a diverse landscape, with each event featuring its own unique challenges and objectives. Some notable examples include RoboCup, which aims to foster research and development in artificial intelligence and robotics by creating a fully autonomous team of soccer-playing robots; RoboGames, which features a variety of competitions, including robot sumo, obstacle courses, drone flying courses and line following; and FIRST Robotics Competition, which challenges high school students to design, build, and program robots to perform specific tasks on a game field.

The Realm of Robot Combat: Thrilling Displays of Robotic Prowess

Within the broader arena of robot competitions, robot combat has emerged as a particularly captivating subfield, captivating audiences with its thrilling displays of robotic prowess. These events feature a diverse range of robots, each equipped with unique weapons and strategies, battling for supremacy in an arena filled with obstacles and challenges.

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Notable Examples of Robot Combat:

  • BattleBots: This popular televised competition features heavyweight robots weighing up to 250 pounds engaging in intense battles, where the objective is to disable or immobilize the opponent's robot.
  • RoboGames: This annual event hosts a variety of robot combat competitions, including robot sumo, where robots push each other out of a circular ring, and robot wars, where robots equipped with various weapons battle for dominance.

The Allure of Legged Robots: Mimicking Human and Animal Movements

Among the various types of robots competing in these events, legged robots have gained a particular following. Their bipedal or quadrupedal locomotion adds an extra layer of complexity and intrigue to the competition. These robots mimic the movements of humans or animals, making them more relatable and engaging to watch. Their maneuverability and ability to navigate complex environments make them well-suited for a variety of challenges.

Robotic Competition

Sony Aibo: A Pioneer in Robot Football

Sony's Aibo robot dog has been a pioneer in robot football competitions, particularly in the RoboCup Four-Legged League. Its agility, maneuverability, and ability to kick a ball with precision have made it a formidable competitor in these events. The Aibo has demonstrated remarkable skills in dribbling, passing, and scoring goals, captivating audiences with its resemblance to a real dog playing soccer.

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Introducing Petoi Bittle: A Versatile Platform for Quadruped Robot Competition

Petoi Bittle

Petoi Bittle is a small, open-source quadrupedal robot that inherits the Aibo's legacy and offers a versatile platform for aspiring roboticists to explore the world of robot competitions. Its compact size, maneuverability, and versatility make it ideal for a variety of challenges, including robot football competitions.


Similarities and Advantages of Petoi Bittle

Petoi Bittle shares several key features that make it well-suited for robot football competitions, similar to its predecessor, the Aibo:

  • Quadrupedal locomotion: Their four-legged design provides stability, balance, and maneuverability, essential for navigating the field and making precise movements.
  • Small size: Their compact size allows them to navigate tight spaces and quickly change direction, crucial for dribbling and avoiding opponents.
  • Kicking ability: Both robots have the ability to kick a ball with precision, allowing them to score goals and pass to teammates.

In addition to its similarities with the Aibo, Petoi Bittle offers several advantages for robot football competitions:

  • Open source software: The Bittle's open-source nature allows for easy customization and modification, giving teams more control over their robots' behavior and performance.
  • Affordability: The Bittle is significantly more affordable than the Aibo, making it a more accessible option for teams and individuals on a budget.
  • Community support: Bittle has a growing community of developers and enthusiasts who share knowledge, resources, and support for robot competitions.

Unleashing Bittle's Combat Potential: Transforming into a Formidable Warrior

Petoi Bittle's combat potential extends beyond football competitions. With the addition of a 3D-printed horn attached to its head, Bittle can transform into a formidable combat robot. Customized buttons in the Petoi mobile app allow users to trigger various strikes, enabling Bittle to engage in thrilling battles with other Bittle robots or objects.

Robot Pet Competition Ideas

Team competition:

  • Shape navigation course - control Bittle to follow a certain shape line, such as a circle, triangle, rectangle through mobile app control or programming
  • Singing & Dancing competition - develop new dancing moves; have multiple Petoi robot pets perform synchronizing dancing moves while singing melodies
  • Maze course - control Bittle to go through a maze or have Bittle autonomously navigate the course with AI
  • Obstacle course - control Bittle to go through a course featuring different obstacles, such as different slopes and stairs


  • Transportation course - have multiple Bittles work in team to push balls or carry weights from one end to another end

Challenging Missions:

  • Code Bittle to do up-side down pushups on a ceiling


  • Program Bittle to walk over a gap as wide as possible. 


  • Program Bittle to spin on a bar


  • Program Bittle to adapt to different surfaces
    • Bittle walks well on hard and smooth surfaces.   Can you develop Bittle to adapt to new surfaces such as sand and carpet? 

All of the competition ideas can add the flavor of AI robotics: requiring teams to build autonomous robot pets to perform tasks in instead of relying on pre-programmed behaviors or controls.  For example, students can explore different object detection algorithms and adapt the best one with the tasks on hand.   

Reid Graves, a graduate student @ CMU, won the Bittle/Nybble's got talent theme of Petoi Robotics Challenge & Showcase Contests - Spring 2024 with an AI robot dog Bittle demo: "The robot is autonomously moving towards and collecting the acorn"


Adding sensors to these robot dogs would allow them to detect and adapt to the surrounding environment based on the sensor input.

Conclusion: Embracing the Future of Robot Competitions Using Quadrupeds

Petoi Bittle, a compact and versatile quadruped robot, leads the charge in the dynamic world of robot competitions. Beyond excelling in robot football with its small size, four-legged movement, and kicking prowess, the Bittle stands out as a combat robot, tackling creative challenges from ceiling pushups to diverse terrains. Whether navigating mazes, overcoming obstacles, or engaging in team tasks, the Bittle offers limitless possibilities. Its open-source design and affordability make it an accessible choice for individuals and teams entering the realm of robot competitions. With a growing community of developers and enthusiasts, the Bittle encourages collaboration and innovation, shaping the future of this thrilling landscape.


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