Reachy just gained mobility with an open source omnidirectional mobile base

Pierre Rouanet
pollen-robotics
Published in
3 min readJun 24, 2022

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Low angle shot of Reachy on its new mobile base

Some of you may already know Reachy, the open source humanoid robot that we created at Pollen Robotics.

It is fair to say it’s been quite an interesting journey since we launched Reachy back in January 2020 at CES Las Vegas.

Reachy was initially an open platform to explore AI and robotics applications. Over time, it has gained some cool features: early 2021 the Unity-based VR teleoperation app that allows you to control the robot remotely, that same year, a switch towards a ROS2 foxy operated system, and just last month, a brand new mobile base that can take Reachy places. This allows the robot to move in any direction, turn itself around, go through doors, squeeze through tight spaces…and overall align with our all-time goal: to create robotic solutions that can evolve in the chaos of everyday environment.

But enough said…watch Reachy and its new mobile base in action:

What was the thinking behind this new feature? Basically, we wanted a mobile base with a unique design for Reachy. Where most robotic mobile bases on the market are round and equipped with 2 standard wheels or square with 4 mecanum wheels, we chose to focus on a round shape design and a 3 omni wheel mechanism for increased agility and compactness. Also, it has a smaller volume than similar products.

Oblique, top, side and exploded view of the robotic mobile base

Reachy’s mobile base is equipped with one encoder and one Inertial Measurement Unit for each wheel, and a 2D Time Of Flight (ToF) LIDAR. The embedded High-end LiFePO4 battery comes with a warranty of 5 to 10 years and offers 10 hours of use. We are currently integrating the ROS2 navigation stack. Simulation in Gazebo is already possible.

Reachy navigating in a LiDAR mapped-out environment

Of course, the mobile base can be controlled from the Python SDK or the teleoperation app. Controlling Reachy with Python is super easy. With just few lines of code, Reachy can move around:

from mobile_base_sdk import MobileBaseSDK mobile_base = MobileBaseSDK('192.168.1.21') 
mobile_base.go_to(x=0.5, y=0.0, theta=0.0)
Reachy executing python SDK commands

We can’t wait to see what you do with our mobile Reachy!

Reachy waiting to get on the tramway

More about Reachy’s mobile new features on ROS discourse.

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