Upkie

Open source wheeled biped robots.

Open source hardware

We build robots with fully open source hardware and software. Check out robot videos on YouTube.

Open source software

We maintain a full robot stack as well as standalone libraries for inverse kinematics or real-time control in Python.

Join the conversation

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Upkie wheeled biped

Upkie is a homemade wheeled biped that can balance, crouch and turn around. Its first version proudly stood on broomsticks and 3D printed parts 😉 Since then, we reduced the number of parts so that others can build the robot with step-by-step instructions.

Check out the upkie repository on GitHub if you'd like to build or run your own! The software also works on other wheeled bipeds 😃

Upkie roaming the carpet of a French living room.

Living room roaming (video)

Upkie relaxing with a cup and battery treats.

Relaxing with a treat

Upkie standing up with its knees slightly bent.

Knees slightly bent (video)

Q and A

Why not use an existing open source framework like CHAMP, Drake, mc_rtc or WoLF?

There is a design difference between frameworks and libraries. Both have their pros and cons and there is no out-of-context answer as to which approach is "better" than the other. The reason why we strive for libraries is that frameworks or toolkits tend to couple multiple design decisions together, whereas libraries do better at incremental buy-in. For example, you can use the inverse kinematics of Upkie even if your robot is an hexapod and doesn't have wheels. We hope this helps makers adapt locomotion algorithms to new original robots, not adapt new robots to be able to run the same algorithms as the existing ones.

Is my robot an open source robot?

We hope it is: the more we are, the more experience we can share, and the more battle-tested our collective software! To join the gang of Awesome Open Source Robots, your robot must be open source in terms of both hardware and software:

  • Open build: your build files, such as 3D printing models, and instructions should be published under a permissive or copyleft license. Since instructions are never 100% complete, you should also be OK with discussing and filling out the blanks.
  • Accessible tools: the tools and parts required to build it can be sourced by makers on consumer markets, such as DIY stores or online retail. For example, 3D printing in ABS or PETG is OK, but in tungsten carbide is not; having a low-cost MEMS IMU is OK, but a space-grade IMU is not.
  • Open motion control: all the software necessary to make the robot move should be available under an open source permissive or copyleft license.

Chime in on GitHub if you check all these points!

Wait, do I have to open source all of my code as well?

You don't have to open source all of your code, only the part that is necessary to make your robot move so that others can use it. That being said, to engage with fellow robot makers, it is usually a good idea to open source code that can be referenced in discussions and tested by others.