Don’t deny it. Either you were intrigued or creeped out when Boston Dynamics unveiled their prototype robot dogs. Many admit that the first time they saw the BigDog, it became a form of nightmare fuel for years to come. Thankfully, the engineers behind the project were able to make aesthetic improvements. Meanwhile, the Petoi Bittle hopes to emulate the experience albeit in a smaller form factor.

Sony’s Aibo pales in comparison because this little mechanical pet can still trigger some unpleasant memories of the disturbing BigDog. The Bittle is Petoi’s exciting crowdfunding project to inject some open-source fun for those who want something unique. Despite its miniature stature, it is surprisingly quite agile and adaptive to whatever it encounters while its in motion.

Users start off with a custom Arduino board and all the parts you need to build your artificial pooch. Those who are familiar with the brand should know that it is the successor of the Nybble. It’s great for people who prefer a canine companion over a feline friend. The standard kit already includes everything to the Bittle some basic functionality and movements.

Although it might look fragile, the manufacturer claims it is durable enough to withstand impacts. Just note that like most robots, moisture is the enemy of electronics. Please remember that the Petoi Bittle is not really a toy for kids. Unless they have a good grasp of programming, they’ll soon find it boring. Us, on the other hand, are still haunted by the image of its original source of inspiration.

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Images courtesy of Petoi