Tag Archives: K9

Replicating Doctor Who’s K9 with Arduino

We seem to have a passion for Maker’s that faithfully recreate movie props here at Bits & Pieces. Our latest installment features an Australian teen that has launched an Indiegogo campaign to bring K9 from Doctor Who to life.

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K9, the steadfast companion of a past iteration of Doctor Who, holds a special place in the hearts of the show’s rabid fan base. Adam Lloyd explains his decision to embark on this project, “To me K9 was one of the unsung heroes of the long-running BBC series Doctor Who and deserved to be brought back to life.”

As the project progressed, the bills kept piling up in Lloyd’s attempt to bring the robotic dog to life. In true Maker spirit, he has reached out the to robotics, engineering and Doctor Who communities for support in finishing the job.

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He dubs the project’s current state as “semi-functional,” currently seeking for $500 to complete the replica. As far as status goes, the prop dog possesses the ability to navigate around, its computer systems (primary brain) are now online and his lights are functioning. The inner workings of K9 include 12 Atmel-powered Arduino boards, which are “probably enough wire to make it to Melbourne and back,” the Maker tells Stuff.co.nz.

In the future, Lloyd hopes to install a 60” projector into the side of the unit so that the dog can display his favorite Doctor Who episodes. He also looks to implement imaging sensors so that the canine will be able to differentiate between humans and objects, thus allowing him to eventually autonomously navigate his surroundings.

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Though the Maker may not be looking to mass-produce the K9, he does aspire to bring awareness to the robotics community with this project. “Electronics isn’t as hard as you think. It’s no longer for the nerds and geeks of the school, anyone can create amazing things with a little bit of know-how; and I hope K-9 sparks some interest,” he tells Stuff.co.nz.

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If cats have nine lives, how many do time traveling robotic dogs have? Help fund his project and find out! The Maker notes that all donors, despite amount, will receive their name printed on the inside of of the Atmel-based K9.