Robots category

Turtle Rover – World’s First Rover for Earth Exploration

A travel companion and a rover that can explore the entire planet with you

Society has a growing interest in space-related projects. The space industry is quickly beginning to grow and private companies are also entering the market, however it is still very difficult to send their own technology into space.

That said, we use electronic devices everyday; needless to say, they have become an integral part of our lives. Experts agree that we educate too few programmers. We also spend less and less time outdoors.We want to explore other celestial bodies while we still do not know our own planet.

Turtle is a four-wheeled mobile robot that will quickly become your best companion in discovering our planet. With a robotic arm, a waterproof case, the capability to take pictures and stream live video, along with the option to add your own software and hardware – all make Turtle a universal tool for both everyday walks and long hikes.

In August 2017 they plan to release Turtle for sale using the international crowdfunding platform – kickstarter.com. Their primary goal to start a production starts at 100,000 USD. During the campaign they plan to sell seventy up to three hundred rovers.

Turtle Rover – World’s First Rover for Earth Exploration – [Link]

Romeo BLE

Romeo BLE – An Arduino Based Powerful Robot Control Board With Bluetooth 4.0

Romeo BLE is an all-in-one Arduino based control board specially designed for robotics applications from DFRobot. This platform is open source and it’s powered by thousands of publicly available open-sourced codes. Romeo BLE can easily be expanded using Arduino shields. The most important feature—Bluetooth 4.0 wireless communication, allows the board to receive commands via Bluetooth. So, users can now use their smartphone, tablet, or computer to interact with the control board.

Control Robot From Smartphones by Bluetooth 4.0
Control Robot From Smartphones by Bluetooth 4.0

Even the codes can be uploaded over Bluetooth a USB Bluno Link adapter, without requiring any wired USB connection between the board and a PC. This is a great advantage for mobile applications where codes are debugged and uploaded frequently.

The Romeo BLE also includes two integrated two-channel DC motor drivers and wireless sockets, which makes project development more hassle-free. One can start the project immediately without needing an additional motor driver circuitry. The motor driving section also supports extra servos which need more current.

There are two ways to power the Romeo BLE board. But, the polarity must be correct. Otherwise, the board may get permanently damaged as there exists no reverse polarity protection. The two powering methods are:

  • Power from USB: Plug in the USB cable to the Romeo controller from a power source (i.e. wall jack or computer). If the input voltage and current are sufficient, the Romeo BLE board should turn on and a LED should light up. While powered from USB, do NOT connect anything else like motor, servo etc. except LED. Because the USB can only provide 500mA current which is certainly not enough for driving loads like motors.
  • Power from External Power Supply: Connect the ground wire from your supply to the screw terminal labeled “GND” on Romeo board, and then connect the positive wire from your supply to the screw terminal labeled “VIN”. The maximum acceptable input voltage is 23 volts. Do not exceed this value anyway.
Romeo BLE Board Pin Diagram
Romeo BLE Board Pin Diagram

Specifications:

  • Microcontroller: ATmega328P
  • Bootloader: Arduino UNO
  • Onboard BLE chip: TI CC2540
  • 14 Digital I/O ports
  • 6 PWM Outputs (Pin11, Pin10, Pin9, Pin6, Pin5, Pin3)
  • 8 10-bit analog input ports
  • 3 I2Cs
  • 5 Buttons
  • Power Supply Port: USB or DC2.1
  • External Power Supply Range: 5-23V
  • DC output: 5V/3.3V
  • Size: 94mm x 80mm

Features:

  • Auto sensing/switching external power input
  • Transmission range: 70m in free space
  • Support Bluetooth remote update the Arduino program
  • Support Bluetooth HID
  • Support iBeacons
  • Support AT command to config the BLE
  • Support Transparent communication through Serial
  • Support the master-slave machine switch
  • Support USB update BLE chip program
  • Support Male and Female Pin Header
  • Two-way H-bridge motor Driver with 2A maximum current
  • Integrated sockets for APC220 RF Module

You can program Romeo BLE using Arduino IDE version 1.8.1 or above. Select Arduino UNO from Tools –> Boards in the IDE. Go to arduino.en.cc to download the latest version of Arduino IDE. Read the Romeo BLE wiki to learn more.

Husarion launches CORE2 consumer robot controller

Robotic development platform creator Husarion has launched its next-generation dedicated robot controller CORE2. Available now at the Crowd Supply crowdfunding platform, CORE2 enables the rapid prototyping and development of consumer and service robots. It’s especially suitable for engineers designing commercial appliances and robotics students or hobbyists. Whether the next robotic idea is a tiny rover that penetrates tunnels, a surveillance drone, or a room-sized 3D printer, the CORE2 can serve as the brains behind it.

Husarion launches CORE2 consumer robot controller – [Link]

XBEE X V2 FPV Racing Drone Kit

XBEE, the FPV racing drones manufacturer, had produced recently its new racing frame “XBEE X V2” for $75. It is a follow-up to the previous model “The XB-X Mk2” and it is a quad drone frame with a camera on its body. X V2 is designed with Wheelbase 220mm size guide.

First-person view (FPV) is also known as video piloting. Using this technique you can control a radio-controlled vehicle from the driver or pilot’s view point. The vehicle is either driven or piloted remotely from a first-person perspective via an onboard camera, fed wirelessly to video FPV goggles or a video monitor.

V2 Features:

  • Full Carbon Fiber.
  • 2mm Bottom Plate, 2mm Top Plate and 4mm arms
  • Matek PDB include(PDB-XPW W/ CURRENT SENSOR 140A & DUAL BEC)
  • Black steel screws(option titanium screws)
  • Transmitter mount include
  • weight : 79g

To build a full drone with the V2 frame you will need these parts with a total budget of about $450:

This video by X-FramesFPV will show you how to build XBEE X V2:

You can also follow this guide for detailed instructions of a full build of V2.

AMY Robotics, Multifunctional Autonomous Mobile Robots

Earlier this month, the multifunctional autonomous mobile robots “AMY A1” and “AMY M1” had been launched as the first batch of products of AMY Robotics. Amy Robotics is an innovative technology company focusing on research and development of service robots that enhance quality of life with robotic technologies, products and services.

Both AMY Robots are intelligent mobile-service robots characterized with speech interaction, autonomous navigation, home automation, SDK and Cloud platform service that is powered by sophisticated AI technology and cloud computing. They can understand speech and make conversation with people in noisy environment, recognize specific people, follow a person in front of them and move to a place autonomously.

Features of AMY Robots:

  • Cloud Platform Service
    AMY Robots capabilities are empowered by cloud platform and can be upgraded and extended continuously.
  • SDK, Open platform for developers
    Android development environment access to robot hardware and capabilities. Amy can provide remote healthcare consultation service via telepresence, daily health tips, health data management, medicine reminder and more.
  • Home Automation
    Amy robots provide environment perception, security patrol and monitoring, and smart home management enabling you controlling home appliance with voice commands.
  • Autonomous Navigation
    Amy knows well at indoor positioning. She can move from a location to another autonomously and safely with obstacle avoidance.
  • Telepresence
    You can control the robot with video communication through Amy’s client application. It provides you boundless connection with your family, colleagues and friends through virtual presence at any time anywhere.
  • Speech Interaction
    Amy is powered by intelligent language processing engine which support multi-lingual speech interaction, far distance (5m range) recognition in noisy environment. Amy can help you access massive on-line knowledge base with speech. You can have hand-free robot operation (play music/video, take picture, set volume, robot movement control, intelligent reminder etc).

AMY A1 and AMY M1 are 1.1 meter robots weighted 15 kg with 10.1″ screen head and up-to 0.5 m/s moving speed. They are running based on 8-core ARM CPU+4 core Intel CPU using 20Ah 14.8V battery, which can last for 8 hours. With its 5 meters pick-up range microphone, AMY can be controlled using voice commands like “Hello Amy, follow me” and “Hello Amy, go to the kitchen with me”. However, The M1 has an additional laser sensor, wider detection range, higher localization accuracy, and supports function customization.

Amy A1 robot was presented at the Innorobo 2017 trade show in Paris. For more information and details visit their official website.

FPV drone teardown

Michael Dunn @ edn.com did a quick tear-down of his drone.

The main processor is an ST STM32F031K6, an ARM Cortex-M0 with the usual cadre of peripherals, as well as a motor-control block (the leftmost large chip in Figure 2). Although at the lower end of the ARM continuum, it’s doubtless more than powerful enough for this application. Amazing what $1 will buy you in a microcontroller these days.

FPV drone teardown – [Link]

4 Wheel Robot Motor Driver ( 4X 3Amps LMD18201 H-Bridge)

This compact board will help you to drive 4 Wheel Drive Robots, each axis can handle a load current up to 3 Amps and supply 12V – 48 V DC. Board requires two PWM and Dir. signals for full 4WD operations, mainly differential steering for taking turns left or right or complete 360 degree rotation. The module has been designed around LMD18201 from Texas Instruments. The LMD18201 is a 3A H-Bridge designed for motion control applications. The device is built using a multi-technology process which combines bipolar and CMOS control circuitry with DMOS power devices on the same monolithic structure. Ideal for driving DC and stepper motors; the LMD18200 accommodates peak output currents up to 6A. An innovative circuit which facilitates low-loss sensing of the output current has been implemented.

4 Wheel Robot Motor Driver ( 4X 3Amps LMD18201 H-Bridge) – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Ther Robot Core

Robot Core – The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Robot Controller

The Robot Core, which is a robot control board for the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, brings many different elements into one awesome package. It allows you to efficiently control motors, servos, and read sensor data without needing 3-4 additional boards to hookup. Several Robot Core boards can be connected together in a linear series to add even more functionality.

The Robot Core board
The Robot Core board

Robot Core uses I²C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) to communicate with Raspberry Pi. I²C is a widely used serial computer bus invented by Philips Semiconductor. It is a very easy-to-use two-wire bus that your Pi has no difficulty talking with. A built-in level shifter ensures compatibility to both 3.3 volt and 5 volts I²C buses. The Robot Core supports all Raspberry Pi boards (the past and present versions) and some Arduino boards also.

Now, let’s talk about the technical details.

Software Support:

The board has software provided in the form of libraries and python example programs to get you started fast. Thanks to Second Robotics for making the software Open Source. All required resources will be available in July 2017. Currently, available links are – Drivers and LibrariesSupport Documents.

Software for The Robot Core
Software for The Robot Core
The Robot Core Python Script
The Robot Core Python Script

Motor Drive:

This board provides up to two 5 Amp continuous load DC motor outputs that can be used as a pair to drive a single stepper motor. The Robot Core’s built in safety protection prevents overheating and detects the motor failure.

Servo Control:

The Robot Core can set servos to exact position with the help of 16 bit PWM signal. It has eight ports for both analog and digital conventional servos. You can tune each servo using software-based GUI tuning method and also set their start-up positions individually.

Two ports are provided for connecting Dynamixel servos. Connecting multiple Dynamixel servos at the same time is supported. All functionalities are accessible by simple low-level commands. Many example python codes are available there to get started with Dynamixel servos.

Ultrasonic Sensors:

You can connect up to 4 ultrasonic sensors (HC-SR04) with the board. Given libraries convert measured distance into millimeter. The Robot Core board can provide filtered outputs with higher accuracy or raw outputs with greater speed, the choice is yours.

Analog Input:

Up to 8 12-bit analog inputs are supported for sensors or feedback. Each input has a range of 0-5V and the board also provides protection from exceeding the input limits. The additional analog reading for main power voltage lets you monitor supply voltage in real-time. The Robot Core has configurable warnings for low power.

Power:

The range of input voltage is 6.4v to 14v. An onboard DC-DC regulator is there for generating 5 volts, capable of providing 6 Amps current to the load. Optional separate power supply inputs for servos and for Dynamixel servos are also present.

Other Technical Information:

  • Clear on-board labeling. Each port and screw terminal has its pins labeled.
  • Prototyping space for adding more functionality. This space removable to make the board smaller.
  • Easy to access voltage rails.
  • Access to the Raspberry Pi I²C at 5V logic level.
  • Status LEDs are for main power voltage, DC motor status, and script controllable status.
RobotCore board details
Robot Core board details

Application Of The Robotcore Board:

The Robot Core is an all-in-one solution for many projects. One can do pretty much any autonomous and/or robotics projects with this board. The possibilities are endless. Below are just some example projects:

  • A smart plant monitoring system that reads ambient light, temperature, plant moisture, and even uses two water pumps to water two different plants.
  • Using a single board, you can build a 2 wheeled robot with a ring of 8 analog ultrasonic sensors and a strong Dynamixel smart servo arm.
  • With an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) tied into the I²C bus, you can create a two-wheeled self-balancing robot.
  • Build a biped walker robot with sensors to navigate based around the board and a Pi using powerful servos or Dynamixel smart servos.
  • Make an automated greenhouse. Have analog sensors for light, temperature, carbon dioxide, moisture, water leaks, and also control two water pumps.
The Robot Core plant watering system
The Robot Core plant watering system

Niryo One, Your Next Affordable 6-Axis Robotic Arm

Two French engineers who are passionate about innovative use cases made out of new technologies and building accessible and collaborative robot, are now mixing last technology progresses in mechanics, electronics and computer science to deliver a new product: Niryo One!

Niryo One is an accessible 6 axis robotic arm, made for makers, education, and small companies, and powered by Arduino, Raspberry Pi and ROS. The 3D printed robot will be customizable since you can print out your pieces and customize them the way you like. STL files will be open source soon.

In a mission to democratize robotics, Niryo One team is working on making it affordable and user friendly. Endless number of applications are possible by using Niryo One, like drilling, pick and place operations, and many other options thanks to the 6-axis available.

Niryo One can be controlled in many ways, whether using a web and mobile application, a joystick, or just your hands in its learning mode. Also you can control it using G-code if you want to use Niryo as a CNC.

Connected with the cloud, each update and project you do with Niryo will be synced there, with the ability to share it with the online community. More gadgets and tools will be added to the cloud and you will also get free app updates.

Technical Specifications

As makers ourself, we love 3D printing, Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Those are great to learn robotics, with the help of the online community. We want to go a step further, by embed those technologies and electronics platforms in Niryo One, to show to the world that, yes,  we can make a real useful product with 3D printing, Arduino and Raspberry Pi. We hope that more people will be interested in learning these technologies when seeing what our robot can do, so it will reinforce the community around robotics projects.

Niryo One is now live on Kickstarter and still has 35 days to go. You can pre-order a mini Niryo One kit for $119 and the early bird Niryo One maker kit for $549. More details can be found at the official website.

Anyone Can Build A Robot Arm With MeArm Pi

Mime Industries launches Kickstarter campaign to fund their Raspberry Pi powered robot arm kit that’s simple enough for kids to build.

Mime Industries launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the production of the world’s first robot arm kit for the Raspberry Pi. Designed to be easy to assemble and not requiring extensive knowledge of electronics, the MeArm Pi STEM kit helps kids and adults learn robotics and teaches them how to code.

Created by Ben Pirt of Mirobot and Ben Gray of MeArm, this is their fourth overfunded technology campaign and is based on the original MeArm, launched back in 2014. “We believe in helping children to have fun whilst learning about technology and the MeArm Pi is completely designed around that goal” said Ben Pirt. “Our products are simple to build and can be easily understood. Meaning you can use them to learn whilst playing, adding your own imagination to make something great”.

The MeArm Pi integrates smoothly with the Raspberry Pi, the ubiquitous educational computing platform. The kit uses a Pi HAT (a plug-on board that fits on the computer) with on-board joysticks for control. MeArm Pi is made from plastic parts for the structure, screws and 4 metal gear servos in addition to the Pi HAT. It can be programmed in Python, Scratch, Java and many other programming languages.

The MeArm Pi campaign launched on the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter on February 7 2017 and runs until March 9 2017 with a goal of £10,000 (Approx $12,400 USD). All early birds are sold out, rewards include the standard MeArm Pi Kit of £60 (Approx $75 USD) which includes a robotic arm. All kits deliver free worldwide.

Check out the campaign video: