Commercial Robotics

Porting a Floor-Mopping Robot to Linux

Posted 26 Jun 2006 at 19:30 UTC by steve Share This

LinuxDevices summarizes a paper which turned up online recently, detailing the 22-month development effort of Intellibot Robotics to port a $33k autonomous floor-mopping robot to embedded Linux. The original hardware ran without an OS on a custom 68K microcontroller. The finished product runs Linux on an off-the-shelf x86 board. The paper, titled Porting an existing embedded system to Linux, contains plenty of interesting detail on the development of device drivers and experiences with response time on embedded Linux. The conclusion? "Linux is not the right tool for every job; there will always be problems that are best solved by an 8-bit microcontroller running 8k of carefully crafted C or assembly language ... However, for our robot, Linux was and is an excellent choice. It provides all the flexibility one expects from open-source software, meets the current real-time demands of the system, and leverages our Linux experience well."

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