Older blog entries for dafyddwalters (starting at number 0)

11 Jul 2003 (updated 30 Jul 2003 at 18:46 UTC) »

I've been quite busy on the Open Automaton Project lately.

I have just placed orders for most of the expensive off-the-shelf hardware components of the prototype droid, including the base, processor board, sensors (vision, ultrasonic, passive infrared). If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you can see a list of all the major hardware components that make up the robot, including how much I paid and the names of the vendors.

So far, I've developed some of the electronics and firmware that make up the human-robot interface, and I've got a breadboard prototype up and running. The input device on the robot itself is a simple six-button keypad (up, down, left, right, enter and escape), which allows rudimentary control such as program/task selection, and basic human responses to robot prompts (be they spoken or by text displayed on the LCD screen).

I've been spending quite a bit of time looking at existing publicly available open-source software projects of interest to the Open Automaton Project. A couple in particular are of great interest, and I believe will be an excellent fit. One is Player/Stage, and the other is Pyro. At the moment, my plan is to develop sensor and actuator software components that comply with the Player specification, and develop behaviours and high-level task programs using the Pyro framework.

I certified motters as a Master today since I've frequented his web site on numerous occasions in the past couple of years, and have always been impressed with the robotics work he's been doing. I'm particularly impressed with the work he's been doing recently in the area of robot vision, and since he has very generously seen fit to publish this work under the terms of the GNU General Public License, I will very likely be able to re-use some of this work in the Open Automaton Project.

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