Open Automaton Project Update
I've posted some new messages to the oap-develop mailing list about hardware issues that have come to light since building the prototype, a software development roadmap, and a call for help in the project documentation. Rather than clutter this diary entry by repeating the information in those messages, I'll just post a link to the mailing list archive here for those who may be interested:
An important part of the software development plan is to put together a simulator environment that allows developers to program and test robot behaviours and task programs without needing to have an actual robot. This will open the project up for contributions from those who currently aren't able to build their own droid, or who only have part-time access to one. It also means that those of us who do have a robot will be able to carry on with software development while the robot is on the bench undergoing upgrades or repairs.
The Grand Plan
(... or perhaps just an unrealistic dream, but it's what I'm aiming for anyway ...)
If all the software comes together as planned, I eventually foresee the ability for OAP users from around the world to contribute behaviours and task programs they've created to a central user- community database (I'll probably host this). The robot, if it's on-line, could periodically check the database for any new programs, and alert its owner/operator of any software modules it's discovered. The operator could then use the on-board web application to seamlessly download and install the new modules on to their machine.