It’s always good to see more free software and open source software for robot builders and even better to see more open source hardware designs. John Palmisano of the Society of Robots website writes:
“Most robot builders quickly hack up a not so well thought out robot, get it to mostly work, take a few pics and vids, then get bored of it and finally start the next robot. Rarely do they work on pesky things such as multiple iterations, documentation, manufacturability, instructional assembly tutorials, etc.
I made the famous $50 Robot for beginners, and now I’ve fully open sourced my Experimental Robot Platform (ERP) for intermediate builders. The ERP is fairly modular, in that a builder can just copy parts of it for their own projects, such as the pan/tilt camera head, the robot arms, the vision software, the 3D mapping software, and much more.”
All the software used is free software licensed under the GPL or BSD. The hardware designs don’t explicitly state what license is used but, when asked, John said, “Oh, my license is simple: Free to use for anything, on condition that a link-back and full credit is given.” That sounds like freedom to me! 🙂
The ERP robot relies on the Blackfin SRV-1 camera, BlueSmirf Bluetooth modem, and Axon micro controller.