In this post, we review a robot platform by Freescale.
Freescale’s Tower Mechatronics Board, robot and software allow users to experiment with acceleration, magnetics, pressure and touch sensors, as well as electromechanical controls for industrial and consumer applications. The goal of the Tower Mechatronics Board and sensor robot is to help designers create innovative projects as quickly and easily as possible.
Freescale’s Robot kit operates with the Tower System Mechatronics Board is an easy-to-use mechatronics development and demonstration platform. This toolset allows for the science of combining mechanics, electronics, and software into an integrated system. The kit includes four PWM controlled servos (actuators), metal legs, and the Tower System Mechatronics board that has a 3-axis accelerometer and a 12 channel touch sensor. Through building the kit, you can experience what the 4 degree of freedom bipedal walking robot can do.
The base robot runs in a tethered mode, with RobotSee and the Robot Vision Toolkit running on a Windows host. The upgraded robot has a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 with 1GB of RAM on-board. The upgraded robot is fully autonomous, and un-tethered. The ARM is running either Ubuntu, Embedded Linux, or Android. The upgraded/ARM version of the robot is $349.00, and ships with a full Ubuntu desktop with all development tools installed.
(Images Credit: Freescale.Com)
Control and Software: 2 option
Beginners: RobotSee and the Robot Vision Toolkit – As easy as BASIC with the power of C
Intermediate: Codewarrior C/C++
Vision processing: OpenCV and custom CV algorithms available via the Robot Vision Toolkit.
When upgraded with i.MX53 Quick Start Board all vision processing occurs on-board.
Height: 9 inches
Sound and voice processing: WAV file playback available with RobotSee
When upgraded with the i.MX53 running Linux or Android, user has access to multiple
Codecs, and Linux voice recognition applications.
Body Frame: aluminum
Number of motors: 4
Servo power: 6 volts
Power source: 4 AA’s
Pieces and parts:
External sensors and types: Supports touch, 3-axis accel, magnetometer, and pressure sensors
Planned upgrades: ARM Cortex-A8 upgrade already available
Remote control: none
Price: base: $199.00, ARM Cortex-A8 option $149.00 ($349.00 total for a true Cortex-A8 based Robot)
Other Specs as applicable: www.freescale.com/mechbot
Any codes, schematics, references, links etc… www.freescale.com/mechbot, www.towergeeks.com
Targeted uses, and user groups: www.towergeeks.com, www.buildsmartrobots.com
Target use – base robot: Sensor training tool
Target use – ARM Cortex-A8 upgraded robot: Computer Vision/Linux/Android Robotics
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