Monday, April 25, 2011

Updated BiliBot Info

We managed to get some more details on the BiliBot Developer Edition from the busy roboticists over at the BiliBot Project.

The on-board computer will come with room for expansion, in addition to USB it will have PCI & MiniPCI slots available. Built-in wireless connectivity is provided via 802.11. Connectivity via Bluetooth, ZigBee, and etc can be added separately.

We are serious about Bilibot being a platform for developers, and not just a robot toy.
- Garratt Gallagher The Bilibot Project

On the electrical side, the BiliBot has a 12V power bus shared with the computer that has 2 amps of current available. There is also a 5V supply that can provide 3 amps. The power board provides headers to access both of these supplies and an Atmel ATMega128 microcontroller with additional features available via add-on boards. The add-on boards will have a similar layout and functionality to Arduino shields. Actual Arduino shields may or may not be pin compatible, though power and ground will be in the same place. Arduino code however will need to be ported to the ATMega128. If you need Arduino Compatibility, pre-drilled holes are provided to attach your own board. The source code for the BiliBot will be included so developers can easily add sensors or other custom functionality.

The arm is equipped with two limit switches and an encoder where it attaches to the base, while the gripper will use current sensing to estimate the force being applied.

A URDF model of the BiliBot should be available for test drive using Gazebo in a week or so. CAD models will be available at some point in the future after BiliBot 1.0 is released.

The BiliBot is really looking like an excellent platform for open source robot development using ROS and I'm looking forward to all of the great videos the BiliBot will star in.

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