Saturday, September 22, 2012

TurtleBot teleop with Android

We have been working on improving the initial out of the box experience for the TurtleBot. After the robot is unpacked, the network is configured and the Kinect is started, the robot should be ready for teleoperation from an Android based phone or tablet.

After the network is configured, ROS is automatically launched with a reasonable default configuration. The ros-network-id program can then be used to display the network settings in a QR code that can be scanned by the handheld. Root permissions are currently required to extract the network password for wireless network. Once the QR code is scanned it can connect to the robot and connectivity can be tested using the chirp app. After that it is time for TurtleBots to roll out.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kickstart: Baccus Robot Arm

After months of work, we are finally ready to announce our first Kickstarter, the Baccus Open Source Robot Arm. This arm was designed specifically to meet the needs of robots attempting to deliver beverages to humans and is equipped with a 2 DoF wrist designed to allow for smooth pouring operation.

The Baccus robot arm will also make a great choice for classrooms with open source software and a documented ROS API. The cost should allow more students to have time working with a robot arm and the functionality will enable them to perform complex tasks.

For more information about the project and the great rewards we will be offering, check out our kickstarter page here.

Metric TurtleBot

At I Heart Engineering, we believe the future is metric. We believe this mostly because we are unwilling to solve electromechanical control problems using imperial units. So to prepare we will now be offering a Metric TurtleBot as the default to meet the needs of the future today.

So to better equip the TurtleBot to deal with the future, and cut down on the number of fasteners we need to stock, we will now be shipping all new TurtleBots with metric holes and fasteners. We will also be taking this opportunity to change the color of the plates to a stylish black. The URDF should be in Github in the next few days.

While we recommend the metric parts as being better suited for accessories of the future, we are pleased to announce a sale on parts designed in US customary units while supplies last. We have discounted plates and standoffs at 25% off, so buy early and  buy often!

Also, if you can't find what you need, email sales at I Heart Engineering.


Progress on the URDF

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The future of manufacturing

Now that we have placed our order, you can insert money here.

Test footage

Here is some older footage from a project we have been working on.

The arm is designed with a target payload of 12oz for the arm is to be able to lift and manipulate cans for beverage delivery tasks.

More updates soon.

Friday, September 14, 2012

TurtleBot Roomba Upgrade Kit

We have a limited edition run of ten upgrade kits for the Roomba 560. This kit will help turn your Roomba560 into a basic TurtleBot at an extra low sale price of $199.95.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A123 12V7 battery now actually available for purchase

"Thank you for placing your order. Your order number is 5."

The wait is over, we have now verified that the A123 Systems Nanophosphate® lithium ion ALM 12V7 battery is actually available for purchase. This battery is designed as a drop in replacement for standard sealed lead acid batteries and is compatible with most SLA charging systems.

While our favourite hubmotorologists have been testing these batteries for electric vehicle hoonage. We will be testing them for use with ground based mobile robots that require a more rugged form factor than puffy Lithium Polymer battery packs.
The nominal voltage of 13.2V should be sufficient for a low drop out voltage regulator to supply a high quality stable 12V if needed. The maximum current rating is 30A and the battery provides a maximum power output of 345W. An integrated 30A Fuse prevents fires and early termination of human support systems. The battery includes overvoltage, overdischarge and short circuit safety systems for your protection. More as we have a chance to test them.