Educational Robotics

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We are collaborating with the Center for Distributed Robotics, RPI CS Robotics Lab and Smith College on building a robotics platform to be used in educational settings. The RSN Lab is developing the software component of the project and coordinating the deployment of the system to educational institutions. The Center for Distributed Robotics is building the hardware platform. While the robot hardware is being designed and developed, we have been using a robust, affordable platform built in our lab to develop and test our software.


Platform

iRobot Create with an Asus EEE PC We use a robust, affordable platform built in-house using the following off-the-shelf components
  • iRobot Create differential drive robot
  • Asus EEE PC mounted on a custom-made polymer bracket
    • Running Ubuntu Linux
  • Communication over USB-to-Serial (FTDI compliant interface)
  • Stereo pair built in-house using two off-the-shelf Logitech C-250 webcams.

Programming: API

Create.jpg We developed a convenient control interface for iRobot Create robots. You can download the Java source code from here and C++ source code from here.

Low-level navigation

Vision-based navigation for our platform using the webcam of the on-board Eee PC netbook. We extract the vanishing point in the image seen from the camera. A simple PD controller sets the robot velocities so as to keep the vanishing point in the center of the camera.
Vision based color tracking for our platform.

Acknowledgment

This work is supported by: