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VR Interfaces: Robulab


Overview of Robulab
Robulab by name, sounds like it might be a form of robotic dog. Well, it is not. As the image above shows, its nothing so wildly interesting as that. Yet, what it is, represents something of a paradigm shift that is slowly taking place in the quest for more mainstream robotics.

To be more precise, this is the Robulab 10, the tenth iteration of a device designed to make mass market robotics substantially cheaper. It is a generic base platform, designed to be as non application specific as possible, and as highly modable as possible, to provide a basic mass produced unit that a larger robotic system can literally be bolted on top of, and whose internal code and control systems form the embodiment systems for the robot - the basics allowing it to control wheels, arms, basic systems drivers etc.

The Robulab uses SLAM (Simultaneous Location and Mapping), drive by wire, anti-collision, beacon detection and localization, path teaching-and-repeating, fleet supervision, remote control (by phone) and beam guided navigation systems to navigate with by default, so rather than developers having to build these from scratch each time, they are inbuilt into the robot's base, and they just have to design their robot to interface with it, in an open standard. Choose any (or all) of the above, and a full API inside the robot will allow the two systems to work as one.

As a final incentive, the company behind it, Robosoft, is entirely non-profit. This is purely an attempt to help the development of mainstream robotics.

Optional Extras:

If a developer desires a little extra, the following options can also be supplied with the base unit, and more importantly, fully interfaced with the existing API, so all the developer has to do is talk to the base, and the base, talks to the extras.

  1. The Katana 400s is a 6 DOF robotic manipulator designed to be embedded on mobile platforms. Seamlessly integrated on robuLAB 10, this arm with up to 500g payload is particularly accurate, and allows very precise 3D positioning (0,01° in space).

  2. URG-04LX Scanning Laser Range Finder, the best optimized sensor for environment recognition. Suitable for next generation intelligent robots with an autonomous system and privacy security.

  3. The CMUcam3 is an ARM7TDMI based fully programmable embedded computer vision sensor.It is targeted toward users that are already familiar with basic image processing and who are comfortable with microcontroller programming and gives the ability of advanced users to directly program the system with their specific algorithms.

  4. Pan-tiltd monocular color IP vision system provides any Robosoft robots with a low cost vision system, with high quality imaging capabilities, allowing developers to easily set tracking, surveillance or monitoring applications.

  5. Docking station to charge your robot when needed and provide for a safe home point.

  6. Today’s most robust WiFi a/b/g server + client integrated devices enabling reliable wireless operations.

Further Reading

ROBOSOFT and SRI International Demonstrate Innovative Eldercare Service Robot at Robobusiness 2009 (PDF)

Product brochure (PDF)

Karto SDK - Robulab's core

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