On Indiegogo, CoroWare launched a 4WD “CoroBot Spark,” open robotic platform for STEM training, primarily based on a Raspberry Pi SBC and a CoroWare controller board.
CoroWare Robotics Options’s CoroBot Spark is the newest of a number of open-source robotic kits that have used the Raspberry Pi single-board pc. Current examples embrace iRobot’s Create 2, a hackable model of its Roomba robot, in addition to Frindo.org’s RPi-ready Frindo robot. Different Linux-based robot controller boards designed to combine the Raspberry Pi embraces the Roboteq RIO, Mikronaut’s RoboPi, and the Calao Techniques’ PinBall SBC.
The open-supply CoroBot Spark differs from the Create 2 or Frindo in that it’s a bigger four-wheel drive (4WD) car. Just like Create 2, the Spark is designed for center college and high school science, expertise, engineering and math (STEM) applications, in addition to college analysis and training.
CoroBot Spark render
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CoroWare’s Indiegogo marketing campaign provides Corobot Spark early adopter kits for $275, and lots of extra kits at $350, with shipments. A $400 Academic/Developer bundle provides an Xbox controller, a USB flash drive, extra drivers, and premium tech help.
The kits embrace a Raspberry Pi board with digicam, together with the chassis, motors, wheels, battery, sensors, and CoroWare’s CoroBot Pi Hat controller board. The Pi Hat helps peripherals together with variable velocity motors, and sensors for contact, ultrasonic, infrared, sound, and extra.
in the box prototype (left), and render
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The Indiegogo web page mentions availability of each the older ARM11-based Raspberry Pi Mannequin B+ and the brand new quad Cortex-A7-based Raspberry Pi 2 Mannequin B. With the latter, it says, you possibly can run both Debian Linux or the upcoming Home windows 10, which to the shock of many, landed on the RPI 2’s checklist of supported OSes together with Ubuntu.
CoroWare has long provided a line of four-wheeled, x86-based robots with Home windows and Ubuntu assist. Rolling robots such because the Ubuntu prepared CoroWare Explorer EX-L added Robotic Working System (ROS) middleware extensions. The corporate’s final main Ubuntu/ROS mannequin was the CoroBot Professional, a $9,000 robotic growth platform introduced in 2013, which is at the moment within the strategy of being up to date to a v2 mannequin (see farther beneath).
CoroBot Spark exploded views
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The CoroBot Spark’s software program stack, together with its cross-platform GUI, was written solely in Python. The stack will embrace open and cross-platform APIs, says CoroWare. Every Debian picture will come preloaded with Anaconda, SciPy, iPython Pocketbook, and different instruments.
“The CoroBot Spark platform is very engaging as a result of the chassis design, software program and APIs will all be out there by way of open supply channels reminiscent of GitHub,” said Lloyd Spencer, CEO of CoroWare.
The CoroBot Spark may be assembled in lower than 30 minutes with the included screwdriver in a course of doesn’t require breadboards or jumper wires, claims CoroWare. Your entire equipment, excluding the Pi Hat, “is designed to be made at an area make space utilizing 3D printing and laser reducing,” says the corporate.
The Pi Hat board is touted for its inclusion of Cypress’s PSoC 5LP system-on-chip, in addition to two lesser-powered PSoC 4 (4200 Sequence) chips. Constructed round an ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller, the PSoC 5LP provides digitally reprogrammable logic, which is considerably like an FPGA, however simpler to make use of, says CoroWare. Because of this, “you possibly can customize which pins do what on the fly,” says the corporate.
The CoroBot Spark ships with a USB WiFi dongle for the Raspberry Pi, and doesn’t require tethered operation to navigate. A desktop management software that helps Linux, Mac, or Home windows, provides primary consumer enter, sensor info, and a Python console for primary scripted instructions. The Pi Hat board, in the meantime, is “preloaded with primary management blocks and may have many extra freely out there on-line that may be uploaded by way of PSoC creator,” says CoroWare.
Primary specs for the CoroBot Spark equipment embrace:
- Raspberry Pi Mannequin B+ or 2nd Gen (RPi 2) Mannequin B
- RPi digicam with pan/tilt mount
- 3x ultrasonic sensors (2x front-facing)
- Rear-facing ultrasonic sensor
- Entrance-facing IR sensor
- Audio sensor
- Pi Hat controller board:
- 67MHz Cypress PSoC 5LP SoC with multilevel DMA controller, 64KB SRAM, 256KB flash, 26x configurable blocks
- 2x PSoC Four chips
- 7.4v 2200mAh LiPO battery with recharging
- The motor controller IC (48MHz ARM Cortex-M0)
- Encoder connectors
- Servo headers for the digicam
- USB interface
- 4x wheels
- 4x discrete multi-gear DC motors and drivers (helps substitute with omni-directional wheels)
- Body made from laser-cut birch plywood
CoroWare guarantees to donate 15 p.c of all Indiegogo contributions to fund program proposals submitted by colleges, universities and non-profit organizations. If the “versatile funding” challenge surpasses the $45,000 Indiegogo aim, CoroWare will donate 30 p.c of all contributions made above that, says the corporate.
CoroWare’s CoroBot Professional, introduced in 2013, is billed as “essentially the most highly effective member of the CoroBot household of sensible unmanned floor autos (Sensible UGV) and robotics growth platforms for researchers and educators.” The corporate is now prepping a v2 model of the Linux-ready, four-wheel-drive bot, in line with CoroWare (see farther beneath).
Present CoroBot Professional mannequin
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The present model of the CoroBot Professional runs on a dual-core Intel Atom or a quad-core, 2.66GHz Intel i5-750 processor, which provides $775. The robotic ships with Home windows 7 Professional for an additional $495, or a dual-boot model with Ubuntu and ROS, which provides $575. The value ramps up from there with extra RAM, and quite a lot of non-compulsory sensors, cameras, storage units, and different options.
One other picture of original CoroBot Professional
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The water-resistant CoroBot Professional may be fitted with considered one of a number of robotic arms, considered one of which provides as much as 5 levels of freedom (DoF) and might carry as much as 800 grams, says CoroWare. Particular choices embrace the Level Gray Bumblebee stereo imaginative and prescient digicam, the Microsoft Kinect, and quite a lot of HD webcams.
CoroWare had few particulars on the upcoming Corobot Professional v2, which seems to be near completion. The brand new robotic will add particular mounting hardware that “permits for straightforward integration of extra sensors and payload,” says CoroWare. The corporate additionally hints that it’s a extra rugged platform for outside use, presumably with better prolonged temperature assist.
CoroWare additionally says that long-range communications (maybe mobile knowledge assist) can be commonplace. Because of these and different enhancements, the v2 model will begin at $20,000, greater than double the worth of the present mannequin.
The CoroBot Spark is offered on Indiegogo by way of April 5 beginning at $275 and $350, with shipments due in Might. Developer kits and classroom bundles are additionally out there. Full specs for the CoroBot Spark could also be discovered on the CoroWare web site.