Robots Everywhere's Leading-Edge Technology
In less than four years, Robots Everywhere has developed three state-of-the-art low-cost platforms for robotic applications. Far from entirely separate, these platforms perform overlapping tasks and can interact with each other in various ways, allowing for flexibility far beyond most robot controllers. Whether one of these systems suits your needs, or they must work together to meet a new goal, Robots Everywhere can design a controller to meet the most demanding requirements.
The modern mobile phone has become a powerful computer in its own right, equipped with navigation aids such as a camera, GPS, compass, and accelerometers, allowing it to function as a stand-alone robot controller. Able to use a variety of wireless communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GSM, a mobile phone needs no additional radio, sensors, or computing power to control many types of robots. This system has been dubbed Robots Anywhere, for its low cost and supreme portability - simply connect the phone to the add-on board, and connect servos and additional sensors as needed. After some quick configuration, the software takes care of the rest! Drive robots from a PC or even from another mobile phone - such is the power and portability of the Robots Anywhere system!
This video shows a rover patrolling an apartment building floor using an early beta of the Robots Anywhere system.
Screenshots of the control console on a PC, and a prototype of the console running on a mobile phone.
Video of the Robots Anywhere system combined with a simple flight control AI on our PropDIP to send the Robots Anywhere system soaring into the sky!
Robots Everywhere began with the NAVCOM AI, a flexible automation system on a low-cost platform. On the ground, on the water, and in the air, the NAVCOM has shown its versatility and accuracy. Using a Parallax Propeller microcontroller and basic position and heading information, the basic NAVCOM system can output to motor controllers and servos to control any type of vehicle. It can output path data and plan routes through the Google Earth API, allowing the robot to be directed visually from a map of the area, or to follow more precise numerical paths. Depending on the hardware platform used, the accuracy of the NAVCOM AI's position can be as close as six inches simply using GPS and numerical dead-reckoning.
The ETrac RSV, developed for a US Army Corps of Engineers contractor, accurate to within six inches positionally, and 0.5 inches for depth, surveying the San Francisco Bay using the NAVCOM AI.
The UAV Ithuriel, a test project for St. Mary's University, using the NAVCOM AI and a simple add-on program to target bombs.
The Antbot is Robots Everywhere's educational and experimental platform. It is very affordable for educational budgets, so that a robotics curriculum can become a realistic objective for High Schools and Jr. colleges. It is also very powerful, and able to be used in experiments and projects at the university level and in industrial research and development.
Using the Antbot Kit, you can build an autonomous robot, piece by piece, with excellent mechanical quality and good electronics quality, for roughly $200 to $500 in parts.
The basic package is already a very powerful robotics platform, with the Picaxe28 microcontroller on board. With it, you can start learning how to program it in BASIC and assembly language, non-interactively. It is also compatible with the 28 pin SX microcontroller from Parallax. On top of the basic package, a PropDIP or compatible board (such as the Parallax PropStix) can be added, to give it far greater capability, including the ability to run several scripting languages for programming, or even the NAVCOM AI. It is capable of performing various tasks in navigation, machine vision, audio and video output, and can work with a variety of sensors and outputs. Using the NAVCOM's KML library, it can even interface your programs with Google Earth!
Among other projects, the Antbot was used for research work in genetic programming, resulting in the following video. The project developed a new state and event based scripting language for the Antbot, and evolved controllers to navigate indoor environments. The experiment's best result is demonstrated above.