Simulation and modeling are two processes in the development phase of a robot that increase the productivity, reduce costs, and decrease the time for development. If softwares like Robotics Developer Studio, RoboGuide, or Workspace are advanced tools for simulation, tools like Blender or Maya are tools for modeling.
Using graphical representation in two or three dimensions for a robot add value in the development process by knowing in detail the robot since in this phase the robot takes shape for the first time. In this article, I make an overview of modeling tools with possibilities to export files in order to be imported in simulation tools and used in various scenario of working and to develop the programming code for a robot.
Personal Robot (image source http://www.blutsbrueder-design.com/content.php)
A used modeling application in robotics has many advantages like:
- the robot can be observed in detail;
- any stage of development is available anytime for update;
- decrease the time for simulation;
- increase the productivity;
- new and advanced techniques and concepts could be developed;
In other words, the modeling process is a pre-simulation stage. Many simulation tools allow users to import files from other applications. These files have to have specific extensions compatible with native files of the simulation software.
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Arduino Robot is the first robotic kit project with wheels from Arduino while keep the same line like Arduino boards as an open-source project with comprehensive documentation. Arduino Robot is designed especially for education and research, for everyone who wants to develop new robots based on Arduino platform.
Designed as a robot on wheels, AR is a source with everything you need for learning about how to combine the software with electronics and mechanics in order to develop an interactive and intelligent robot.
The project is new (was released in 2013 at Maker Faire Bay Area) and is under developments from a while, since 2011 when the team behind Arduino works to develop a new platform to extend the range of open-source products. This time the project was born as a result of collaboration between Arduino team and Complubot association with impressive results in Robocup Junior robot soccer tournament.
Arduino Robot Kit
Two boards, two processors, but different tasks. One board is designed to control the motors while the top board is programmed to take decisions.
Including a Robot library
for control, the Arduino Robot becomes a platform for sensors, buttons, memory cards, actuators, motors, color screens, and many other components that you need to build the desire robot.
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More household robots means less working for us, and an autonomous lawn mower robot could bring more satisfaction while the coffee is sipping in the garden. The engineers manage to surprise us every time when they combine mechanical parts, and electrical systems with programming lines. The final result, in our case, is the autonomous robot designed for cutting the grass in small to large gardens or farmers.
The industry is growing and this is not a surprise while a lawnmower is designed to mow lawns. This is not a simple task, the robot has to avoid collisions and obstacles, and in the same time has to taking care to cut the grass at the desired height. A fully autonomous robot supposes to not require the human intervention for some actions like a detailed path to follow. The robot has to work alone according to owner specifications.
Muwi Lawn Mower Concept
- is designed to replace one household chore;
- an autonomous lawn mover require a minimal intervention from the user;
- an autonomous lawn mover do not require guidance from the user;
- it is very easy to program a robotic lawn mower;
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When we walk or stand straight for example, we have to keep our position reported to a reference like earth’s ground plane. The same principle is applicable in robotics when robots have to keep its positions reported to a reference. At the base of the measuring position system is the tilt sensor with the role to measure the tilt on two, three or four axes to a reference plane. Two axes measurement is used when the robot is not moving while three and four axes tilt measurement is used when the robot is under moving.
The tilt sensor is used in many fields including games, mobile devices like smartphone or tablet, industry and service robots. Depending on the robot features, instead using a tilt sensor to measure the tilt angle reported to earth ground plane is used an accelerometer sensor. This could happen only if the robot needs tilt angle information in motion and not in stationary state. This is one of the differences between these two sensors, an accelerometer sensor cannot measure the tilt when the robot is in stationary state. Another difference is that a tilt sensor has less functionalities compared with an accelerometer sensor, but has a friendly interface than an accelerometer sensor. Using a gyroscope sensor is also a common solution to measure the leaning of the robot. A gyro sensor is designed to measure the angular motion or twist of the robot and is used especially for robotic projects that needs better stability as a human-like robot along with a tilt sensor.
If the robot requirements include a low tolerance on tilt angle, typically is used a tilt sensor instead an accelerometer or gyro solution. Tilt sensors are designed in order to guarantee a high accuracy in monitoring the position. The accuracy of a sensor depends on many factors like vibrations, temperature, gravity, and the list can continue with other typically noises for sensors. A robot can uses wheels or legs for movements and in the same situations, the inclination angle has to be measured for many times in a second if the robot has to maintain a certain position.
The tilt sensor works by using a mercury-switch or a metallic ball that commute two pins when the sensor is inclined at a certain angle. Any change of sensor angle results in a different value as output.
In robotics, the tilt sensor is used for:
- for self-balancing robot as feedback sensor;
- monitoring the angle of arm and leg;
- sense the change in orientation;
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Like on the production line of a factory, domestic robots waiting the day when they will be released on the market and in this case is mObi. mObi is a telepresence robot with an interesting design including the ballbots system for moving and the legs located around the base and keeps the robot in balance when the power is off. The base platform of the mobile robot is configurable and was built for general purposes.
The word robot becomes popular especially in the latest years due to industrial penetration, space missions, social robots and the list can continue. Since the robots become more socials, the trend is to use robots in workplaces instead humans. This trend born new advanced robots that fit in almost any field and become familiars with humans.
Like mObi there are many other robots like iRobot AVA, Double Robotics, Jazz Connect, VGo, and the list goes on. All of these robots are designed for general purposes as telepresence technologies, and depending on design these can be used for different purposes including educational, research or for consumer market. mObi is a little bit different from the competitors listed above where all of these are designed for consumer market. The main idea behind mObi is to be used in human-robot interaction research for home and business environments and less for consumer market.
mObi Telepresence Robot
The telepresence robot take shapes in the labs of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in 2005 while the project was transferred to Bossa Nova Robotics project aiming to design the personal robotics platform for domestic consumers of the 21st century.
Moving system is different that we can meet until now at a telepresence robot. mObi uses the locomotion platform from Carnegie Mellon called ballbot, a system that uses a sphere to move in any direction without turning. This system has advantages and disadvantages. Advantages of this moving system includes a small footprint of the robot, moving without turning while disadvantages include the loss of balance when power is off or inability to descend or climb stairs. Continue Reading →