The recipe for Niryo One is as follows: 3D printing, Raspberry Pi 3, Arduino Mega, RAMPS 1.4, ROS (Robot Operating System), Linux Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi, and lots of open-source code.
Let us study each feature:
All the components of the robotic arm that can be printed, have been printed with a 3D printer. The producers have used PLA as the printing material, but other materials may also be used.
Using the 3D printing technology to build most parts of the robot, the final price of such a project is lower when compared to traditional methods to build the same parts of a robot. Another benefit is that you can print components at home, or replace them if necessary.
Raspberry Pi 3: WiFi, Bluetooth, Ubuntu, ROS, Python.
Pi 3 connects the robot arm to the Internet or to a mobile device via WiFi and Bluetooth. Also, Pi runs important programs to control the Arduino board, and programs written in Python. In other words, Pi 3 running all programs that cannot run on the Arduino Mega.
Arduino Mega: the RAMPS 1.4 shield, control of DC motors, control of sensors.
That’s what Arduino does in this project. Read data from the sensors and control the DC motors. The data and commands are flowing through the RAMPS 1.4 shield.
RAMPS is a shield specifically designed to be compatible with the Arduino Mega board. This shield can control up to 5 stepper motors and few servo motors. It is interesting that such shields are used to build 3D printers. So, if you want to reuse some of the components of the robotic arm, you can build a 3D printer.
ROS: algorithms, applications
ROS running on the Raspberry Pi 3. The framework is designed to let the user add intelligence to the robotic arm. How? For example, it can add a camera and write an application for processing and analyze the images. In other words, the robotic arm can be programmed to recognize objects and sort them by color, size, etc. Moreover, ROS is open source and has a very active community.
Programs: open-source, GitHub
All the programs developed for Niryo will be available on GitHub. These programs can be downloaded and used to control the robotic arm.