Loon Copter is a Drone that Flies, Floats and Dives Underwater

Most drones simply fly, while some robots can dive underwater, but Loon Copter, a project by Oakland University’s Embedded Systems Research Laboratory, can fly, float on the water, and dive underwater just like a duck, hence its name. I could not find much technical details about the drone, but since I discovered it via Atmel on Google+, I assume some soon-to-be Microchip AVR MCUs might be involved. It flies like any quadcopter, then it can land on water and move sideways with the blades rotating in the air. The submerged mode is interesting. The drone fills itself with water until the blades are under water, and then rotates 90 degrees to roam in the water. Once it’s done it ejects the water to get back to the surface. The drone is also equipped with camera and sensors to explore its surroundings. Some potential applications include underwater survey of corals or […]

Autonomous Deep Learning Robot Features Nvidia Jetson TK1 Board, a 3D Camera, and More

Autonomous, a US company that makes smart products such as smart desks, virtual reality kits and autonomous robots, has recently introduced a deep learning robot that comes with a 3D camera, speaker and microphone, Jetson TK1 board, and a mobile base. The robot appears to be mostly made of the shelves parts: 3D Depth camera – Asus Xtion Pro 3D Depth Camera Speaker & Microphone Nvidia Jetson TK1 PM375 board – Nvidia Terra K1 quad-core Cortex A15 processor @ 2.3 GHz with a 192-core Kepler GPU, 2GB RAM, 16 GB flash Kobuki Mobile Base –  Kobuki is the best mobile base designed for education and research on state of the art robotics. Kobuki provides power supplies for external computer power as well as additional sensors and actuators. Its highly accurate odometry, amended by calibrated gyroscope, enables precise navigation. The robot is designed for research in deep learning and mobile robotics, […]

BeagleBone Blue Board is Designed for Robots and UAVs

Beagleboard.org organization already tried to go Blue with BeagleBone BlueSteel-Basic that was supposed to a the single board computer to be used by OEM to integrate into their design instead of BeagleBone Black development board. For some unknown reasons this never happened, but they’ve now reused the color to introduce BeagleBone Blue board designed for robotics and UAVs. BeagleBone Blue specifications: SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM3358 Cortex A8 @ 1 GHz + PowerVR SGX530 GPU System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 Storage – 4 GB 8-bit on-board flash storage Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE USB – USB 2.0 client and host Motor Control – 8x 6V servo out, 4x DC motor out, 4x quad enc in Sensors – 9 axis IMU, barometer “Easy connect Interfaces” – GPS, DSM2 radio, UARTs, SPI, I2C, analog, buttons, LEDs Power / Battery – 2-cell LiPo support with balancing, 6-16V charger input […]

Reeman Playmate is a Robot for Kids Based on Rockchip RK3288 SoC

Rockchip processors are usually found in tablets and TV boxes, but one Shenzhen based company called Reeman has designed Playmate robot for kids powered by Rockchip RK3288 processor, which can take picture, sing, dance, tell stories, be used for video chat, and goes to recharge itself automatically when the batteries are low. The Rockchip processor takes care of a 10.1″ touchscreen display, stereo microphones, speakers, camera, and artificial intelligence which recognizes Chinese and to a lesser extend English language, and take relevant actions, while the motors and sensors are managed by a few ARM Cortex M3 micro-controllers. The robot is still in development, and the company is working on adding a 3D camera to recognize objects, which will allow the robot to find its charging dock among other things. The Android 4.4 robot will be available for 2,999 RMB (~$473) in Q1 2016 in China. Charbax filmed the robot at […]

ZeroPi is an Arduino & Raspberry Pi Compatible Motor Control Board (Crowdfunding)

Pi boards keep on coming… As soon as I finished writing about Roseapple Pi board, yet another one popped out on my twitter feed… But that one is of a different kind, as it won’t run Linux, but instead the board is powered by an Atmel SAMD21 Cortex M0+ micro-controller, and can support lots of electric motors including up to 11 micro servos and 8 DC motors – or 4 stepper motors – simultaneously. ZeroPi board specifications: MCU – Atmel SAMD21J18 ARM Cortex M0+ @ 48 MHz with 32 SRAM and 256KB flash I/O pins via 33-pin header, 4-pin temperature sensor, and 10-pin Raspberry Pi header 35 GPIOs 4x 12-bit ADC channels 1x 10-bit DAC 2x UART 2-channel temperature sensor interface DC current per I/O pin- 7mA DC / Stepper Motor control – 4x 4-channel SLOT interface compatible with common parts such as DRV8825 or A4988 Stepper motor driver and […]

2015 Open Source Hardware Summit Program Published

The Open Source Hardware Summit takes places once a year in different location each year. It was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2013, in Rome, Italy last year, and this year the event will be hosted in Philadelphia in the US, and the organizers just released the program. It will be a one day event (September 19, 2015) with four “tracks” with a total of 23 sessions, and a keynote: Science and Education Open Hardware, Open Minds: The Rise of Open Hardware in Academia and K-12 Education by Ben Leduc-Mills. The Rise and Fall of an Open Source Hardware Company by Nancy Ouyang. Open Hardware in Community/Citizen Science by Peter Marchetto. DropBot: an Open-Source Platform for Lab Automation by Ryan Fobel, Christian Fobel, Michael Dryden and Aaron Wheeler. Making Open Hardware the New Standard in Science by Joshua Pearce. Open Source Robotics Foundation and the Robotics Fast […]

Onion Omega is an Atheros AR9331 Wi-Fi Module Supporting Various Docks and Add-on Boards (Crowdfunding)

There are so many inexpensive Wi-Fi modules running Linux that it would be easy to discard Onion Omega as yet another Wi-Fi module based on Atheros AR9331 WiSoC. However, the developers have tried to bring some added value by making programming easier for web developers, integrating it with a cloud platform (free for non-commercial use), and providing basicor Arduino dock, and add-on boards for Ethernet, OLED, Relay… to make building hardware projects easier too. Let’s go through the hardware first, starting with the module specifications: SoC –  Atheros AR9331 400MHZ MIPS 24K System Memory – 64MB DDR2 400MHz Storage – 16MB Flash Connectivity – 10/100 Mbps Ethernet + 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi up to 150Mbps with PCB antenna w/ uFL connector I/Os –  18 GPIOs USB – 1x USB 2.0 Power Supply – 3.3V; Typ. consumption: 0.6W Dimensions – 28.2mm x 52mm (1.1″ x 2.0″) Since this type of module is not […]

TechNexion Introduces Intel Edison Compatible PICO-iMX6 SoM and DWARF Board

Intel Edison is a board made for wearables featuring an SoC with Intel Atom and Quark CPU cores. TechNexion, an embedded systems company based in Taiwan, has decided to make a mechanically and electrically compatible system-on-module featuring Frescale i.MX6 Solo or Duallite ARM Cortex A9 processor called PICO-iMX6. The company is also providing a PICO-DWARF baseboard that’s both compatible with PICO-iMX6 SoM and Edison board. DWARF stands for “Drones, Wearables, Appliances, Robotics and Fun”, so that pretty much explains what the platform is for. PICO-iMX6 System-on-Module Two version of the modules are available: PICO-iMX6-SD and PICO-iMX6-EMMC, the former with a micro SD slot for storage, and the latter a 4GB eMMC. Both share the followings specifications: SoC – Freescale i.MX6 Solo / Duallite  single/dual core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1Ghz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU and Vivante GC320 2D GPU (Composition) System Memory – 512MB or 1GB DDR3 Storage – […]