How much would you pay for a robot?

Christopher X. Candreva wrote: [snip]


Which is exactly my point. I can see GREAT reasons to run the latest via motherboard w/ linux and wireless networking on board a robot -- but the ability to do so isn't much of a selling point for a general purpose commercial robotics platform. The mobo and wireless are the easy parts. The hard part is a reliable, expandable, robust platform with decent motion control and plenty of sensors (or at least potential for sensors to be added).
--
(Replies: cleanse my address of the Mark of the Beast!)

Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Randy M. Dumse wrote:

What? No links? Damn. Looks like I'll have to look them up myself. Cheers. They do look good.
Matthew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Okay okay already ;) Here you go:
http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/taxonomy.jsp?nodeId 27956292
http://www.lpc2100.com / http://www.philipsmcu.com/markets/mms/products/microcontrollers/key_solutions/32bit/index.html
A correction, I said LPC2132, and should have said LPC2129.
For those who want to know, our $29 board I've mentioned previously will be based on the LPC2131.
--
Randy M. Dumse
www.newmicros.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Randy M. Dumse wrote:

The more computing power a robots has the more advanced it *can* be. You need lots of computing power just to get something with insect-like vision.
[...]

That was me and I was thinking of those little light seeking/avoiding robots.
[...]

And IMHO an *advanced* robotic development systems needs *lots* of computing power and and an easy environment in which to test the software.
[...]

I am sure mlw intends to have those extra things you write about as part of his system.
The reason I use a laptop is because it give you the best value in terms of computing power, which will be required in advanced robotics, and the PC has an abundance of developmental tools.
- John Casey
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
: Putting in computing power to run an Operating System does not a robot : make. An Operating System is a HMI, a Human-Machine Interface. A robot
This is the only statement you make that I disagree with. I don't think an OS is for human/machine interfaceing. Without going to look it up in my Theory of Operating Systems textbook, the purpose of an OS as I recall it is to manage the access of processes to system resources -- CPU time, I/O, and storage.
While I suppose it is certainly possible to write a single program that handles multiple tasks, I've found even using a real-time operating system (ie - AvrX) for relatively simple tasks on a 16k microcontroller simplifies developement.
--
==========================================================
Chris Candreva -- snipped-for-privacy@westnet.com -- (914) 967-7816
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Okay, that might be a reaonable definition. But this definition is broad so it can include Realtime dedicated OS's. Does Linux fit the definition of Realtime dedicated OS's? (I know Linux is supposed to be a much better real time OS than Windoze.)
I usually write the whole system, or write my own OS, so I don't know much about commercial OS's. Can you show me where in the standard Linux, one that might come on the VIA Mini-ITX, where the Quadrature Decoder input is? If it doesn't have one, has it met the definition about managing the I/O? or does this show it is not a suitable embedded real time OS? Now, I'm not asking if it can be modified, I'm sure it can, but does it come ready to do the task?
--
Randy M. Dumse
www.newmicros.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Randy M. Dumse wrote:

A Many of the stand-alone internet routers from Linksys, buffalo, and I believe netgear use Linux.
In fact, there are a number of projects that allow you to replace the firmware of your cheap device.

Think about that.

Conceptually speaking, a wheel/scroll mouse has three quadrature encoders and a number of switches. That's pretty cool I/O.

You are focused on the minute details of mere electronic control, and not the "purposeful" control of robotics.

The term "real time" is so subjective. Any use of the term is useless without a set of criteria that needs to be met, like interupt response within some number of ms (or micro seconds), stuff like that.

Well, "ready to do the task," depending on your requirements of "real time," Linux can do it, not only that, there are more "real time" centric versions of the Linux kernel.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
: Okay, that might be a reaonable definition. But this definition is broad : so it can include Realtime dedicated OS's. Does Linux fit the definition : of Realtime dedicated OS's? (I know Linux is supposed to be a much
Yes. Again though, I would not do direct quadrature in it, any more than I would monitor the mouse wheels or keyboard buttons directly.
: I usually write the whole system, or write my own OS, so I don't know : much about commercial OS's. Can you show me where in the standard Linux, : one that might come on the VIA Mini-ITX, where the Quadrature Decoder : input is? If it doesn't have one, has it met the definition about
Sure, any of the many mouse drivers included in the standard kernel. Of course, they expect the quadrature to have a dedicated controller. :-)
Recent versions of the Linux kernel have done a lot of work on real-time response, both for embeded applications and multi-media desktop use. Older versions ran into problems where a high use of IDE disks could cause mouse movement to stop, so this was an area a lot of work went in to. New kernels (2.6.x series and up) let you select tuneing either for transactional, server use or real-time response.
But again, I'm the guy who would use micros for motor control. Anything running linux I would use to co-ordinate, map, path plan, talk, etc. If only the kids would let me get back to robot building . . . :-)
-Chris
--
==========================================================
Chris Candreva -- snipped-for-privacy@westnet.com -- (914) 967-7816
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Exactly. And it isn't a PC Clone doing the mouse job either.

Yes, this is as I suspected. These OS's try to be realtime, but when it comes the to the hardcore realtime tasks, the process must be off loaded to dedicated processors. Note that both the IDE and the mouse have dedicated processors "serving" the PC, and yet the OS had to be modified to keep up with them, not the other way around. It's not that the PC can't be realtime controllers, its that their OS's get in the way.
When it comes to finesse in motion control, the programming requirement becomes extreme, and frankly out of the range of most of the old 8-bit controllers. Which explains why so many DSPs are pressed into motion control, where they've found a real niche.

Okay, (exept for that talk part) we are indeed in close agreement. Add to that list, talk on Ethernet or 802.11x etc. Although, many of those apps are going to start going to the ARM's, but may still be Linux.
--
Randy M. Dumse
www.newmicros.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
: to dedicated processors. Note that both the IDE and the mouse have : dedicated processors "serving" the PC, and yet the OS had to be modified
IDE does NOT have a dedicated processor, that's why it's cheap. The main CPU is doing all of the work. SCSI is where you have a dedicated processor, and the gain in performance is significant. (IE - I could copy a 4 gig file faster to an old 40mhz Sparc 2 over 10-baseT with SCSI disks faster than to a 1.6Ghz PC over 100bast-T IDE disks -- all because of disk bottleneck.
: to keep up with them, not the other way around. It's not that the PC : can't be realtime controllers, its that their OS's get in the way.
Right. Before the 2.6 kernel series, there were separate real-time Linux projects. As of 2.6, real-time was integrated into the main kernel tree, and things have gotten significantly better.
: Okay, (except for that talk part) we are indeed in close agreement. Add
Let me try to change your mind. :-) Check out the Festival and Flite (Festival-lite) project from CMU. I don't have a link handy, but a Google search find it easily enough. IF you already have a PC/Unix board running, you get free speech with higher quality then any of the dedicated chips out there. ARM support already existing.
Of course, what I really want to do is take the text-to-seach part of Festival, and right a driver to output phoneme codes for my SSI-256 chip from my Heathkit speech board, because, well, it just so sounds like a robot. :-)
: to that list, talk on Ethernet or 802.11x etc. Although, many of those : apps are going to start going to the ARM's, but may still be Linux.
The only reason I wouldn't use an ARM in my hobby would be the plentiful supply of free motherboards from retired computers.
--
==========================================================
Chris Candreva -- snipped-for-privacy@westnet.com -- (914) 967-7816
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
`still no imagination, but,
Modular units would be benificial to most of us; like those shape-changing `bots where each unit is a robot in itself, but requires another module plugged into it for another basic operation. This way, people (without technical knowledge) can experiment with them to perform basic household duties; R&D governed by their own income.
Modules can be made to hold a Vacuum cleaner handle, while another one on the end of a pole (connected to the holding module) can be used to move it around...
How much should a module cost?
----------------------------------------------------------------------- Ashley Clarke -------------------------------------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I typed a pretty long reply a few days ago, but deleted it after re-reading it because it was way too negative and not based on personal knowledge. Still, perhaps some of my comments would be feedback you would want. Again, note that this is from a person who hasn't personally done much with robotics.
Over time my price expectations increased... as a novice the idea of a robot kit over $100 was way to much. But, I now see something in the range of $300 acceptable for me.
Still, I realize it is too low a price for what you want to offer. The reason is that I would consider my robotics efforts to be play. It doesn't have a real reason to exist other than my enjoyment. Then if it is for my enjoyment, the act of designing it myself is a large part of the fun. To pay someone else to have my fun is not a good idea.
Joe Dunfee
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.