A broad selection of camera drones built for the most diverse purposes is available on the market nowadays, so what else could be new one might ask. Just launched on Kickstarter, Jackie proposes a slightly different approach – it aims to serve as an indoor security solution and could be regarded as a flying surveillance camera that allows users to remotely monitor their entire home from a smartphone, and aims to do this at an affordable price.
Jackie Security Camera Drone | Photo: whatdoesjackiesee.com
The project is the brainchild of Jackie Wu and Ritwik Ummalaneni, graduate students in the Robotics Master’s program at Northwestern University, and founders of startup Eighty Six Ninety-One Technologies focused on bringing a range of IoT products to the market in the future.
A lot of stuff is going on all the time in the robotics field, and new amazing ideas surface every day in the maker universe. In this new series of articles the focus will be on happenings and stories which I’ve found to be interesting, fun, or if they simply caught my attention. This will be by no means an exhaustive compendium where everything is covered, but rather a way to share and discuss about things. As usual, you can freely share your thoughts and enjoy.
Nowadays there is a decent selection of commercially available telepresence robots for most budgets and purposes. While some of them are pretty refined products, most of them have little physical interaction capabilities with their environment. This is where ORIGIBOT comes in – equipped with a moving arm and a gripper this robot promises to be pretty practical, adding unique features to telepresence. It can grasp and carry objects, operate door knobs or light switches, and even perform some chores around the house.
ORIGIBOT System | Photo: Origin Robotics
ORIGIBOT is open source, it’s main control unit is an Arduino compatible MCU, the sturdy aluminum chassis is made of standard T-slot extruded profiles, off-the-shelf hobby servos are used to actuate it, and 3D printed ABS plastic parts are used to link everything together.
Spanish company Robotnik introduced earlier this week their very own RB-1 mobile manipulator. The robot is designed for indoor use in household as well as professional environments, and is brought to life by using well known Dynamixel Pro series servo actuators which add up to 13 degrees of freedom (DOF), depending on variant. It is well suited for remote manipulation or human assistance applications and can be fully autonomous or manually controlled.
RB-1 Mobile Manipulator rendering | Photo: Robotnik
RB-1 aims to be a powerful research and development platform, its modular and scalable design, and open-source ROS framework allow for extensive customization and cost effectiveness with respect to applications.
Do you have an idea for a robot and want to quickly start building it? Or maybe you would like to build one but don’t have that much expertise with electronics? What if you have an already built project and want to add more features to it? Worry no more RoboCORE has just been launched on Kickstarter. This is a cloud powered development platform that promises to let you focus on your creations without necessarily requiring you to fiddle with lower layer electronics or intricate software designs.
RoboCORE development platform | Photo: Husarion
RoboCORE aims to be a complete hardware and software solution, an “ecosystem”, for driving and programming your robots or any connected creation for the matter. The system is comprised of the RoboCORE physical hardware unit, the cloud service and the programming library.
The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B has been released this week with an announced performance increase of “at least 6 times” compared to the first generation Model B+. This second generation sports a powerful ARMv7 quad-core SoC clocked at 900 MHz with 1 GB of RAM and integrated 3D GPU. In addition to standard ARM GNU/Linux distributions the board is also ready to take the new Windows 10 in the form of an IoT release. While performance has gone up significantly the price of US $35 has remained identical to the current Model B+ board.
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B | Photo: RaspberryPi.org
At first glance the new Pi is almost identical in design with the current Model B+, apart from the new Broadcom BCM2836 SoC which provides all the extra muscle the new board is capable of. The new chip is based on the ARMv7 architecture which means that the Raspberry Pi 2 will not be limited to highly optimized dedicated Linux distributions, but it will also be able to seamlessly run Android or Ubuntu offering much better support for front-end applications, and of course a newly announced release of Windows 10 for IoT developers.
Arduino and LEGO Mindstorms are two amazing development platforms pretty mainstream among robotics enthusiasts and even professionals, each having unique features making it better suited for one project or another, however solutions for bringing these together are surfacing at an increasing rate. Today we take a look at EVShield, an extension board for Arduino that enables you to connect and communicate with any Mindstorms sensors or motors via the I2C interface.
EVShield for Arduino | Photo: OpenElectrons
The project comes from OpenElectrons, a small company specialized in creating sensors and accessories various development platforms, which is run by the same team of engineers which created the better known Mindsensors, specialized in sensors and accessories for Mindstorms platforms.