The mind of a robot is based on 1 and 0, an inseparable couple to make an intelligent system. Linux is the operating system which knows and takes decisions based on information received from the robot’s components. In robotics, Linux is one of the most popular operating systems with a long list of robots and companies that base their products on this well-known operating system. Advantages include stability, open source, high performance, the flexibility to be installed on a wide range of stations, compatibility with most tools available in robotic field, user-friendly installation and setup programs, multitasking, and the possibility to modify the system operation code.
In this article we made a list of complex robots that use as operating system Linux, a list that includes humanoid robots used in education and research, or robots that can be remotely controlled.
Jazz is a telepresence and telesurveillance robot used in the business world based on Linux with Gostai Urbi (v2.4 and above) middleware. This is a robot designed for interactions that can be controlled by using a smartphone or a PC.
NAO is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world and is based also on Linux OS. The robot uses artificial intelligence to perform all of the tasks, all these tasks are performed with the aid of a powerful ATOM Z530 processor. At the base of NAO are algorithms developed in C++ and Python.
Like NAO, HRP-4 is one of the most advanced humanoid robots designed by Kawada and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) of Japan. At the base of the robot is Linux used together with a Pentium M 1.6 GHz processor.
Designed by Chinese Academy of Science, FROG-I is a quadruped robot used for control and locomotion researches on various types of land. This robot runs Linux on an Intel Xscale PXA270 processor and is equipped with software for dynamic control, geology adapting locomotion, and trajectory planning components.
CareBot is a hybrid robot running both Linux and Windows, a robot controlled by two dual-core Intel Atom processors at 1.66GHz installed on two Mini-ITX motherboards. Each of the two operating systems are used for specific purposes. Linux is used together with GeckoImager for machine vision, and GeckoNav for navigation is running on Windows.
Darwin-OP is a humanoid robot designed by Virginia Tech’s Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory in order to be used in research and education. The robot is based on Linux and has support for C++, Python, LabVIEW and MATLAB. This is an open source platform that can be modified both in terms of software and hardware. Features include an 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor, 4GB SSD, up to 2GB DDR2 RAM memory, and other interfaces like dual Ethernet, six USB 2.0, a serial port, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.
Designed by TheCorpora, Qbo is a mobile robot based on Linux and can be controlled through WiFi. The brain of the robot is an Intel Atom processor and the unit for graphic processing is based on an Nvidia Ion chipset.
Flying Robots is a project of Swiss University EPFL designed to be used in rescue communications. This type of flying robot uses Linux and runs on Marvell’s ARM/XScale PXA270 processor with a working frequency of 520MHz.