Roboteq Inc., which develops motor controllers for the mobile robotics industry, has published a WiFi robot design platform featuring the company’s AX3500 DC motor controller and an Intel Atom processor-based Mini-ITX mainboard.
The robot is a battery-operated, four-wheel-drive unit that is built around a 1.5 by 2 foot (46cm x 61cm) aluminum frame and has WiFi connectivity and a video camera. The robot, which can feed live video and be remotely operated via the Internet, is a technology platform that users interested in robotics can replicate and to which they can add functionality and intelligence.
Mechanical CAD drawings, wiring diagrams, software, and detailed assembly instructions can be downloaded free of charge from Roboteq’s website at www.roboteq.com/wifibot.html. A 3D animation showing step-by-step construction of the chassis is also provided.
Roboteq’s AX3500 motor controller has two channel outputs that are used to power and steer the robot by varying the speed and direction of the motors at each side of the chassis. The controller also has outputs for up to eight RC servos, allowing the control of simple robotic arms and other accessories.
The Roboteq motor controller is connected to the Intel Atom mainboard via its RS232 port. The Intel D510M motherboard was selected because of its 100 percent passive cooling, low power consumption, balanced features set, performance, and low cost. The Mini-ITX form factor measures only 17cm by 17cm. The PC-compatible platform enables computational functionality and flexible software development options.