To learn intelligent robotics with Robobo you need three elements: a Robobo base, your Smartphone and a computer. The first thing you have to do is download and install our free app in your Smartphone. Then, turn on the Robobo base and link your Smartphone to using Bluetooth. Put the Smartphone in the base holder, and start programming Robobo from your computer through a WI-FI connection. Easy and wireless.
The key element of Robobo is your smartphone. It provides the robot with high quality sensors like cameras, microphone, gyroscope, magnetometer, accelerometer and tactile screen. Moreover, it has very powerful actuators to interact with the user, like the speaker or the LCD screen. In terms of communications, current smartphones are equipped with WI-FI, Bluetooth, 3G and more. And, as a key feature, the processor is powerful enough to manage all these elements and run complex programs on board.
The Robobo base has been designed by our team of engineers and it is completely manufactured by MINT. It contains two motors on the wheels to move Robobo freely in the environment, two additional motors in the Smartphone's holder to move the "head", an array of infrared sensors around its body to avoid collisions, and a set of LED lights to show information in a simple way. Moreover, the base is powered by a LiPo rechargeable battery.
The Robobo base supports the attachment of 3D printed accesories in its bottom part using simple screws. This allows students to let their imagination fly and add new features to the base to be used in their programs. Pushers, pen holders, wagons or bigger wheels can be designed, printed and attached to the base.
We have two main software resources in Robobo. On the one hand, we have developed an Android app that must be installed in the Smartphone to program the robot. On the other, we have created a programming framework, to be used from a computer, organized into three levels: Scratch 3 blocks for starting programmers, Python libraries for intermediate ones, and ROS libraries for advanced users. With this framework, you will have access to all the sensors and actuators of your smartphone, together with all the Android operating system features.
Robobo is targeted to secondary or high school students that already have some experience in robotics and programming, and they need to go one step ahead in their formation. With Robobo and our teaching material, they will learn the basic concepts in Artificial Intelligent applied to robotics, using their own smartphone as the core of the robot.
Moreover, Robobo is a very profitable learning tool for University degrees, because it has the latest technology for a very low cost, and we have developed different libraries to access to such technology from Python or ROS.
Also, Robobo grows with you and your constantly updated smartphone. When you upgrade your smartphone, Robobo will take advantage of its new capabilities, and you will have an improved robot without changing the base. This allows it to always be up to date with the regards to sensing, communications and processing technology, providing access to a whole world of apps for the platform, making it a great long-term investment for learning autonomous robotics. Can you say that of current educational platforms?