Courtesy of Slashdot, the FlockBot project aims to create an open design for a $800 robot capable of multiagent research. This isn’t the interesting part (for me, at least). That comes in the equipment list they quote for the project. (non-interesting/relevant parts cut)
- 200MHz Bluetooth-enabled Gumstix Linux computer with wireless TCP/IP
- Acroname Brainstem motor controller
- Tilt-servoed CMUCam2 camera
- Servoed gripper capable of grabbing small cans, with intrusion sensor
- Five IR range finders
- A five-cell NiMH battery pack
Now, this equipment list shares several key elements with the equipment used for CSCS’s pda-based robotics development that’s gone on over the course of the last year or so, and I think its interesting to see how we seem to have been working with a very good selection of pieces for building solid & functional robotics. The PDA issues we experienced seemed to destroy any momentum that was going on, and obviously the other setbacks didn’t help much. Seeing this however, has lifted my expectations greatly as to what could be achieved in the space, and I’m interested to see if anything can go forward from this next year.