Robotics

Top 5 Advanced Robotics Kits

Machine Learning and AI is one crucial factor for more advanced robotics. To make a robot move around in an unpredictable environment will require many functions. Just making the robot locate its own appendages is a challenge in itself. To handle this, you will need many libraries that can describe and control everything. You do not want to create this system all on your own, and it is much more complex than it seems at first glance. A seemingly trivial task, like gripping an object, requires an entire library of code, and that is after the robot has already found the object through another set of complex coding.

Make your life easier by ensuring that your robot supports the common standards described below.

Operating System

For advanced robotics projects, you will require an OS that can handle all the intricacies. The ROS system is a nice standard to start from. Their latest release is Foxy-Fitzroy. The features you get from the ROS help with development of robots and planning of missions. There are also many more features that you can download, and Nvidia has rolled out their own version, as well. When you are shopping around for an advanced robotics project, check if this standard will work. It will help you when you create more advanced features.

If you want to learn more and use libraries for advanced robots, you can take a look at the Open Dynamic Robot Initiative

Can You Build It Yourself?

Many readers of this post want to design their own robots. That is great, and good luck, but please consider modifying existing robotic code. Many of the kits in this list are documented to the full extent of the Open Source Movement. You can download all the files and put it together yourself. You are also free, and even encouraged, to extend, modify and alter what is already there.

Turtlebot

The TurtleBot comes in a few shapes, named burger and waffle. This might make you hungry, but the naming reflects the design. The models are on wheels. The burger is taller and on a platform of sorts, while the waffle is much lower, and the wheels stick out. This platform is designed for experimenting, mostly with sensors and behaviors. This robot rolls on wheels, making it excellent as a vacuum cleaner. It does not have arms and legs; those you will have to add yourself. Currently, the platform is in its third major version. Support for the ROS system is the core concept of this robot. All designs, hardware, and software are free and open-source. If you have the skills and equipment, you can build it yourself and add anything you desire.

Getting a kit that is ready to run is as simple as searching for distributors. Many universities are also using this platform. With the TurtleBot, you have a small, affordable platform that you can use for advanced robotics projects.

1.Ardupilot

When you need a platform for navigating the world, Ardupilot is a great option. In their GitHub repository, you can find many distributors and manufacturers. One example is the E384 Mapping Drone, which is built like a model airplane but has advanced surveying capabilities, all built using the Ardupilot project. These planes are not cheap, and they are made for professional use.

You can, of course, use the Ardupilot for your own project, and then sell the services just like the aforementioned company. For example, using this project, BlueRobotics has built an underwater rover that can even link to a GPS tool for navigation. Find more information on the Ardupilot website.

2.Corpora

This robot is made to teach you about robotics, with a focus on vision, machine learning, and interaction with people. The robot does navigation and collision avoidance, but that is not the area of focus for the robot. Instead, the focus is on the AI.

The Corpora robot is based on a combination of Raspberry Pi, Linux, and OpenCV, and you can create many image recognition projects with it. In fact, there is already a project where the robot recognizes itself. Hardware hacking, such as adding arms or making it spring out on green fields, is not ideal since it comes with a shell and wheels underneath.

3.Leorover

This robot is used for designing at several universities around the world. You need a lot of space for this project because it is quite large. This rover is intended for developers with access to professional equipment. Hobbyists will find the price point beyond their regular play budgets. Choosing this robot is, as you can guess, best when you have a business reason for doing so.

The hardware consists of a Raspberry Pi 3B+ or 4B using Core2-ROS, and the real-time controller STM32F4. The impressive parts of this kit are the servos, DC motors which run great wheels. With all the interfaces you have available, you have many options to expand the standard kit to match your operations.

4.Arduino

Despite touting ROS as a necessity, you should still check out these robots. They run on Arduino and can walk, crawl, and run. All advanced functions regarding vision and collision avoidance are simple and require little intelligence. These robots are great for evoking imagination about how a robot can move.


As you can see in the videos, 3D-printing and mounting your own robot is the next step in your personal development in robotics.

Conclusion

There are several ways to advance in robotics through ready-to-go kits. One way is to make all the parts yourself and another is to program a kit to do amazing things. If you combine the two, you may have the basis of a business.

You can get started on making these creations by viewing the link below:

About the author

Mats Tage Axelsson

I am a freelance writer for Linux magazines. I enjoy finding out what is possible under Linux and how we can all chip in to improve it. I also cover renewable energy and the new way the grid operates. You can find more of my writing on my blog.