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Wheel in the Arduino Robot – two wheels, two boards, two processors

Arduino Robot_TopThe Arduino people are certainly keeping busy! We wrote earlier in the week about the image sensing capability of the Arduino-friendly Pixy, and now here comes a robot…

It runs on two wheels and has two (Atmel ATmega32u4) processors, one on each of its two boards: the Motor Board and Control Board. The former controls the motors, and the latter reads sensors and makes decisions on operations.

Check out the Robot page on the Arduino site for full pics and specs.

The Arduino Robot is the first official Arduino on wheels. The robot has two processors, one on each of its two boards. The Motor Board controls the motors, and the Control Board reads sensors and decides how to operate. Each of the boards is a full Arduino board programmable using the Arduino IDE.

The team say that programming the robot is similar to the Arduino Leonardo, and that both processors have built-in USB communication – it allows the Robot to appear to a connected computer as a virtual (CDC) serial / COM port.

The top view of the robot is pictured above (click to expand), and the bottom view below.

Arduino Robot_Bottom

And it’s all open source. The team writes:

As always with Arduino, every element of the platform – hardware, software and documentation – is freely available and open-source. This means you can learn exactly how it’s made and use its design as the starting point for your own robots. The Arduino Robot is the result of the collective effort from an international team looking at how science can be made fun to learn. Arduino is now on wheels, come ride with us!

Motor Board Summary

Microcontroller ATmega32u4
Operating Voltage 5V
Input Voltage 9V to battery charger
AA battery slot 4 alkaline or NiMh rechargeable batteries
Digital I/O Pins 4
PWM Channels 1
Analog Input Channles 4 (same as the Digital I/O pins)
DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA
DC-DC converter generates 5V to power up the whole robot
Flash Memory 32 KB (ATmega32u4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
EEPROM 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
Clock Speed 16 MHz
Trimmer for movement calibration
IR line following sensors 5
I2C soldering ports 1
Prototyping areas 2

Control Board Summary

Microcontroller ATmega32u4
Operating Voltage 5V
Input Voltage 5V through flat cable
Digital I/O Pins 5
PWM Channels 6
Analog Input Channels 4 (of the Digital I/O pins)
Analog Input Channels (multiplexed) 8
DC Current per I/O Pin 40 mA
Flash Memory 32 KB (ATmega32u4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
SRAM 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
EEPROM (internal) 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
EEPROM (external) 512 Kbit (I2C)
Clock Speed 16 MHz
Keypad 5 keys
Knob potentiomenter attached to analog pin
Full colour LCD over SPI communication
SD card reader for FAT16 formatted cards
Speaker 8 Ohm
Digital Compass provides deviation from the geographical north in degrees
I2C soldering ports 3
Prototyping areas 4
[Via Gizmag.com] Tags: collective effort, com port, pins, two wheels, wheel

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