This website describes an open design for a small, $800 robot suitable for "swarm"-style multiagent research, robotics education, and other tasks. Our goal is to get as much functionality as possible from $800 per robot, replicate the robot many times to create a small collaborative swarm, and document the results to make it easier for you to do the same. We hope to foster collaboration in the wider community and, ultimately, lower the entry-level costs for building such robots.
Our robot is a roughly circular two-platform differential-drive mobile robot 7" in diameter. The robot is constructed nearly entirely of off-the-shelf material, and is intended to be much more powerful computationally and functionally than most inexpensive swarmbots. Features include:
- A 200MHz Bluetooth-enabled Gumstix Linux computer with wireless TCP/IP
- An Acroname Brainstem motor controller
- A tilt-servoed CMUCam2 camera
- A servoed gripper capable of grabbing small cans, with intrusion sensor
- A flat push region for pushing tall boxes, with push sensor
- Wheel encoders
- Five IR range finders
- A five-cell NiMH battery pack
This project is the brainchild of the ECLab Evolutionary Computation Laboratory at George Mason University's Computer Science Department. Funding for the equipment behind this design came from an NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant awarded to George Mason University's computer science department. Basic robot construction was performed by students in the GMU CS499 (Autonomous Robotics) course.