TurtleBot - customizable, open source vision robotics
Tom Spendlove posted on April 02, 2014 |

The TurtleBot is a platform that allows users and programmers to start with a premade base model and then customize to a specific application.

TurtleBot uses an iRobot Create and an Xbox Kinect system as its base, with mounting plates added for user devices. The bot uses the ROS operating system as the common programming base.

A 3000 mAh Ni-MH battery is included with the kit and a 12V 1.5 Amp power supply. An Intel Atom D525 dual core processor with 2 GB of memory and 250 GB hard drive is also included. Graphics are supplied by an NVIDIA ION discrete processor.

As part of the ROS team the engineers at Willow Garage wanted a low price point entry available for new programmers. The TurtleBot's SDK contains a collection of programs that range from basic to advanced. Instructions show how to set up the bot, operate with a keyboard, operate with a joystick, and fully utilize the Kinect camera data. There's also a cleverly titled section about maintenance called TurtleBot Care and Feeding.  

Applications shown online include building 3d renderings of rooms, using your TurtleBot as a valet to bring you food and drinks, and building 360 degree panorama views using visual data.

The TurtleBot technology is awesome. This open source robotics platform is the obvious companion to the open source robotics operating system. Makers and inventors who have an idea for a robotic application now have the ability to start from the middle instead of inventing everything from the bottom up. 

Recommended For You