We’ve waited a long time for Robotis to globally release a research-grade humanoid to the academic market, and they have delivered. The wait is over and the Darwin-OP (Open Platform) is here!
The Darwin-OP is a joint initiative project funded by the National Science Foundation and a collaborative effort between Robotis, Virginia Tech’s RoMeLa, Purdue, and Penn Engineering.
So what makes it so special? First off, it’s entirely Open Source. All of the software, the hardware, and of course the OS it runs (Ubuntu 10). The code is well organized and well written, making it easy for programmers to jump right in with custom development. It uses the new MX-28 servo, which is well, awesome. The MX-28 is Robotis’ first 360 degree rotation, magnetic encoder based actuator. Onboard the Darwin-OP boasts a 1.6ghz Intel Atom based FitPC computer. That means your Darwin-OP not only runs a full-fledged operating system, but it has USB and and an HDMI Port. That’s right, your robot can have an HDMI port. I love the world we live in today.
We have our own personal Darwin-OP at the office here to develop on as well as to help us learn this amazing robotic platform inside and out. Lots of videos are incoming! In the mean time, check out Darwin-OP playing with some kids at the KC Maker Faire last month!
– Andrew – “Rocket Surgeon”