Some of you may remember Brainbot, a project directed and funded by the Brain Engineering Laboratory and Neukom Institute at Dartmouth College, designed in collaboration with Jon Hylands and HUV Inc. The purpose of which is to enable the study and practice of brain engineering.
Well, Brainbot is getting a brain transplant into a 1/5 scale top of the line rock crawler chassis, for the purpose of creating a navigation variant. Onboard smarts? A Core 2 Quad, 2.83 GHz, 2 GB RAM, and a 32 GB Solid State HDD, 802.11n wifi, GlobalSat USB GPS, Prosilica gigabit ethernet camera (640 x 480, 60 fps) which plugs into Roborealm, and a Hokuyo UTM-30LX scanner laser rangefinder.
In Jon’s new Project Thread, he says:
I went out and bought a 1/5 scale RC rock crawler chassis. Just for scale, those tires are 8″ in diameter, and the whole thing is 30″ long. We chose this chassis because it would have no issues going long distances at speed, and it would be able to handle curbs and grass and such with no issues. Being a rock crawler, it also goes slow enough that the sensors can keep up…
Right now, it has the quad core mini-itx mounted, and is being driven around with my Logitech wireless joystick. The motor driver (a Sabertooth 2×25) is controlled from one of my Bioloid I/O boards, which is connected to the bus. A program (written in Squeak Smalltalk) takes the joystick input, and sends speed and steering commands over the bus to the I/O board and the steering servos (AX-12’s).
Here is a short video of it under remote control:
Edit: Another Video just posted!