Roboteq, Inc. has published a WiFi Robot design platform featuring Roboteq’s AX3500 DC Motor Controller and an Intel Atom Processor-based Mini-ITX mainboard. The robot is a battery-operated, 4 wheel-drive unit, built around 1.5 by 2 feet (46cm x 61cm) aluminum frame, with WiFi connectivity and video camera. The robot can feed live video and can be remotely operated via the Internet. The robot is a technology platform that users interested in robotics can easily replicate and to which they can add functionality and intelligence.
Mechanical CAD drawings, wiring diagrams, software and detailed assembly instructions for the robot can be downloaded free of charge from Roboteq’s web site at www.roboteq.com/wifibot.html. No license or royalties are needed for their use. A 3D animation showing the step by step construction of the chassis is also provided.
The Roboteq’s AX3500 motor controller has two channel outputs that are used to power and steer the robot by varying the speed and direction of the motors at each side of the chassis. The controller also has outputs for up to 8 RC servos, allowing the control of simple robotic arms and other accessories. The Roboteq motor controller is connected to the Intel Atom mainboard via its RS232 port.
The Intel D510M mainboard was selected because of its 100% passive cooling, low power consumption, balanced features set, excellent performance, and very low cost. Measuring only 17cm x 17cm, the Mini-ITX form factor is ideally suited to mobile robotic designs. The motherboard runs Windows7 booting from a SATA hard drive or Solid State drive. Alternate OS’s, such as Linux, can be used. The PC-compatible platform enables significant computational functionality and flexible software development options.
The mainboard consumes only 800mA from the robot’s 24V batteries, ensuring several hours of continuous operation depending on motor usage. A power converter ensures proper operation whether the batteries are fully charged or partially depleted.
For more information visit www.roboteq.com/wifibot.html