Bioloid Robot Transformer

imageI want to have a robot! It would entertain me ...cook ... and clean for me. While you are continuing to dream, I am going to talk about the wonderful robot that now you can buy at a reasonable price, and at the same time we will look into the over mentioned things, which the robot could do, namely dancing, entertaining, and washing socks. This robot is named Bioloid. It is made by Robotis Korean Company. This Bioloid has an interesting peculiarity, namely using its kit of parts you can build different types of robots, starting from a simple lift gate and finishing with a dinosaur robot or an android. In fact, you can build your own unique robots.

There are 4 modifications of this robot: Beginner Kit, Comprehensive Kit, Premium Kit and Expert.

The Beginner Kit allows you to build up to 14 different robot designs. All other models allow building up to 26 robot designs. Using the Bioloid Beginner Kit, you can build robots with up to 4 degrees of freedom. It is recommended for those people who are new to building robots. So, the Beginner Kit looks like this:
The Comprehensive Kit allows building the simple lift gate with 1 degree of freedom, as well as a spider or a humanoid with 18 degrees of freedom.
The Premium Kit is more expensive than the previous model because there are more advanced the body plating, range finder, biaxial gyroscope, barrier sensor and some other less important components. Otherwise, they are identical.
The Bioloid Expert Kit is intended for the educational and the research purposes. It provides the environment of development for a programming language C, wireless connection with a computer, wireless camera, and it supports a library of image recognition.

imageIn contrast to the model of Bioloid Comprehensive Kit, Expert has two additional servodrives, one additional controller, wireless connection module, wireless camera, two additional sensor modules, aluminum case and other things.

As it was mentioned before, you get not one, but the set of 26 different robots, each of them can be programmed to the specific actions. This is a sort of robot kit or even the transformer.

It looks like this:

The kit comes with a set of servomodules from which you can easily build any robot. The servomodules interact with each other through the RS-485 interface and transmit data to the main control unit. Due to the unique identification number of each servodrive, any possible confusion is eliminated.

imageAll you need to build a robot it is a set of elements from the kit and a screwdriver. The robots use the most common model of the servodrive Dynamixel AX-12, which could be ordered separately through the U.S. online store for $ 45 dollars. They provide the high output torque and the high precision of the positioning, and as well they combine into a network and have the flexible configuration.

The robot brain is operated by a microcontroller CM-5 based on atmega128, which is programmed through Roboplus software that is supplied with the robot. It is equipped with the flash memory of 128 Kb, 2 UART ports and the six control buttons. LED indicators provide a visual feedback about the current state of the robot.
Dynamixel AX-S1 is used as the sensor. This sensory module is "all in one", it defines the sound source, measures the distance. It includes: IrDA receiver, 3 infrared sensors, and a microphone.
Roboplus software is simple enough to understand the basics of working with it. Roboplus includes the following modules: RoboPlus - RoboPlus Task, RoboPlus Motion and RoboPlus Manager. It also has RobotPlus Terminal and Dynamixel Wizard for the advanced users.
There is a 3D simulation of robot motions.
Here is an example how to work with Roboplus program:

This robot is designed for:

Getting back to the questions at the beginning of this article I say that no one can force it to wash the socks, but it is possible to make the robot dance that illustrates this video:

In the first place, it is a great tool for learning the basics of robotics, so it is often bought by the scientific organizations and the universities. If you are a big radioamateur, it is a great opportunity to build your future. However, there is only one thing that needs to considered, namely the cost of such robot is starting from $ 350 dollars for the Beginner Kit in the U.S.
Therefore, we will wait for the more intelligent and affordable robots. It seems that with the current pace of development we will not wait too long. By the way, if you're interested to watch and participate in the various projects that are related to the robotics, you are welcome to the WikiRobot group.
Pirat 10 april 2012, 13:07
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