Jared Langbart from Columbia, Missouri has been working on building a JetsonBot based on the articles posted on JetsonHacks.
Jared has a degree in Biotechnology and enjoys his work at a local hospital. Despite not having any formal computer or engineering training, Jared decided to build a JetsonBot to get a better understanding of the inner workings of a robot platform.
I chose to make Jetsonbot because of the Turtlebot which I’ve been drooling about for at least a year now. However 2200 dollars is a lot of money. When I found your site and realized I could build one for far less I got to work.
With a computer gaming background, Jared first started learning computer programming through the game Neverwinter Nights, which has an interface for designing adventures using a C++ style syntax. As Jared says:
It’s more a scripting language then true coding, but it’s fun cause all the difficult coding has mostly been done for you already. As an example, you just code the monster to attack, the animations, timing, sounds, graphics… they’ll use the defaults hard-coded, though they can be changed too. The point is that it made a gentler, more motivating introduction to coding.
Since that time, Jared has started working with Visual Studio and more traditional programming environments.
Here are some images of the current state of Jared’s JetsonBot build. Notice the two vision sensors, a Microsoft Kinect for RGB-D information, and a Sony PS-3 Eye Camera as a ‘rear view mirror’ so that the robot can see what is behind itself. Note also that the Jetson TK1 Development Kit was mounted with the fan side down, which is a little different than the original
Jared has faced several challenges in the build so far. On the hardware side, the Kinect sensor requires different wiring and power supply than the original JetsonBot which uses an ASUS Xtion camera. Working with ABS plastic for the platforms has been somewhat of a challenge using simple hand tools such as a scoring knife. Jared has a good tip, “I discovered that if I bolted the iRobot Create 2 top to the abs sheet I could get an almost perfect trace line to follow.” Another tip, working with nylon screws and standoffs allow for a great deal of prototyping variation, as the robot has been in two deck and three deck form with spacers ranging from 40 to 120mm.
On the software side, coming from a Windows gamer background, working with Linux has been an issue because of the different interaction methodology. Also, after reading about ROS for a long time, there has been quite a learning curve in directly applying that knowledge in the Linux environment.
From the photos, it looks like the end result came out very nice.
One of the next steps after completing the initial build is to add a robotic arm to perform various tasks such as picking up objects off of the floor and saving them onboard the robot. More cameras, such as those with thermal imaging, will also be added. Jared has already started work in Tinkercad to start exploring the mechanical side of the design.
I want to thank Jared for sharing his work with the JetsonHacks community, hopefully this will provide some inspiration for other Makers out there. If you have a JetsonBot build you would like to share, send in an email!