IMG_1380Construction date: 8/19/2014 – unknown

Cost: ~900-1300 dollars for base. Adding the extra height and ZED camera and you will come in around ~2,000 USD

Time to build: ~60 hours

Status: Completed design revision 1, currently loading ROS, and building out software.


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*A showing at the Contemporary Art Museum of Saint Louis*

I recently had a talk on philosophical aspects of current and future robotics at (CAM) the Contemporary Art Museum of Saint Louis. I also brought the robot along for a demo and QandA. Link

*The robot made a appearance at the annual Fire and Ice benefit here in St. Louis.* There was a great turnout of people and a lot of them stopped by to talk. The official website is here.


*Headed to the 2015 Kansas City Maker Faire this weekend* 

Make sure to stop by the Arch Reactor booth to see the robot! More pictures and video of the faire soon.


*Jetson Bot visited the Science Center!*

Jetson bot had a showing at the Star Wars First Friday. I had a computer set up so people could drive the robot around. I posted some videos of the robot on YouTube. Here is the Link.   I have started a new design revision for the robot and will be making a separate page for it.

I have learned rather late in the game that the robot needs to be taller by “a lot”. So I will be adding a bit of extruded aluminium and raising the new height to 38″ or so. I will also be adding a few new sensors, one I’m really excited about!  Read more in the design revision one page.


*software update* 6/2/2015

Deep learning experiments and the Jetsonbot (Droid model A)

*project update* 5/31/2015

I received a lot of parts in the last few weeks so I went and powered through the build of the robot. I have spent many hours trying to get components tied down. As I mounted everything I thought long about later servicing, upgrading and repair.

At the moment, I’m thrilled with the progress and I’m already able to control the robot over the network and see the live stream. I have added many more pictures to the base build link below. The Banebot wheels are very grippy and prefect size for this base. The overall look is good and I even spent a extra half day creating a slide out electronics drawer with a 3D printed spring loaded latch.

Things done over the last few days mostly include mounting all main components to the chassis and a lot of wire management. I have tested the robot indoors and it is able to get over all flooring transitions it has encountered with ease. The camera is a little shaky, though it is not in its final home, secured in the head tube. The long pole adds a lot of bounce to the remote video feed. Also, since the camera is so high and to the left, it is sometimes hard to determine if the robot can fit through a space when controlling it from a remote webpage. I’d also like to give a shout out to a fellow Arch Reactor Hacker space member Chris Weiss for his code for a nice telepresence bot right out of the gate. Here is a link to a project page. And the GitHub link.

*project update* 5/25/2015

I have ordered the DC to DC converter for the main computer, a 3.5inch aluminum intake tube, the dual-band wireless PCIe Half Mini Card, and a cheap red emergency mushroom switch for the power subsystem. While I have been waiting on parts to arrive, I mounted the Jetson to the base, built a control panel, and mounted the battery. I also created a separate page with more pictures and details about the current base/progress.

Base build details

UI concept art by Brian Ellis

*project update* 5/12/2015

Currently this project is on hold due to my budget for my hobbies a bit cut at the moment. I do still plan on completing the robot and the next steps will be to order the 3.5″ intake tube to create the head. Also get wheels and brackets from Parallax and finish the rolling base up. Once I’m happy with the fit I will send it off to be powder coated a nice simple white color. In the background though I have made significant progress with the Nvidia Jetson TK1 which is running a updated kernel that can now better interface with accessories including a Intel wifi/bluetooth module.

*project update* 8/19/2014

Currently, I’m having the base parts laser cut for two separate bases. I decided a little later on that it would help distribute the cost a little if there were two made. I also have many of the critical parts I need on the way, including a battery and a DC to DC converter. Motors are currently being sourced through Parallax, and there is still about  a 2-4 week lead time until I get the motor/wheel/encoders. The gear ranges I have chosen for these are 90:1 and 169:1. This should be a good variety between the two bases. These two gear ratios will allow for a high speed and a low speed version.

During the design phase, I was not happy with the field of view of the camera on the robot. This has lead me to the design of a head system that can tilt down. More details and drawings of this are to come. This head piece will be a very nice integration of the robot and will be the most complex mechanical system I have devised.


Things to do next:

  1. Verify hole placement on the base pieces after laser cut.
  2. Rough build the parts on the base and drill any additional holes.
  3. Build head unit and get a few sections big welded.
  4. Take it all apart to get ready for powder-coating.
  5. Powder-coat the base plates and parts.
  6. Reassemble robot.
  7. Verify power and connections.
  8. Progra.m
  9. Program some more.
  10. Take to robot club and/or a maker fair to get public opinion.

*Older post*

This is a concept page for a new intermediate to advanced robot platform utilizing the Nvidia Jetson TK1. Before, I was going to use the Raspberry Pi, however I found the Pi lacking in computational power for a robot this size. When I start constructing the robot, I will be posting the details on the tutorial pages.

This robot will be an experimental platform for vision and human interaction. I will be using high quality glass optics and a dome to protect the Nvidia Jetson TK1 and the camera as I want to have the robot rely mostly on vision.

Supporting Pages:

Goals for the robot

Power system design

Welding aluminum the head

Updated Features of the robot: *last updated on 6/25/2015*

  • ZED Stereo Camera is an HD depth sensor
  • 2MP video camera linked to the Nvidia Jetson TK1
  • 10inch IPS panel for console
  • Built in dual band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • 9 DOF IMU
  • Electronic slide out drawer
  • Custom laser cut chassis
  • Powder coated base
  • Large red emergency button to power off motors
  • Tilt for ZED Stereo Camera
  • Solid state 128GB harddrive
  • Plastic shroud for Nvidia Jetson computer *to be added later*
  • BaneBots orange wheels with motors/encoders for locomotion
  • Large 10aH lithium Iron Phosphate battery
  • Built in synchronous regenerative breaking
  • Built in charger *to be added later*
  • 16 gig built in flash storage
  • Built in amp and speaker
  • A sleek white outer shell *to be added later*
  • Wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse

Below is the first sketch of the build and an Excel part list. Note that both the design and parts list will change as the project moves forward. The part list now contains the Nvidia Jetson and updated links.

The base would be made of powder coated white, 2 mm aluminum for the prototype and be around 330 mm in diameter. This is what I consider a great size for a vision based development robot. I’m looking into the motors/wheels for this robot as I would like to limit its speed for better control so the vision system can keep up. This will also help avoid unneeded damage to the base itself. I still have to finalize a lot of the design and a suitable motor controller. The robot will also have various back up sensors like IR and or Ultrasonic, however I would like to keep the base relying on vision as much as possible.

Below is updated design pictures of the robot in its current state. The arm, of course, is a work in progress and an add-on.  The arm would also add a bit to the overall price, so I will be keeping the number of axis the arm has to a minimum.

This is a recent parts list as of 5/21/2015

Link to Nvidia-Jetson-robot-part-list excel document

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