Anyone who is interested in robotics may find my latest robot design, Apeiros, of some value. I have launched a Kickstarter project to help raise enough money, so that I can procure injection mold tooling for Apeiros’ body. Injection molding will keep the overall cost low while providing a great body that encapsulates the mechanics and sensors.
The “brains” of Apeiros is the chipKIT™ UNO32™ board by Digilent(R) Inc. Apeiros has been designed to be expandable, so that end-users can perform more advanced experiments and investigations by simply purchasing additional hardware as needed. I have integrated multiple design features that support various add-on shields and mechanical hardware. At this time I have designed and tested a total of (4) add-on shields: (1) Motor control & IR sensors, (2) Gripper control & line following sensors, (3) Vision & SRAM Memory shield and (4) WiFi & light sensor shield.
Apeiros has been designed to be entirely open source. Design documentation for the electrical and mechanical hardware along with the source code for all of the software will be made available. In this way, end-users can easily modify and customize their robot. You can also delve into the design details and learn why. For example, end-users can examine the 3D body design and observe part draft and learn why it is critical when designing a part to be manufactured using the injection molding process. Examine the Vision & Memory shield PCB design and see how to interface with SRAM via Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI).