Jon's Place

Monday, November 30, 2015

Roz Walks Again

So two years ago, you might remember I ported Roz to run in Python on a BeagleBone Black. I really like Python, but I figured out that I'm not so happy having a small simple robot running an OS. Basically, its major overkill, and it introduces a lot of problems that aren't really easy to solve, some involving trying to keep it running so you don't have to wait multiple minutes for booting.

Anyways, over the past couple weeks, my brother Dave got MicroPython talking to Bioloid servos directly, without needing an interface board, much like he did with an AVR way back when.

This was really a watershed moment for me, since it meant that I could program Roz in Python, but not have to deal with an OS on the robot.

I quickly designed and 3D printed a new head for Roz, one that was much smaller and simpler than the old one, still containing 3 IR range sensors, but also containing one of my custom uCee MicroPython boards.

Roz Standing

This works really well, as it turns out. I ported the regular Python code to MicroPython (which wasn't that much work), and got everything working nicely again. Here's a simple video showing Roz walking around again.

This is just the beginning. Now that I have a robot with reasonably robust hardware, I can start working on the programming side of things to hopefully add some interesting behavior. The current code can be found on my GitHub account, but of course it is a work in progress.


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