The TurtleBot 2i improves upon previous iterations of the TurtleBot with a completely redesigned modular chassis and for the first time, native support of robotic arms. The TurtleBot 2i offers the Pincher MK3 4 DOF Robotic Arm as a fully supported standard option allowing the robot to interact with small objects in the real world, effectively transforming the TurtleBot into an extremely capable mobile manipulator. The Arbotix-M Robocontroller provides an interface for the Pincher Mk3 arm, which is implemented using MoveIt, an open source inverse kinematics solution, allowing users to control the arm using only high-level commands.
The TurtleBot 2i is powered by an Intel NUC BOXNUC6CAYH and features dual 3D camera configurations, using a dedicated long range Orbbec Astra for Navigation & Mapping, and the short range Intel RealSense camera SR300-Series as a dedicated Manipulation work space sensor. This new version is also accompanied by hands on tutorials and demos that showcase the robot's capabilities - enabling students, educators, researchers and developers to hit the ground running with a versatile open source ROS development platform. The demos and tutorials created for the 2i provide a hands-on tools for demonstrating how robots perceive and interact in the real world, focusing on real-world autonomous mobile robotics, automation technologies and object/environment manipulation.
Hardware is a fickle thing. This robot is the end result of several iterations due to the ever shifting hardware market. After working with the Intel Joule for a large portion of the development cycle, Intel ended support for many of their IoT devices. This left us to find a reasonable alternative that worked as well. With a bit of research, we landed on the Intel NUC BOXNUC6CAYH, a full computer system with a small footprint, low power consumption, and a processor with enough muscle to handle the Turtlebot2i.
Major considerations in development were:
- The form factor of the robotic manipulator, resulting in an updated version of the Pincher Arm
- The expandability of the system, using a centimeter grid hole pattern for easy sensor mounting
- The core computer used for ROS operation. Heavy consideration was given to laptops, SBCs, and small form factor PCs
- Custom wire harnesses and adapters, making a versatile set of power solutions that could be easily altered by hobbyists
The TurtleBot is an open community project. If you have improvements or suggestions for the TurtleBot2i please open pull requests against this document.
If you would like to suggest anything that doesn't fit into this document directly please start a thread on the TurtleBot Forums
ROS Wiki : (http://www.ros.org/wiki/Robots/TurtleBot)