Announcing Tekkotsu 4.0!
We are pleased to announce Tekkotsu 4.0!!!
The big news in this release is a new Hardware Abstraction Layer, which completes our transition from a Aibo-centric framework to a general robotics platform. This release includes support for a variety of robots:
- Continuing support for the Aibos, ERS-7 and ERS-2xx
- Qwerk based robots from Charmed Labs and the TeRK project (in particular, the Qwerkbot+ recipe)
- Our own Regis rover prototype
- Servo Erector Set arms from LynxMotion
- Beta support for the iRobot Create and the Robotis Bioloid kits.
Each of these is made up of individual components which can be recombined dynamically at run time, such as webcams, the SSC-32 servo controller, and various communication devices such as serial ports and network streams.
The addition of these new platforms also means we have greater concern for cross-robot portability. To address this, a new Capabilities class allows users to map functionality from a target robot model to the current host hardware. If no such mapping is available, this can be detected and handled gracefully, falling back to alternative simplier behavior, or returning an error. Alternatively, capabilities can be tested at compile time for fail-fast reassurance that there won't be any surprises. You can read more about behavior porting strategies in the developer resources.
Other notable features:
- Aibo Telepathy project provides inter-robot event subscription
- Particle Filter for state estimation, particularly useful for robot localization and mapping.
- Expanded motion calibration ability, now includes both offset and scale parameters
- Configuration editor provides interactive modification of the framework parameters (in Controller, File Access -> Tekkotsu Configuration)
- 64 bit support (not heavily tested yet)
- Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) support (just some minor tweaks)
- Various cleanup and minor API changes, read the full Version History for details.
Looking ahead, the next release will further expand and polish our list of supported platforms and devices. We've also got work in the pipeline for SIFT-based object recognition, automated calibration routines, improved developer tools, and new manipulation primitives.
Keep an eye on the TekkotsuRobotics channel on YouTube for exciting new demos (and upload your own!!!)
Thanks for this release goes to a number of contributors besides myself, including:
- Dr. David Touretzky (DualCoding library)
- A great team of lab assistants: Benson Tsai (Qwerk and Create support), Glenn Nickens (Regis prototype), Zhengheng Gho (expanded kinematics), and Kyle Comer (improved calibration)
- Cognitive Robotics students Brett Simmers and Lisa Storey for Aibo Telepathy project
- Daniel Hladek, Daniel Casner, and Daniel Höh for bug fixes (What are the odds...)
- Harald (hxr AT users sourceforge net) for 'wacaw' OS X webcam sample code