Nvidia Jetson robot

A Jetson based advanced robotics platform to help teach robotics to University's and High schools.

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This is a project that showcases the Nvidia Jetson development board as a perfect solution to build a advanced robotics platform to help teach robotics to University's and high school students. The robot will be a experimental platform for vision and human interaction. The base is made of aircraft grade aluminum and powder coated white.

Features of the Nvidia TK1 development board:

GPU: NVIDIA Kepler "GK20a" GPU with 192 SM3.2 CUDA cores (up to 326 GFLOPS)
CPU: NVIDIA "4-Plus-1" 2.32GHz ARM quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU with Cortex-A15 battery-saving shadow-core

It runs with a power envelope of ~10 watts which is perfect for embedded robot platforms.

Built in 10 inch IPS panel for console
Tilt mechanism for 2k ZED stereo vision system
Built in Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0
10 ah Lithium Iron Phosphate bolted to main chassis
Emergency stop button to kill power to motors
Built in synchronous regenerative breaking

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*project update* 5/31/2015

I received a lot of parts in the last few weeks so I went and powered though the build of the robot. I have spent many hours at getting 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 the robot can fit though 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 also 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

*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 where 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 though Parallax, and there is still about 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.

Power system design

Things to do next:

  • verify hole placement on the base pieces after laser cut.
  • rough build the parts on the base and drill any additional holes
  • build head unit and get a few sections tig welded
  • take it all apart to get ready for powder-coating
  • powder-coat the base plates and parts
  • reassemble robot
  • Verify power and connections
  • program
  • program some more
  • take to robot club and or a maker fair to view public opinion

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

  • ZED Stereo Camera is an HD depth sensor
  • 2MP video camera linked to...
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  • 1 × Nvidia Jetson TK1 A powerful development board
  • 1 × 10 ah 12volt lithium iron phosphate battery The ones used as direct replacement of lead acids have built in overcharge protection.
  • 1 × 4 port USB 3 hub Try and go with a nicer brand the though port speed matters
  • 1 × 4 inch car intake tube For the head
  • 1 × 2mm aluminium sheet metal For the laser cut base material, will need 1000 watt laser cutter or higher

View all 29 components

  • Jetson bot visited the Science Center!

    Apollo Timbers04/10/2016 at 01:52 0 comments

    *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 learned a lot going and I’m glad I did. 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!

  • Fire and Ice

    Apollo Timbers04/10/2016 at 01:51 0 comments

    *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.

  • Visit to CAM

    Apollo Timbers04/10/2016 at 01:06 0 comments

    *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.

View all 3 project logs

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