The University of Oklahoma wanted to get a good idea of what it is like to operate a robot using visual and aural sensors before they built one of their own. They started with the Pioneer 3-AT robotics platform. They added a Mac Mini and powered it using a 12V battery and an inverter (this was only a temporary setup). The Pioneer is controlled through a USB-to-serial connection. An iSight camera provides visual feedback. Turning control is jerky over the WiFi connection, but since this will eventually be an autonomous system it isn’t a concern. It is a nice quick proof-of-concept.
[thanks Jason Striegel]