Mac Mini Robot

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]

6 thoughts on “Mac Mini Robot

  1. RTFA.

    “Turning is somewhat jerky using the wireless connection (a wired ethernet connection did not have the same problem). Given that we really want to put the robot in control of its own actions, this should not be a problem.”

  2. If someone were to build this without the mac-mini/isight freebie it would be better to use a cheaper alternative like a mini-itx board. And they could use a regular webcam instead of the isight. It’s kind of funny becuase you wouldnt normally think of using a apple product on something like a robotics platform. but it is a good use.

  3. I’m a regular user of hackaday and I was so pissed when I say a newegg ad on it, that I had to comment (and I found no way to comment the add other than this).
    I bought 3 times in new egg, with no problem, but then, when I tried to buy a 4th time, they rejected my credit card, saying that they do not accept non-us CCs. Now, I said “you know what? I bought 3 other times with the very same CC” and they said that this shouldn’t have happened, and it was a mistake. And of course, I said, “Ok, so lets do the same mistake again”, and ofcourse they said no.

    I hate them so much, newegg is bno good… the funniest (saddes?) thing, is that the person on the phone explaining all this to me had no native accent, and quite probably, he himself would have to explain himself why he could not buy… fucking stupid shortsighted inbubbled neweggers

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