Robotic Platform Is Open Sourced And User Friendly

Having a 3D printer or a CNC machine available for projects is almost like magic. Designing parts in software and having them appear on the workbench is definitely a luxury. But for a lot of us, these tools aren’t easily available and projects that use them can be out-of-reach. That’s why one of the major design goals of this robotics platform was to use as many off-the-shelf components as possible.

The robot is called the OpenScout and, as its name implies, intends to be a fully open-source robotics platform for a wide range of use cases. It uses readily-available aluminum extrusion as a frame, which bolts together without any other specialized tools like welders. The body of the robot is articulating, helping it navigate uneven terrain outdoors. The specifications also call for using an Arduino to drive the robot, although there is plenty of space in the robot body to house any robotics platform you happen to have on hand.

For anyone looking to get right into the useful work of what robots can do, rather than spending time building up a platform from scratch, this is an excellent project. It’s straightforward and easy to build without many specialized tools. The unique articulating body design should make it effective in plenty of environments. If you do have a 3D printer, though, that opens up a lot of options for robotics platforms.

9 thoughts on “Robotic Platform Is Open Sourced And User Friendly

    1. It can be modified but why bother to do that? Doing so will make it more likely to get the robot stuck when it runs into a slightly raised slope.

      However, from a brief overlook, you would need to use different geared motors to avoid them sticking out the side as the ones used are rather long.

  1. In this supply crisis fileld world part of me thinks that things you can make yourself using just material consumables (reel for a printer) are easier to get hold of than many off-the-shelf oarts, atleast specialised ones. The aluminum extrusion used is pretty universal, as are things like screws, but anything with only one manufacturer, anything non-generic, looks betetr thesedays to produce for yourself where possible.

  2. This is an other of magnitude more ambitious than makes sense.

    The idea of a Lego kit sort of thing makes a lot of sense, but by it’s very nature, it wouldn’t be limited to robots. Any kit that was well developed enough to help with making a randomly selected robot would also have an enormous number of many other uses.

    Secondly, you need as part of your kit/platform sub components like the whole Arduino ecosystem. Even that is underdeveloped and would be a mountainous project to improve much.

    Secondly, people don’t use of the shelf components because they don’t exist in the shadow and form and price range etc you need. They never will because the volume is too low. There just aren’t that many people making robots.

    If you just contribute sensibly to the low-cost engineering ecosystem, that’s the best you are ever going to be able to do. That’s how you will accomplish the most for the least effort. Identify something broadly needed that is not available yet

    Improvements to the micropython ecosystem would make sense for instance. A project to write drivers for common hardware, for instance.

    A project to make a good selection of quality motors available would be good.

    There is a project called simplefoc that’s for brushless motor drivers that needs a lot of work, for instance.

    There is lots to do that’s important and valuable and worthy and also a little doable. But people just rarely contribute sensibly. They jump on Poe in the sky projects they will never in a million years finish, not least because even the parts of it are obviously too daunting.

    So progress is quite slow, alas….

  3. I have a magnet motor that produces usable torque and RPM and can easily drive a generator. It can be made in any size \ shape and this would be a great test bed project in a step to make EVs plug in free. Please contact me

    1. Why do you want EVs to be plug in free? Having a motor outside the EV and a generator on the EV just means there are more moving components to wear and break, also wouldn’t you need to line it up perfectly with the motor? It will be much more efficient to just plug it in.

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