How to Customize Your Turtlebot

This is a continuation of our series on interesting stuff we saw at innorobo 2014. This time, the focus is on the turtlebot, the robotic friend of so many ROS fans. At innorobo there were some cool demos featuring hacked versions of the turtle. Some students stacked the structure of many turtlebots on a single one (see Picture 1). Others built a custom platform for a turtle bot that carriers sweets offered to visitors (see Picture 2). This sets the record of the tallest turtle (approx. 1.2 meter heigh).

Folks at Yujin Robot did a drastic change. Actually, if it weren’t the Kobuki base, one wouldn’t recognize it as a turtle bot (see Video 1 below). Beyond the case, they had extended the turtle to allow it act as a robotic waiter. A touch screen allows selecting drinks. Then the robot goes to a dispenser, transmits the order, and gets the drinks before bring them to customer.

The idea behind the demo from Yujin is that the robot should interact with other devices in its surroundings (drink dispenser in the innorobo scenario). It seems that this demo relies on the Orchestration Platform Prototype from the Robot Concert initiative (also known as ROCON). ROCON promotes shifting from a paradigm where robots do everything (i.e. robot is the solution) to robots contributing to making things done (i.e. robot is just a part of the solution).

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Picture 1: Turtle with Stacked Platforms

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Picture 2: Turtle with Custom Platform

Video 1: Turtlebots in Action at Innorobo 2014

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