RobotX by James Mullins

Robot X (Originally Flexible Mobile Robot Research) is the result of over 400 hours work during the
last 12 months.
Created as a research robot for tele-operation and autonomous operation, Robot X is capable of
traversing rough terrain and transmitting data to a host computer.

Goals included:
		The ability to map surroundings and sense obstacles
		The ability for medium to long run times without recharging
		The possibility of an on board power cell (high density fuel eg. petrol)
		Sufficient on board sensors to enable fully independent decision-making.
        	To develop a flexible mobile base unit and core processor suitable for future expansion.
		Duplex linking of the robot to a computer for tele-operation and demonstration purposes.


Possible Uses

The flexible mobile robot as its names suggests is meant to be flexible in its nature.  

Security, surveillance, remote monitoring, bomb disposal and remote farming are all suitable areas
for this robot as is the monitoring of hard to reach or dangerous to reach places such as toxic
waste ponds, manholes, sewer systems and even more pertinent at the moment, nuclear inspections of
foreign political powers.

This robot is designed to promote research into sensory systems, control systems and encourage
creative thinking and innovation.

Cost: This robot cost me about  AU$800  (about US$400)
Replacement Cost: As the robot was made up of mainly second hand and free parts, the robot would
take about AU$4000 (US$2000) to complete.

Parts:  RobotX consists of two electric seat adjuster motors, driving 6 wheels via a differential
drive set-up.  Power is supplied via 12Volt 4.5Ah lead acid batteries giving a run time of around 4
hours.

The robot is controlled using an on board Apple 333Mhz Laptop logic board running Apple's latest
operating systems OSX (based on Unix)

This computer can be wirelessly linked (via mobile phone or radio ethernet - default) to an Apple
iBook (Also running OSX)  for tele-operation.  

Tele-operation software was written specifically for this robot using RealBasic.

It consists of a live video feedback window, pan and tilt controls for the two video cameras,
movement controls, gripper controls and much more.

I have really enjoyed making this robot and would love to hear from others with comments /
suggestions / questions.

mullins@mac.com

Email: mullins@mac.com


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