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A common set of parts, specifications and software to catalyse the design, construction, dissemination and re-use of robots in an academic and research environment.
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Welcome to the Open Academic Robot Kit!
If you've ever thought any of these things (or even if you haven't!) the Open Academic Robot Kit may well be what you're looking for!
The Open Academic Robot Kit harnesses the flexibility of 3D printing technology, the rapidly decreasing cost of powerful, off-the-shelf robotic, computing and electronic components, the power of modern component-based robot software architectures and the imagination of the open source community. More than just a kit, it is an academic robotics ecosystem, consisting of specifications for hardware, software, test apparatuses and an international community forum, designed to lower the barrier for entry into robotics and encourage collaboration and re-use of developments across regions, disciplines and generations of students ranging from secondary/high school right through to graduate research. Curriculums will be developed over time covering the whole spectrum of robotics development, from mechanical design through to electronics, algorithms and artificial intelligence, user interfaces and art.
Current robot kits for academia that facilitate the construction of many different types of robots, such as LEGO, FischerTechnik or Bioloid, are limited in durability and flexibility. Most if not all components must also be sourced from the one vendor. Instead, imagine an international community of students and researchers, all designing and building robots using a compatible set of electronic and basic mechanical components plus 3D printed parts, publishing their designs so that anyone can recreate and build on them. The Open Academic Robot Kit facilitates just such a community.
Emergency responders literally risk life and limb interacting with known hazards to protect the public and rescue potential victims. They typically wear only conventional personal protective equipment while manually dealing with a variety of extreme hazards for which remotely operated robots should be well suit-ed. Examples include searching for survivors in collapsed or compromised structures; disabling or dismantling improvised explosive devices; mitigating large scale industrial or transportation accidents involving chemicals or radiological sources. Responders want to “start remote and stay remote” when dealing with such hazards and need capable robotic systems that can be remotely operated from safe standoff distances while they per-form their life-saving roles.
The Department of Computing at Curtin University is leading the development of the kit specifications, reference designs and associated software and test apparatuses. A pilot program in mid 2014 will involve high schools and universities, including the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Centre for Culture and Technology. Please contact us if you are interested in joining this pilot. For further information please visit http://www.oarkit.org/ . Please send questions, comments and requests to join the announcement mailing list to email@example.com . We also encourage the reader to check out the RoboCupRescue Robot League Confined Space Challenge, for which these robots are ideal. See http://www.responserobotics.org/csc/ .
Photographs from previous events held under the DHS-NIST-ASTM International Test Methods for Response Robots project.