In terms of hardware, the basic Creative Robotix platform comes in two versions. The first, Tobee, is a basic platform with 2 low-cost servo motors forming a differential drive, along with forward-facing proximity sensors, a set of 3 line-followers and a 9×9 LED matrix, powered by an Arduino-Nano. The more advanced version, Robee, features 5 low-cost servo motors (2 forming a differential drive) the others driving articulated arms and head, along with forward-facing proximity sensors , a set of 5 line-followers and a set of 3 LEDs, powered by an Arduino-Nano. Both platforms have Bluetooth connectivity, which enables remote operation via a Bluetooth enabled computer or mobile phone. This opens up endless possibilities for Human-Robot Interaction.
In terms of Software, both versions (Timee and Robee) come with a full development suite. First, for those that are happy to programme an Arduino-Nano directly, there is an easy to use API that interfaces with the hardware which gives you access to the platforms functionality. For those who prefer something simpler, we provide a Firmata driver, which allows the robot to be programmed in Scratch (Snap4Arduino), Python, Java, C, C++, and any other language with corresponding Firmata clients. Don’t worry about these technicalities, it’s all explained in simple jargon free-way in our instructions.
Beyond programming the Arduino hardware, we plan to provide support to allow external devices such as mobile phones or the cloud to run or share code (more on that in the future). In that way you will literally be able to give your robot a ‘ Brain the Size of a Planet ‘ (a quote from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams).
Customising Your Robot
If we have fired your imagination and you want to start building your own robot, then the big question is HOW? Fortunately the Creative Robotix team have made this easy for you and we have deposited ‘step-by-step’ instructions (down to the last ‘nut & bolt‘) in our Instructables website (a website for makers). From here you can download the design files and instructions free of charge, using them as they are, or modifying them to create your own skin designs (see ‘Useful Links’ section below).
All our designs are released open source licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike disclaimer, so you are free to use and modify them as you like but, naturally, we are very happy to hear about your builds, modifications and experiences, which we would like to share back into the growing Creative Robotix community.