The Open Academic Robot Kit: Lowering the Barrier of Entry for Research into Response Robotics
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Open Source Software is a vital catalyst within the academic robotics community. Frameworks built on open software, like the Robot Operating System (ROS) and the family of libraries that have grown up around it, ease the process by which researchers and students can create integrated, working systems. This has allowed those who have little experience or academic interest in areas like software engineering, communications or artificial intelligence, to make use of others' contributions and build on them in their own areas of expertise. The Open Academic Robot Kit seeks to foster a similar community around open hardware designs for flexible, customised, low cost academic and research robots. It leverages recent advances in 3D printing and the mass production of microcontroller boards, sensors, smart servos and other components for the Maker community. The emphasis is on the ease with which other researchers, students and members of the wider hobbyist and Maker communities, in different fields, may contribute, replicate and extend the designs.
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