Well the base unit itself does nothing without any control. The PIC accepts commands through I2C like move_forwards_100cm or read_sonar or tilt_sonar_30deg or read_left_ir
The idea is that once a vaccuum module has been designed, that will plug onto the base unit and control it. At the same time, I was thinking of creating a plain programmable unit to plug on the top. I have a few other ideas for it on the drawing board too.
I hopefully want to create a standardised communications system aswell as a docking system so if I created a quadruped base, the vaccuum unit could also fit ontop of that and control it using standard motion and sensing commands.
Its a modular designed robot but unlike OSCAR. OSCAR concentrates on standardising the innards of robots like controller boards. My idea is to standardise a docking and command system so WHOLE segments can fit together.
Think about it, if you have a base unit with stepper motors or encoded motors aswell as the basic sensors, you can plug anything into it to do a different job. If you wanted a system with arms, then a docking level can be created and also docked on top of too.
I also came up with designs for swapping out the wheels and plugging caterpillar tracks into the base unit too.
If you want to see my first prototype of the base unit in real life, look for my stepper motor tutorial, it features in the videos
the vaccuum module will sit on top of the base unit, while a rectangular sucker will extend down the back of the base unit, with things like a vaccuum its expected that it has its own power source and doesnt get power from the base but other less power intesive things can get all of their power through the base unit.
Ive spoken to a few people about this vaccuum module now, and most people dont seem to think a low profile is important. One of the advantages of roombas is they can go under low coffee tables, under chairs and beds and stuff. But many people have chairs and sofas that extend to the floor and under most peoples beds are inaccessible anyway.
What does everbody here think about the low profile issue? I would rather have a slightly higher robot that can provide greater suction and more dust storage space...