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iRobot packbot software becomming public


iRobot is trying to spur interest in their packbot but making their software available to the public.

From the article:
Previously an in-house payload development tool, Aware is "that layer of software that we use to control the motors and all the actuators, take in all the data from the sensors, make sense out of all that information and have the robots perform their functions," Ryden told NetDefense.

"With Aware 2.0, third-party developers will be able to create their own payload, add their own sensor, their own hardware and maybe their own software behaviors," he said. "They can go off and do their own payload, and they can potentially sell it independently from iRobot."

Interesting news! Thanx!

I think our DARPA Urban Challenge team may be the first ones to have taken advantage of this software. We're proud to have iRobot as a partner on our team for next year's race, and we're confident that their RCU units and Aware2 software will give our "underdog" team an edge we can really make good use of.

have they made the software public yet? any opinions on it? is the code adaptable for a completely different robot, or is a lot of it hidden to the programmer?

allowed to talk about it?  ;)

I would say that our use constitutes "public use" to some extent - but my personal knowledge of the inner workings of their software is limited, since I'm mainly involved with the vehicle control hardware. The software is definitely adaptable, as the PackBot is a small tracked robot that can be tossed through a window, and our vehicle is a (wheeled) Scorpion rock-crawler that weighs in at 5400 pounds, and was built for a completely different mission. I can say that their software, combined with Tucson Embedded Systems' (another partner), surpassed in only 2 weeks what we were able to accomplish last year after many months of work. I'll ask if one of iRobot's gurus may want to comment on their software, as they will be much more able to describe it intelligently.


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