Central Control Hub of the Robot

The central control of the robot derives from a hub of three heterogeneous microprocessors that provide coordination between joints, integrate sensor information, and process the vision input. This hub also provides communication to the outside world through user interfaces and communication peripherals.

The primary component of the central controller is an iPAQ pocket PC from Compaq. He iPAQ features a 208 MHz StrongARM microcontroller, 32 Mb of RAM and a 320 x 240 color screen. The screen is touch sensitive allowing stylus input of text and graphics. The iPAQ has 16Mb of Flash ROM to store the operating system. The iPAQ in the GuRoo operates with Windows CE. As well as the touch screen interface, the iPAQ is equipped with a speaker and microphone, a joypad, and four push buttons. It has an infra red interface for external communication.

The second component of the central hub is TMS320F243 microcontroller that acts as an adapter and filter the robots internal CAN network. The microcontroller communicates with the robot’s distributed control system through the CAN network, and to the iPAQ through the iPAQ’s USB serial communication port. The microcontroller also manages the power supply providing centralized control of the robot power supply in the event of system failure.

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