Avular, a mobile robotics company based in The Netherlands, is to debut a modular hardware and software solution providing the building blocks for a robot’s core functionalities at the CES 2022 show next month. The product line, called ‘The Essentials’, provides entrepreneurs and engineers with a modular platform to simplify robot development, and reduce time-to-market and costs by up to 50%, according to the firm.
The Essentials provide the building blocks for the brain of a mobile robot, reading sensor data, controlling the motors, navigation and positioning systems. Communication systems such as WiFi and 5G modems can link the robot to the cloud, and safety systems for safe movement in dynamic environments are incorporated. The idea is that customers can focus on their business and implement their own expertise, while these modules take care of all robot-specific challenges. That could mean starting with an existing machine and turning it into a smart, autonomous robot, or starting from scratch and building an entirely new robot.
Avular said it is aiming to make mobile robotics accessible to everyone with The Essentials. Its products are suited for both rapid prototyping as well as industrialization and mass-production.
The core hardware of the modules is based on the what the company calls its ‘Prime’ modules, which use an i.MXRT1061 Crossover MCU with Arm Cortex-M7 Core. This runs at 600 MHz with 1MB SRAM, 4 MB flash, and runs on Avular’s own ArtOs. This, the company said, enables FPGA-like performances. Prime modules can be connected to onboard devices, supporting most popular I/O interfaces, and equipped with more onboard sensors, power sources and electronic interfaces, by expanding the stack. This is done by clicking on extra modules that suit the application. The modules communicate through our Avular’s in-house developed Echo internal bus communication system.
Programming, monitoring and optimizing parameters is done live through Cerebra Studio, Avular’s own PC interface for the Essentials products. Providing a graphical environment, this is suitable for prototype development phases, but also for OEM production environments where product assembly and periodic maintenance are performed. Using Cerebra Studio does not require a MATLAB license.
A layer above this is Avular’s ‘Pioneers’ robot platform, which is based on the Essentials building blocks and housed in modular platforms that enable customers to apply their unique value proposition on a robot, without having to invest in development and resources to build the physical robot itself. These driving and flying robot platforms enable fast proof of concepts for a broad scope of business cases and are all equipped with The Essentials modules.
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