The Antbot is a small, rugged robotic rover featuring ease of reprogramming, varying levels of processing power and excellent speed and battery capacity; it supports a variety of standard interfaces and it is upgradeable. It is mostly suited to education, research, and hobbyist use, with Robots Anywhere surpassing it as the newer industrial platform.
Schematics and Source Code
The Antbot was used by Riley August at the University of Ottawa in conjunction with a genetic programming framework to develop a language that is more suited than existing GP languages to run on lower-performance desktop computers and still achieve usable results. The language, SEBeLS (State and Event Based Logic Scripting) is documented within this wiki, and downloadable with the other available firmware options for the Antbot here. The genetic programming framework used to simulate the Antbots and develop new individuals can be found on the Antbot Genetic Programming Framework page.
Using the TI MSP340 Launchpad
After TI released the msp430 Launchpad, a series of very low-power RISC microcontrollers, the Robots Everywhere team quickly set to work. We were even able to develop a few new features while maintaining board and firmware compatibility with our standard Antbot software. This particular model was successfully tested with a direct drive analog joystick remote controlled by XBEE radio, since the firmware also supports simple differential-drive commands.
What Makes the MSP430 Antbot Special?
We have employed the low-power msp430 microcontroller to show that the Launchpad system can work just as effectively as an Arduino. The firmware responsiveness has been improved over the stock system, and adapted for more direct control. The result is that the author of the firmware has implemented a simple, versatile digital RC platform. A release of the RC firmware, compatible with Arduino, is pending.
MSP430 Antbot Source
The source is available on github under the GPLv3+