In this article we will discuss a little robot known in France and yet old enough in its country of origin, the United States. The Boe-Bot, Society Parallax is indeed a small robot with two differential wheels very well made and ideal for his first steps in robotics. Why this robot knows it a success? This is first and foremost to the company realizes. Parallax is a well-known amateur electronics. This company carries in effect for many years electronic components of high quality and in particular micro-controllers. So Parallax natural that addressed the community of hobbyists by offering a robot easy to approach and meet their expectations which is based (naturally) on a micro-controller home, the Basic Stamp 2.
Parallax offers several robots. Firstly the Boe-Bot that is the subject of this article. The Boe-Bot is a very complete and interesting for robotics because it ensures that all the classical problems of robotics: driving differential odometer, obstacle avoidance and detection … The Boe-Bot is robust and compact, it comes with a book step by step (in English) to discover, build and program the robot. This book, we shall return, is clearly an asset important in the choice of the robot.
Parallax also offers the SumoBot which is a light version of Boe-Bot, dedicated to the practice of using Sumo robots. This robot can be purchased individually or in batch 2 with a mat for Sumo competition. The SumoBot is clearly oriented towards a specific activity which is very formative in terms of programming robots.
Finally, Parallax offers the Stingray. The Stingray is a robot a little larger than the Boe-Bot, which uses a micro-controller more efficient, can handle natively multitasking in a multi-core architecture. This robot is therefore aimed at advanced amateur robotics and who need to program behavior more complex and consumers.
Whatever the robot, Parallax products are distinguished by their quality. The table below shows the comparative characteristics of the 3 robots presented. Parallax also offers many accessories, sensors and other components to enrich the robot. For more information, see the radius Parallax.
Who is the Boe-Bot?
The Boe-Bot can not only discover but also robotics electronics. It comes with many electronic components playing the role of sensors. If the manual that comes with the robot requires no knowledge in robotics, electronics or programming, the robot does not, however, addressed to younger (like Lego Mind storms Robot), even if only because some parts are quite small.
A small clarification: the robot requires no welding or other operations difficult. Electronic components manually inserted in slots provided for this purpose.
The Boe-Bot robot kit is really teaching.
From the opening, one is struck by the quality of information provided. The most notable is the booklet that came with the robot. This is clearly a document value added. In 364 bound pages, with a clear text and numerous drawings, it describes, step by step the installation of the robot, the operation of various electrical components (LED, resistors), the Basic programming principles and the mechanisms for programming robots (odometer, distance calculation …). The only difficulty, if it ever could be one, is that the text is in English.
The enclosed CD contains the necessary drivers and the programming tool of the micro-controller which allows the development of BASIC programs. Further proof if any Parallax that wants to do things right, the CD contains no less than 130 PDF files of documentation. These are all books published by Parallax.
What to say in conclusion that has not been said? It is now clear that the Boe-Bot is an interesting choice to start in robotics, it is easy to implement, highly educational and extremely scalable thanks to the many components and sensors available on Generation Robots. Once you’ve mastered well the robot, you can rub the StingRay concurrent programming, another matter …