You may not be able to teach a robot how to love yet, but you can teach it how to play retro arcade games. It wasn’t so long ago that robots were the preserve of Sci-Fi films and now we are approaching an era where they can interact alongside humans, assisting us with everyday tasks outside of factories where they are already widely used. We have seen huge advances in robotics and artificial intelligence in recent years and here at ARM we are engaging with partners and key industry leaders to ensure that ARM architecture is at the forefront of new innovations.
For this year’s Embedded World we have created an interactive ARM based demonstrator showing how ARM-based technology can power your robots of the future. The demonstration takes a retro arcade game and turns it into a real life experience. In this tennis simulation game, instead of playing against the ‘computer’ you can now play against a robot arm. Our moody robot arm which we call Murphy (any RoboCop fans out there?) will challenge you to a game and the first to score 3 point wins!
In order to do this we needed to build a system that was capable of seeing a puck, tracking its movement and returning it up the table all in real-time. You can see us testing out its computer vision in the video below:
The camera on the end of the arm tracks the movement of the red puck and the arm follows accordingly
We used several ARM Cortex-A based single board computers and Cortex-M based microcontroller development boards to bring the demo to life. The brain of the robot is provided by ROS (Robot Operating System) and runs on the quad-core Cortex-A17 and Mali-T760 (MP4) based RK3288 SoC from Rockchip. ROS is an open source framework for writing robotic software which runs on Linux. ROS provides physical modelling, mapping, navigation, and utility functions, as well as defining the communications infrastructure to allow components or in ROS terminology, ‘nodes’ to talk to each other. Using ROS we created nodes to:
Both ARM Cortex-A and Cortex-M based devices were used to build the robot's hardware
Fancy your chances against Murphy? Please call in to the ARM booth where Murphy will be happy to give you a game and our friendly engineers can talk to you in detail about the technology used and how the demo came together.