Two years after
it's now 2 years this project began. As usual, time is too fast, growth limited and we are always disturbed by gravel, sand and water instead of concentrating on our big stones !
Many hours of work, searches on Internet, technical discussions, presentation of the project... and it's time to show a prototype... but unfortunatly not now ! It's not functionnal yet.
Project is still alive, sure we did not write enough on the website, but since 2 years we think and we work each day on the project.
It took us many hours and some money to buy stuff and it's not over, but first goals will be achieved soon, ok we need many months more, maybe years before a fully functionnal product, but motivation is still there !
To give a status on current work, there're several branchs as below:
- Mecanical and electrical hardware:
Currently working on BEN's prototype (see models of ARA -> https://apiarobotics.com/en/ara-models), you can follow topics' progress on forum: https://apiarobotics.com/en/forums/hardware
We've got a motion base for the robot (reuse of old electrical wheelchair) and we're currently focus on mecanism to raise up a hive bar, all frames one after one and put it all back in place, all that almost thinking of energy reduction or runtime costs.
Look at this pictures to see conception and design phase draws:
- Electronic design:
Even if it should not have electrical stuff on first model of ARA (BEN), we're also working to define et design electronic patterns, means electronic architecture, protocols, libraries, ... follow us on forum: https://apiarobotics.com/en/forums/electronique-et-automatisme
For right now Arduino and Raspberry models seems answer to constraints (cost, productivity, lead time, ...) but future POC (proof of concept) will confirm it.
It's a huge work site, of course we've got experience in software developement but it's essential to use open source framework and libraries to focus on function instead technical. Have a look on our forum: https://apiarobotics.com/en/forums/software
Usage of ROS seems mandatory to keep target on. We also wanted to use micro services architecture as we're familar with Docker, REST, and API design.
Finally, after 2 years, ARA BEN looks like (clic on picture to see entire picture):
pss... our forums are French tilted, AND we speak english too ;)