Attention Makers


tartebot: affordable palm-top robot for education with linux-based platform

MAKERS: Saki , Takashi , Satoki , Takuya COUNTRY: Japan

Tartebot is the linux-based, wireless and extensible mobile robot under $100. Tartebot makes robotics affordable, and provides opportunity to learn the state-of-the-art robotics such as middleware-based projects in the classrooms.


The Purpose

Robotics is one of the rapidly growing and a promising region. Tartebot was made for students in classrooms of robotics, and also for people who are going to start a project with mobile robots. With this affordable robot ( can be made and distributed under $100 ) , those people can get one robot or more for each, and learn what is programming for robotics, how to make algorithms, and further to the ROS-based robotic system on their desk.

The Technology

The tartebot consists of two boards : Raspberry-Pi Zero W (top layer) and tartebot base (bottom layer). The tartebot board communicates using our communication protocol over USB that are available under the pads of Raspberry-Pi Zero W. By leaving all GPIO pins of Raspberry-Pi unused, everyone can extend the tartebot as if it is just a moving Raspberry-Pi. Two magnetic encoders are placed on the tartebot to control wheel speed. With Raspberry-Pi Zero W on the tartebot, it can be fully wireless. All of these features in this affordable price would help people to learn robotics.

Additional Details

Hardware : the brain of tartebot board is an ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller (LPC11U24). Tartebot has two magnetic rotary encoders for speed control, two motors and motor drivers, LiPo charger, DC-DC converter to supply for Raspberry-Ri Zero W, and extension ports with AD, I2C and UART. All of these ports can be controlled from Raspberry-Pi. Software : The firmware of tartebot is written with mbed OS so that people can easily modify. The library for Raspberry-Pi is written in python, and also wrapped with ROS. We are now developing a library for Scratch so that more people without programming experience can join.

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