Beta Testing and Future Work

While the hardware of the arbotiX has been stable and ready to go for months, we've still been working to expand and refine the software suite. Tonight I'm uploading what will probably be the final beta release (Beta3b) of the arbotiX/PyPose suite. This latest release features a now fully functional PyPose, with pose and sequence manipulation, the ability to run sequences live in PyPose, and the ability to export the poses and sequences to the AVR. The full download is available on our google code site:

I'd like to send out a big thanks to all of our beta testers. They've been hard at work testing the heck out of the arbotiX libraries and PyPose. I spent some time the other day working with Seth and Ben to refine the PyPose interface. One of the major changes we've made is to lock the servo position liders when a pose is not selected for editing, this has made the interface much more intuitive to new users.

This evening I spent a while working with Jodie to get her board working with an STK500. I've been using an AVRISP in house for a while, but one of the things I've been doing is carrying over my heavily modified boards.txt and programmers.txt files from release to release... Apparently, somewhere along the way many things have changed in what the stock file now is, which caused a great deal of confusion tonight. Needless to say, I'll be revisting my boards.txt and programmers.txt files tomorrow, and updating our wiki with a better walk through of setting up programmers.

Anyone who has tested PyPose will notice we have a menu called Tools, which really only has the Pose Editor and the Sequence Editor. Looking towards the future, I'm working on two major tools that will be in future releases of PyPose later this Fall. The first is NUKE, the Nearly Universal Kinematics Engine. NUKE will allow users to setup and export an Arduino project comprised of a complete IK engine, custom tuned for the quad or hex, and a periodic gait engine. The second tool will be a command line style interface within PyPose that will allow you to query and edit anything connected to the Bioloid bus on your arbotiX.

A final note is that we're actually running ahead of schedule here at Vanadium, on both the hardware production and software testing fronts, so you should see the arbotiX on shelves at Trossen by the end of the month!