Kauai Labs is proud to support FIRST Robotics and recently donated 100 VMX-pi Robotics Controllers/Vision & Motion Co-processors to the 2018 FRC FIRSTChoice program (Round 2) – making them freely available to FRC teams.
We’re happy to say that all 100 VMX-pi units were ordered on the first day of Round 2!
For those of you who missed acquiring one of the free sensors, Kauai Labs has plenty in stock – please visit the VMX-pi product page for more details.
Kauai Labs is proud to support FIRST Robotics and recently donated 100 navX-MXP Robotics Navigation sensors to the 2018 FRC FIRSTChoice program – making them freely available to FRC teams.
We’re happy to say that all 100 navX-MXP sensors were ordered on the first day of Round 1!
For those of you who missed acquiring one of the free sensors, Kauai Labs has plenty in stock – please visit the navX-MXP product page for more details.
As of May, 2016, navX-MXP is aboard over 700 FIRST FRC robots, and 100 FTC robots. Kauai Labs is dedicated to continually increasing the functionality of the navX-MXP and navX-Micro, and has been listening to our customers requests for additional functionality. In response, Kauai Labs has released the third-generation firmware, version 3.0 and associated libraries which support several key new features:
- Increased update rates of 200Hz (5 milliseconds/sample)
- Support for video-processing latency correction in distributed processing environment
To access these new features, please visit the “upgrading firmware” instruction page.
KauaiLabs, Inc. announces the navX-Micro Robotics Navigation Sensor
• 9-Axis IMU/Magnetic Sensor (Gyro / Accelerometer / Magnetometer)
• Intelligent Motion Processor
Today, KauaiLabs announces the third-generation Open Source navX-Micro Robotics Navigation Sensor, designed for use with the Android-Based FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC) Robotics as well as the FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) Control Systems. navX-Micro is based on the same core technology within the navX-MXP sensor now in use by hundreds of FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) teams.
navX-Micro features a 32-bit ARM processor, the Invensense MPU-9250 sensor system-on-chip, and software algorithms which include enhanced sensor calibration, data fusion combining gyro, accelerometer and magnetometer data into a “9-axis heading”, and high-quality magnetometer calibration including magnetic disturbance detection. In addition to being an Inertial Measurement Unit, navX-Micro capabilities are referred to within the aerospace industry as an “Attitude/Heading Reference System” (AHRS). Kauailabs brings this high-tech AHRS capability to FIRST FTC and FRC teams – to use, learn and explore. navX-Micro is a key component of Kauailabs’ ongoing efforts to make state-of-the-art navigation technologies used in drones and autonomous vehicles (e.g., the Google Car) available to robotics students and enthusiasts as low-cost, open-source products.
navX-Micro is available for purchase online now for $79. The navX-Micro FTC library is also compatible with the navX-MXP sensor for those teams wishing to get started immediately.
Open Source schematics, firmware source code, FTC library source code and example code is available online. For those desiring an enclosure, a 3D-printable enclosure is also available for those wishing to create their own, or can be purchased separately online.
More details are available at navX-Micro Online.
KauaiLabs, Inc. announces the navX MXP Robotics Navigation Sensor
• 9-Axis Sensor (Gyro / Accelerometer / Magnetometer)
• Intelligent Motion Processor
• RoboRIO Expansion I/O
In late 2013, Kauailabs released the nav6 Open Source Inertial Measurement Unit, providing high-accuracy measures of pose (yaw/pitch/roll), with minimal yaw drift of ~1 degree per minute – performance far exceeding the analog gyro included in the FRC Kit of Parts. nav6 was used by several teams at the 2014 FIRST Championships for features including field-oriented drive.
Now, Kauailabs announces the navX MXP Robotics Navigation Sensor, which takes nav6 technology to the next level in two significant ways.
First, navX MXP was designed to use the RoboRIO MXP Expansion Connector – enabling plug-n-play installation on the National Instruments RoboRIO, and adding digital, analog I/O and UART / SPI / I2C port expansion.
Second, navX MXP features a 32-bit ARM processor, the new Invensense MPU-9250 sensor system-on-chip, and software algorithms which take nav6 technology to the next level, including enhanced sensor calibration and algorithms which fuse gyro, accelerometer and magnetometer data into a “9-axis heading”. The “9-axis heading” is enabled by magnetometer calibration tools (available online at no cost) and magnetometer disturbance detection and data fusion algorithms. This capability is known within the aerospace industry as an “Attitude/Heading Reference System” (AHRS). Kauailabs brings this high-tech AHRS capability to FIRST FRC teams – to use, learn and explore. navX MXP is a key component of Kauailabs’ ongoing efforts to make state-of-the-art navigation technologies used in autonomous vehicles (e.g., the Google Car) available to robotics students and enthusiasts as low-cost, open-source products.
navX MXP will be available for puchase online a few days after the 2015 FIRST FRC build season kickoff at AndyMark and Kauailabs. MSRP is $99.
More details available at navX-MXP Online.
The new LIDAR Lite sensor now available at Garmin offers high-performance distance sensing at a fraction of the cost of comparable sensors.
Lidar Lite has a range of up to 40 meters, and features a low-cost implementation of time-of-flight algorithms used in expensive LIDAR systems like those used with the Google Car. The LIDAR-Lite uses an I2C communications interface, which allows multiple modules to be connected as slaves to a common communications bus, and draws only 100 milliamps of power.
Kauai Labs has ordered one of these units and will be developing a prototype 2D scanner which can measure 360 degrees of distance and SNR, designed for use in FIRST robotics to enable localization. Stay tuned for more developments, we’ll be posting details as they emerge.
As part of the development of the nav6 IMU firmware, Kauai Labs has ported the officially-released Invensense Motion Driver v. 5.1 – enabling its use in Arduino and Maple platforms.
Prior to the release of this library, Arduino developers wishing to access the Digital Motion Processor (DMP) functionality of the Invensense MPU-6050/MPU-9150 sensor could not use an officially-released version of software; instead, a reverse-engineered library released by Jeff Rowberg (developed with help from Noah Zerkin) at www.i2cdevlib.com was used. While the i2cdevlib library was excellent, it had not kept up with more recent releases by Invensense.
Kauai Labs hopes that other inventors find this open source library useful.
NASA’s “Summer of Innovation” Mini-Grant Program has awarded a grant via the Kauai Robotics Alliance to fund two seminar type sessions where Kauai’s middle school and high school students will become familiar with the NASA Mars rover programs.
More details on this “space grant” are available at the “Summer of Innovation” website.
Congratulations to the Kauaibots, as they just returned from another successful outing at the FIRST FRC Honolulu Regional Competition!
This year’s competition featured 36 Hawaii and 2 visiting teams (from New Orleans and Taiwan) and an exciting game: “Rebound Rumble”.
The Kauaibots’ robot, named “Thunder Chicken”, featured an autonomous mode which reliably dunked basketballs into the middle-tier hoops, a ball “vacuum” which swept up balls on the floor and into the shooting mechanism, and was designed for easy balancing on the court bridges.
“Thunder Chicken” made it into the quarterfinals, where the robot was paired with robots from Nanakuli and Hilo High. Although that was a far as the robot made it in the competition, the quarterfinals were a very exciting matchup against an alliance (which went on to place second in the finals) featuring great robots from perennial finalists Punahou School (Oahu) and McKinley High School (Oahu), and including the West Hawaii Exploratory Academy (Big Island). More information is available at the Hawaii Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC) website.
The Kauaibots were also awarded the Johnson & Johnson “Gracious Professionalism Award”.
The Kauaibots are meeting on Saturday, April 7 at 1:00 p.m. to begin preparing for next year’s season. The team always welcomes new volunteers, so if you’re interested in getting involved you can get contact info from the Kauaibots website.
The Kauai Robotics Alliance was formed in 2011 in order to help promote robotics on Kauai, and was recently granted 501(c)(3) status. This is great news, as KRA will be instrumental in helping raise funds for robotics programs here on Kauai.