VMX-pi sells out in first day of FIRST Choice 2018, Round 2

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.

2017 FIRST Robotics Challenge: “Steamworks”

Kauai Labs, a FIRST FRC supplier, is providing several open source products to FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) teams competing in the 2017 “Steamworks” competition.

These include:

  • navX-MXP Robotics Navigation Sensor
  • navX-Micro Robotics Navigation Sensor
  • SF2 Sensor Fusion Framework

These open source sensors and software libraries and framework enable sophisticated navigation capabilities to student-built robots, providing open access to examples, source code, schematics and training materials – helping inspire them Build Better Robots®.

Kauai Labs announces new SF2 Sensor Fusion Framework

logo_sf2New for 2017.  Integrate navX-MXP/Micro with robotic Vision Processing to increase accuracy.

Kauai Labs announces the release of the new Sensor Fusion Framework (SF2).  SF2 is a free, open-source software framework making navX-MXP and navX-Micro even more powerful – fusing multiple sensors together to help you build even better robots.  Available in LabVIEW, C++ and Java for the RoboRIO, the initial SF2 release enables Video Processing Latency Correction on FRC robots.

navX-Micro sells out on first day of FIRSTChoice 2017 Round 1

Kauai Labs is proud to support FIRST Robotics and recently donated 200 navX-Micro Robotics Navigation sensors to the 2017 FRC FIRSTChoice program – making them freely available to FRC teams.

We’re happy to say that all 200 navX-Micro sensors were ordered on the first day of Round 1!

For those of you not fortunate enough to acquire one of the free sensors, we have plenty in stock – please visit the navX-Micro product page for more details.

Kauai Labs announces new Canadian Distributor

navX-MXP is very popular among FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) robotics teams, including the Runner-up FRC Alliance Captain Team (2056 – OP Robotics) at the 2016 FIRST World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri.

In order to make navX-MXP more easily available to Canadian teams at a lower cost, Kauai Labs is happy to announce that Studica will be distributing navX-MXP starting immediately.

If you’re a Candian FRC team, we encourage you to visit and purchase navX-MXP from the Studica Canadian online website.

studica

New KauaiLabs Newsletter

KauaiLabs has created a periodic newsletter to alert our customers and visitors to new KauaiLabs product announcements. Please take a moment to sign up and we’ll include you on future mailings.

Subscribe to the KauaiLabs Newsletter

* indicates required




Kauai Labs completes development of low-cost IMU for FIRST Robotics

nav6The “nav6” inertial measurement unit (IMU) was developed to provide sophisticated inertial navigation capabilities easily available to student robotics teams, including the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).

This low-cost circuit board enables a 4-wheel omni-directional drive robot to be driven in “field-oriented” drive mode by accurately measuring the robots “pose” – the amount of tip, tilt and rotation – relative to the field.  Additionally, the nav6 can be used to implement robot balancing algorithms.

The nav6 employs the Invensense MPU-6050 IC which includes a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope and an on-chip digital motion processor.  The nav6 also includes a Honeywell HMC5883L 3-axis magnetometer.

The nav6 is also Arduino-compatible, and can be programmed by anyone via the free Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Additionally, software to easily integrate the nav6 into the FIRST robotics control system is available.

Open-source schematics, nav6 firmware source code and cRio code to interface with the nav6 are available online.

Kauai Labs releases Arduino-style library for Netduino Plus 2

Given the popularity of the Arduino among the “maker” community, a large body of software and literally 100s of “shields” which allow extension of the board’s basic functionality  by adding different components have been developed.

Yet the Arduino’s underlying 8-bit processor running at 16Mhz, coupled with small amounts of FLASH memory and RAM often limits the projects that can be accomplished.  This limitation has been mitigated to some degree by this year’s release of the Arduino Due, which moves the platform to a 32-bit processor running at 84 Mhz with 96Kbytes of RAM and 512Kbytes of FLASH.

However last year saw the release of a much more powerful solution at a cost similar to the Arduino Due:  the Netduino Plus 2, which features the STM32 F4 microcontroller.  The F4, running at 168Mhz, has twice the speed of the Due’s processor, has double the RAM at 192Kbytes and double the FLASH at 1024 Kbytes.  And that’s not all – the Netduino Plus 2 32-bit ARM processor also provides a Floating Point Unit (FPU) and DSP instructions that enable advanced signal processing.  And last but not least, the Netuino Plus 2 has an ethernet interface for connecting directly to the internet.

There was only one catch:  Arduino developers used to the C-language and the Arduino API had to transition to use the .NET Micro Framework – a new language and a runtime.  Moreover, the .NET Micro Framework  consumes a significant portion of the onboard RAM/Flash on the Netduino Plus 2.

Seeing this condition, Kauai Labs decided to provide Arduino API and C/C++ language development on the Netduino Plus 2, and has developed the free, open-source software library named “libmaple-f405”.  This work is based upon the Leaf Labs “maple” library.

This library is now available for anyone interested; we hope you enjoy it.

Create the Future 2012 Design Challenge – Now Open to Submissions

The Create the Future 2012 Design Challenge contest is open from now until June 30, 2012.  This contest was started in 2002 by the publishers of NASA Tech Briefs, and is open to the public –  featuring a Grand Prize of $20,000 as well as a number of smaller prizes.

The Design Challenge website is now accepting submissions in the following categories:

  • Consumer Products
  • Electronics
  • Machinery and Equipment
  • Medical Products
  • Safety and Security
  • Sustainable Technologies
  • Transportation

In order to submit your innovative design idea, inventors need only submit a 500 word technical abstract that includes one to three visual illustrations.  There’s also an option of submitting a video in support of your design. 

All submissions are open for all to see at the Design Challenge website.  Reading the amazing ideas already submitted is definitely food for thought, for example the life-saving “LIFE PACK – Hypothermia Prevention Flotation Device” invention in the Safety and Security section.