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WP2: Development of mechatronic and robotic components


The objective of this work package is to develop a wide range of heterogeneous robotic modules to support the main objective of understanding the relationship between morphology, control, locomotion, and movements.


The active tasks of WP 2 in period four were 2.4 design and development of various heterogeneous modules with different morphology and capable of morphosis and 2.5 Implementation of a Programming Environment. The work in this period was focussed on the educational robotic toolkit, LocoKit, and the variable compliance actuator, MESTRAN.

For LocoKit the mechanics remains unchanged. However, several smaller corrections and optimization where made to the mechanical parts to improve their robustness, performance, and their production processes. The LocoKit electronics was further matured and is now able to support a modern operating system while maintaining the modularity of the original LocoKit electronics. For MESTRAN, an improved version, L-MESTRAN, was developed. It has been made simpler and stronger, while reducing its overall size.

The programming environment for LocoKit saw a dramatic improvement. The development environment onboard the robot shifted from a restricted embedded operating system, TinyOS, to Debian Linux a full featured Linux distribution that among other things has made package management easier and has reduced the startup time dramatically. The LocoAPI was ported to the new platform and improved with focus on robustness and functionality: LocoAPI now supports programming of LocoKit in both C and Python. A web-based frontend was also added to the platform allowing control of LocoKit using a standard web browser running on a computer, a table or even a smartphone.

Overall, both elements of this work package was improved in this period and LocoKit to a degree that it is ready for commercial exploitation. More information about LocoKit including ordering information can be found at locokit.sdu.dk