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NEW PRODUCT – Kovan – Open source smart robotics controller

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NEW PRODUCT – Kovan – Open source smart robotics controller. Kovan is another offering from Sutajio Ko-Usagi, the Open Source hardware company led by Andrew ‘bunnie’ Huang. Kovan is a smart robotics controller targeted at applications that require fully autonomous operation and high levels of integration. Kovan integrates onto a single PCB all the features you need to build a self-guided robot:

Actuator capability:

  • 4x 1.2A H-bridge motor drivers
  • 4x servo drivers

Sensing capability:

  • 8x 10-bit analog inputs (5v/3.3v selectable range)
  • 8x digital I/O (5v/3.3v selectable levels)
  • Rapid-prototyping headers
  • 3-axis accelerometer

Connectivity:

  • 802.11b/g wifi
  • 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • 2x 3.3V UART (one console, one expansion)
  • IR rx & demodulator
  • IR tx (modulation done in FPGA)

UI:

  • LCD + touchscreen connector (natively supports 3.5″ screen)
  • Mono audio output
  • Pushbutton and status LED indicators

Processing:

  • Linux core running on 800 MHz ARM w/128 MB DDR2 + microSD for firmware – FPGA co-processor enabling hard real-time control extensions & advanced image processing extensions

Battery:

  • Integrated 2-cell Li-Ion battery charger (C=1.5A) (note: battery or battery emulator required for proper operation)

The native development environment for Kovan is based upon OpenEmbedded, the same system used by the Beaglebone. Sutajio Ko-Usagi’s PCBA-only version of Kovan comes with C and Python support out of the box, so you can get started right away with development — no need to set up cross-compilers. For more information on the software environment, please visit Kosagi’s site.

The package offered in limited quantities at Adafruit for $249 is the Kovan main board and power supply for development use, configured as a battery emulator, intended for intermediate and advanced developers who can roll their own battery and casing solution.

This board is the heart of the 501©(3) non-profit KISS Institute for Practical Robotics’ next-generation controller, valued at $400. KIPR’s solution will come with a case, integrated battery, LCD, speaker, and an enhanced development environment suitable for entry level hobbyists and students; it will be available for purchase in January at the Botball store.

These will be in the store shortly, sign up now if you’d like to purchase one!


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