The Autonomous Deep Learning Robot from Autonomous Inc is a bargain price Turtlebot 2 compatible robot with CUDA-based deep learning acceleration thrown in. It’s a great deal – but the instructions are sparse to non-existent, so the idea of this post is to both review the device and fill in the gaps for anyone who has just unpacked one. I’ll be expanding the article as I learn more.
First, a little about the Turtlebot 2 compatibility. Turtlebot is a reference platform intended to provide a low-cost entry point for those wanting to develop with ROS (Robot Operating System). ROS is essential for doing anything sophisticated with the robot (e.g. exploring, making a map). There are various manufacturers making and selling Turtlebot-compatible robots all based around the same open source specifications. In actual fact, the only really open source part of the hardware is a collection of wooden plates and a few metal struts. The rest comprises a Kobuki mobile base and a Kinect or ASUS Xtion Pro 3D camera. Read a good interview with the Turtlebot designers here. On top of this, Autonomous throw in a bluetooth speaker and an Nvidia Jetson TK1 motherboard instead of the usual netbook.