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TDK Launches Robotics Development Platform

The unpredictable Covid-19 pandemic is different our thought of robots and making robots. At CES 2022, TDK launched Robokit1, a robotics platform for quick prototyping and development with ROS1 and ROS2 compatible drivers and software algorithms.

In its latest report, 70 Technology Trends That Will- And Will Not-Shape 2022, ABI Research anticipates that a total of 45,000 cobots and 452,000 mobile robots is going to be shipped in 2022, up 65% and 51% year-over-year.

Robots are gaining momentum, but because Anson Yeganegi, senior manager for business development, Robotics, at TDK InvenSense, said during a press conference at CES 2022, \”one of the biggest frustrations that we've been told by our customers is the fact that there is lots of technology that goes into creating a generic robot, and they've to go to multiple vendors.\”

Yeganegi specified, \”Typically, each individual sensor technology comes with its own sensor board. Sensor boards not only originate from multiple vendors, however they need to be supported on multiple processor boards -anything from Raspberry Pi to Arduino. And, the icing on the very complicated cake, there are a lot of free requirements from ROS-Industrial -ROS1 and ROS2.\”

Technologies found in typical robot applications span from gyroscopes to cameras to microphones to embedded motor controllers to artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Although it does not have the entire selection of technologies, TDK challenged being able to help its customers accelerate their development as well as their time-to-market by creating a simplified board and reference design platform that would allow them to perform evaluation and development with as minimal vendors as you possibly can.

Unveiled at CES 2022, the RoboKit1 development platform encompasses eight pieces of technology present in TDK's portfolio: 6-axis IMUs, industrial modules, barometric pressure sensors, digital microphones, temperature sensors, ultrasonic time-of-flight connectors, magnetometers, and embedded motor controllers. Over it, TDK said hello brought a leg Cortex M7 processor -running up to 300 Mhz- and an Atmel Embedded Debugger and made it suitable for the Raspberry Pi processor. The compatibility with both Nvidia Jetson and Google Coral is expected \”in the following quarters\”.

\”Yes, it's a development board, but it is actually so much more than that,\” said Yeganegi.

TDK said hello can also be providing a library of software algorithms, ROS1- and ROS2-compliant drivers, and an open-source software library for user customization. Customers can take an improvement platform and make a complete robot reference design around it, the organization claims. RoboKit1 indeed includes flex cables required for additional technology, a metal chassis, a 3D printed housing, user guides, and Bluetooth modules \”to have a completely functional reference design as they are,\” said Yeganegi.

When asked what stage of development it is most suitable for, he explained customers may use Robokit1 as \”an idea starter in the concept phase\” where they have a vision try not to understand how to get started. Conversely, it's ideal for customers who've the hardware and \”just\” wish to accomplish software algorithm development. In a nutshell, Robokit1 can be \”useful at every stage\” of robotics system development, said Yeganegi.

As area of the features, TDK said it has implemented a keyword spotting technology with noise filter as well as noise cancellation. Once \”Hi TDK\” is pronounced, the reference design on wheels starts moving, turns left, turns in real-time with immediate response to those four commands that live on the host processor.

TDK said its RoboKit1 can be ordered now from distribution channels all over the world, and expects to have inventory in stock after the month or early February.