At the heart of each TeRK robot is a unique controller called Qwerk that combines a computer (with a Linux operating system that can use any computer language )with the software and electronics necessary to control the robot’s motors, cameras and other devices. It features a field programmable gate array (FPGA) to control motors, servos, cameras, amplifiers and other devices. It also accepts USB peripheral devices, such as Web cameras and GPS receivers.
Unlike other educational robot kits, TeRK is not sold as a complete set of parts. Recipes allow for a variety of robots to be built with parts commonly available. The robots can take many forms, from a three-wheeled model with a mounted camera to a flower loaded with infrared sensors and that can play catch.
TeRK was developed by Illah Nourbakhsh, an associate professor of robotics, and his team at the Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment Lab at CMU. The project got financial help from Google, Microsoft and Intel.
Recipes, software, technical support and other information:
Qwerk controller available for sale from Charmed Labs:
www.charmedlabs.com [June 22, 2007]
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