Sparkfun and Mathworks have teamed up to make your first jump into robotics as easy as it is fun. Toni Klopfenstein at Sparkfun (perhaps the coolest hobbyist electronics company around) wrote a blog post and a video based on our first efforts. Her video below walks you through the entire process of getting an example Simulink model to run on the Sparkfun RedBot: an affordable educational robot kit.
Since then, I’ve made some improvements to the Sparkfun RedBot Block Library on the File Exchange to facilitate the installation and use of the library. In the following video, I’ll walk you through the installation process.
Our collaboration sparked just as the Combat Robot Design Challenge was beginning last Spring in a room at Artisan’s Asylum, where a hands-on electronics workshop was wrapping up in that very same room. That workshop was led by Brian Huang, an educational engineer at Sparkfun. After our run-in, Sparkfun helped sponsor the Combat Robot Design Challenge as the main vendor of components that went into the robots. By the way, Sparkfun puts on their own robotics competition that is as inspiring as it is technically difficult, called the Autonomous Vehicle Competition.
So, Sparkfun helped launch our competition, and a couple of months later, Brian introduced me to his colleagues Toni and Mike Hord. Toni and Mike designed a custom Arduino Uno derivative and an Arduino code library to simplify autonomous control of the RedBot. We wrote a Simulink block library on top of the RedBot’s Arduino code to make it even easier to design sophisticated control systems.
In a future video, I’ll introduce some fun things you can do with Simulink and the RedBot. Got any tricks you’d like to see the RedBot do?