The company RobotBits are now shipping the Frindo robotics platform. It can be used with both the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi board (BeagleBone to follow). The company designed the platform to be both low cost and robust to survive the rigors of educational environments.
The robot mechanics consist of predrilled 160 mm diameter acrylic disks. Motive power comes from two Pololu micro-motors with mounting brackets, wheels and a pan-and-tilt mounting kit. The RobotShield developed by RobotBits provides a dual bi-directional motor driver circuit supplying 2 Amp peak and 1.1 Amp continuous. It also provides a number of 3-pin headers to plug in standard servos and interfaces for serial, SPI, and I2C. A reset switch and thermal overload protection are also included.
The platform is open-source so the mechanical drawings, schematics and tutorials together with Sketches and an ‘Avoider’ Python example for the Rpi are available on the Frindo web page.
The basic kit includes two wheels, a six AA battery pack, two motors and two pre-drilled chassis plates made of clear or black acrylic plus all the necessary screws and cables. Upgrades include a controller board and sensor bundles.