Robot Information


The robot we will use for practical work this semester is the (very cute) Sony AIBO. In particular, we will use the ERS-7 model:

The best source of information on doing serious robotics with the AIBO is the OPEN-R page. OPEN-R is the system provided by Sony for programming the AIBOs; OPEN-R provides a set of macros for talking to the AIBO harware and a cross-compiler to allow the C++ code that you write to be compiled into binaries that the AIBO can execute.

Software to install

You need to download the OPEN-R SDK from the OPEN-R page, and you need the most recent version.

This comes with pretty clear instructions on what to do to install OPEN-R. We also have some instructions on installing OPEN-R

If you are going to install OPEN-R under Windows, note that Sony recommend downloading a specific version of Cygwin, which is available from the OPEN-R pages. This, of course, may mean you lose the version of Cygwin you installed for BrickOS.

You need to do this download and install before the first lab session in which we use AIBOs. The laptop onto which you download OPEN-R should have a USB port; we'll use the USB port to attach a peripheral that allows us to write to the special (pink) AIBO memory sticks that we load the control programs onto.

Useful information

The legged league home page provides links to a wealth of data on the RoboCup league that uses AIBOs. These teams are the heaviest developers of AIBO code, and much can be learnt from browsing their pages.

The source code to use

CUNY participates in the MetroBots AIBO team, and we will be building on the MetroBots code during the lab sessions.

Here is a copy of the code that we are using in the class. To unpack this file, you need to use:

tar xvfz intro-v2.tgz

Brief instructions on using OPEN-R

The computers you are using are set up so that after you edit the code, and you have loaded a memory stick into the card reader, this is what you need to do to create a new memory stick.

This assumes you are in the directory introduction-to-robotics-2006 and are logged in as root.

It also assumes that the file colors.txt is in the top-level of that directory. If it isn't, here it is.

  1. make
  2. ~/scripts/format-memstick
  3. ~/scripts/mnt-memstick
  4. cp -rf MS/* /memstick
  5. cp -f colors.txt /memstick/config

    At this point you will get some complaints about some sound files not being copied; ignore these.

  6. ~/scripts/umnt-memstick
Now take the memory stick, put it in the robot, and switch the robot on.