With the beginning of the Automation round beginning today, I decided to sketch out some of the long term plans I have for OpenADR. All my updates so far have referenced it as a robot vacuum, with a navigation module and vacuum module that have to be connected together.
The way I see it, though, the navigation module will be the core focus of the platform with the modules being relatively dumb plug-ins that conform to a standard interface. This makes it easy for anyone to design a simple module. It’s also better from a cost perspective, as most of the cost will go towards the complex navigation module and the simple plug-ins can be cheap. The navigation module will also do all of the power conversion and will supply several power rails to be used by the connected modules.
The modules that I’d like to design for the Hackaday Prize, if I have time, are the vacuum, mop, and wipe. The vacuum module would provide the same functionality as a Roomba or Neato, the mop would be somewhere between a Scooba and Braava Jet, and the wipe would just be a reusable microfiber pad that would pick up dust and spills.
At some point I’d also like to expand OpenADR to have outdoor, domestic robots as well. It would involve designing a new, bigger, more robust, and higher power navigation unit to handle the tougher requirements of yard work. From what I can tell the current robotic mowers are sorely lacking, so that would be the primary focus, but I’d eventually like to expand to leaf collection and snow blowing/shoveling modules due to the lack of current offerings in both of those spaces.
Due to limited time and resources the indoor robotics for OpenADR will be my focus for the foreseeable future, but I’m thinking ahead and have a lot of plans in mind!