Luos roadmap Q1 2018

After years of accumulated frustrations from witnessing the state of robotic development from the inside, we started working on Luos to change this once and for all. We have said it many times already but I’ll say it once more: designing a robot today is artificially complex. I mean that the barriers to entry are very high due to how robotics has evolved as a field, not for reasons inherent to its technology. Well, maybe not if you are trying to make a humanoid run in your garden (strange idea btw) but for most useful robotic idea, it is!

Our aim is to solve that by providing simpler, yet more powerful, tools for roboticists. We have chosen a really promising, yet still not mainstream, language: Rust and we have decided to go fully open source. We have already explained why we did this so I’m not going to expand on the topic. That wasn’t an easy decision but as soon as we took it, it felt natural. And since, we have received a lot of very positive feedback! It make us feel like we are on the right tracks.

So the next question is obviously: where do we go from now?

Luos, Robus and the L0 — wait what?

For those you missed the previous episode, Luos is an open-source robotic engine. It is a set of hardware and software librairies that orchestrates your robotic system to jump start robotic development. It aims at solving two main issues:

  • Make robotic design as simple as it should be. Allow for incremental and interative design. Adding a new sensor or effector on your robot should be as simple as it sounds.
  • Abstracting hardware interfaces to standardize the most common parts of a robot. We aim to provide clean and simple APIs for each type of hardware and functionalities to enable developers to focus on application and not on technicalities.

To answer those very ambitious questions, we developed three main tools:

  • The L0 dev board and a set of drivers to provide simple access to common hardware.
  • Robus, a dedicated bus to allow for seamless communication and detection among multiple boards.
  • And finally high-level APIs to let you start testing behaviours in minutes.

Beta opened today!

We have just reached a very important milestones. Our beta program just opened! We have working implementations for all software layers and the pre-orders for our dev-boards are opened (shipping this month).

You can already use the code on GitHub or play with our documentation and tutorials. It is obviously still missing a lot and we would love to integrate more contributions!

If you already have some projects in mind and want to start working on it, you can present it on Luos forum and use one of the officially supported dev board.

Roadmap

Now that we have real users testing Luos we can iterate much faster. And we think it is now time to publish our roadmap. To give you an overview of the next steps:

  • We will rewrite our HAL this month to be entirely compliant to the wonderful embedded-hal Japaric’s initiative (more details here)! This will make further development much more stable and support for extra platforms way easier.
  • We will implement the full version of the Robus detection so users can plug any compatible devices without having to configure anything.
  • We will develop a shield to support the dynamixel XL-320 motors later this month.

So jump on board!

We think publishing our roadmap as the same time as we open our beta program is the perfect timing. It is up to you to join us, give us your feedback and help us steer the wheel in the best direction for robotics!

You can join us on luos forum. For the European, we will also be present in Embedded World 2018!

I am a software engineer/Phd, co-founder at Pollen Robotics. If you enjoyed this article, let me know by clapping or following our publication. You can subscribe to our newsletter if you want to have Rust for robotics news in your inbox!