New Robot Controller Jam-Packed With Features
John Palmisano, the founder and CRG (Chief Robotics Guru) over at Society of Robots, developed a new, feature packed, robot controller board, named the 'AXON". Unlike many of the off-the-shelf, multipurpose controller boards, the AXON was "... designed by and for a robotics hobbyist." In other words, John incorporated all the features he felt were lacking, or falling short, in existing commercial controllers.
Based on his experience as a robot designer, John included a wealth of I/O (55) including 16 ports for analog sensors and as many as 18 for interrupts. Lots of UART capability, including one that can be used for a USB connection to a PC.
At the same time, John recognized that the hardware is only the beginning. He's included many other features to make the robot experimenter's life with AXON easier. For example, the controller includes a built-in programmer (bootloader) so you don't need an additional external programmer. And there is lots of source code and tutorials provided.
John feels that the AXON will see lots of use with bipeds, robot spiders, and robot arms. It will be interesting to see how users take the AXON way above and beyond that.