Runs on Linux?

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iplayfast's picture
Runs on Linux?

First of all, the fact that it runs on Linux is the reason I'm interested in this robot. From seeing it in stores it looks about as good as wind up toys in the 60's as far as movement goes.

However it runs Linux, that means I can do some cool things with it

However, the manuals don't say how the kernel be upgraded to newer versions as they come out. Can I add my own software (that is compiled onto the arm processor?).

Where is the link for the software used. Linux is under the GPL, so the source must be provided along with the kernel, or is it only available to those that have bought the robot.

Also how is this price justified? I've found gumstick computers & robotics kits that go for around $200 retail. So the vision/sound/motor movement/R&D costs $400? It doesn't seem right to me.

Robonix's picture

I'm not a linux programmer, but I've learn a little about it.  I am very interested in linux in a robot.

 this really has huge implications.  as far as kernel upgrades, i would assume that as long as the chip that linux is embedded in can be upgraded, then a firmware update could possibly upgrade the linux kernel.

if what Tilden says is true, that he wants this robot to be more easily modified by the community, then i would assume he would at least provide firmware kernel upgrades.

 what i want to know is, can i run code against the kernel, instead of having to use the provided software to control the bot.  having a compiler and type library is what is needed. and the abiltity to write real programs instead of just control scripts.  use a real language also, not a scripting language.  in other words, C not Java.

 and i would pay $500 for that capabilty.  even in a 2 foot toy.

programs that would remember room layouts, and possibly add finer control so that the bot could perform minor tasks.  pick up small items in the house and put them in a certain place.  plug itself into power and or usb.  those are useful things that software control could provide.


Dradts's picture

Just so you know:  Java is not a scripting language. It is a real powerful programming language.


And btw, I don't think that it will be possible to have any current Robosapien plug itself into power or usb, as his fingers cannot be controlled separately (at least by default).

boltronics's picture

You might want to have a look at this link for information relating to the released kernel source from wowwee. It's apparent that not all the source has been included, which is partly why I haven't purchased an RS Media yet.

I think I'll wait until the "walking in circles" bug is fixed, the left/right buttons are mapped correctly (swapped around) and wowwee to be more open about how the software operates (although I suspect running bash scripts that save output to an SD card could provide a reasonable level of detail).

I'm personally hanging out for a USB->Ethernet adapter kernel module to be built. Or better yet - a USB wireless adapter!

What I don't get is that from the scripts I've seen people write for the RS Media suggest that they might be running as root. Eg. mount/unmount/mkdosfs commands are run directly. I therefore presume that simply running 'rm -f /boot/linux* /linux*' would brick the system? Or is there a safeguard (such as the kernel being in ROM)?

I'd love to attempt to create my own 'image (with custom kernel)' for the RS Media, but if it's not perfect first time is it somehow possible to restore (like an Applie iPod)? Otherwise, one would be forced to limit tinkering to adding new kernel modules to the existing setup.