The field of swarm robotics has grown rapidly in recent years, propelled by technological advances that have enabled the development of new robot platforms that can be deployed in large numbers. However, most of these robots are too expensive for use by researchers and educators, or they do not have ROS support. We at the Autonomous Collective Systems Laboratory would like to introduce our new open-source, open-hardware swarm robotic platform Pheeno and the ROS packages that we have developed for single or multi-robot applications.
A Pheeno robot costs about $260 dollars to make with PCB fabrication, 3D printing, and other commercially available components. Pheeno is capable of modular additions such as omnidirectional wheels for holonomic motion, additional sensors, or an LED light ring. We are currently developing a gripper addition that will be released soon! All of our hardware and electronic schematics are provided in our GitHub page.
On our GitHub page, we offer two ROS packages,
pheeno_ros_sim. Currently, our packages support both ROS Indigo and Kinetic. The
pheeno_ros package contains setup code, tools, and examples for running ROS on a single Pheeno.
pheeno_ros_sim contains a basic Gazebo model of Pheeno, example code, and a simple testbed model for single-robot and multi-robot 3D simulations. The same code written for the Gazebo simulations can also be run on Pheeno robots in real-world experiments.
To help new users, documentation is provided for building, programming, and developing controllers for Pheeno. The documentation has sections geared towards new users to learn the basics of ROS. We continually update our documentation with new features and guides.
We hope everyone can come and take a look! If you have any questions about the platform, please feel free to post or e-mail me!