Forager Robot Has Tower Inside

July 7, 2011
C-Link Systems builds robots like the Forager and the electronics inside. It has based the latter on Freescale's Tower-based prototype system.

Forager autonomous robot

cLS-FSTS-THM-x housing

Altera Cyclone III FPGA board

Inertial navigation board

Forager  with arm

C-Link Systems builds autonomous robots like the Forager (Fig. 1) and the electronics inside. The Forager robot is available separately but it is designed to house boards based on Freescale's Tower development platform (see Prototyping A Tower). The Tower system is the same form factor boards used on Freescale's tiny MechBot (see A Towering MechBot).

The Forager's six-wheel electric drive chassis houses a 24V, 300Ah battery system. It has enough room to hold multiple processors and peripheral boards. The robot is 72-in by 19.5-in by 54-in and weight in at 1200 pounds. It is definitely designed to handle heavy duty, outdoor applications. Variations are available for different applications. Pricing starts at $19,500.

The Forager is a solid piece of hardware and its electronics can be utilized for other applications or robots. The cLS-FSTS-THM-x housing unit (Fig. 2) can hold multiple Tower stacks, power supplies and other electronics. The Tower system was designed for prototyping but this makes it a deployable system.

C-Link Systems supplies a range of Tower system-based boards that will work with other boards from other sources including Freescale. Freescale has delivered one or more boards for all its new processors.

Some of the interesting boards available from c-Link Systems include cLS-FSTS-FPGA (Fig. 3) and the cLS-FSTS-INS (Fig. 4) boards. The cLS-FSTS-FPGA board houses an Altera Cyclone III FPGA. The board has 512 Kbytes of SRAM. It can be a host processor with its own soft core processor.

Inertial navigation board, the cLS-FSTS-INS, includes a Freescale Coldfire MFC5212CAE66 processor. It also has 3-axis gyro, a 3-axis accelerometer, an electronic compass, and a Furuno GPS. There is also a headers for a serial port.

C-Link Systems has dozens of other Tower-based boards from the 2-axis DC Motor Drive board (cLS-FSTS-MC2-5) to the Zigbee cLS-FSTS-COMM board based on Digi International's XBee module (see XBee Adapter Board Eases Interface Chores). It also supplies other housing modules and DC-DC power supplies like the cLS-FSTS-DC48.

New platforms are being delivered as well. There are a number of new payloads like a Forager with an extendable arm  (Fig. 5).

Sponsored Recommendations

Near- and Far-Field Measurements

April 16, 2024
In this comprehensive application note, we delve into the methods of measuring the transmission (or reception) pattern, a key determinant of antenna gain, using a vector network...

DigiKey Factory Tomorrow Season 3: Sustainable Manufacturing

April 16, 2024
Industry 4.0 is helping manufacturers develop and integrate technologies such as AI, edge computing and connectivity for the factories of tomorrow. Learn more at DigiKey today...

Connectivity – The Backbone of Sustainable Automation

April 16, 2024
Advanced interfaces for signals, data, and electrical power are essential. They help save resources and costs when networking production equipment.

Empowered by Cutting-Edge Automation Technology: The Sustainable Journey

April 16, 2024
Advanced automation is key to efficient production and is a powerful tool for optimizing infrastructure and processes in terms of sustainability.


To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!