From Industrial to Avatar Robots: TDK RoboKit1-DK Development Platform Clears the Way for a Diversity of Future Robots
The robotics industry is evolving at a rapid pace, with new technologies being created one after another. TDK is now offering TDK RoboKit1-DK, a robot development platform equipped with a variety of sensors essential to the accurate operation of robots, enabling more efficiency and higher performance across a wide range of robot development.
The challenges facing robot development in an environment of rapid technological advancement and growth
The demand for robots to help alleviate labor shortages, improve productivity and enhance daily life is growing, and the global spread of COVID-19 has further exacerbated this trend.
Robots can be divided into two main categories: industrial robots, which operate in factories in isolation from humans, and service robots, which provide services in close proximity to people. The utilization of industrial robots (autonomous mobile robots or AMRs, automated guided vehicles or AGVs, factory automation equipment, etc.)—most conspicuously in manufacturing—has grown dramatically since the pandemic began due to the need to avoid human contact and the rise in the volume of logistics. The automation of manufacturing is a pressing issue for many companies.
Meanwhile, the market for service robots has also continued to expand impressively, exemplified by communication robots, drones, household appliances like cleaning robots, agricultural and mobility robots, as well as robots designed for disaster response. Additionally, recent years have seen the emergence of “avatar” robots, a technology that enables presence at a remote location via a robot’s body. It is garnering interest as a form of infrastructure technology for smart cities and space exploration.
This explosive surge in demand has sharply raised the speed and technology requirements for robot development, making it increasingly difficult for robot manufacturers to develop everything in-house. As a result, the idea of reference designs is gaining momentum. Reference designs are examples of finished products that incorporate components and drawings provided by manufacturers of semiconductors, other components and materials to makers of applied products like robots. By leveraging reference designs, robot manufacturers can focus their development resources on their unique strengths without being distracted by parts and materials issues, and can proceed with development faster and with less personnel.
While robot development kits based on reference designs are available today from various manufacturers, they typically require multiple sensor and processor boards to be procured separately and combined later. Creating even a basic platform can be very time-consuming and complex.
TDK RoboKit1-DK is a solution that integrates sensors, processors and actuators on a single board
The TDK RoboKit1-DK is a robot development platform that solves these problems while serving as an ideal reference design.
TDK RoboKit1-DK is a TDK-original development kit that integrates key products such as a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), a digital I²S microphone, a capacitive barometric pressure sensor, ultrasonic Time of Flight (ToF) sensors, industrial IMU modules, a magnetometer and a motor controller—all on a single printed circuit board (PCB). It is a robotics platform that brings sensors, processors and actuators together on a single board, eliminating the need to procure multiple sensor and processor boards and enabling the rapid prototyping and development of a variety of robots.
TDK RoboKit1-DK supports ROS 1 & 2 (Robot Operating System), open-source software used worldwide for robot development, making robot development for a wide range of applications possible. Because TDK RoboKit1-DK sports a robust set of interfaces and is compatible with multiple processors, it can facilitate the creation of not only industrial robots but next-generation robots like “avatars” that require the incorporation of numerous high-performance sensors in their design and development.
RoboKit1-DK accelerates the development of industrial and service robots
Director, System Solutions
Anson Yeganegi, Director of System Solutions at InvenSense, a TDK Group company, shared his perspective on what the future holds for RoboKit1. “TDK RoboKit1-DK is the only complete development kit that combines the hardware power of high-performance sensors developed by the TDK Group with software and algorithm solutions geared for robotics. It will definitely accelerate the development of advanced robots—a variety of new robots that have utilized this platformare sure to be forthcoming.”
Through the groundbreaking TDK RoboKit1-DK, TDK is supporting the evolution of industrial and service robots and contributing to the world of robotics, which holds the potential to transform our future.
TDK RoboKit1-DK combines sensors, processors and actuators on a single board, making it an ideal platform for rapid prototyping and development of robotics. For more details, please visit the Product Center.