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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Customised robotic OS and SDK aims to simplify system development

By Nick Flaherty

Vincross has launched a six-legged, all-terrain, highly maneuverable robot using its proprietary operating system called MIND.

The HEXA robot and its complete software developer kit (SDK) are available for backing on Kickstarter to simplify the development of robotic systems.

The MIND SDK and easy-to-follow documentation allows developers to create Skills that control HEXA’s movements. MIND also comes with a 3D Simulator where users build robot functionality with the click of a mouse. HEXA’s easy-to-use App provides access to user-created Skills and allows the operator to remotely control the robot.

“We all have this dream of what robots should be, of robots interacting with and helping humans on a daily basis. But the reality is, robots have a long way to go. To date, the industry has focused on single use robots for industrial labs or household cleaning purposes or robots for children. There hasn’t been a single robot or platform built for the masses – especially for those developers and innovators eager to create on robots,” said Tianqi Sun, founder and CEO of Vincross. “Our robotics ecosystem represents a breakthrough, where people can now build, learn and accelerate innovation in the field of robotics, ultimately turning society’s vision of robots into reality.”

“The single biggest impediment to technologies like robotics and AI is that talented developers don’t have ready access to the full technology stack required to engineer new products. These new technologies require full integration between hardware, the OS and product application design,” said Jenny Lee, Managing Director at GGV Capital. “With the launch of HEXA, Vincross is filling a palpable gap in the market for individuals who want to break into the booming robotics revolution. Tech enthusiasts, developers and innovators now have a comprehensive platform with Vincross’ hardware and software to teach themselves how to enable their vision.”

HEXA can nimbly handle different environments and terrains and the compact, lightweight body makes it convenient to fit into daily life. The camera includes night vision and allows it to interact with and learn from the world around it. Other sensors include two three-axis accelerometers for balance, a built-in distance measuring sensor and an infrared transmitter.

The MIND OS is based on the Linux kernel and is optimised for robots. It integrates various libraries and drivers to easily control the robot hardware and network. With MIND, individuals can integrate voice interaction and third-party device interaction with a mobile phone or IoT home appliances.
The SDK is powered by Golang and can seamlessly integrate third-party libraries, such as ROS and OpenCV. With a highly abstracted toolkit, there’s no need to know underlying hardware and complex mechanics, which means individuals are free to focus on building software applications that bring ideas to life.

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