HEBI Robotics, a startup founded by engineers from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, provides a hardware and software platform that enables robotics researchers to build professional-grade, customized robots. With this platform, robots that used to take months to create can now be designed, assembled, and programmed in weeks, or even days. The hardware cornerstone of the platform is a smart, Ethernet-enabled actuator module that researchers use to control position, torque, and velocity simultaneously. Complementing the hardware modules are logging tools and APIs that enable rapid development of system-level kinematics and trajectory control, as well as joint-level control of each actuator’s motion.
HEBI engineers used MATLAB® to develop example control software for kits based on the smart actuators, test the actuators, and create an API for roboticists who are not experienced software engineers.
“The pseudocode you would write for motion control or coordinating joints in a manipulator or leg is much like the MATLAB code that actually does it,” says Dave Rollinson, cofounder and robotics engineer, at HEBI. “Data analysis, plotting, working with matrices—it’s all very natural in MATLAB, which greatly expands and diversifies the set of people who can get up and running fast with our platform.”