Sam Rossiter's Rosmo Aims to Deliver an Easy-to-Build Robot Platform for ROS 2 and MicroBlocks

Published under the CERN-OHL-S-2.0 license, Rosmo can be built without soldering or needing access to a 3D printer, its creator promises.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month ago โ€ข Robotics

Maker Sam Rossiter has created a low-cost wheeled robot chassis for those looking to experiment with the Robot Operating System 2 (ROS 2) or MicroBlocks: the open source Rosmo, designed to be buildable without soldering or access to a 3D printer.

"The Rosmo Educational Robot [is] the ultimate tool to inspire the next generation of innovators and engineers," Rossiter claims of his creation. "Designed with versatility and cutting-edge technology, this educational robot is perfect for students, hobbyists, and educators looking to dive into the exciting world of robotics. My seven year old wanted to make a robot to pick up rubbish, this is the result."

The Rosmo project wants to make entry-level robotics easier with an open-hardware quick-build design. (๐Ÿ“น: Rosmo)

The Rosmo is a two- or four-wheeled robot chassis driven by an Espressif ESP32-S3 module connected to two or four motors with encoders and powered by a low-cost USB power bank. Its base configuration is designed for simplicity and affordability, but it's easily extendible: there's support for Mecanum wheeles, OLED "eyes," and sensors including inertial measurement units (IMUs), time-of-flight (ToF) distance sensors, and LIDAR modules, along with a MikroBUS socket and a Qwiic socket for more. An expansion header also provides support for custom add-on daughterboards, with proposed expansions including an ESP32-S3 camera module and a USB Type-C power adapter.

The hardware is designed to be programmed in two ways, with more to follow. For beginners, there's support for the MicroBlocks block-based visual coding environment, which Rossiter says is currently working but awaiting motor encoder configuration. The platform also supports a fork of the Linorobot2 firmware, providing compatibility with the Robot Operating System 2 (ROS 2).

"With the Rosmo Educational Robot," Rossiter claims, "students can explore: coding and programming, learn to program with MicroBlocks for a visual, block-based coding experience, or dive into ROS2 for more advanced robotics programming; engineering and design, understand the mechanics of robotics by building and customizing the robot with different wheels and attachments; problem-solving and creativity, engage in hands-on projects that encourage critical thinking and innovation, from simple tasks to complex challenges."

More information on the Rosmo project is available on the official website, while the hardware design files have been published to EasyEDA under the Strongly Reciprocal variant of the CERN Open Hardware License 2. A waitlist has also been opened for a full Rosmo kit on Tindie, priced at $50.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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