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Wednesday, 24 November 2010 12:58

Spirit of the e-puck project

This project has been started at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne as collaboration between the Autonomous Systems Lab, the Swarm-Intelligent Systems group and the Laboratory of Intelligent System.

An educational robot

The main goal of this project is to develop a miniature mobile robot for educational purposes at university level. To achieve this goal the robot needs, in our opinion, the following features:

  • Good structure. The robot should have a clean mechanical structure, simple to understand. The electronics, processor structure and software has to be a good example of a clean modern system.
  • Flexibility. The robot should cover a large spectrum of educational activities and should therefore have a large potential in its sensors, processing power and extensions. Potential educational fields are, for instance, mobile robotics, real-time programming, embedded systems, signal processing, image or sound feature extraction, human-machine interaction or collective systems.
  • User friendly. The robot should be small and easy to exploit on a table next to a computer. It should need minimal wiring, battery operation and optimal working confort.
  • Good robustness and simple maintenance. The robot should resist to student use and be simple and cheap to repair.
  • Cheap. The robot, for large use, should be cheap (450-550 euros)
  • An open hardware platform

    To help the creation of a community inside and outside EPFL, the project is based on an open hardware concept, where all documents are distributed and submitted to a license allowing everyone to use and develop for it.

    Status of the project

    A first set of 20 robots (e-puck version 1) has been produced in november 2004 and tested in the courses "microinformatique I" and "microinformatique II". The results of these tests have been used to create a new version of the robot (e-puck version 2) during summer 2005. We have produced 400 units of this final version in the beginning of 2006. Version 2 is incompatible with version 1 and we therefore discourage everybody to start working on version 1. Version 2 includes many improvements and is a stable one.


    Two manufacturing companies are started the production of e-puck and several distributors have started to sell it. We list them on this sit in the section "Where to buy". If you are interested in producing / distributing this robot please let me know.


    Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 December 2010 10:13