Q. I have experience with ROS and don’t feel like I need the UpCom IDE. Is it the only way I can use UP1?
A. Definitely not. We designed the UP1 software architecture to follow the conventions established on other popular ROS platforms and you can expect it to work in a familiar way. See our publicly available UP1 packages at https://www.github.com/updroidinc for more details and documentation.
Q. Is the software for UP1 open-source?
A. For the most part. The firmware on the motor controllers is proprietary, as is the core of UpDroid Commander - the things that probably wouldn’t satisfy anything but pure curiosity. The meat of the robotics software contained in ROS packages is all open-source. The UpCom SDK and example plugins are all open-source as well. You can find all our open-source software at https://www.github.com/updroidinc.
Q. Is the UP1-Series hardware open-source?
A. We don’t want to upset anyone by misusing the term “open-source hardware”, so we won’t go that far. That said, the interfaces for third party and custom modules are thoroughly detailed and released under the TAPR Open Hardware License. These interfaces include dimensional outlines for the mating surfaces between module enclosures and pinout descriptions for the power/signal connectors.
Q. What is different about the UP1-Dev Kit?
A. The UP1-Dev Kit is shipped partially disassembled, with the less complicated parts of assembly left for the user to complete. Additionally, the electronic components making up the internals of the assembled robot consist of more off-the-shelf products and less of custom UpDroid-designed parts.
Q. Is the software for the UP1-Dev Kit the same as the regular UP1?
A. There are minor low level differences in the firmware and some ROS packages. We will have detailed information on what the differences are when the regular UP1 is further along in development and also clear instructions for migrating from the Dev Kit to the regular UP1.
Q. Why do you have two different products?
A. With delivery of the regular UP1 a long ways out, we wanted to offer an alternative package for customers that would rather not wait, but still have something that would be software-compatible with the final product. The Dev Kit resembles our internal prototypes for software development that we worked on while our electronics were still in development, so we can offer personal support having had prior experience with all the components. Another purpose for the Dev Kit is to give us the opportunity to get earlier end-user feedback.