Kitchener based companies and University of Waterloo startups, Thalmic Labs and Clearpath Robotics have joined forces to prove gesture controlled robots are possible. Thalmic Labs, developers of Myo Gesture Control, released the Myo alpha developer unit to Clearpath Robotics for testing. Clearpath has successfully integrated the Myo armband with their Husky Unmanned Ground Vehicle to start, stop and drive the vehicle using simple arm movements.
“There are a lot of interesting applications for using the Myo for robot control and our team is very excited to have the opportunity to work with the Alpha dev unit,” said Ryan Gariepy, Chief Technical Officer at Clearpath Robotics. “We’ve been eagerly following Thalmic’s progress and we’ve got a dozen different robots here we could do some more tests with.”
Clearpath Robotics used the Robot Operating System (ROS) for most of the integration work. The Husky software package exposes a standard Twist interface, so the team was required to convert the Myo data into that format to create compatibility. The team did so by using their experimental cross-platform serialization server in socket mode.
For Myo integration and development, Clearpath Robotics added standard Windows Socket code into the provided Thalmic example code, and then determined the proper mapping from the Myo data to the desired robot velocity using timeouts and velocity limits. Further details on Myo integration cannot be released at this time.