Headquarters: Concord NH, USA
The company is founded by Mike Ferguson. Prior to launching Botnuvo, Mike was the CTO for Fetch Robotics, and prior to that his pedigree includes time with Willow Garage. Mike is also one of the official maintainers of the ROS navigation stack. At Fetch, Mike was directly responsible for the evolution of the Fetch platform and their initial foray into the research platform marketplace.
Botnuvo delivers a turnkey platform which fully supports ROS. Researchers will have open source access to the deepest levels of robot control, with the exception of the motor control firmware. Researchers will be able to reprogram PID controls for the robot motors as well as have access to develop new navigation and sensing algorithms on top of ROS. The robot functions with ROS1 and the team is actively working to support ROS2.
Botnuvo is taking orders for the platform now, and will begin shipping by the end of 2019. The robot ships with the fully assembled and tested robot, a battery, a joystick, and a charging brick. All of the robot specs are available on the Botnuvo website.
There are two models currently available. The key difference between the models is in price and in the LIDAR which is configured on the robot. The base model Velocity robot is configured with a Hokuyo URG, 4 meter laser. This inexpensive laser will work fine for small labs and classroom environments. The Velocity+ robot is configured with a SICK TIM571, 25 meter laser and more onboard memory storage. Customers who want to run the robot across a larger facility will want to purchase the Velocity+. Both models include an Intel NUC embedded PC for all of the supervisory function on the robot. Additional cameras and sensors can be easily added to the platform and interfaces with the onboard controller.
The platform is made mostly from commercial off the shelf components, with the exception of the power distribution and motor control boards. The chassis is constructed from half inch thick HDPE plastic, rather than having a metal chassis. Ferguson made this design choice initially because of the lower production costs with the initial product launch. In addition, a plastic body makes it easier to modify the robot for payload attachments. It’s much simpler to drill holes into the plastic robot deck than in a metal deck. Plus the plastic deck is easily replaced.