The Pi Robot project began in December 2005. The first few years involved testing several different body plans, microcontrollers, sensors, servos and drive motors. The next step was the development of a modular programming frame work for coordinating sensory data and motor commands into autonomous behaviors. Back then, programming was done in C# under Windows. But shortly thereafter, ROS was created by Willow Garage and Pi immediately switch to Linux and jumped on the ROS train.
Pi’s appearance has changed over time but is beginning to converge on the design shown on the right. Pi has also experimented with an omnidirectional vision system (like the one shown below).
It would also be nice to give Pi a self-balancing wheel base, like that used on the Segway, or an omnidirectional holonomic drive system like the three-wheeled Rovio shown on the right.
Pi now has two books out in the ROS By Example series that are available in print and as a downloadable PDF.
Stay tuned for more updates as Pi Robot continues to evolve into a fully fledged autonomous robot.