Atmel-powered Moti makes it easy to build robots

Created by Nicholas Stedman, Rob King and Varun Vachhar, the Atmel-powered Moti is a comprehensive platform (hardware and software) for DIY Makers that helps simplify the process of building and controlling robots.

“Robotics is [sometimes] more complex than it needs to be, so we created Moti to make it easy,” Stedman explained. “Just attach your Moti smart motors to anything add power and immediately control it from a phone, tablet or any computer. Presto, instant robot! At the same time, Moti is advanced enough to satisfy even hardcore engineers and developers.”

On the hardware side, Moti features a Smart Motor, which Stedman describes as an “ideal servo” with a built-in Arduino-compatible microcontroller (Atmel ATmega328p), on-board sensors, continuous rotation and encoding, I/O pins for adding electronics, a web-API, instant networking and control over Bluetooth.

“We basically packed Moti full of sensors and a programmable microcontroller (Atmel ATmega328p), so you can attach electronics right to the motor,” he continued. “We also solved a major annoyance, the angle limits of servos. Moti turns continuously and seeks position…so you can tell it to go 10.5 rotations and it will stop on a dime. [Plus], we created a Bluetooth shield so you can control your robot wirelessly.”

In terms of software, Stedman told Bits & Pieces “the optiboot bootloader is loaded on and we have custom firmware programmed using the Arduino API on there as well.” In addition, Moti boasts a web-based API so Makers can more easily develop customized websites and apps to control robots.

“We picture new kinds of video games, visualizations and tutorials that integrate with real world contraptions… Moti allows you to start quickly and then take it any direction you want. Basically, it’s the kind of motor I wish I had 10 years ago, and the kind of motor that can help robotics finally move from industry into everyday life,” Stedman added.

Interested in learning more about Moti? You can check out the project’s official Kickstarter page here.

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