More tea please.

Formica Community Site

I’d really like to get a development community around the Formica robots. I really enjoyed seeing Toshaan and colleagues build upon and develop the Formica designs for themselves. From the response we got from Jeff’s 25C3 talk, we know that there are quite a few people interested in building these tiny robots.

So we’ve set up formica.srobo.org; a wiki to act as a hub for Formica robot development. We would like to invite everyone who’s involved in Formica related projects to get involved with it and use it as a repository for information. This site is generously hosted by Student Robotics. Our thanks go to everyone in SR for that.

We’ve also opened up the mailing list that we used whilst the project was part of our degree. We hope this will become a place for people to publicly discuss projects relating to the Formica robots.

In moving to formica.srobo.org, I also transmogrified our subversion repository into a git repository. Details of this can be found on the software page of the Formica wiki.

Posted at 7:30 am on Tuesday 10th March 2009

2 responses to “Formica Community Site”

  1. Adam says:

    Good work, having a quick look over the source, I noticed in the Makefile you curl to http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/rds204/formica/rev.php to get a revision number? What was the thinking behind this and what code is contained in that php script?


  2. rob says:

    Hi Adam,

    The script just returns a unique version number. Obviously this isn’t a scalable solution. I wanted a method of generating a revision number that a robot would be able to recognise as a later version of a firmware. Perhaps using the timestamp at which it was built would be a better solution. This would involve upping the number of bits in a revision number to 32.

    I have begun teasing out the bootloader code into a library of it’s own and I’m using that in the SR firmwares. Maybe sometime soon I’ll make it so that you can choose between timestamps or grabbing a unique version number from a URL.

    Maybe you’ve got some other ideas on how to do this.


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