AI Kit (Artificial Intelligence) is mainly designed to provide a set of kits suitable for beginners and professionals to learn and apply artificial intelligence. It includes robotic arms(myCobot280-M5Stack,mechArm270-M5Stack,myPalletizer260-M5Stack) and related software, hardware, sensors, and other devices, as well as supporting tutorials and development tools. The AI Kit aims to help users better understand and apply artificial intelligence technology and provide them with opportunities for practice and innovation. The latest upgrade will further enhance the functionality and performance of AI Kit 2023, making it more suitable for various scenarios and needs, including education, scientific research, manufacturing, and more.
AI Kit is an entry-level artificial intelligence kit that combines visual, positioning, grabbing, and automatic sorting modules in one. The kit is based on the Python programming language and enables control of robotic arms through software development. With the ROS robot operating system in the Ubuntu system, a real 1:1 scene simulation model is established, allowing for quick learning of fundamental artificial intelligence knowledge, inspiring innovative thinking, and promoting open-source creative culture. This open-source kit has transparent designs and algorithms that can be easily used for specialized training platforms, robotics education, robotics laboratories, or individual learning and use.
The answer to why we upgraded AI Kit 2023 is multifaceted. First, we collected extensive feedback from our users and incorporated their suggestions into the new release. The upgraded version enhances the functionality and performance of the AI Kit, making it more suitable for various scenarios and industries such as education, research, and manufacturing. The following are some of the reasons for this.
● Even with detailed installation instructions, installation environment setup for the AI Kit can still be challenging due to various reasons, causing inconvenience to users.
● The first generation of the AI Kit only has two recognition algorithms: color recognition and feature point recognition. We aim to provide a more diverse range of recognition algorithms.
● Due to the abundance of parts and complex device setups, the installation process of the AI Kit can be time-consuming and require a lot of adjustment.
Based on the above 3 points, we have begun optimizing and upgrading the AI Kit.
Let’s take a look at a rough comparison table of the upgrades.
The additions to the functionality can be divided into two main areas of improvement.
One is the software upgrades, and the other is the hardware upgrades.
Let’s start by looking at the hardware upgrades.
The AI Kit 2023 has been upgraded in several aspects, as shown in the comparison table. The updated AI Kit has a clean and minimalist style with multiple hardware upgrades, including:
● Acrylic board: upgraded in hardness and material
● Camera: upgraded to higher resolution and added a lighting lamp
● External material of the camera: upgraded from plastic to metal
● Suction pump: adjusted to suitable power (not too strong or weak) and upgraded interface (old models require an additional power supply interface)
● Arm base: strengthened the fixing of the arm to make the arm movement more stable
● Bucket/parts box: smaller in size for easier carrying and installation
Here is a video of unboxing the AI Kit 2023.
The overall impression is still very good, let’s take a look at the software upgrades that have been made.
● Optimization of environment setup: In the previous version of the AI Kit, it needed to run on the ROS development environment. Based on user feedback that installing Linux, ROS, and other environments was difficult, we have loaded the program directly onto the Python environment. Compared to setting up Python and ROS environments, the former can be easily achieved.
● Upgrade of program UI: The previous version had a one-click start UI interface, which did not provide users with much information (similar to simple operations such as booting up). In the AI Kit 2023 program, a brand new UI interface has been designed, which can give users a refreshing feeling in terms of both aesthetics and functionality. It not only provides users with convenient operation, but also helps users to have a clearer understanding of the operation of the entire program.
From the figure, we can see the features of connecting the robotic arm, opening the camera, selecting recognition algorithms, and automatic startup. These designs can help users better understand the AI Kit.
● Breakthroughs in recognition algorithms: In addition to the original color recognition and feature point recognition algorithms, the AI Kit has been expanded to include five recognition algorithms, which are color recognition, shape recognition, ArUco code recognition, feature point recognition, and YOLOv5 recognition. The first four recognition algorithms are based on the OpenCV open-source software library. YOLOv5 (You Only Look Once version 5) is a recent popular recognition algorithm and a target detection algorithm that has undergone extensive training.
The expansion of recognition algorithms is also intended to provide users with their own creative direction. Users can add other recognition algorithms to the existing AI Kit 2023.
The upgrade of the AI Kit 2023 has been a great success, thanks to extensive user feedback and product planning. This upgrade provides users with a better learning and practical experience, helping them to master AI technology more easily. The new AI Kit also introduces many new features and improvements, such as more accurate algorithms, more stable performance, and a more user-friendly interface. In summary, the upgrade of the AI Kit 2023 is a very successful improvement that will bring better learning and practical experiences and a wider range of application scenarios to more users.
In the future, we will continue to adhere to the principle of putting users first, continuously collect and listen to user feedback and needs, and further improve and optimize the AI Kit 2023 to better meet user needs and application scenarios. We believe that with continuous effort and innovation, the AI Kit 2023 will become an even better AI Kit, providing better learning and practical experiences for users and promoting the development and application of AI technology.