Nomad has been out and about as a show piece a lot, lately. Unfortunately, still not sufficiently mobile. Recent experience and discussions with folk from The Robot Group, ATX Hackerspace, and at some of the many exhibitions has made a few things abundantly clear. First, I need to address the power issue sooner rather than later. Second, I need to get Nomad running about, even if only with the game controller at the moment. And third, there is still much work to be done on its physical configuration.
With the change from the Raspberry Pi stack to the much more powerful Jetson TX1 some changes needed to be made to the overall architecture of Nomad's electronics. Some of it remains the same, such as the sensor cluster passing through the Arduino Mega. Some of the changes are enhancements made necessary by the new processor. The diagram illustrates what the new architecture looks like.
I admit the title may seem a little harsh. I tried to find a way to soften it a little bit, but this is the most direct way of saying it. And, frankly, the Edison did fail the Nomad project, not because it's a bad product, it's not. It failed because it's simply not ready for the hobby market. It's not ready to be picked up by your average user looking to do something amazing that pushes the boundary of what hobby electronics, or hooby robotics is. The Edison is great for engineers looking to do something new. But not your average maker. Here's the story...