Our long awaited “Introduction to Handibot App Development” is now available on our Github site. Note that the document is a conceptual one that provides an overview of how we are thinking about Handibot App Development and what we are working on in terms of the hardware and software system that underlies it.
As we’ve described in earlier documents, the system builds on the evolving, core G2 motion system. This is an open source project that we believe offers a new standard for digital fabrication motion control based on the increasing capability of microcontrollers and embedded systems. G2 is being developed from TinyG by the Synthetos team. It is not yet complete, but pretty far along and we are already running tools with it using the Arduino Due as a development board. To G2, we are adding a fabrication “Engine” that provides the API for full control and monitoring of a digital fabrication tool and management of tool-path files. And to simplify the API and App development for Handibots, we are developing a “Linker” module that will find and link to local Handibots using wired or wireless options running from a wide variety of devices. These modules are components of what we consider a general-purpose Digital Fabrication Motion Platform (FabMo for short). The functionality of the modules is not usable yet, but you can view their current status in repos on the ShopBot Github site. Our goal is to provide resources, libraries, and examples that simplify using the functions of these modules for those developing job- or task-oriented Handibot Apps.
The introductory document also includes an example App that runs with the current Sb3 software to illustrate the Handibot App concept. This example does not specifically illustrate the new API or SDK, but shows how a Handibot App will need to generally interact with a user, create a tool-path file, and pass it to the tool. It can be used to test-out browser-based App prototypes.
We look forward to input and contributions from the community as the software platform develops. We plan, at least initially, to use the Handibot Forum (see handibot App Developers section) for conversations about the development process. At some point we may switch discussion of specific coding issues to the Github site.
Read about the Open Innovation Program.