Progress Update: March 30, 2013


  • PR2-Lite can now recognize the pieces on the chessboard.
  • Other minor bugs fixed
  • Sometime in the close future, PR2-Lite will try to move pieces around.


  • He has gotten all the hardware/firmware issues related to the wheels and the rotating linear actuator.
  • He is now working on revising PR2-Lite’s SLAM.


  • I have worked more on the 3D models of PR2-Lite’s wrist.  When I am done, it will integrate the Willow Garage Velo Gripper onto our arm.

Progress Update: March 24, 2013

  • installed the chess software and configured
  • chess board is being detected but pieces aren’t properly or consistently placed
  • learning the chess app implementation

  • helped in a variety of ways during his 1 day robot club visit
  • helped with autodesk inventor problem
  • helped with git problem
  • fixed a problem with rosgraph and rxgraph.  roswtf still having problems.


  • fixed the wheel encoder board
  • fixed a linear actuator firmware bug that caused deadlocks
  • fixed one problem with a flaky cable and torso now working
  • identified problem with another cable


  • planned to replace shoulder / elbow with mx-64 instead of ax-12s
  • started design of the velo gripper wrist

Maker Faire 2013 Entry Description

Strategic Showdown Between Human-Scale, Autonomous Robots

Two of the world’s most advanced hobbyist robots will be competing in chess against each other here at Maker Faire! PR2Lite is an autonomous, human-sized robot, and will be playing chess with Maxwell, the 5 ft tall, chess-playing winner of the 2011 AAAI Small Scale Manipulation Challenge. PR2Lite was developed by 4 high-schoolers and their mentor fathers, and Maxwell was developed by Michael Ferguson, formerly of Willow Garage. Both robots have been featured in SERVO Magazine.

What is PR2Lite?
With relatively low-cost components like the Microsoft Kinect, lidars from robotic vacuum cleaners, servos with feedback, and the open-source software ROS, our PR2Lite robot mimics the capabilities of the PR2 from Willow Garage. Willow Garage’s PR2 is a $400,000 research robot, and uses high-end sensors and servos, while our PR2Lite makes use of cheaper hardware to attempt many of the same tasks.

What is Maxwell?
Maxwell is a low-cost, human-scale mobile manipulator which received 1st Place in the 2011 AAAI Small Scale Manipulation Challenge. The robot has a single arm and differential drive mobile base. Sensory consists of a Microsoft Kinect on a pan/tilt stage. Control software was written with the help of the Robot Operating System (ROS).

PR2Lite edit Maker Faire