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Robot kit builds on Jetson Nano

Jul 30, 2019 — by Eric Brown 2,650 views

Waveshare has launched a Linux/ROS-driven, $100 “JetBot AI Kit” robotics kit that works with the Nvidia Jetson Nano Dev Kit. The kit includes an expansion board, WiFi, motor, wheels, 8MP camera, 64GB microSD card, controller, and more.

When Nvidia launched its Linux-powered Jetson Nano module and $99 Jetson Nano Dev Kit in March, it posted specs and instructions on GitHub for using the kit to build out a mobile JetBot robot. Waveshare has now launched a JetBot AI Kit based on the design available with ($216) or without ($100) the Nano Dev Kit.

(click images to enlarge)

The JetBot taps the Jetson Nano’s 128-core Maxwell GPU along with ROS (Robot Operating System) nodes code to run facial recognition, object tracking, auto line following, and collision advance algorithms. The Maxwell GPU provides CUDA-X AI libraries and 4K@60 support. The 70 x 45mm Nano module also integrates 4x 1.43GHz Cortex-A57 cores and 4GB LPDDR4. Waveshare does not mention the Nano’s optional 16GB eMMC 5.1, and since it also supplies a 64GB microSD card, we imagine it’s not available here,

JetBot AI Kit expansion board, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The 100 x 80mm Jetson Nano Dev Kit that incorporates the Nano module is not much different than a Raspberry Pi 3B+. It offers a GbE port with PoE support, a microSD slot, 4x USB 3.0 ports, and a micro-USB device port with power support. The SBC is further equipped with 4K-ready HDMI 2.0 and eDP ports, a MIPI-CSI input, a 40-pin GPIO header, and an M.2 slot that holds the Intel wireless card available on the Jetson AI Kit. (For more details on the Nano Dev Kit, see our Jetson Nano report.)

JetBot AI Kit Expansion Board (left) and Jetson Nano Dev Kit detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The JetBot Expansion Board that connects to the Nano Dev Kit has a battery holder for 3x 18650 batteries with up to 12.6V output that you will need to buy on your own. There’s also a S-8254AA + AO4407A lithium battery protection circuit, a APW7313 voltage regulator for powering the Jetson Nano at 5V, and an ADS1115 AD acquisition chip for monitoring the battery in real time.

The Jetson Expansion Board is further equipped with a TB6612FNG dual H-bridge motor driver and a 0.91-inch, 128 x 32-pixel OLED. The display is used to show the robot’s IP address, RAM, battery life, and other stats. There’s also a power switch and an I2C interface that connects to the Jetson Nano header and power supply


The kit ships with an Intel Dual Mode Wireless NIC AC8265 M.2 card with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. (Unlike the more powerful Jetson TX2, the stripped-down Jetson Nano lacks its own wireless option.) The other major component is an 8-megapixel 160-degree FOV camera based on a Sony IMX219 sensor with 3280 x 2464 resolution.

Jetson AI Kit components (left) and detail legend
(click images to enlarge)

Other features in the JetBot kit include a 64GB microSD card and a USB-based wireless gamepad for direct control. There’s also a metal chassis, 2x motors, 2x wheels, 2x omnidirectional wheels, a 12.6V battery charger, and other components as shown in the detail view above.

Further information

The JetBot AI Kit, which we learned about on CNXSoft, is available directly from Waveshare with ($216) or without ($100) the Nano Dev Kit. It’s also available on Amazon for $123 and $260, respectively. More information may be found on Waveshare’s shopping pages for the standalone model and the version with the Nano Dev Kit. More information may be found in the JetBot AI Kit wiki .

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