Tux Droid

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Tux-proto.jpg

Introduction

Tux Droid is a small companion to your linux system in the form of a tux. It is not a standalone system but acts as a peripheral to your linux box. Most of the software to drive the Tux is open source. The Tux Droid is manufactured by a Belgian company called Kysoh. Hardware schematics are also available.

Hardware

The Tux Droid as such consists of three parts.

The first part is the Tux itself. This one has three Atmel AVR microcontrollers. One for wireless connectivity, one for audio playback and one for all remaining functions.

The second part is a fish-like device called the Fux. This is a USB device that handles the communication with the Tux. Internally it has two Atmel AVR microcontrollers. One handles the USB while the other handles the wireless communication.

The third part is an RC5 remote control.

Tux itself has the following hardware elements:

  • two wings that can flap up and down and double up as buttons.
  • one button on the head.
  • eyes that can be lit with a blue led, and that can be opened and closed.
  • 3 wheels in the bottom that allow Tux to rotate (provided it is not charging).
  • an IR receiver that can receive RC5 commands from the remote control
  • an IR transmitter that can send infrared commands (e.g. RC5 commands to control your TV)
  • a light sensor
  • a microphone
  • a speaker
  • a rechargeable battery
  • and of course the AVRs that control everything.

Note that the wireless communication is in the 2.4Ghz band, but it is not 802.11 compliant.

A description of the hardware internals can be found here. Schematics of the Tux and of the Fux.

Software

The droid itself does not run linux. It acts as a peripheral and has very limited local intelligence. E.g. if remote control commands are received they are transmitted to the controlling PC for handling.

Two versions of the software exist. The latest version is web driven. The software is written in python and C.

Part of the software offering is text-to-speech synthesis (running on the host system). This uses the Acapela speech engine. The speech quality of this one is not bad. It is the only part of the software that is not open sorce.

Links

Community website
Kysoh website - Kysoh is the manufacturer or the Tux Droid.
Tux Droid wiki - With developers info. Tux Droid forum