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View Full Version : Robobuilder, Bioloid, RB2000 Discussion



DresnerRobotics
09-13-2008, 12:44 AM
Heya Kwan! Welcome!

Feel free to ask away, we don't carry the RB2000 but we do carry the Robobuilder and have a very nice page showcasing it's features: http://www.trossenrobotics.com/c/humanoid-robobuilder-robot-kits.aspx

kwan
09-13-2008, 01:04 AM
Yeap, this is where I first caught site of the nifty kit actually. I was originally interested in the bioloid too since its Australian I hear? But it is a little dear and the Robobuilder looks just as good if not better.

I was keen on the RB2000 because it looked so quick in the videos that I have seen. Are servos the main contributing factor to a robots movement speed?

DresnerRobotics
09-13-2008, 01:50 AM
Both the Bioloid and the Robobuilder are Korean made. Both are very solid kits, but a bit different.

In short, Robobuilder is geared a bit more towards the entry level market. It's easier to assemble and has a more finished look. It comes with a remote control and sample motion files to use that. Advanced applications of them are yet to be seen as its a new contender to the market.

The Bioloid has stronger servos and is more rugged/industrial, not nearly as 'pretty'. It's more difficult to assemble but comes with a wider variety of building components as well as more of them. No R/C capability by default, that requires addons and some programming, but a PS2 style controller is in the works. Overall a very 'hackable' kit, but that may be because it has been on the market for much longer.

Software is about the same in regards to ease of use. Bioloid has a nifty 3D model that updates real time based upon servo positions, but Robobuilder comes with a C development kit right out of the box. You can program the Bioloid in C but its a bit trickier.

Haven't seen much on the RB2000, not as popular as other humanoids and I don't think it's available here in the states. Quicker movement is usually the result of how the servos are geared, but doesn't necessarily dictate strength.

kwan
09-13-2008, 05:41 AM
Ahh thanks for that.

Is servo gearing dependent on the programmer? As in, no matter which kit you have, you can have a potentially "quick" moving bot?

I might have to seriously consider the robobuilder kit then since I too haven't been able to find much of a community around the RB2000 ...and I don't even think there is english support for it yet.

What are the main differences between the 'custom' servos robobuilder uses and the other more standard servos kits like Robonova or Khr-2hv uses? Are the robobuilder ones more robust, but as a result more limited in terms of hackability at all?

DresnerRobotics
09-13-2008, 11:25 AM
Nope, not the case. Servo gearing is dependent upon the physical gear ratio of the servo. Generally there are speed parameters that can be adjusted but ultimately some servos will be faster than others. It's a tradeoff for speed vs torque when the internal motor is comparable.

Well the Robonova and the KHR-2HV use what I call legacy servos, granted they are a bit more advanced. They originate from classic R/C hobby servos, they're PWM signal driven, and each servo requires a direct connection to the onboard controller. Now the robonova and KHR series servos are built specifically for robotics, and are fully digital (unlike standard hobby servos) in that they can get various feedback such as current position. This allows for software to create a 'pose and capture' type of programming interface, meaning you can physically pose the robot and take snapshots of those postures, and string them together to make motion sequences such as walking, dancing, fight moves, etc.

The servos used in the Bioloid & Robobuilder are what I call next-gen servos. They are fully digital, contain a programmable onboard micro (the Bioloid uses an Atmega8 on each servo), and are connected via a TTL serial daisy chain. So rather than having run every single servo in a leg back to the controller, you can plug each servo into the next and just run one continuous cable chain. These also have the same 'pose and capture' capability, along with a wealth of advanced configurable features such as: indicator lights, additional I/O ports (the Robobuilder has additional I/O channels for sensors, etc on each servo), current load, voltage, temperature, position, speed, torque range, holding torque, movement range, and the ability to dynamically switch between continuous rotation and positional rotation.

Hope that answers your questions.

Layton
09-13-2008, 09:36 PM
As for the Rb2000 -- it will be offered by Roboporium, you can contact the guys at Kumotek if you're interested I think they're taking pre-orders. The software looks easy enough to use, basically you have a diagram of the robot and each joint is set to a slider with numerical value. The nice thing about the RB2000 is its controller board can take up to 30 servos (additional servos can be added to the software interface and easily moved into place on the diagram). It also comes with a speaker for audio samples and has 16ch LED support and can be upgraded with gyro sensors and accelerometers. From what I understand the kit costs less than $1000, but don't quote me on that.

The RB2000 was designed by Takeshi Maeda who works for VStone and is part of Team Osaka at RoboCup (who have won many times). The RB1000 which was the first commercial version is nearly identical to his early robo-one fighter, Sub-Zero. You may have seen his Omni-Zero fighters from robo-one videos (which are quite popular); he's already up to the 6th version which is much larger and has a different look. As such the RB2000 is a nice kit imo. This is his youtube account with videos of his latest:

http://www.youtube.com/user/m1mmjp

And this is a video showcasing his earlier Omni-Zero:

YouTube - Robo-One 9: Robot Competition - OMNIZERO.2And this is his webpage where you see the development of his robots:

http://www.1mm.jp/m/robo.html

I haven't bought this kit yet, but I intend to. I think the basic one comes with 15 servos, I plan on getting a slightly upgraded one with 19 servos and I will buy an additional 9 servos for the humanoid I intend to build. The main thing right now is I need servos in the shoulders with an operating angle of 270 degrees and I haven't found any through Vstone or JR Propo (the Japanese distributors) that has those specs. Right now I'm in the process of trying to determine if the RB2000 controller board can handle Kondo servos, if it can my issue will be solved.

The servos are not as advanced as the Robotis ones but they are smaller and according to Robot Services Group they tie for the fastest. The require you to run wires from each servo though, which kinda sucks.

I don't have any experience with the software so I'm not sure how it works as far as creating motion data but like I said the interface looks simple enough. Probably not as robust as the Bioloid's based on Crabfu's review. I would have probably gone with the Bioloid but the servos are too big and heavy for the size of humanoid I want to build, and the servos are pretty slow from what I understand.

kwan
09-13-2008, 10:53 PM
Tyberius that was a very informative reply about servos - thanks a lot for the reply it explained everything I was asking about. I have had experience with PWM servos, and digital servos are expensive from experience, which I guess explains the cost of these robotic kits.

Now my next question may seem a bit weird, but from my understanding now, you could potentially build a robot of any size and any number of PWM servos provided you have enough transmitter/receiver channels? Is this the same case for the next gen servos on the bioloid or robobuilder kits?

And Layton, thanks for the post on the RB2000. I am a big fan of Mr. Takeshi Maeda, infact, his omnizero.2 fight was one of the first robot videos I saw and a root cause of my robotic obsession today.

I think ultimately my decision will come down to price, and how big the price difference will be between the 2 kits (so far its between the robobuilder and the RB2000). From all the sources I have found on the web, including Trossen - a robobuilder kit will set me back $850AUS, and an RB2000 from a Japanese store called RT which will set me back about $900AUS (that is at todays exchance rate)

....I wish I got my kit a few months ago when the Aussie dollar was in better shape.

DresnerRobotics
09-13-2008, 11:09 PM
Well I wouldn't say of any size. The problem being is that servos only have so much torque, and the more servos you add to a humanoid the heavier its going to be. Weight is only distributed between two legs (only 1 during steps) so overall weight will be your biggest factor. You also have to consider limb length, the longer brackets you have in between servos the harder it is on the servo. I've seen modified bioloid type robots around 20" tall. My own Hagetaka Mech (http://mech-warfare.com/hagetaka.aspx) will be about 17" when its standing completely upright.

Most servo controllers go up to 24-32 servos these days, Bioloid bus supports (dont quote me) up to 128. This is more than enough, given that you can only have so many servos on a humanoid before it buckles under its own weight.

On the topic of cost. You'd really be surprised. AX-12s (servos used in Bioloid) are only $45 USD roughly, and given that they are a next-gen servo and rock 17.5 kg-cm of torque (I've gotten my finger pinched, it's not fun.) they're the best bang for the buck on the market. A similar servo from Hitec is $70 and doesn't have as much torque nor as many features.

kwan
09-13-2008, 11:19 PM
Ahh yeah ...I forgot about weight distribution. How silly.

I am very surprised at the cost of the bioloid servos considering they are of the next gen type.

If you were in my shoes, and both the robobuilder and the RB2000 were available to you for the same price, (or roughly say) which one would you get?

From what I've read both have great expansion potential.

4mem8
09-13-2008, 11:22 PM
Cool video Layton, Nice bot.

Adrenalynn
09-13-2008, 11:23 PM
Don't they take eight bits of address, Tybs? With one broadcast address, that'd theoretically be 254, right?

Layton
09-13-2008, 11:42 PM
Ahh yeah ...I forgot about weight distribution. How silly.

I am very surprised at the cost of the bioloid servos considering they are of the next gen type.

If you were in my shoes, and both the robobuilder and the RB2000 were available to you for the same price, (or roughly say) which one would you get?

From what I've read both have great expansion potential.

Personally I would look at the movies on the net of both robots and make your comparison that way. VStone has a boat load of videos you can download which show what the RB2000 can do, including an endurance test where the RB goes for 30 minutes around a race course (sped up of course).

http://www.vstone.co.jp/top/products/robot/rb2000/gallery.html

The RB2000 also works with a PS2-type logitech controller for wireless control, which is nice. I don't know how the robobuilder works, it looks like a nice kit but it's not necessarily something you can enter into robo-one style competitions from the looks of it. The RB2000 with the extra servo upgrade (from 15 to 19 servos) makes it work very closely to the Omni-Zero seen in that video.

DresnerRobotics
09-13-2008, 11:43 PM
Ahh yeah ...I forgot about weight distribution. How silly.

I am very surprised at the cost of the bioloid servos considering they are of the next gen type.

If you were in my shoes, and both the robobuilder and the RB2000 were available to you for the same price, (or roughly say) which one would you get?

From what I've read both have great expansion potential.

Honestly couldn't answer that having no experience with the RB2000. I've played with the Robobuilder a great deal and I can tell you that the next humanoid I buy (I already own a Bioloid) will be a 5710K Robobuilder kit. Personally it would be my choice given that I'm a fan of modular building systems over the 'humanoid kits'. It also depends if you plan on competing- the RB2000 is built more around Robo-One competitions where the Robobuilder is more of a building system/educational setup. That said, a little birdie told me something about a full (not just leg panels) metal bracket system for the Robobuilder....

Not entirely sure Adrenalynn, your logic is sound though... I just seem to remember hearing only 128... maybe that was the CM-5 and a limitation of it.

kwan
09-13-2008, 11:52 PM
Hi Layton, do you have any kits of your own already? Or will the RB2000 be your first?

Also to Tyb, the modular system of kits intrigues me also. Either way, I think these two kits are great for their respective classes (pwm and modular) for the price.

Layton is right about the robo-one-ness of the RB2000 though. There are indeed a lot of vids from Japan where you can see the RB do battle with other bots. The blue metal brackets also look wicked.

I think at the end of the day, I will need to venture to Japan and see which kit offers me more for the money. Each kit presents something the other one doesn't have so either way I can't go wrong really.

I will take many photos of Akihabara (Electronic City) for the TRC! I hear they have mini gatherings at the back of some stores as well. Can't wait.

Layton
09-14-2008, 12:14 AM
Hi Layton, do you have any kits of your own already? Or will the RB2000 be your first?
I will take many photos of Akihabara (Electronic City) for the TRC! I hear they have mini gatherings at the back of some stores as well. Can't wait.

The RB2000 will be my first kit. I intend on modifying it quite a bit using printed ABS plastic parts modeled in 3d resembling Sony's QRIO, which I'm the process of modeling right now. Obviously that'll mean a lot of reconfiguring and probably none of the prepackaged motion files will work. I'm kinda stuck between the RB2000 and the KHR-1HV. I'm veering more towards the RB2000 because I don't want to go with what everyone else is doing. Anyway it'd be great if there was an English speaking RB2000 owner out there who could dive in with the kit as-is before I start meddling with it. :)

There's a few services out there for having 3d parts printed and when I'm done, anyone who has an RB2000 kit will be able to use the parts I'm making (since they will be built to house the RB2000 servos, gyros, board, batteries, speaker, etc).

kwan
09-14-2008, 01:01 AM
Yeah? That's awesome!

You may have swayed me a little closer to our blue friend just then.

kwan
09-14-2008, 09:05 AM
I've been thinking to myself about these 3 kits, and as I was compiling the pros and cons in my head, I thought I might as well write them down here for other people (who may or will be in my shoes) to see in the future.

Here is how I am comparing the 3 kits above in my mind - Remember this is from the perspective of a guy who has limited experience in robotics, but some experience in servos from other hobbies, and who has a budget of roughly $850US MAX.

Bioloid - too expensive for me & personally not that interested since its an older kit. This kit does, however, have the most established community around it - but that is mainly due to the kits time in the market. This kit also seems very advanced and is a little daunting for me and other noobs.

Robobuilder
Pros - Looks good, is a new kit, next gen servos, good english support, perfect for entry level bot
cons - not robo-one class, expandability questionable, plastic body

RB2000
Pros - Full metal construction, robo-one class, comes with transmitter, room for expansion
Cons - no english support yet, no western sites to buy from at the moment (I plan to find this kit during my visit to Japan)

kwan
09-14-2008, 09:48 AM
Also to Layton, the 19 servo upgrade you speak of - is that the RB2800? Or is the 'upgrade' just some more servos you can add on?

And to Tybs, sorry about all the questions, but I've read elsewhere of people talking about gyros and accelerometers. Are gyros the same as the ones I have in my helicopter kits - that stabilise flight? And what are accelerometers?

Cheers

DresnerRobotics
09-14-2008, 12:26 PM
Robobuilder
cons - not robo-one class, expandability questionable, plastic body

I can't say too much, but lets just say Robobuilder may be up to competing in the not so distant future (cough*metal brackets*cough) ;)



And to Tybs, sorry about all the questions, but I've read elsewhere of people talking about gyros and accelerometers. Are gyros the same as the ones I have in my helicopter kits - that stabilise flight? And what are accelerometers?


No worries at all, you've at least done your research and aren't asking blanket generic questions like: "hay guyz wut robt shud i bye" (trust me, we get that from time to time)

And to answer your question, yes they are. Sometimes they have a different communication protocol, but they are the same. An accelerometer measures acceleration forces. These forces may be static, like the constant force of gravity pulling at your feet, or they could be dynamic - caused by moving or vibrating the accelerometer.

Layton
09-14-2008, 04:07 PM
Also to Layton, the 19 servo upgrade you speak of - is that the RB2800? Or is the 'upgrade' just some more servos you can add on?


You're correct, it is the RB2800. However I plan on getting an additional 9 servos in order to further expand the capabilities, it will look nothing like an RB when I am done with it. :)

A-Bot
09-14-2008, 04:32 PM
And Layton, thanks for the post on the RB2000. I am a big fan of Mr. Takeshi Maeda, infact, his omnizero.2 fight was one of the first robot videos I saw and a root cause of my robotic obsession today.


Yeah, that bot was awesome for its time.

kwan
09-15-2008, 05:39 AM
Cheers for the answers guys. This robotic stuff gets more interesting every single day ...and I don't even have a kit yet!

HA

kwan
03-10-2009, 06:57 AM
Hey everyone,

First of all sorry about resurrecting this long quiet thread, but I feel I have something to contribute that isn't worth creating a brand new thread over so here goes.

I have just come back from a wonderful trip around the world - including the US and Japan! New York and Tokyo are freaking sweet.

Anyhoo, just thought I'd let you know that I visited Tsukumo in Akihabara, Tokyo. It is a specialist robotics store and has parts for everything from what I saw in the store.

The [sorry] Australian dollar and a rather persuasive girlfriend prevented me from spending the big bucks on a Kondo kit, but I still managed to get away with a little I-Sobot. Luckily they had some english versions in stock.

This is probably a good thing since if it turns out robotics is not for me the I-sobot isn't too big of an investment anyway.

Well that is my robot adventure up till now. I shall keep you posted with any crazies I get up to with my I-sobot.

Cheers.

Ketchup
03-10-2009, 01:08 PM
Hi Kwan.
i-Sobot is a bit limited, but kind of fun.

Check out this guy from Japan. He's done a bunch of fun stuff with it:

http://www.youtube.com/user/paxshikai

JoeStrout
03-10-2009, 03:45 PM
Hey, since you resurrected the thread, I'll chime in at this point. I got a RoboBuilder a few months ago, and it's awesome. It's very quick (quicker than my friend's Bioloid, FWIW), and extremely hacker-friendly. Nothing is glued; everything can be opened up; the controller includes ports to install a 3-axis accelerometer and a bluetooth module (which you can get for $50; don't bother with the $200 official RoboBuilder part); and there's even a prototyping board built into the head! In addition, the controller is an ATmega128, one of the very popular line of AVR microcontrollers, which has a great cross-platform dev chain based on gcc. Some of us are working on open-source replacement firmware so we can do things like dynamic balancing, or controlling the bot from a Bluetooth game controller.

I have to disagree with the comments here that RoboBuilder is not a viable Robo-One competition bot; it may not compete with the $20K custom-built robots, but I don't think it'll embarrass itself, either. Out of the box, controlling it with just the IR remote, it's pretty limited; but hack a little, write some code, get a continuous walk cycle, and hook it all up to a game controller, and I think it'll be a very capable bot. I'm planning to enter mine in Robogames '09 (though I still have a lot of work to do before then!), and I'm certainly not the sharpest crayon in the box when it comes to robotics. I think it will do well.

Finally, except for the BT module, all the prices on RoboBuilder parts (including complete kits) are really very reasonable. The servos, controller, head, etc. are all cheap enough that you can hack on them, and if you break something (which I haven't yet) you can afford to replace it. I love my RoboBuilder!

Cheers,
- Joe

kwan
03-11-2009, 08:20 AM
To Ketchup - I am a big fan of this guy and the ingenuity he shows when it comes to creating miniature weapons of mass destruction. I am going to raid my little brother's bionicle collection later to look for lego launchers that I can mount on the I-sobot.

To JoeStrout - I do agree that the robobuiler is a nifty little kit. The video I saw of it walking is truly impressive as its agility is unexpected. My next kit may very will be a robobuilder, although I'd like something a little bigger - like Bioloid or Kondo KHR size.

Perhaps I can double the servos in the legs to add height? Is that even possible?

Ketchup
04-04-2009, 11:52 AM
Well, it looks like I'll be able to get a Bioloid or Robobuilder in the not too distant future now that my financial position has changed.

I really like the modular idea of these two kits and had a few questions ...

- Is there a position sensor for the Bioloid (for ballance) that can be added?
The one for the Robobuilder ... is the code difficult to write? (I don't code, so finding code on the 'net is the way I'd have to go)

- Can you pose-program the Robobuilder like the Bioloid?

- Can the Bioloid "run". I've seen the Robobuilder move qute fast. Can the Bioloid move near that speed?

- Are there any "grippers" 9Hands) available for either of these? (Just wondering)

Thanks a bunch!

Adrenalynn
04-04-2009, 01:26 PM
I think you mean "gyro" not "position sensor". You would have to write the code for either of them.

If you're not willing to learn programming, there's not a whole lot of sense to the humanoids in general, imho. They're really platforms to experiment on.

Ketchup
04-06-2009, 12:25 AM
Oh, I'm not adverse to writing code. It's just that I'm not a "programmer" per-se.
I've done some basic BASIC and VB (version 6) quite some time ago. I would just need to find a forum where I could find samples and examples to get started. (Unless this stuff comes on the discs with the respective products.)

Thanks.

Adrenalynn
04-06-2009, 02:35 AM
Naw, generally with a gyro you get a tiny little board and, if you're lucky, they don't make you go hunting too far for the darned datasheet. After that, you're pretty much on your own.