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View Full Version : Bioloid: I popped the question



Obscene
12-23-2008, 12:05 PM
I popped the question. No, I'm not getting married to my robot, yet. However, I did ask Robotis when it is they planned on releasing the new Bioloid kits, or upgrades, or whatever they are, and here is their response:

ROBOTIS

The new Bioloid kit should be out next year around Spring.
As you know most of our current Bioloid parts are now separately available,
and I believe it will be so with the new kit, meaning it should be made available for upgrade.
I can't give you any exact dates on when it will be uploaded separately though,
but one thing for sure is it'll be out next year!

Thank you for your comments and advice.

ROBOTIS

There has been a lot of speculation as to what the upgrades/kits will be exactly, simply because Robotis obviously loves to design different styles of robots.

But I am almost certain that there will be more than one option for upgrade:

New, smoother, stylized black torso and head, black frames, lower battery placement (outside of the CM-5) for a lower CoG. I've seen metal brackets, axes and all kinds of crazy adaptations, but one thing is for sure, and it's that we will have a lot of options and a lot more fun to come with our Bioloid kits. ;)

Sigma X
12-23-2008, 12:51 PM
man I can hardly wait

Adrenalynn
12-23-2008, 12:52 PM
>> No, I'm not getting married to my robot, yet

Whew. That's the first thing I thought. Are you leading your poor robot on? ;)

Thanks for the heads-up!

4mem8
12-23-2008, 12:55 PM
Nice, I might be tempted on this one.

Glen
12-24-2008, 06:42 PM
HI, my name is Glen and I just joined. I (and my son) are proud owners (when Santa arrives tonight) of a new Bioloid. I had a peek and discovered that I did not purchase the USB to Serial Converter. Must I utilize the USB2Dyanamixel converter? Are there other recommendations for USB to Serial (Laptop has only USB).
Also, I know this is a little off topic, but I am just getting used to the many places in this forum and will be happy to post in a more appropriate place upon your kind advice.
thanks.

Adrenalynn
12-24-2008, 06:50 PM
Hi Glen,

I'm going to move this over to the Ultimate Bioloid Thread (I'll link back here) in a little bit so it will get more attention. No problem at all - we're pretty easy going. :)

You should have gotten a cable that has a 9pin Serial (DB9) on one side, and a 3 segment 1/8" plug on the other (I believe - I don't have one...)

As long as you have that DB9 9pin serial, you can just use a regular ol' Serial -> USB converter. The Dynamixel converter is for talking directly to the servos without the CM5 computer that you got in your kit. [Note: Andrew from Trossen tells me that the Dynamixel Converter also doubles as a USB -> Serial Adapter as well - however a regular USB -> Serial will work fine for your purposes]

If you're here on the West Coast where I am, Radio Shack is open until 8pm for most of them, mine had several on the shelf (I noticed a few minutes ago) - over priced, of course. Best Buy was varying betwixt 9pm and 10pm. Fry's Electronics is open until 9pm.

I prefer the Belkin if I'm going to go that route myself.

Good luck, welcome to the forum, now RUN! Congrats to you and your son on "his" new Christmas gift! Make sure you can plug it in - GO! What are you still reading for? :tongue:

Obscene
12-24-2008, 07:59 PM
@Glen: A lot of people are having problems with USB-to-Serial adapters, and haven't found a solution as of yet, that I know of. I've posted the problem to Robotis at their website (http://www.robotis.com/zbxe/22949#4), though I haven't gotten an official response as to a work-around of any kind. I'm using the Cables Unlimited USB-to-Serial adapter and it works in every aspect other than reading motion files from the robot.

Let me explain; when you create motions with the included Motion Editor software, they are saved directly to the robot's CM-5, you then are supposed to be able to use the Behavioral Control program to read the motion data from the robot's CM-5 to your storage device (HDD, etc) but this process is not working for me and a lot of other people when using a USB-to-Serial adapter.

In the same area of the Device Manager, you may want to change your original Communications Port (COM1) to COM2 or one of the other available ports, so that you may use your new USB Serial Port on COM1.

Now, when you create/install a USB-to-Serial port, it will show in your device manager as "USB Serial Port" and you may then edit the settings of that port:

Device Manager -> Expand Ports (COM & LPT) -> Right-click USB Serial Port -> Port Settings -> Now you may edit the ports settings:

Bits per second: 57600
Data bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop bits: 1
Flow control: None

Now, go to the Advanced button within the Port Settings tab under your ports properties and change the Com Port Number to COM1.

Where I think the problem lies is the values of the settings under the Port Settings tab and within the Advanced dialog box. If I can post these values to Robotis and allow for them to help me set them correctly for file transfer on the port from the CM-5, perhaps it will work correctly.

I'll keep you all up-to-date on the issue.

Edit: I know this seems like a lot, but really it's quite a small set-back. The Robotis Bioloid kit is, despite this small problem, still one of the very best available IMHO. So don't let it stop you from having fun!
(http://www.robotis.com/zbxe/22949#4)

Glen
12-24-2008, 08:11 PM
Obscene, Thanks, Is this read issue you are describing only with respect to reading the motion data from CM-5 memory or is it an issue with all reads from the CM-5. For example, I watched a Demo on YouTube where the Bioloid was positioned and then the Application Swr read the position and converted it into a "frame" for subsequent download. Does this "read all servos position" function?
Thanks.


@Glen: A lot of people are having problems with USB-to-Serial adapters, and haven't found a solution as of yet, that I know of. I've posted the problem to Robotis at their website (linked below), though I haven't gotten an official response as to a work-around of any kind. I'm using the Cables Unlimited USB-to-Serial adapter and it works in every aspect other than reading motion files from the robot.

Let me explain; when you create motions with the included Motion Editor software, they are saved directly to the robot's CM-5, you then are supposed to be able to use the Behavioral Control program to read the motion data from the robot's CM-5 to your storage device (HDD, etc) but this process is not working for me and a lot of other people when using a USB-to-Serial adapter.

In the same area of the Device Manager, you may want to change your original Communications Port (COM1) to COM2 or one of the other available ports, so that you may use your new USB Serial Port on COM1.

Now, when you create/install a USB-to-Serial port, it will show in your device manager as "USB Serial Port" and you may then edit the settings of that port:

Device Manager -> Expand Ports (COM & LPT) -> Right-click USB Serial Port -> Port Settings -> Now you may edit the ports settings:

Bits per second: 57600
Data bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop bits: 1
Flow control: None

Now, go to the Advanced button within the Port Settings tab under your ports properties and change the Com Port Number to COM1.

Where I think the problem lies is the values of the settings under the Port Settings tab and within the Advanced dialog box. If I can post these values to Robotis and allow for them to help me set them correctly for file transfer on the port from the CM-5, perhaps it will work correctly.

I'll keep you all up-to-date on the issue.

Edit: I know this seems like a lot, but really it's quite a small set-back. The Robotis Bioloid kit is, despite this small problem, still one of the very best available IMHO. So don't let it stop you from having fun!

http://www.robotis.com/zbxe/22949#4

Obscene
12-24-2008, 08:18 PM
Yes, it does. I haven't had any problems with manipulating the robot in any way other than reading motion files from the robot. This however doesn't mean for sure that you won't have other problems, all though I doubt that you will.

The problem lies in that you aren't able to save your motions to the PC, so when you edit motions in the future, you won't be able to revert back to older ones, other than ones that came with the Bioloid software.

Edit: You may luck out and not have any problems at all! Let's hope that is the case.

DresnerRobotics
12-24-2008, 08:22 PM
If all else fails, do you have an old PC with a serial port you could use? Just as a backup if you run into problems with the USB > Serial.

I do know that not all USB > Serial adapters have issues, I can't recall the brand but we have one in the office that works without issue. Just setup the port settings as Obscene posted and hope for the best, I would advise agains picking up a random no-name brand of adapter, spend a little extra for a good name brand such as Belkin. You should also be able to just download the stock motions to play with in the mean time if you do run into motion read issues.

If you do run into issues, feel free to give me a call on Friday- I'll be in the office. Our number is at the top of the site. I own a bioloid kit myself along with a lot of the more advanced offerings from Robotis, so I'm quite familiar with the hardware in general.

Bullit
12-24-2008, 10:10 PM
There are a number of poor quality and problem usb to rs232 adapters out there.
The ones to use are those based upon ftdi's chips
I have had great success with these and now only use them
There fairly inexpensive at mouser.
http://mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=Xb8IjHhkxj6CgzDRNJ3cLA%3d%3d (http://mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=Xb8IjHhkxj6CgzDRNJ3cLA%3d%3d )

Happy Holidays!

DresnerRobotics
12-24-2008, 10:38 PM
There are a number of poor quality and problem usb to rs232 adapters out there.
The ones to use are those based upon ftdi's chips
I have had great success with these and now only use them
There fairly inexpensive at mouser.
http://mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=Xb8IjHhkxj6CgzDRNJ3cLA%3d%3d

Happy Holidays!

This man speaks the truth! This is the module I have at the office, works great. Haven't had any issues at all.

Adrenalynn
12-24-2008, 10:54 PM
Yeah, but unfortunately, there's probably a hundred thousand different units with the FTDI chipset, and that many squared without it. Best Buy gets cranky when you cut open the blister-pack and go after the case of the adapter with a hotknife or Dremel. Silly Best Buy... ;)

Obscene
12-24-2008, 11:47 PM
@Bullit: Glad you replied. I'd rather dish out the dough on another adapter than deal with the problems anymore-plus the price isn't bad for something reliable.

Thanks dude :)

Glen
12-25-2008, 06:22 AM
Here are a couple of links for insightful reading if you are up for it. No answers, just insight into the issues of USB-RS232 conversion.
http://www.lammertbies.nl/comm/info/RS-232-usb.html
and
http://pinouts.ru/SerialPortsCables/usb_serial_adapter_pinout.shtml

Adrenalynn
12-25-2008, 04:46 PM
I'm not a gihugic fan of any of them, generally 'cause I need more wires (signals) than they're going to give me (for things like programming microcontrollers)

For effectively the same price you can put a PCMCIA Serial Card with a 16C950 chipset (an honest-to-goodness full-on fast UART) in the machine.

Here's an inexpensive one (I use a 4 port which is a fair bit pricier): http://www.iwin2win.com/1xseporsdb9p.html

Good selection here (for more money) http://www.byterunner.com/byterunner/category=PCMCIA+Serial+Cards+and+Parallel+Cards

I use one of these: http://www.quatech.com/catalog/rs232_pcmcia.php known for long life (5yr warranty even)

The upshot is: Those will all give you CTS/RTS/DTR/etc. All the signals that the Bioloid may not care about but more advanced projects will. That first one is a 16C950 knock-off but is only ~$24.

Sigma X
01-05-2009, 03:02 PM
I know this may not be the right place to ask but i'm curious what are
PCMCIA Serial Cards and ehat are they used for?

jes1510
01-05-2009, 03:41 PM
I know this may not be the right place to ask but i'm curious what are
PCMCIA Serial Cards and ehat are they used for?

Typically you find them as expansion cards for laptops although they have been replaced with the express card series in newer laptops.

edit: Beat you for once! (although your answer is more complete) :D

lnxfergy
01-05-2009, 03:42 PM
PCMCIA is a type of card usually for laptops (the card goes in a slot in the side of the laptop, and is about the size of a credit-card, and 3/16" thick). Different cards do different things - you can get PCMCIA cards for networking, wireless, or in this case to add serial ports - since laptops tend to lack serial ports

You can also get PCI cards for desktop computers that give you a PCMCIA slot...

-Fergs

Adrenalynn
01-05-2009, 03:49 PM
PCMCIA - People Can't Memorize Crummy Industry Acronyms. :tongue:

Serial ports are used for everything from talking to terminals and routers for programming, to programming microcontrollers, to driving things like the SSC32. Incredibly useful. The standard serial port was the predecessor to USB - and to my mind is still superior in several ways.

Anyway - there's always stuff around the lab that needs a real serial port. USB to Serial adapters are notoriously finicky and even the best don't support all the signals one would need for some microcontroller burning and things of that nature. That's where the PCMCIA (PCCard) serial adapters come in. They give you one or more "real" serial ports on your laptop that don't have the limitations of the USB to Serial converters.

Sigma X
01-05-2009, 03:55 PM
ok let me see it kinda kike a wireless port for devices and even internet?

Adrenalynn
01-05-2009, 04:02 PM
No. Completely unlike it. It's wired, not wireless. It has nothing to do with the Internet or networking. In short: It's completely unlike that. ;)

Sigma X
01-06-2009, 12:51 PM
so then it's used for extra ports? forgive my ignorance but I just
would like to know.

ooops
01-06-2009, 01:29 PM
These are to add RS-232 serial ports to a laptop.
Most "modern day" laptops have the PCIMCI slot in the side, but they don't have the RS-232 serial port which is a very handy way of getting your computer to talk to your device - robots for example.
The RS-232 serial port looks a little like the monitor port on standard computers (not advanced graphics).

Sigma X
01-06-2009, 02:49 PM
now I get it it's for extra RS-232 ports thanks for the lesson guys
but one more question PCIMCI slots would a special part be needed for say a pc motherboard is this just for laptops?

Edit:@ooops: thanks for the visual aid.

Adrenalynn
01-06-2009, 03:11 PM
No such thing as a PCIMCI slot. A PCI slot is what you find in your desktop computer.

PCMCIA slots are generally found in laptops. Although you will also commonly find them on some single board computers and some embedded computers.

And where "extra" in your post is defined as "more than ZERO and something that is vital to the task at hand" - that's accurate.

Sigma X
01-07-2009, 01:37 PM
Thanks for the lesson again Adernalynn
you know you'll make a fine teacher :wink:

Adrenalynn
01-07-2009, 04:45 PM
Always been a fantasy - probably never realized. :(

Sigma X
01-08-2009, 12:22 PM
well for what it's worth you taught me quite a bit here
and i'm always willing to learn about robots

metaform3d
01-11-2009, 06:54 PM
No such thing as a PCIMCI slot. [...] PCMCIA slots are generally found in laptops.I always remember this one as:

"People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms"

Adrenalynn
01-11-2009, 09:08 PM
That's funny - I use "People Can't Memorize [Crummy] Industry Acronyms" :D

Obscene
01-17-2009, 08:00 PM
That's funny - I use "People Can't Memorize [Crummy] Industry Acronyms" :D


Thats quite accurate actually. Through-out the time I've spent at La Tech, I've always had a difficult time with memorizing Cisco, Microsoft, etc related acronyms. :D