View Full Version : Building a mech! Need help, advice, and sugestions.

03-12-2009, 08:44 PM
Hi, ive been looking aroudn and the Bioloid has cought my atention. I know it would be a challenge, but the reason i want to do this is to learn alot more about robotics while building a fun, competition realy Mech. That said, i really only have experience with the BasicStampII, im willing to learn what i need to learn for this, but right now i need help with planning this out,
Please help! i woudl really apreciate it as there are no robotics clubs anywhere near me that do more that the boe bot.

Hey, what if i used this to controle it instead of having an rc controler? im pretty sure this woudl work, but i have never worked with bioloid be for so im prett hopeless right now :/
Bioloid Zigbee Wireless Module Set

03-12-2009, 09:49 PM
Its a digital controller, meaning no ability to fine aim, which is its biggest limitation. Its fine for humanoid kungfu, but not for Mech Warfare.

lnxfergy here on our forums is working on a custom wireless bioloid control solution, which would replace the CM-5 onboard. Problem is, its a side project of his and he is a very busy guy, it would also require a pretty solid knowledge of C and Python to utilize.

If you want to learn C, you might pick up an Arduino microcontroller and a book on it (or read up on the net) as well as a few LEDs, servos, etc, and just start playing around. The Roboduino is also a fine choice, and is easier to plug servos into. Both are found in the Trossen Store.

Best way to learn is to dive in! Can't go wrong with the Arduino type boards as they can teach you C and the basics of microcontrollers at a solid pace. =)

03-12-2009, 10:10 PM

Best way to learn is to dive in! Can't go wrong with the Arduino type boards as they can teach you C and the basics of microcontrollers at a solid pace. =)

Solid advice here. If nothing else you can use the board for just about anything.

03-13-2009, 06:00 AM
Thanks, hmmm mabey ill just try to use the scout with stronger servos for now, but ill look up the arduino, ive heard a lot about it but never really looked it up. Does anyone here have pics of a mech that uses an arduino? Just curious.

03-13-2009, 10:15 AM
Yep. Mine is laid out with an Arduino for prototyping. I may change to a different board later though due to size restraints. Look at my blog for pics

03-13-2009, 04:49 PM
hmmm im only going to have enough money to build one of these for a long time, and it will be my last big robot prodject for a long time (only getting the money for this as a combined gift for birthday and end of midleschool gift). The reason i dont want to take a robonova or anything like that and modify it is because i want to learn all about the building and programming of these robots, and i just feel like modifing one of those woudl take away a lot of the challenge. Since ive never really done anything like this befor im getting lost on the basic things already, for one, im not sure what type of servos i should use if i want to get a scout biped kit from lyncsmotion and put in my own control board and microcontroler, would the HS-5645 servos from this kit HS-5645 be enough to hold the electronics and mabey 3 of the airsoft tank guns? and what vision system could i get by with cheaply? ive seen one posted on here and was jsut wondering how cheap i coudl gt by with on this. I will continue looking threw the forums, but what cheap controle system would be good for this? (emphasis on the cheap) I know these must be dumb questions, but i really dont know much about wallking robots.

Thanks for the help,

Hi, I finnaly have a pretty good idea for what im deffinatly going to build, a four legged mech. :)
This was choosen due to a lower price and would be a bit easier for me to do.

So far here is the parts and price list:
LEGS = $938.48
-12 of these servos http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=292&CategoryID=38
-4 of these servo erector set leg kits http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=550&CategoryID=95
BODY = $19.95
-1 of these frames http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=435&CategoryID=88
-1 Bot Board II http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=252&CategoryID=66
-1 Basic atom 28 pin http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=269&CategoryID=66
Battery and Charger = FREE!!
-8.4 or 7.4 volt batterys from my good airsoft guns, (ill have to get extras later so i dont have to swap them from airsoft gun to robot alot) '
-no clue what my charger is, jsut a cheapo litle wall charger
RC CONTROLER AND RECIEVER = (not yet found) $100-$200
-not yet found
CAMERA SYSTEM = (not yet found) 100-$200
-not yet found
AIRSOFT WEOPONS! = (not yet chosen, will be bought when i figure out about how much weight i can hold)
ENTIRE BOT = anyware from $1300-$1500 without weopons :/ Not a very detailed parts list, but i am doing this from a very slow cheap laptop. please tell me if you see cheaper parts anywhere, or if you can sugest a full camera system and rc system :) any help is really apreciated. thanks!

Ok, if i can end a thread i dont know how, and ive created a new one with a litle parts list of what im planning to use for a 4 legged mech :) please comment on that one, i really need to learn abotu a computer controle system if anyone could help me out, thanks again, and im so excited to get the parts for my mech ordered! (they might be ordered this week or next)

ok, i am pretty sure i am going to use the Bot Board II, http://www.lynxmotion.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=66 , to controle the servos of my mech (when i build it), but i still dont have an idea of a controle system for the mech. i really like the idea of a computer controled mech, and would prefer that, but im up for other options too. please help if you can, i dont have a cllue how to do the computer controle and really want to find out :) thanks


03-14-2009, 09:54 PM
Lets keep these questions in one thread please =)

I already answered your questions via PM, but I'll reiterate here. As much as we love to help people, there are simply some things that cannot be taught over the forums.

I'd suggest picking up a microcontroller such as an arduino, a few servos and a few sensors, and start there. Pick a PC language such as C# or Python and start playing around with PC > microcontroller communication. These are all steps that I suggest most beginners take, as it will lay the foundation for bigger projects down the road. Baby steps, yno one can tell you exactly how to control a robot from a PC without you first having knowledge of microcontrollers, wireless communication methods, and PC side programming and HID interaction.

Buy a microcontroller and some parts, and start studying up. Once you get a solid grasp of these foundational components, everything comes together.

03-15-2009, 12:45 AM
well for a microcontroler, im going to use the Basic stamp II since i can program Pbasic

03-15-2009, 09:07 AM
Won't be powerful enough.

03-15-2009, 09:17 AM
ahhh i was thinking about the Basic stamp E2, but now i think ill use the one on the SSC 32 board so i can have it hooked up to the Xbee since i found your diagram on another thread. i saw a you tube video with you talking about the trossenator and it turned the top half when you moved the mouse (couldnt see the computer screen from the camera angle) is it a program you wrote yourself???

the SSC-32 servo controller is powerfull enough right?

and i found a book on C++ but i have no cle how to tell if its any good, has anyone heard of it befor? or have a good link to another book? Amazon.com: C++ Without Fear: A Beginner's Guide That Makes You Feel Smart: Brian Overland: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Without-Fear-Beginners-Guide-Makes/dp/0321246950/ref=pd_sim_b_2_img)

03-15-2009, 01:40 PM
Powerful enough for what? It's just a servo controller.

It's powerful enough to control servos when interfaced to a microcontroller or PC

03-15-2009, 04:11 PM
I learned a few things in the chat room today, and wanted to share them incase they will help anyone else.

I want to use the AX-12 servo's wireless comminication. The Arduino which seems to be a simple place to start when looking for MCU's doesn't seem like the right solution as you'd need to use it's digital serial port for wireless communcation instead of AX-12 servo control.

The Sanguino board might be suitable as it has 2 digital serial ports. http://sanguino.cc/

03-15-2009, 04:33 PM
Look up the SSC-32 by lynxmotion, u can use their program to make valking gaits :) its what im going to use

03-15-2009, 04:45 PM
I was read somewhere that the SSC-32 only works with PWM servo's like the hitecs.

03-15-2009, 04:50 PM
Sure you are. :)

I'll letcha go ahead and learn about the sequencer on the SSC32 on your own. ;)

Not to be discouraging, but I think you're doing a lot of cart before the horse here. You're making assumptions and not asking the questions that are going to get you to a solution.

Assume for a moment that you could store enough information on the SSC32 to make all the various gaits you'll need. How are you planning on telling it to switch from walk to run to get-up from face down to walk again? How are you going to control the guns up/down? How are you firing them? Not from the gait storage on the SSC32, right? If so, how are you getting the SSC32 to do that?

03-15-2009, 04:50 PM
I was read somewhere that the SSC-32 only works with PWM servo's like the hitecs.

Standard PWM servos, yes.

You don't need a servo controller for serial-type servos.

03-15-2009, 05:16 PM
umm, i wasnt going to have a run...... i was just giogn to have one speed to simplify things, is that not so good?

03-15-2009, 05:18 PM
ahhh so should i use the Bot Board II??? and if so i dont have a clue how to hook up the Xbee :(

03-15-2009, 09:12 PM
Zach, there are a lot of great robot building resources out there. Here's a good beginning article:

You might also poke around the Seattle Robotics Society web site:

03-16-2009, 08:49 PM
Thanks :)
Oh and i just ordered most of the stuff for my mech, all exept for the Xbees and camera.
its on two day shipping, so should get here wednesday, should i post my progress on a thread? I cant wait to get started.

03-16-2009, 09:11 PM
oh, and for walking gaits, i ordered the SEQ program, suppose to be able to generate basic stamp and basic attom code :) that makes it a bit easier for the walkign :)

03-16-2009, 10:19 PM
Progress is always welcome! Since it's really a new topic from this one, drop the new thread in Showcase once you make some progress, and just post a link from here over to the new thread.

03-17-2009, 06:02 AM
ok will do! i cant wait to get started

03-22-2009, 08:15 AM
Ok, right now ive got the lower body put together, after fighting with the litle screws and braking a few when trying to get them into the litle holes on the servo mount, but i got it together eventually. i also got the airsoft gun, but right now i just have the lower half done, (a biped scout with HSR-5990 servos.

ummm, this is a bit embarassing, but how do i post pictures with URL? :(

03-22-2009, 01:35 PM
Click "Go Advanced", click "Manage Attachments"

Should be self explanatory from there! :)

03-22-2009, 03:34 PM
thanks! wow that was a bit embarraing, and sorry for the bad pictures, ill get better ones in a while.

03-22-2009, 03:40 PM
Looks good.

03-22-2009, 03:44 PM
Thanks, im a bit worried about the litle screws that hold the metal servo plate to the servo erector set pieces, ive had a few brake already from me with a screwdriver and 2 just randomly :/ i want to solder it but then if something broke it would be so hard to fix :( oh well, and if i can see the airsoft gun in the pictures (its in the frame taht will eventually be on the top) its a full automatic gearbox from an airsoft gun taht shot about 200 fps, its so light i cant belive it! im going to have two small hoppers on the sides of the front for bbs, and i can start on the walking gaits as soon as i find my dang serial cable! it seems to have ran off somewhere :(

03-22-2009, 04:23 PM
What screws are you breaking and where? A close up (use macro setting) photo would help.

You're probably assembling something incorrectly, I've built a ridiculous amount of SES and have never once broken a screw in the process...

Also: you can remove that protective plastic covering on your Lexan pieces ;)

What micro did you pick up? Doesn't look like a Basic Atom Pro.

03-22-2009, 05:02 PM
ok, well how do i get the screws to go into the metal plate on the servos? i cant get them in all the way, and oops forgot about the covering while building, and it is a basic atom pro 28 pin, i think this pic might have been taken when i had it in the wrong way, oops.

03-22-2009, 05:28 PM
ok, well how do i get the screws to go into the metal plate on the servos? i cant get them in all the way, and oops forgot about the covering while building, and it is a basic atom pro 28 pin, i think this pic might have been taken when i had it in the wrong way, oops.

You using the horns that came with the servo? If so, you need different screws, the ones that come with the kit are different.. You need different horns, or different screws.

Thanks, Connor

03-22-2009, 05:33 PM
ohhhhh, thank you so much

03-22-2009, 05:56 PM
I believe the Hitec HSR-5990TG servo horns use a 2mm screw, not 2-56. If you've already jammed 2-56 in there you might have stripped some, in which case you'll probably need to replace them. Lynxmotion sells aluminum hitec servo horns for about 3.25 a pop, those use 2-56 screws. Your local hobby store will stock 2mm screws.

I'd double check your order, the Atom Pro is red not green. Either you ordered the wrong one, or got sent the wrong one. You push an Atom Pro to its limits reading PWM channels and outputting instructions to the SSC-32, so I doubt a non-pro will do the trick.