View Full Version : [News/Announcement] arbotiX Robocontroller Now Available!

10-05-2009, 08:39 PM
We’re officially launching this much anticipated new Robocontroller tomorrow, but we figured we would give our forum goers a chance at one before we do a main page announcement.

http://www.trossenrobotics.com/images/PImages/arbotix.jpg (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/arbotix-robot-controller.aspx?a=blog)

The arbotiX Robocontroller (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/arbotix-robot-controller.aspx?a=blog), an advanced 3rd party Bioloid controller, is now in stock and ready to be sold! We still have some additional information to add to the page, as well as a new ISP programmer we picked up… but for those of you wanting to get the ball rolling, check it out and pick one up while supplies last! Our initial stock of these is limited, so get em while they’re hot!

10-05-2009, 10:08 PM
I'm here to tell you - they are HOT. I had the immense pleasure of getting to BETA a couple of early versions of this board and software. They're AWESOME. Absolutely the _best_ small robot controller available to[morrow]day.

It's like an Arduino. It's like a Sanguino. But it's entirely unlike either in that it can drive Dynamixel AX12/Bioloid servos natively with the correct connectors on the board. It has two serial ports in hardware, so it can simultaneously drive an XBee - on board. It has a couple channel small motor controller - on board. It has a couple PWM headers so it can drive a couple traditional servos - on the board. It uses the robust and industrial style of screw terminal block for power. And it has I/O out the ... It has a lot of I/O. 8x Analog - 10bit, 8x Digital.

And the 644 processor that it runs has a boatload more memory than an Arduino. Development is done in the Arduino IDE, just like with the Sanguino. There are expansion libraries for the additional functionality - and user-side code that is still expanding rapidly.

If you own a Bioloid and you don't jump on this, well - you might as well eBay your Bioloid now... This embarrasses the CM5 in ways that it probably would rather not be embarrassed.

You don't need to even use Dynamixels to see an advantage to this board. Onboard XBee alone is worth the cost of entry. How many times have you fired up your Arduino and wished you had wireless? Or had to spring for the silly XBee shield that gets in the way and doubles the size of your board?

I can't begin to sing the praises of this board strongly enough.

10-06-2009, 03:29 PM

seriously though, epic, ive been waiting and checking blog/shop for ages, i just placed my order, i will post my experiences here and on robosavvy.
I will use this board for a custom humanoid, will make a thread about it on trossen soon, heres a thread (http://robosavvy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=22182) about it on robosavvy, but some1 sayd the pics didnt work, so i figured i should host/post here instead, will do that soon.

Back on the subject arbotix, i have one question i cant seem to find a awnser too, what (currently, if its bound to change) is the limit of ax12 servos? 28? more? less?

Thanks again, will keep u people updated

10-06-2009, 03:55 PM
The current software limit for the number of servos is set at 30. The theoretical limit is the limit of the bioloid bus, and the code is open source, but are you needing more than 30? :)

30 fits on a high res 24" monitor for the sliders and interface just fine. [Beta Tester = I tried it. ;) ]

And yes, it auto-youtubes. Just paste the URL with no containers into your post and the forum software will do the "right thing"

10-06-2009, 04:18 PM
The physical limit of the bus is pretty high. However, we've limited some things to keep down on memory usage. Currently, 30 is the max in the BioloidController library. Via a bug, rc1 of the PyPose sketch still maxes out at 18 for playing sequences (it's infinite though for pose and capture of individual poses) -- in release 1.0, which should be out Wednesday or Thursday, it will be fixed.

Changing the 30 limit, is as easy as changing a #define in the BioloidController lib, and is documented in the "Hacking" section of the BioloidController docs on the googlecode site.


10-06-2009, 05:14 PM
Cool, thanks for the replys guys, and no i dont guess i will be needing more then 30 hehe, was just wondering.

10-06-2009, 05:17 PM
Welcome to the forum, btw!

10-06-2009, 06:54 PM
Thanks :D
I just posted in the introduce yourself thread, happy to be aboard (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showpost.php?p=34952&postcount=539)
(i also removed the youtube link/player from previous post since it was way obstructive)

10-06-2009, 08:54 PM
You coulda left it! No objections!

10-06-2009, 10:10 PM
The arbotiX Robocontroller is now shipping, and we've put together a Starter Kit (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/arbotix-robot-controller-starter-kit.aspx) as well, which includes a pair of Xbees, an Xbee USB Explorer, and a USB AVR Programmer!

10-06-2009, 10:47 PM
Nice Kit Tybs, thats a great idea for those with no XBee experience! Everything you need for a "plug and play" type setup wow this will really help get Mech Warfare going strong! Awesome product btw Fergs!

10-06-2009, 11:12 PM
I have to say that I totally agree with Adrenalynn about this controller. You get to take the awesomeness of the AX-12 servos throw out the sub-parness of the CM-5, and then you get this bad boy. This board was designed for controlling the AX-12's, but it still manages to function exceptionally well as a standard robot controller. I am currently using one in a small rover, as well as for my mech. The arbotix has great features on it that allow you to do some pretty cool stuff. You want to upload code, and debug wirelessly? Thats good you can do that. You need to drive a couple motors for a small rover? Your covered. Actually the motor driver is probably one of my fav things about this board. I am using it for a differentially driven robot, and for driving a tank gun.Oh yeah I almost forgot, there is a plethora of pins. The cool thing is that you can hook up something like an IR sensor or sonar sensor to this board and use one of the libraries available for it, and have it working in a matter of minutes (I know this because I tried it, and I am not a very good programmer). Oh yeah if your not sure what plethora is, this should help you understand http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mTUmczVdik I think everyone who has spent any amount of time using the CM-5 will be happy that this board was developed. I recommend it for anyone interested in building bioloid based robots. The software that has been/is being developed for it offers great features, and makes getting your robot moving really easy. I will probably have a more in depth review to share with any one interested within a week. Also hopefully within the a month I will have some demos of the Arbotix running my mech.

10-13-2009, 03:50 PM
My Arbotix kit is in!
but shi, i have nothing to power it

10-13-2009, 04:26 PM
Don't you have a Bioloid Comprehensive kit? The 12V power supply from the comp kit is perfect for running arbotiX + servos. A little wire + a jack to plug into and you're in business.

NOTE: The regulator WILL get hot running at 12V... I wouldn't recommend touching it. I definitely wouldn't recommend licking it....


10-13-2009, 04:41 PM
I definitely wouldn't recommend licking it....


We all know you tried it ;)

10-13-2009, 06:49 PM
Actually - as the diligent BETA Tester - *I* tried it. :tongue: And I strongly recommend not stroking, fondling, OR licking it - no matter how much you love your new board.

10-14-2009, 04:22 AM
I couldnt help myself (tastes like vanilla) D:
In the end i did manage to power it, after going trough my drawer of 'random electronics crap' i found a old 'mybook' power supply at like 2am, cut that apart and then went to bed, will try to start playing with the board today (should really clean up my desk and collect some tools first)