View Full Version : LCD w/ Bioloid

11-08-2009, 01:41 PM
How would I go about hooking up a serial LCD to my bioloid kit? Or maybe a motion sensor? Could I connect them along with the other AX-12's? And then control them somehow?

If any of you can help me I would be very grateful!:veryhappy:

11-08-2009, 02:28 PM
We need slightly more information. Do you mean fully stock bioloid with CM-5? How are you programming the robot?

Attaching things to the bus isn't too difficult -- but you'll have to add a microcontroller to interface the sensor to the bus. I believe HUV Robotics is about to re-release the IO boards, which could handle the motion sensor (sorta, you'd have to poll it pretty frequently, so it might not suffice). For the LCD, you'll likely have to make a semi-custom interface board.

On the other hand, if you want to do some programming, you could dump the CM5 for a real microcontroller and interface the LCD and motion sensor, seperately from the bus.


11-08-2009, 02:30 PM


11-08-2009, 10:41 PM
lnxfergy, I have the Bioloid Comprehensive Kit.

Is there any way I could hook it up (The LCD I own is the LCD sold by Parallax http://www.parallax.com/StoreSearchResults/tabid/768/txtSearch/LCD/List/0/SortField/4/ProductID/50/Default.aspx )

I was hoping that I could do it without buying anything. Though I see now that that may not work. :sad: The link that you posted, is that item fairly similar to the CM5? Or is it actual programming ,like C programming? Could I simply put it where the CM5 is on my robot?

I know I have a lot of questions but if you could answer any of these I would be thankful!

Where would I start in getting a semi-custom board for my lcd? Could you expound on that?

Also is there any sensors that are specifically made for the bioloid kit and that can be connected and controlled directly from the CM5?

11-08-2009, 11:24 PM
Not really.

I'd honestly recommend reading up on microcontroller basics. What you're asking to do isn't the most straight forward thing, given that the CM-5 is intended to work as-is unless you're 'hacking' it or the attached peripherals. The arbotiX is not a drop in replacement for the CM-5, you need to program it in C.

I'd check out the Arduino family of products, see how LCDs are interfaced there, use what you learn from that to get a gameplan on the best route for adding additional sensors/lcd controllers to a bioloid platform.

There is no 'plug and play' solution for what you're asking, it pretty much all requires a decent understanding of microcontrollers and programming.

11-09-2009, 10:45 PM
I have been programming with the BASIC Stamp's for some time. So I do have some experiance with programming. The main problem I have is space and actually hooking on one of the BASIC Stamp boards and then interfacing it with the CM5. I don't know how to link the two different boards together.

11-09-2009, 11:00 PM
I'm not sure a BS2 has enough power to do that (without slowing everything down). I don't think any of the stamps can go >115k, which means either you have to step all your servos down from 1Mbps to 115k, or get a different controller that can actually do 1Mbps.

Once you have a controller that does 1Mbps, or you've decided to drop to 115k, you have to then create a program that mimics being an AX-12. There are several libraries out there for the AVR that do such a thing (or are a master, rather than the slave AX-12, but could be easily modified). But, to do this, you'll want a full understanding of how the AX-12+ bus-protocol works (so I'd suggest reading the datasheet for the AX-12 and seeing how difficult that seems to you, it'll give you an idea of how comfortable you end up being with the project as a whole, once you've got the LCD code and the code to connect to the bus the rest is trivial).


11-10-2009, 06:45 AM
If you want to stay with Parallax, I wrote some Propeller asm routines that will allow you to listen on the AX-12 bus and execute whatever code you like including writing to an LCD.

I strongly agree with Tyberius and lnxfergy. You must understand the AX-12 protocol to get your idea working. You could pick up an AVR, Propeller, or USB2Dynamixel to get started. The USB2Dynamixel is easiest way to learn but it's not programmable like an ARV or Propeller.

11-10-2009, 10:02 AM
You could buy one of my I/O boards, remove one of the digital I/O pins from the control table, and add the ability to send data serially at a reasonable baud rate (I think my brother's bit-banged serial I/O can do up to 38,400) to a serial LCD.

All the hard code (looking like a bioloid device, implementing the control table, EEPROM versus RAM control table, etc) is already done for you.

- Jon

11-10-2009, 10:05 AM
In fact, if you want to go that route, I'll update the code for you - I think it is a general enough request that more than one person would want it...

- Jon

11-10-2009, 10:31 AM
I'm not sure you could do it for nothing, but doesn't jon hylands have a board that could translate a cm-5 servo signal into a digital out that a parallax could understand?

Check out his page to see if there is anything in this.


Hope this helps.