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Stobs
05-04-2011, 04:10 PM
I'm putting together a shopping list for a turret build (a name for which is as yet TBD), and I would greatly appreciate feedback. I expect to start making purchases within 48 hrs.

Specific components:
(4) AX-12+ servos;
(1) arbotiX starter kit;
(1 or 2) xBee Pro's;
(1) TR supplied target plate & controller.

Unspecified components:
Battery (LiPo) - capacity & size TBD;
Video - researched down to a few choices.

TBD:
Guns - After seeing the current comments about the tank guns I've decided against using them, but now I have to find an alternative. I may use two Defender-type guns, but they would be pretty big for the build I have in mind.

Custom:
Chassis
Carrier
Hoppers

Unknown/Alternative:
Suggestions are quite if I've obviously overlooked a component and recommendations are also always welcome! :)

elaughlin
05-04-2011, 05:02 PM
Is this a turret to be mounted onto another robot, or just a general standing turret?

If it is just a turret not to be mounted, check out the Trossen Turret kit (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/phantomX-robot-turret.aspx)... and just add guns/video as needed.

I did exactly that, this is my thread for it - Mech Warfare Turret (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=4383&highlight=mech+warfare+turret&page=3).

lnxfergy
05-04-2011, 05:02 PM
I'm putting together a shopping list for a turret build (a name for which is as yet TBD), and I would greatly appreciate feedback. I expect to start making purchases within 48 hrs.

Specific components:
(1) arbotiX starter kit;
(1 or 2) xBee Pro's;


Note that an XBEE Pro won't work with an unmodified ArbotiX -- the 3.3V reg on the ArbotiX has to be removed and replaced with a higher current version.

-Fergs

Stobs
05-04-2011, 11:41 PM
@ lnxfergy: Thanks for the reminder Fergs, appreciated.

@ elaughlin: :) Following your project elaughlin is what lead me to decide that my first project should be toned down from the crawler I have in mind! That is to say, simply by following your posts and the other comments on your build I saw that a successfully designed, built and implemented turret would not only be a challenging and rewarding first mech-oriented project, but a consistent tool for use in developing future, mobile, mech projects as well.

It's obvious you've done an outstanding job on your turret and I intended to review your entire thread on it in depth before finalizing my initial shopping list! As far as the turret kit goes though, and robotics kits in general, I have to admit that they're not such a bad route to take after all - obviously "bad" in my previously held opinion, that is to say. But, while the kit you started with was cool and you did a great job personalizing it, it's just not the "look" I'll be going after with my build.

My build is for a standalone turret, so I won't be integrating it in part or in whole with another mech, but it will help me formulate design, fabrication, assembly and implementation considerations - with an eye towards modularization, for subsequent projects. It's unlikely that I'll cannibalize the parts from this build down the road: even though it'll be a pretty expensive bookend eventually, being my first real robotics project, it'll be a build I'll want to preserve.

The primary focus for me on this project is simply to familiarize myself with some of the technologies, fabrication and construction techniques, and programming concerns involved with this type of robotics. I want this project to not only function well, but look darn good while it's at it too - even if it means it's the only mech-oriented project I [complete] before RG'12. Getting this turret project to not only do what it's supposed to with tracking and shooting, but also (hopefully!) providing a bit of sensory appeal, harkens to something I thought this past MW event lacked and was [also] highlighted to me by some of the comments [I overheard] from the event's growing attendant fan base: when the [mechs] were in the arena but not battling, there wasn't much of a "gee-whiz" factor going on. Granted, bling and glitter really aren't part of the competition, but they don't hurt in barking the event up either - which is something that one would think could meld well with an exhibition piece of artillery, but we'll see. ;)

elaughlin
05-05-2011, 12:17 AM
I am 100% with you on the appeal aspect of things. I tried this year with my Draco mech and my Turret to have more resemblance to army/mechwarrior style machines. It was difficult using only flat plastic to accomplish this. So this year I am stepping up my game and going full 3d printed Mech. I will be starting a thread as soon as I get in most of the pieces and start assembling. I have a design going on Autodesk Inventor already, and am taking a class soon for 3d computer design to familiarize myself more with Autodesk Maya, which is more sculpting than engineering. So with a combination of both programs, hopefully everyone will see a fully armored, fully detailed mech. I am also stepping up my power and going with some bigger servos. Keep an eye out for it in a little while.

Stobs
05-05-2011, 12:41 AM
Sounds like a great project elaughlin, looking forward to following your build! :)

Stobs
05-06-2011, 09:20 PM
I missed getting to the bank this evening so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to get the ball rolling, but that does give me an opportunity to ask a question: is the arbotiX(/arduino's in general) capable of running multiple sketches "simultaneously," or if controlling different aspects of a bot concurrently needs to be addressed through different subroutines/functions of a single sketch?


Since I may wind up having to spend a bit more time before getting a controller, I'm now also considering a Propeller-based controller for the turret, and would greatly appreciate some feedback to consider.

I will be using a Prop-based solution for both my Li'l Gettin and Armo Gettin caterpillar bots, so getting a Prop for the turret would help expedite that learning curve, but my impression is that a Prop would be a bit overkill for a turret with just four medium-duty hobby servos (AX-12 family) and possibly up to three light-weight servos.

On the flip-side of that, I very likely will be using an arbotiX as the tailor-made solution for the biped bot build I'll undertake someday (probably in a year or two, so who knows what will be available at that time), so using an arbotiX is probably a better fit for the turret from that perspective.

As always, comments, suggestions and/or recommendations are very much appreciated!

Xevel
05-06-2011, 10:22 PM
On an arduino/arbotix, you have just one execution thread, and you have to do everything in it.
The only exception to that boring linear code execution is when using interrupts: the controller jumps to the interrupt handler, and once the handler returns, the controller goes back to what it was doing before as if nothing happened.
All your code has to be put in one sketch.

Stobs
05-07-2011, 11:02 AM
Thank you very much for your timely reply Xevel, greatly appreciated - and definitely something I have to think about. Regards.

Stobs
05-07-2011, 05:22 PM
The gun(s) on my turret will be attached at the end of a small "arm," and as such I want to provide for some degree of positioning monitoring - outside of also tracking servo rotations.

I'm considering the RoBoard RM-G144 (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/rm-g145-3-axis-gyroscope.aspx) gyroscope, which at ~$[80] I can source with this week's budget, or either the Atomic 6DOF (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/atomic-imu-6dof.aspx) IMU at ~$125, or the PhidgeSpatial 3/3/3 (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/6451-PhidgetSpatial-3-3-3-9-Axis-IMU.aspx) IMU at ~$150, both of which would push my purchasing back at least a week.

Question is, for someone who's just starting out and has a lot of additional aspects about robotics to learn, just how much better - or easier to implement, are the higher priced items?

Regards

elaughlin
05-07-2011, 05:25 PM
For someone like me, who has no robotics/sensor experience, i wouldn't even think to try to put one of those on my bots.

lnxfergy
05-08-2011, 05:31 AM
The gun(s) on my turret will be attached at the end of a small "arm," and as such I want to provide for some degree of positioning monitoring - outside of also tracking servo rotations.

I'm considering the RoBoard RM-G144 (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/rm-g145-3-axis-gyroscope.aspx) gyroscope, which at ~$[80] I can source with this week's budget, or either the Atomic 6DOF (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/atomic-imu-6dof.aspx) IMU at ~$125, or the PhidgeSpatial 3/3/3 (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/6451-PhidgetSpatial-3-3-3-9-Axis-IMU.aspx) IMU at ~$150, both of which would push my purchasing back at least a week.

Question is, for someone who's just starting out and has a lot of additional aspects about robotics to learn, just how much better - or easier to implement, are the higher priced items?

Regards

Before we even think about whether it's easier to implement -- we have to address the fact that all three of these are very different products. The Roboard "gyroscope" is actually a plain old 3-axis accelerometer + a digital compass. You ahve to interface with I2C, and you'll have to do your own (software) filtering from the looks of it. The Atomic is a more full featured IMU, with 3 gyros and 3 accelerometers, as well as an AVR to do the filtering and output final orientation. I believe the Phidgets is similar to the Atomic, but like other Phidgets will require a USB host to use...

And now onto easiness. Don't underestimate the difficulty of implementing filtering to convert raw analog values into angular outputs! I'd actually recommend taking a look at either the ArduIMU or Razor 9DOF IMU, both of which are offered by sparkfun. These have the similar setup as an Atomic, but with a smaller single-board setup (and I know the filtering software is quite good on them, I used an early version of the ArduIMU on SMALdog during a number of experiments)

Also note, IMUs are notoriously bad at measuring yaw rotation (about the vertical axis), so you'll only really be able to measure pitch/roll of your arm. And honestly, if you're using AX-12s for this, you've got like 0.3 degree resolution on the feedback -- it's going to take a lot of work to get an IMU that has better resolution.

-Fergs

Stobs
05-08-2011, 10:44 AM
Thanks elaughlin and thank you very much for your reply Fergs, greatly appreciated!

So basically you're saying this is way over my ahead, and pretty much redundant with the choice of servos I've made?! ... ;)


Before we even think about whether it's easier to implement....so you'll only really be able to measure pitch/roll of your arm...

Since I only vaguely understood what you said - although the sense of complexity certainly did come through, I see your points. I did actually realize that implementing the IMU would be quite challenging and I was looking forward to meeting that challenge, but considering I didn't perceive the differences in compatibilities to begin with, I'll have to agree that it is beyond my current skillset.


.... And honestly, if you're using AX-12s for this, you've got like 0.3 degree resolution on the feedback -- it's going to take a lot of work to get an IMU that has better resolution.

-Fergs


With the precision of the feedback on the AX-12(A)'s essentially making the group of IMU's I was considering redundant, and needing to be budget-conscience as well as frugal with my time, I'll shelve the IMU for a future, more progressive project.

Heartfelt thanks for keeping a novice from going too far astray.

Stobs
05-08-2011, 01:16 PM
I need to sleep on making the decision to go with either the arbotiX (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/arbotix-robot-controller.aspx) or the Robot Control Board (http://www.parallax.com/Store/Microcontrollers/PropellerDevelopmentBoards/tabid/514/CategoryID/73/List/0/Level/a/ProductID/584/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName%2cProductName).

Please allow me to muse aloud on my thoughts here - with comments and suggests welcome!

One consideration is that I've already decided that for my upcoming Li'l Gettin and Armo Gettin projects I will be using a Parallax board, and most likely the RCB, due to the innate multitasking ability of the later. In arbotiX's favor is the outstanding community support here - although I am growing in confidence with the support available through the Parallax community. My impression is that the arbotiX will be easier for me to implement for my first robotics project, and it is arguably one of, if not the, best controllers to use on a biped mech - the only problem with that for me is that my first biped project is at least a year away if not two, and who knows what will be on the market by then, and I can ill afford to spend the time learning to work with the arbotiX if I may wind up not building upon that learning curve.

With that, back to a consideration for this turret project if I do decide to use the arbotiX:

Is the USB AVR Programmer (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/USB-AVR-Programmer.aspx) mandatory to interface the arbotiX with one's computer for programming, or can that be accomplished in similar fashion simply by using xBee's?

If running interrupts proves unsatisfactory for the turret's concurrent processes I wish to implement (non-essential special effects), would I be able to offload these multitasking demands to something like the Arduino Pro (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5931-Arduino-Pro-5V-16MHz.aspx)/Mini (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5932-Arduino-Pro-328-Mini-5V-16MHz.aspx) (presumably via the USB AVR Programmer)?

Regards

Stobs
05-09-2011, 10:22 AM
Hi People,

My apologies for bumping this but, I really would hope to get some feedback on these questions before starting my product purchases - and this is the only place I know to get the answers for them. I've copied the questions, below:

Is the USB AVR Programmer (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/USB-AVR-Programmer.aspx) mandatory to interface the arbotiX with one's computer for programming, or can that be accomplished in similar fashion simply by using xBee's?

If running interrupts proves unsatisfactory for the turret's concurrent processes I wish to implement (non-essential special effects), would I be able to offload these multitasking demands to something like the Arduino Pro (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5931-Arduino-Pro-5V-16MHz.aspx)/Mini (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5932-Arduino-Pro-328-Mini-5V-16MHz.aspx) (presumably via the USB AVR Programmer)?

Thanks and Regards

mannyr7
05-09-2011, 11:17 AM
As for question one, no an ISP programmer is not necessary. You could alternatively use an ftdi cable. You would not want to upload code wirelessly. You would almost certainly brick your arbotix temporarily and then an ISP would be required to reupload the arduino bootloader.
As for question two, what sort of processes are you planning on handling? The arbotix has been used in many quad platforms, parsing data streams from PC, commander handheld, while doing ik on the fly, triggering gun, laser pointers, and sending back voltage and servo feedback info back to python program on Xbee connected PC.

Stobs
05-09-2011, 12:06 PM
Thank you very much for your prompt reply mannyr7, very much appreciated!

1) Ok, so it would be advisable to go ahead and get the USB AVR Programmer accessory for the arbotiX - certainly wouldn't want to lock-up the arbotiX.

2) On the "mech" side of the processing load would be the four Dynamixel servos and one lightweight Hitech servo, two guns (probably Defenders), two sonar sensors, along with possibly two cameras (at least one), and possibly two microphones. On the non-essential load it's just some eye candy - auxillary LED lighting, some audio files and possibly a smoke generator - similar/same as found on scale model trains.

Regards

Stobs
05-10-2011, 03:04 PM
Update:

I've order the initial group of parts for the turret, which comprise of the following components:

(3) Dynamixel AX-12A servo's [down from four]
(1) Dynamixel AX-18F servo [substituting for fourth AX-12A, above; will be primary panning servo]
(1) Bioloid 6-port servo cabling hub [new item]
(1) Hitech HS-85BB servo [new item]
(0) arbotiX Starter Kit [purchased individual pieces instead, substituting one standard xBee for an xBee Pro]
(1) arbotiX Robocontroller board
(1) xBee Pro 60mW Communications Module
(1) xBee 1mW Communications Module
(1) xBee Explorer USB
(1) USB AVR Programmer

Since the arbotiX is on back order, for possibly up to two weeks, I'm going to go ahead and get either a Propeller Robot Control Board, or the Propeller USB Proto Board, which I'll be using for my Li'l Gettin project anyway.

I still have to determine the video setup and which guns I'm going to use, determine the sonar units, microphones, and what I'll use for audio generation, as well as the TR-supplied targeting plates and controller - all of which will all affect my choice of a battery/batteries.

I'm going to take a page from various members here (Upgrayd and [Z]enta come to mind; I'm sure I'm missing others), and produce a physical prototyping chasis/carrier and hoppers comprised mostly from sheet aluminum. Once I have all of the components in hand I'll create a 3D prototype within the Secondlife community - I want to wait to get AutoDesk's Inventor until after I've enrolled for my fall semester classes, but I don't want to wait to start building!

Regards

Stobs
05-10-2011, 03:17 PM
[Topic: SONAR sensors]

I'm trying to determine which LV-MaxSonar units to get but, aside side from the observable range differences, I don't see any resolution, time of response, power consumption, etc., etc., etc. differences between the EZ0 (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/maxbotix-lv-maxsonar-ez0.aspx) through EZ4 (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/maxbotix-lv-maxsonar-ez4.aspx) models. Am I missing something besides the range differences?

Stobs
05-10-2011, 03:26 PM
Topic: Target Plates

I'm going to need to include the ability to incorporate a full sized targeting plate mounted between the guns, along with whatever controller board is necessary. Is this something I should wait to obtain closer towards the onset of RG'12, lest there be design changes?

Xevel
05-10-2011, 03:52 PM
[Topic: SONAR sensors]

I'm trying to determine which LV-MaxSonar units to get but, aside side from the observable range differences, I don't see any resolution, time of response, power consumption, etc., etc., etc. differences between the EZ0 (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/maxbotix-lv-maxsonar-ez0.aspx) through EZ4 (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/maxbotix-lv-maxsonar-ez4.aspx) models. Am I missing something besides the range differences?

You are not :)
The only difference inside the Maxbotix LV line is the beam shape / maximum range.
If you want better resolution, you can have a look at the XL (http://www.maxbotix.com/BUY_NOW.html#XL-EZ&XL-AE) line.

Stobs
05-10-2011, 10:03 PM
Very helpful resource Xevel, thank you very much for your reply!

Since first seeing your reply I've spent about an hour looking over various products from MaxBotix, and I'll definitely be going for something in the XL product line. I just have to determine whether I want to use one or more of the PWM configured models or one of the analog models.

Much appreciated Xevel :)

Regards

Stobs
05-17-2011, 12:45 AM
I received my first order of parts for my turret build today!

Let me take a moment to send thanks out to the staff of the Trossen Robotics store for getting my order out in a timely fashion, especially to Alex for cheerfully keeping me appraised of the order process through delivery service pickup, and to Ty for pointing me in the right direction when I had questions. With separating out all of the items in the shipping carton from the packing, I double checked the bill of lading: everything listed as being shipped was present and accounted for! ...I'm not surprised, just happy. :D

I have to say that when I first saw the box the Dynamixel AX-18F came in, I was thinking "wow, big servo! ...but isn't it the same size as the '12's? ^.o" ...well, more on that in a few moments!

Here's everything laid out on my breakfast nook table:
http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/7291/trorder2011050901.th.jpg

(http://img198.imageshack.us/i/trorder2011050901.jpg/)In the foreground there's the 6-port hub for the Dynamixels (which I don't expect to use on the turret project), the XBee Pro for my Win7 netbook, the XBee (std.) for the turret, the XBee (std.) Explorer adapter, and the USB AVR adapter. In the background is the aforementioned '18, the three '12+'s and a HiTec HS-85BB Micro Hobby Servo.

I know, I really have to get a proper work area! By the end of June I should have a viable workbench. Over the course of the next day or two I'll pick up an appropriate place mat/desk blotter, but for now I simply used a paper towel to visually separate the components from my table top, as you see here (I placed a partial roll of paper towels in the background for visual scale reference):

(http://img198.imageshack.us/i/trorder2011050901.jpg/)http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/784/trorder2011050902.th.jpg (http://img808.imageshack.us/i/trorder2011050902.jpg/)

As you can see, the AX-18F is "only" the same size of the AX-12+ - and look how tiny the HS-85BB looks in comparison! Although the promise of the carton was displaced by the reality of what I had recalled, I was very pleased to see that the '18 had the updated case and hub(?) design of the '12, even though on the Robotis web site I didn't see any indication of that being the situation. On a related note: if anyone wants pics of the new design just post and I'll put them up within a day of my seeing the inquiry, circumstances allowing.

Even though I don't have a controller as yet (I'll likely be ordering two Propeller boards tomorrow and still plan on getting an arbotiX eventually), at least now I can start mocking up the layout and possibly even prototyping the support components out of aluminum.

Regards

Stobs
05-18-2011, 04:52 PM
I've decided not to swap controllers back and forth between my current projects (this turret and Li'L (Armo) Gettin (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=4527)), so I'm going to go ahead and get the arbotiX as the turret's controller (rather than the Propeller I'll be getting for Li'l Gettin). Before I do, I need to decide upon a battery.

I'm considering this 11.1V Pro Lite LiPo (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/6293-3S-11-1V-2100mAh-Pro-Lite-V2-20C-LiPo-Battery.aspx) battery pack, since it matches the optimal supply for the Dynamixels as well as the arbotiX's User Manual's voltage recommendation. Alternatively, I'm wondering if it's more efficient to power the servo's separately with that pack, and use a second battery at a lower voltage for the arbotiX (and sensors)?

The reason I'm considering this is that I saw in the aforementioned manual that the board can be powered through the FTDI cable at 5V, so I'm thinking that a 5V LiPO could be used as the dedicated controller and sensors' power supply as a more efficient source?

As always, comments, recommendations and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

mannyr7
05-18-2011, 06:22 PM
That LiPo pack is more than enough to power the whole thing. You want to remember that on the Arbotix, the servo ports are unregulated so you would be sourcing 11.1 V to your hobby servos, quickly frying them! As for a 5V Lipo, no such thing. They come in 3.7V cells, so a 1S is 3.7V, a 2S is 7.4V and a 3S such as the pack you listed, is 11.1V and so on... IMHO a better choice would be a 6V pack to power the Arbotix and servos. Just my two cents though... :happy:

EDIT: Not sure if 6V is enough for the Dynamixels.

Stobs
05-19-2011, 07:54 AM
lol, mannyr7? Your two cents is easily worth more than my nickel with this stuff! Thank you very much for your reply.

I agree, the 11.1V would be enough - I was guessing that with the handful of servos the turret'll have, compared to even a 3DoF quad, that the [2100mAh] would be more than adequate for powering it. I was just looking at it from an efficiency standpoint with a stationary bot is all.

I'm thinking I'm going to have to source, or more likely create, a voltage divider for the HiTec - or power it separately. Of course, without your heads up I may have come to that conclusion after the HiTec served up a belch of smoke!


Thanks and Regards

mannyr7
05-19-2011, 08:13 AM
Good idea!

Stobs
05-19-2011, 08:49 PM
Update - 2nd series of parts/components orders.

I ordered a second three-pack of Defender's off of ebay today (my original three pack is in storage down near L.A.), and the following items from TR:

(1) 3S 11.1V 2100mAh Pro Lite V2 20C LiPo Battery;
(1) Imax B6 Multi-Function LiPo Balance Charger;
(1) E-Flite Balance Charger Adapter Cable Pack (Why doesn't the mfgr. bundle them with the charger?!);
(1) Variable Power Supply 15-24V 4.5A (2.1mm Jack);
(1) arbotiX microcontroller.

When this order comes in I should be able to get the turret under way. I still need to get some sonar sensors and source some mic's and(/or integrated) mic circuit boards, along with the odd connector and such, but I'm really looking forward to this build!

On a side note, I downloaded the trial version of Alibre two days ago and, even though I've only been able to crack it open for about an hour or two, it seems quite promising. I'd rather just go with Inventor but I don't want to wait until I start going back to school full time again in the fall to get it - and thus delay the start of this and my Li'l Gettin project. Who knows, with the basic level program only costing "$99" I might delay the Inventor purchase for awhile if I'm able to do what I want with Alibre.

Regards

Stobs
05-25-2011, 10:14 AM
Simple update listing that the guns I'd ordered on Friday came in yesterday. This is the second time I've ordered from them and again they had my order at my door within three business days! If you're interested here's a listing today of what I'd gotten both times previously: 3x Airsoft Defenders for $27.00+$9.99S&H (http://cgi.ebay.com/3-Airsoft-Defender-World-Peace-Mini-Machine-Gun-aeg-/300559820610?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45fac2e742) (they send it FedEx). I'm very satisfied with them so, yes, I'm giving them a plug! ;)

Regards

Stobs
06-02-2011, 10:10 PM
Just a quick update, noting that I received the arbotiX I ordered on the 20th today (it was quite serendipitous that just as I was accessing "The ultimate arbotiX thread (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=3639)," I heard the UPS truck pull up in front of the house!), as well as the other items listed below - all listed on their respective packing slips and received. :)


...
(1) 3S 11.1V 2100mAh Pro Lite V2 20C LiPo Battery;
(1) Imax B6 Multi-Function LiPo Balance Charger;
(1) E-Flite Balance Charger Adapter Cable Pack (Why doesn't the mfgr. bundle them with the charger?!);
(1) Variable Power Supply 15-24V 4.5A (2.1mm Jack)...Here's an image of everything unpacked and laid out:
http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/1609/trorder2011052002.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/31/trorder2011052002.jpg/)

(Newbies-like-me-FYI: If you don't have an electrostatic wrist strap, or some other such device, then in a pinch you could grasp a metal faucet while water is running through it momentarily, to ensure that you don't zap electronics components with any static electricity. Yes, yes, an ESD mat (http://www.allmats.com/site/439205/page/853474) is on my list for the next round of purchases! ;))

Well, now I have two major priorities on my reading list to undertake before I get started with the build: anything related to getting up and running with the arbotiX, both here and over at Vanadium Labs (http://www.vanadiumlabs.com/arbotix), and actually reading the manual on the battery charger - cover to cover no less!

Regards

jRaskell
06-03-2011, 02:19 PM
Below is a very good guide on using and caring for LiPo batteries. Not just how to do so, but why you should do so as well. A lot of it is about preventing catastrophic failure, but a lot is also about maximizing the life of your batteries as well.

http://www.rchelicopterfun.com/rc-lipo-batteries.html

Stobs
06-03-2011, 03:46 PM
Thank you very much for your reply jRaskell, greatly appreciated!

I've just read about 25% of the page and it's an awesome resource for just about anyone using Li-Ion/LiPo batteries. From reading various posts here and at other robotics-oriented sites I'd gotten the distinct impression that proper conditioning of a LiPo was important, but this page really drives the point home and advises one on just how to go about doing so; overall its an excellent read and a page that I will link to from my website when I overhaul it during the next few weeks (June/July '11).

Regards