View Full Version : Can I use a CM-510 on my old Bioloid Comprehensive?

Dennis Clark
05-09-2013, 11:33 PM
My forum-foo was inadequate to search this question, so I'll try it the hard way, and get pointed to the exhaustive thread that I could not find. I hope...

I have a Bioloid Comprehensive that I got second hand that is at least 4 years old, and not treated well. Recently I tried to put my own spin on the movement files stored in it and as soon as I plugged in the communications cable the CM-5 stopped working. Bother. My kit has had this controller opened and hacked in terrible ways - the fuse was shorted across, holes hacked into the case, stickers, scratches and a home-made battery pack filled out the litany of woe. Now the CM-5 appears shot.

So, I could get another CM-5 or try a minor step-up. Will a CM-510 mount properly to a Bioloid Comprehensive 18 DOF biped? Can I use the same motion files? Are there OTHER motion files for this biped for use on the CM-510?

I'd love to get ONE of my bipeds working - I have a RoboBrothers RoboPhilo with which I'm supremely unimpressed and a RoboBuilder "Hano" biped which is cool, but I put in the optional hip servos and haven't gotten him up and running yet after that. Eventually I'll "roll my own", but for now I'd just like to get something to move!

Can either the CM-5 or CM-510 be hacked to take a wireless PS2 control input somehow? I've used that on other robot projects very successfully.

Sorry, a lot of questions, but I'm eager to get going!


05-10-2013, 12:22 AM
The CM-510/530 can be easily placed in the chest cavity of a comprehensive, but it will probably not be pretty or solid. I actually placed a CM-510 in the torso of a rather old comprehensive humanoid when the CM-5's NiMH battery could not last the entire time needed for a class project (wireless usb camera with pc-based vision processing and control). It messed the balance up a bit because of the different weight distribution and eventually I reverted to a CM-5 with a newer NiMH battery. I had mounted the LiPo battery pack on a small L-frame to keep the battery secure and act as a wall to keep the CM-510/530 in the chest cavity (not secured or screwed down).

Regardless, the comprehensive motion files and task files will continue to work fine whether using a CM-5/510/530/700/900. Just keep the right files for your build configuration, select the correct controller in RoboPlus Task, and RoboPlus will do the rest.

I'm tempted to say that it would probably be best just to buy a CM-510/530, a Robotis LiPo battery and mounting frame, and the few frames needed to upgrade to a Type-A premium humanoid (the torso box and two hip mounting frames are the minimum required, I think). The arms and legs should be able to be reused with little to no modification (feet might need re-arranging), and the widened stance of the Type-A is quite a bit nicer for walking without clicking the feet. If you do upgrade to the Type-A, it will need the new motion files and task files from the robotis e-support site. The motions are a little different, but the task programs are mostly the same.

I'm not really familiar with wireless ps2 controllers, but I expect it could somehow be wired into the 3.3V zigbee port on the CM-5/510/530/700/900 and handled with task files or embedded-c. The arbotix is another possible dynamixel servo controller, but would not work with RoboPlus (RoboPlus motion files can rather easily be converted to arbotix-compatible pose header files) and I am unsure how it would play with a ps2 controller.

05-10-2013, 08:37 AM
As stated above the cm-510 can be used with the regular biolod, you just need to use the proper motion files. That said, I have been considering doing this myself. The bioloid boomerang controller and a pari of zigbees is perfectly adiquate for controlling this robot, and will probably be much more satisfying in terms of good to go ready to roll.

Hope this helps.


Dennis Clark
05-12-2013, 11:26 AM
Thanks all, that is useful information. I would rather get something more modern than a 5+ year old CM-5 design. I take it that the CM510 is a LiPo battery design. If I use the same motion files that I have I'll bet the balance will be wrong since the LiPo pack is probably half the weight of the NiMh. Has anyone modified those files to account for that?

As for the Zigbee interface, I did not see such a thing on the CM-5, so I'm assuming that is on the CM-510 and later controllers. My PS2 wireless has a SPI interface at 3.3V so that would work, but I doubt that the Robotis controllers speak PS2, so I'd need to put a translated controller between them. I have not looked into the Robotis controller remote control protocol, the Bioloid Comprehensive kit didn't even come with a remote control.

I am completely new to the Bioloid platform. I'll have to look into the parts that I'd need to update it to the latest parts to fit the CM-510 to the old chassis and then learn the motion and command file programming. Whew! I have lots of robot experience but walkers are a newer thing for me. New and totally cooler, I might add!

One more question. How do you hold the Bioloids UP when testing motion files? There are no hanger hooks on the biped design!


05-12-2013, 12:43 PM
The CM-5 uses an internal 8S AA NiMH battery pack, while all the other controllers use an external 3S LiPo battery pack (the connector is available only from a single manufacturer in South Korea). I am unaware of any comprehensive humanoid motion files modified for the CM-510 and LiPo battery pack, but there is a way to adjust the offset of each servo using RoboPlus Motion which might help with the motions (should always re-calibrate offsets after assembly and/or modification - an absolute necessity with the DARwIn-OP).

The Robotis zigbee interface of the CM-5 is a pair of 4-pin headers that require the ZIG-100 module be installed internally in the CM-5. The CM-510/530/700/730/900 use a simpler 4-pin external connector with the ZIG-110, BT-110, and LN-101 devices (zigbee, bluetooth, and USB, respectively). It is a 3.3V power signal, a ground signal, and a full-duplex UART (RX and TX) with the RoboPlus Task program requiring a simple packet (two header bytes, two data bytes, and two checksum bytes).

The CM-510 uses the same audio connector as the CM-5 to communicate with the PC, but the CM-530 has a built-in USB connection. The CM-510 has been replaced in the premium kit with the CM-530, and it still surprises me that Robotis continues to sell the CM-5 alone or in a kit.

At a minimum, you will need one of the chest/torso (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/Bioloid-Frame-FP04-F51-F52-Torso-Set.aspx) frame sets and two of the hip to torso (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/Bioloid-Frame-FP04-F53.aspx) frames (come in a 4-pack, so will have spares). There are other pieces you could get to turn it into a complete premium humanoid, but they are mostly cosmetic.

Holding up a biped usually involves just holding the torso or maybe the head. Most of the time when using RoboPlus Motion, you will only disable one or two servos at a time to adjust the pose leaving the bot mostly stable. It should be possible to add some L-frames to the torso to give you mount points for a hanger system.