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Thread: Problems with Phantom X hexapod

  1. Problems with Phantom X hexapod

    Hello folks, I have problems with my phantom x hexapod that it is very unreliable.

    Sometimes it just doesn't work and moving the legs around a bit or touching wires can kick it into gear. I have tried changing out the arbotix chip, all the wires and all the servos.

    It seems to me it might to some extent be a problem that the sharp edges on the legs can cut into the wires. Alternatively there is something about how the power is distributed around the robot that could be the problem.

    Does anyone have any advice on what to do here? Can I put capacitors anywhere to make it more reliable. How can look for the errors?

    All the best

  2. #2

    Re: Problems with Phantom X hexapod

    It is somewhat hard to say without seeing pictures and the like.

    Yes there can be sharp edges, which can cause problems, likewise routing the wires, such that they get pulled or the like when the servo rotates can be an issue.

    When I suspect issues like this, I often first try to localize down to see if I can talk to any/most of the servos. I will for example run simple program, which tries to ping all of the servos and lets me know which ones are responding and which ones are not. If this does not work at all or not much, I then unplug all 6 legs from the Hub, except one and see if this leg responds, if so add another leg, if not mark this leg as maybe having issues, and continue, to see if you can localize it down to a subset of legs that may have issues. I then try connecting just to the horizontal HIP servo of a leg to see if that one responds (Plug it into hub and unplug the other wire that goes down the leg...). If it works, I try connecting that servo to the next one in the chain. If not, I try different cable, if that does not work, maybe servo bad... And repeat...

    But again you need to check out the wires and make sure they are routed, such that they don't pinch, nor do they get pulled... And check for shorts and/or breaks...

    Another thing that happens is sometimes a servo will reset from it's ID back to ID #1. So typically my code avoids #1 (renumbered #1 to #19) And at startup checks for all servos and if one is missing and there is a #1, it tries to renumber that one back to the missing number... But again could have multiple servos where this happened. So again during the above testing, make sure they all have their correct Servo numbers.

    Obviously also check your wiring to and from the Arbotix. Not sure if you are talking Battery or Wall wart? but make sure those wires are tight... If battery make sure battery is charged.

    Side note: I don't typically run any more with Arbotix, and if I do, I NEVER use Arduino 1.0.x releases... These days I often run with my own boards using a Teensy (PJRC) or use a Robotis OpenCM9.04 or OpenCR board.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Re: Problems with Phantom X hexapod

    I just posted in the Dynamixel forum about a problem with my PhantomX Hexapod, where on boot it randomly detects 0 servos. I've added an HC-06 bluetooth serial adapter so I can get debug messages out, but that just shows me that - when it does this - none of the servos are detected. They all seem powered, so I'm guessing something with the data line.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Re: Problems with Phantom X hexapod

    I have a very similar problem. I have added an HC-06 bluetooth serial port to try to get a handle on the problem and it indicates that either I detect all the servos or none.

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