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Thread: First Project

  1. First Project

    Hi All,

    I have started up my first project. Going with a bi-ped. I thought I would throw my game plan out there and see if I can get some feed back. I have some basic design work done but I wanted to get some hardware at the this point and get a feel for it before I start revising it.

    I spoke with Andrew from customer support and got a thumbs up on wanting to go with an ArbotiX Robocontroller. Looks that they just hit the market. He made some recommendations, one being to join the forum. After reading some of the post and tutorials here it seems that was a solid choice to make.

    I like the Bioloids set up. It looks like a fine robot and seems to be nice piece of engineering. So I'm wanting to use it's design for a jumping of place of sorts. When I read about the ArbotiX I was very pleased to see it works so well with the AX-12's. It looks like a impressive controller. If not for the custom stuff I'm looking to do I would also buy the Bioloid frame set.

    I'm going to start out first with making a leg and fiddle around with some different design concepts so this is the hardware I'll be buying soon.

    ArBotiX Robocontroller
    2 XBee 1mW Com Modules
    1 XBee Explore
    1 FTDI Breakout
    5 AX-12 Servo's

    For now I'm going to use a wallwort for testing out my designs. Once I have a leg design that I like I will have to start making some decision about a portable power supply. I was hoping to get some thoughts, ideas and practical experiences in this area. I do well with mechanical stuff and while I do have some programming and electronic skills. Powering stuff was never my strong point.

    I'm looking to control all this via my MacBook Pro and maybe even my iPod Touch. When this robot is completed it may have upwards of 25 servo's and a number of sensor. Some questions I have are:

    What can the ArbotiX handle when it comes to powering servo? And if I reach a limitation how would I be able to integrate a second power supply?
    Last edited by Robonaut; 02-27-2010 at 01:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: First Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Robonaut View Post
    What can the ArbotiX handle when it comes to powering servo? And if I reach a limitation how would I be able to integrate a second power supply?
    Other than the power flowing from the terminal blocks to the bioloid bus cables through a few traces on the board, the ArbotiX really doesn't do anything related to powering the servos. If you plug an 11.1V LiPo or 12V NiMH into the terminal blocks, the bus should have plenty of power to run all your servos (the current isn't that high, since the voltage is so much higher than hobby servos).

    If for some reason you were still concerned, you could wire the power directly into the servo bus rather than through the ArbotiX board. You could then either have the ArbotiX draw off the bus, or cut the power line in the bus cable that connects directly to the ArbotiX and power the ArbotiX off a seperate battery.

    -Fergs
    Last edited by lnxfergy; 02-24-2010 at 11:17 PM.

  3. Re: First Project

    Thanks lnxfergy, That will be helpful in what I'm planning to do. I'll be going with a 12 v pack rated at 2300 mAh for this robot. I think for the next project I have in mind I will have to go with your second suggestion. It's will be a rather large undertaking. But I'll deal with that later.

    I also wanted to thank Andrew for taking the time to get me set up with some awesome looking hardware. My windows machine is not portable so it's nice to see hardware that will work well with my Mac also.

    Now I get to wait for my stuff.

    Is it Wednesday yet?

  4. #4
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    Re: First Project

    Good to see you on the forums!

    You'll be joining a good number of others who use the arbotiX (myself included) as well as the creator of the system lnxfergy (see above).

    Fergs- I set him up with an FTDI rather than the new USB AVR Programmer from Pololu due to it's more accepting cross platform flexibility.

  5. #5
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    Re: First Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyberius View Post
    Fergs- I set him up with an FTDI rather than the new USB AVR Programmer from Pololu due to it's more accepting cross platform flexibility.
    Just a note for the future, if you find yourself wanting an ISP, the USBtinyISP has good support for Mac: http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/ (It's just not available through Trossen, since it's only available in a soldering kit form)

    -Fergs

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    Re: First Project

    I use the USBTinyISP and it works great with the Arduino IDE under both Windows and Linux.
    "If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
    -
    Einstein

    Don't be a HelpVampire

  7. Re: First Project

    I like the sounds of the USBtinyISP. I took a look at it and I bookmarked that site. I also like to assemble kits. I'll add it and the new USB AVR Programmer to my list of options for my next project.

    Thanks lnxfergy for making such a cool board.

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