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Thread: Arbotix and Bluetooth Bee and Android

  1. #1

    Question Arbotix and Bluetooth Bee and Android

    Hi, I'm new here.

    My main project is http://pianocheater.com
    but I signed up for FIRST robotics last year (and this one).
    And nowwww I'm interested in robotics.
    (I'm a software mentor guy with FIRST FRC 1178 Chillout team).

    I asked on the email list, but they mentioned to come here

    I'm thinkin' on how to make an android phone the brains of a bioloid servo'd robot.
    Also, if it had wheels, that'd be great, too.
    I think Arbotix has a dual motor controller including encoder connections.

    1) What would be some decent motors,encoders for it?
    (it's be, ohh, say 12 servos, the phone, a couple light sensors - pretty light.
    I'd like to make it do fast line following if that's practical.)

    This Arbotix board seems perfect for controlling the servos.
    And I'm pretty sure I can make an Android app that'll connect up to another bluetooth capable device.

    2) Has anybody tried using a "Bluetooth Bee" in the XBEE spot on the Arbotix board yet?
    http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/bluetooth-bee-p-598.html

    3) Also, what's a good portable power pack that'll do the Arbotix 11 volts (or whatever it was)?
    (Actually, this is pre-answered by Fergs - 11.1V lipos)

    Thanks much,

    ...Steve

  2. #2

    Re: Arbotix and Bluetooth Bee and Android

    aaand some further questions about the arbotix board:

    4) Does the Arbotix board completely replace the bioloid controller?
    Could I get a frameset, battery, servowireconnectorsset, and some
    servos and the Arbotix board and be DONE?
    Are there software or anything else in the basic kit I'd need?
    oh yeah, the screwdrivers for the frameset i suppose.
    Anything else I'd need? OH!

    5) Can I use my existing AVR in circuit programmer (usb -> 6 pin connector)
    to do all the Arbotix downloading?

    Thanks much for any help you can throw my way

  3. #3
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    Re: Arbotix and Bluetooth Bee and Android

    4) Yes, it replaces the CM-5xx during operation. We have a separate, cross-platform, completely open-source, pose editor program (PyPose) which is different, but similar to the Bioloid software. I personally feel that it is a stronger system, in that you can export your poses and then go to town modifying how they are played back in C/C++ code, but, since it does require a bit of C/C++ coding it is a bit more of a learning curve at the start.

    5) Yep, you can do that. There are notes on our googlecode site on how to switch over to ISP downloading (you have to currently edit a text file to set it up, our next release will not need this).

    Other tools you might want: Do yourself a favor and pick up the SMPS, which is a power adapter for the bioloid power brick, it is easily the best $5 you will ever spend.

    -Fergs

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  5. #4

    Thumbs up Re: Arbotix and Bluetooth Bee and Android

    GREAT!! Thanks very much for your help!!

    I apologize about the vague motor,encoder question
    But if ya know of any projects that make use of the motor drivers or encoder please fill me in
    If not, no big deal. They take up little space and I can always play with em later.

    So I'm gonna try writing some demo bluetooth code on my android and test out just
    connectin' mine to my son's and see if I can get some traffic across.
    If that works, I'll be takin' the Bluetooth BEE risk and gettin that killer arbotix.

    again, thank you

    ...Steve

  6. #5

    Re: Arbotix and Bluetooth Bee and Android

    Ok, here's my plan...
    Note how I sneakily break up the purchases so as not to alarm my wife

    Gonna scrap the motor stuff till later.
    Hopefully I'm not forgetting too much.
    So once I get an android app done that'll talk to a bluetooth device
    (my son's droid) I order the arbotix set below.

    Try out the fancy shmancy bioloid ttl serial control and bluetooth to
    android phone and pypose and whatever else.

    Then bite into the hardware and keep growing it till my wife freaks out.
    (I, for one, welcome our future robot overlords)
    This should give me PLENTY of software to play with.

    I'd appreciate any "hey! don't forget THIS"s
    or "you really don't need THAT, you want THIS"s if ya got any of 'em.


    === CONTROL SYSTEM ===
    100 arbotix board
    30 LBS-10 11.1v Bioloid Premium Lipo Battery
    30 LBC-10 11.1v Bioloid Premium Lipo Battery Charger
    45 =single= Dynamixel AX-12A Robot Actuator
    ---> 205
    24 Bluetooth BEE
    ---> 24 (229)


    === ROBOT FRAME ===
    100 bioloid frame set (and servo wires)
    6 Bioloid Frame FP04 F55 Cable Holder 20-Pack
    16 screwdrivers
    135 3* $45 SINGLE Dynamixel AX-12A Robot Actuator
    ---> 257 (486)


    === BIGGER FRAME ===
    180 4* $45 Dynamixel AX-12A Robot Actuator (AX-12+)
    ---> 180 (666)
    (and repeat till big enough...

    ---> 180 (846)


    ...maybe
    10 thread locker fluid
    45 AX-S1 sensor - piezo, mic, 3*ir tx/rx(distance+luminosity), temp, inVolt
    20 Power Supply 12V - 5A (2.1mm Jack)
    3 Barrel Jack Female Pigtail Lead 2.1 - 5.5mm
    5 SMPS2Dynamixel Adapter
    20 PhantomX Basic Gripper


    ...got
    usb->6pin in circuit programmer cable for AVR
    android phone (w/ bluetooth)


    (also have a Chameleon board - propeller + avr uC on a board
    http://www.mouser.com/Search/Product...L%252bpg%3d%3d
    )

  7. #6
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    Re: Arbotix and Bluetooth Bee and Android

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen.hazel View Post
    GREAT!! Thanks very much for your help!!

    I apologize about the vague motor,encoder question
    But if ya know of any projects that make use of the motor drivers or encoder please fill me in
    If not, no big deal. They take up little space and I can always play with em later.

    ...Steve
    My last fire fighting robot (Green Machine Reloaded: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/sh...-Robot-Contest) was about 3-4lbs and used an earlier version of the board that eventually became the ArbotiX and these motors/encoders:

    http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-653-gear...6mm-shaft.aspx
    http://www.lynxmotion.com/p-448-quad...er-wcable.aspx

    The motor drivers on the ArbotiX can handle a motor/payload this large as long as you do NOT reverse direction without a full stop -- that will pull too much current and pop the driver (if you do happen to pop the driver, it only costs about $2 to get a replacement chip from Digikey).

    If I were spec'ing motors today, I would probably look at the cheaper Pololu motors (http://www.pololu.com/catalog/category/51) with integrated encoders that save about $10-15 per motor/encoder pair. The 37MM versions are the same size as the Lynx motors above, the 25MM are a bit smaller.

    -Fergs

  8. #7

    Re: Arbotix and Bluetooth Bee and Android

    Thanks YEt again. I ordered the control system stuff, plus the brick I'd need for the recharger anyways and the $5 adapter to dynamixel power.
    Starting the android bluetooth research.
    Looks like you can make an android read a wiimote pretty easy.
    Oh well, even if the bluetooth bee doesn't fly, I can just go back to the regular sort.

    Ok, now I read some more n wait for the mail. I appreciate your help!!

    ...Steve

  9. #8

    Re: Arbotix and Bluetooth Bee and Android

    Ooooo - this looks pretty handy, too:
    http://www.amarino-toolkit.net/

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