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Thread: Kurt's PhantomX Reactor Robot Arm

  1. #11

    Re: Kurt's PhantomX Reactor Robot Arm

    Hi and Welcome Phil,

    Probably should answer on the other thread. If you downloaded my stuff off of github, you may want to check the file:
    Hex_Cfg.h to see what was the last input type I was testing at that time... For example it may have been for my own DIY XBee remote control and not the commander... This is controlled by the USExxx defines.

    My current file shows:
    #define USEXBEE
    as the uncommented option. You probably want the line:
    #define USECOMMANDER
    to be the option you want...

    The current code does not use the servos until it get's a valid start command. By our DIY remote this is the "0" button pressed. On PS2 it is the start button. On the Commander, I detect when it starts to get valid messages, which implied that the commander was turned on...

    If that does not work, go ahead and reply back on the other thread you mentioned...

    As for debugging support, I use several techniques.
    1) toggle unused IO pins and connect my logic analyzer up... This is usually a last resort
    2) I use sounds... I plug in a speaker to an IO pin (better/safer with proper circuitry), but it has not hurt me yet. I have used cheap ones from Radioshack, currently I use ones I buy from Digikey as I have a few of them for some other boards I built....
    3) With my DIY XBee stuff - They communicate in XBee packet mode. I Extended my protocol and have a VB app that can register with a robot and then the robot can send packets to it to display... (talked about in the other thread - App up on github).
    4) With Commander, I use a VB app (talked about in this thread and up on github), that you have the commander talk to the PC and the robot talk to PC. Either/both/neither of these connections can use the Paired XBees (If both would require 2 sets of paired XBees). The VB app is real simple it simply forwards the stuff it receives on the comm port coming from Commander to the comm port associated with the robot and then any stuff that is sent on the comm port from the robot is shown on the screen...

    5) Test programs. I have simple Arduino sketches to do specific tests. I have a separate ones for the Arm and hexapod. I believe the Hexapod test one called Kurts_AX12_Test has been uploaded as part of that other thread. I use it by moving the XBee from the Commander to a USB XBee connected to PC. It then prompts for commands, things like: Move All servos to center. Good to see if all of the servos respond. Another test is Get Servo Positions. This one also tells me if something is wrong. I have had several times where a servo will reset its id back to 1 and things hang... So have another command to say set id for Servo X to Y. You need to disconnect all of the other ones that have that id (1) before issuing this command...

    Hope that helps

  2. #12

    Re: Kurt's PhantomX Reactor Robot Arm

    Andrew, as you mentioned, there appears to be some form of init issue with the Arm code when running on the WidowX. As I don't have one, I can only guess. I know that the issues is somewhat localized....

    In many cases like this I use one of my debug programs to help me out... For example I have my PhantomX test program that allows me to do things like: Turn all servos off and some experiments I had to move all servos to zero...

    With the problems you are seeing, I added some more cases to my code. One to turn the servos back on, and another that moves the arm to the home position in about 1/2 second... In my case I have it going to the position I used for a Backhoe.

    The program assumes I have a serial connection to the PC and I use the terminal window at 38400. It would not be hard to hack it up for the other arm... I included a zip file of it here...

    Attached Files Attached Files

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