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United Kingdom
Asked — Edited

A Few Questions

Hello all
I have just found out about the EZ-Robot world, and I am very interested.
First though theres a few questions perhaps some of you may be able to help me with.
I did email these to the EZ-Team. But I understand that they are very busy so I thought I should ask here in the forum too.

I am currently waiting for delivery of a Robonova-1 that I found on eBay.
From reading a lot of forum posts about the Robonova, I can see that well it is somewhat out of date when it comes to the controller and its programming (it was released in 2006 after all).
So I am thinking once built, I could replace the Robonova's controller board with your EZ-B v4 WiFi Robot Controller.
I think a fair bit of what I want to do has been done with the "robophilo" .

I think the EZ-B v4 might be just the ticket to bring the Robonova-1 into the year 2014.

so my questions are as follows:

1:: will the EZ-B v4 be able to supply enough amps to the servos with out damaging itself? or will I have to wire some other way to power the servos?
Robonova-1's servo specifications:
Operating voltage: 6 - 7.4 V Max. rotational angle: 180 degrees
Torque: 7.4 kg / cm at 6.0 Volts (9.0 kg / cm at 7.4 Volts)
Transit speed for 60 degrees: 0.2 sec. at 6 Volts (0.18 sec. at 7.4 Volts)
HMI (HiTEC Multi-protocol Interface)
Data feedback: current, voltage, position
Optional: servo parameter adjustment (requires servo programmer kit)
PWM interface (RC standard).

2:: The Robonova-1 has the ability that you can manually position the servos and the robobasic software is able to read the servo positions and record their position. I believe they call it catch and play? Similar to the Robotis Bioloid kits.
So you can make movements by positioning and saving the positions and then another and another and so on.
will I be able to do this with the EZ-B v4?

3:: Does the EZ-B v4. HAVE to have a live connection via wifi to a computer to be able to make use of things like the camera tracking and other seemingly high processing features? or can the EZ-B v4 operate "untethered" all by itself? tracking and all?

4:: Would it be possible to get the dimensions of the EZ-Robot EZ-B v4 Camera? with and/or without the casing?

5:: I noticed the EZ-B v4 is 2 stacked boards. What is the depth of the EZ-B v4 with out its casing?
I would like to mount it on the back of the Robonova where the original controller is.
Possibly fitting under the original plastic shell (if not I would see about designing a new shell and having it 3D printed)

6:: Is there any way that anyone is are aware of that might let me translate/use, for example the roboBASIC walking code from the robonova with the EZ-B v4 or would I have to create things like that from scratch?

7:: I read about the GAIT feature called Auto Positioner. would I be able to use this for a humanoid with more servos per leg than your "JD"?
And will it allow me to get a nice walking motion?

8:: With the mobile apps that you can create to control your robot, does this work over wifi with the EZ-B v4 directly? or via the computer?

9:: Is there a way using custom code that I would be able to add more sensors to the EZ-Builder?

10:: Can the EZ-B v4 send/receive to an Arduino?
Perhaps via I2C? or RX/TX?

11:: Are there any known issues with using EZ-B with a virtual windows 7 machine on a Mac?

Sorry for so many questions and if any has already been covered in a post somewhere.
Any advice anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Thank You all.
Jay.

United Kingdom
#1  
1. Without knowing the current demand for the servos it's impossible to say if the EZ-B could pass through the current. Having said that, you can always bypass the EZ-B for the Vcc and Ground so there should be no problems there.

2. No. The EZ-B cannot read servo positions from it's digital ports. You would need serial controlled servos on the UART port. However this is likely to not be necessary since Auto Position realtime updates make auto positions very simple to do.

3. Yes. It requires either a PC or a tablet/mobile to operate. The EZ-B cannot operate as a stand alone device.

4. I'm sure the EZ-Robot team will catch this one and provide however dimensions are on the shop pages.

5. As number 4

6. You would need to rewrite in EZ-Script. EZ-Script is basic to understand and easy to learn though. If you understand one language you can easily convert to EZ-Script.

7. Yes

8. The mobile/tablet/iPhone connects to the EZ-B over wifi

9. Yes, EZ-Script. However you can add as many sensor controls as you need. Only the Movement Panel is limited to one instance per ARC.

10. Yes. I2C or serial can work to control an arduino.

11. It has been reported that running Windows within a mac works.
United Kingdom
#2  
Hi Rich
Thank you for replying so fast. great help, thank you very much.

I have just seen on another post the the EV-B v4 can give let up to 20 amps through it to the servos so that shouldn't be an issue hopefully.

The servos that come with the robonova can provide feedback but not by UART unfortunately

I was hoping that it would be able to work without having to be connected all the time to a computer, but I understand that things like tracking take a lot of processing power.
So what I am wondering now is could I mount an android phone/small tablet directly to the robonova chassis which would connect to the EV-B v4 through wifi and do the processing power needed for things like tracking etc?
I would do all the actual programming on my laptop but I could use the android phone as the mobile onboard computer brain for the robot?

Thanks again.
Jay
United Kingdom
#3  
The android app is still under heavy development with new features added all the time. I don't know which features from the desktop ARC are still missing from the Android app but there may be some.

You could, however use a small Windows tablet such as the Acer W7, this runs ARC desktop without a problem. Or you could opt for a small Windows based embedded PC. There are many options available.
United Kingdom
#4  
Thanks again Rich

Thinking about it over dinner just now, even without the EZ-B v4 being able to run without a connection to a computer, it looks like a fantastic way to get the power of a full blown pc into a mobile robot chassis. I'm only really going to be using it inside my home network anyway. so i think i will go for it and order one.
I could see about finding a really small single board pc that can hold windows in the future.

Rich I see you are in the UK. did you experience any issues with getting your EZ products delivered to you? customs/import duties etc?
and how long did you have to wait? I see on the product pages in the shop the bits I want (controller and camera) are for pre order only.

Thank you for your help.
Looks like this will be a nice online community to be a part of.
United Kingdom
#5  
I've never had issues with deliveries and have received a few deliveries.

There is customs duty and tax to pay, I think it was around £14 but don't quote me on that. It has varied every time and once I didn't get any duty/tax to pay. Keep an eye out for DHL texts, they prewarn of duty/tax to pay which speeds up delivery (which is 3 or 4 days).

Don't worry too much about the pre-order thing, they are still getting through the pre orders from over a year ago but it isn't that long a wait now. It certainly wont be a year or more, it may not even be delayed now if it's the EZ-B and camera only.
United Kingdom
#6  
Thank you.