Asked — Edited

Adventure Robot Checkout

Hello,

I assembled the Adventure Robot and have it working with the RGB Animation Display and the Ultrasonic Sensor. All seems to be working for the most part but I have a few questions and concerns:

  1. The camera has a green LED showing on the lower right inside case of the camera. Don't remember seeing this in any of the videos. Is this normal?

  2. In the camera settings, the only resolution available was 320X240. Does this have to do with my laptop or am I missing something?

  3. I tried going into the media settings for the camera to select different codecs and frame rates etc., and selected change and saved the settings but no changes were noticed with the video.

  4. Sometimes the robot would make random movements with the servos without me actually controlling them. Sometimes the servos would make small step motions and sometimes longer duration motions and in random directions. I had speech recognition enabled so I put it on pause and things seemed to work o.k. Could the speech recognition being enabled all the time cause these random movements and if not what other issues could cause these random movements. Battery temp and voltage are o.k. as I charged the batteries before using. I have a strong good WIFI Connection.

  5. In the mobile app for the Adventure bot all works o.k. but when I select stop the robot instead moves left continuously. Has anybody seen this before. Seems like maybe a good opportunity for me to learn from this and try and correct it by modifying the script?

  6. I noticed when operating on the rug (not shag) that the tail behind the Adventure Robot would hang up on the rug and prevent proper movement. Was thinking that some kind of EZ-Bit that is in the form of a little caster wheel would solve this issue but I am not experienced with CAD Programs and don't have a 3D Printer. Maybe this is something that EZ-Robots can work on as a future EZ-Bit as it could be used in a lot of future creations that use a three wheel type of a platform and would work better on rugs. On wood floors and linoleum it isn't an issue. Another thing I thought of doing is putting wide rubber bands around the wheels for a bit better traction

  7. I will be doing a STEM demonstration of my Heathkit Hero Robots and I will also be showing off the EZ-Robot Products that I have. The hardware and software is way awesome. I have been able to get speech recognition working pretty much flawlessly and all the other hardware is working good with just a few issues with the intermittent random servo movements and some camera setup issues that I am sure can be resolved.

  8. Thanks for an awesome product at a great price. I now have the bug !


ARC Pro

Upgrade to ARC Pro

ARC Pro is your gateway to a community of like-minded robot enthusiasts and professionals, all united by a passion for advanced robot programming.

PRO
Synthiam
#1  

Welcome!

  1. Yes. The LED is either blue or green depending on the model of the camera. The green is the latest camera. The LED is necessary for privacy concerns with consumer product certification to let you know the camera is recording - it also demonstrates that power is applied. You will find LEDs to be used on many electronic devices to demonstrate power. The EZ-B also has LEDs to demonstrate power.

  2. Machine vision and computer recognition is a very high cpu intensive process. The cameras for computer vision are much less resolution than what you, as a human, would use for recording a birthday party. If you were to run computer vision to recognize objects and decode frames at HD quality, your computer would literally grind to a halt and not be able to do anything else. Welcome to computer and machine vision recognition and image processing...

160x120 = 57,600 Bytes per frame = 1,152,000 Bytes per second 320x240 = 230,400 Bytes per frame = 4,608,000 Bytes per second 640x480 = 921,600 Bytes per frame = 18,432,000 Bytes per second

So at 320x240, your CPU is processing complex algorithm on 4,608,000 Bytes per second. Soon as you move to a mere 640x480, it's 18,432,000 Bytes per second.

To expand on that, 4,608,000 Bytes per second is just the data, not including the number of CPU instructions per step of the algorithm. Do not let television shows, such as Person Of Interest, make you believe that machine vision and CPU processing is as accessible...

If you want to record a birthday party, do not use a robot camera - buy a real camera. Here is more information about the Camera: https://synthiam.com/Support?id=80

You can access information about any control by pressing the ? (question mark) next to the X (close) button - as mentioned in the software. The camera control is a good read!

  1. The software is full of question marks. When in doubt, hover over blue question marks or read the manual pages for the software. The Media Settings is for video recording. Video recording is the act of recording video to a file. Back in the day, this term meant recording to a VHS tape. Now it means recording to a file. Unless you are actually pressing the RECORD button, the Media settings has no affect.

  2. The speech recognition visually displays any commands that it hears or thinks it hears. It displays these so you can see them. You can read them, and see what it is doing. Most likely the speech recognition was thinking you said movement commands. Welcome to the limitations of speech recognition. As the manual states for the speech recognition control, it's recommended to use a real microphone.

  3. I suspect you mean the iOS app? If so, the iOS app has a known bug currently and we're waiting for Apple to accept the review. I do not expect it to take much longer - Apple usually takes 6-7 days to review. Although today the review was rejected because sometimes they put a very inexperienced individual on the job and they hold up the process.

  4. Yeah, that will happen as it wasn't designed for a rug. The Roli is "okay" for rugs. But these are not industrial sized robots and are recommended for surfaces which have no obstruction to learn and understand robot behaviors. Rugs, even to Roli, are a little challenging for the tracks. Robots generally don't like rugs :)

  5. I'm jealous that you have a Heathkit Hero

  6. Great to hear :). The learn section is your friend! Share your future projects with us - everyone would love to see them.

#2  

Wow, what a quick response ! That is awesome. Yes I have both a Hero 1 and Hero 2000 with all the accessories ! Working with the EZ Robots definitely shows how far technology has come ! I have a couple of clarifications:

  1. I am using an android phone and all movement commands work. Just when you select stop it instead turns left continuously. Would this just be a scripting error in this case?

  2. Concerning the video resolution selections, I noticed in the tutorials for the camera it shows in ARC that there is a drop down menu where you can select 320x240 and other sizes. I don't see the drop down selections except for 320x240. That is why I thought it might have to do with my laptop. They may not work with my computer very well but I thought I would see more selections?

  3. Is there anything else that can cause random servo movements other than speech recognition and power source issues? Actually I was impressed with the speech recognition and speech synthesis capabilities. I imagine a poor wifi connection can cause the problem but I have a good strong wifi connection?

4 Do you ever sleep ? :)

PRO
Synthiam
#3  
  1. Interesting - is this the latest app update? Use the Google Play app to see if there is an update for ARC Mobile. I will take a look tomorrow and see if that bug still exists in the Android app if i hear back from you that you are running the latest version.

  2. You are not able to select the resolution while the camera is enabled. Press the STOP button before changing the resolution. Microsoft Windows is the operating system that your computer is running. The operating system provides graphical "widgets" that are universal across all programs. Such as drop downs, text boxes, buttons, etc.. The objects will sometimes be disabled due which prevent users from changing values. When an object is disabled, it will appear dark. The drop down for the resolution is dark when the camera is enabled because the dropdown is disabled.

  3. Poor Wifi or power issues should not cause random servo movements. The only thing i can think of is if a Camera Tracking Type has been selected during accidental random clicks of options in the camera control. Read the Camera manual to understand tracking types. Ensure all tracking types are disabled (unchecked).

-or-

If the servo plug connected to the EZ-B is a little loose, that will make the servos move a little. Ensure the servo plug is securely connected to the EZ-B.

  1. Sometimes :)
PRO
Synthiam
#5  

Excellent - i'll wait for your answer regarding point #1

#6  

DJ,

One last question. The camera view looks a bit blurry and I checked the focus procedure. I don't see any cement or loctite around the ring. It also protrudes out of the camera a bit and the way it is made it looks like it can be adjusted. Do the newer cameras have the focus adjustment and is the cement that locks the lens on non adjustable cameras easy to spot or obvious?

I will be taking the EZ Robot to the next robotics meeting to show off !

I will check on the android ARC mobile update and get back with you. Everything works in the app except the stop button.

#7  

There was an update for the android ARC app so I updated and the latest version is V2016.03.12.00.

PRO
Synthiam
#8  
  1. The lens on your camera is not focusable. The image appears blurry because it's 320x240. The EZ-Robot camera is not designed for HD quality video or recording family events, etc.. It is designed for computer vision. See the previous response regarding vision resolution

  2. Always ensure you are running the latest versions if you find something unusual

#9  

Sounds great and thanks for all your help and quick as lightning responses. I'm quite happy with your products and your service ! Best around ! Rick

#10  

Hello,

Just wondering if it is possible to readout the temperature of the battery in degrees farenhite instead of degrees celcius? Would this require a change of the software for this function or control? Thanks for your help ! Rick B.

#11  

This plugin displays the temperature in Fahrenheit. https://synthiam.com/redirect/legacy?table=plugin&id=82

Alan

PRO
Synthiam
#12  

There is no way to read the temperature of the battery. The battery does not have a temperature sensor. The temperature that you see is for the ezb. The ezb returns the temperature and voltage of itself, not the battery.

The battery is not smart and does not contain electronics. The battery is a power source which provides electrical current for the ezb.

If you are using the Windows PC version of ARC, there are question marks on each control. Pressing the question mark for the ezb info control or viewing the respective manual page in the learn section will explain in further detail. Here is a direct link: https://synthiam.com/Tutorials/Help.aspx?id=200

If you are using the mobile app or wish to perform your own calculation, simply multiple the value. You can use simple math to convert from Celsius.

Using Google, I found this fun math exercise to help: https://www.mathsisfun.com/temperature-conversion.html

#13  

As @thetechguru said, use the plugin. And the temperature is for the ez-bs CPU, not the battery. The voltage is for the battery. Just wanted to clarify.

#14  

Thanks much Alan and DJ ! Very helpful and fast responses. I know how to convert celcius to fahrenheit but was interested in learning how to modify existing plug-in code or write my own plugins. Seemed the EZB processor temperature would be a good one to start with. Any guidance on where to start with this would be much appreciated. Is there a way to view the actual code for the voltage and temp plugin and the other plugins and controls? Thanks Again !

#15  

Is there a way to view the actual code for the plugins/controls? Thanks much ! Rick B.

PRO
Synthiam
#16  

Only if it's published open source. I don't think the plugin that you were directed to the author didn't publish open source.

But you don't need to edit a plugin anyway. Just use ezscript. ARC has a full scripting language that you learned about in the activity course of the learn page.

The question is, are you wanting this for mobile or PC?

PRO
Synthiam
#17  

Do this in the mobile interface by editing the existing Adventure Bot app and resave it to the cloud as your own...

#18  

Thanks much DJ ! From what I have read it appears that C++ and other languages can be used to program the robots using appropriate SDK'S. Would this be a correct assumption? Thanks again ! Rick B.

PRO
Synthiam
#19  

The software tab will tell you everything you will need to know about creating plugins or use the sdk.

I would recommend staying in ARC and using EZ-Script.

#20  

Hello,

I read the tutorial for the ADC Ports and have Some questions:

Is the VDC pin an input or output? If so what is the output voltage if it is in fact an output voltage? If it is an input what is its purpose. The analog input voltage appears to go to the signal input pin.

With regards to the VDC pin, what exactly does 5 volt tolerant actually mean?

Am I correct in assuming that the analog input voltage is applied between the ground pin and the signal pin and must be between 0-3 volts?

What is the reference voltage for the internal ADC

Is VDC used as an output for voltage divider to ground. Say if you had a potentiometer you could connect one end of the potentiometer to VDC, the other end to GND pin and the wiper connected to SIGNAL pin of ADC.

Having a schematic diagram of how the three pins connect internally to the ADC would be helpful.

If the input voltage is 0 to 3.3 volts how are you using a 5 volt sensor input. Seems there would be some circuitry required to scale the higher input voltage down to the ADC input range of 0-3.3 volts.

Thanks again for your help ! Rick B.

PRO
USA
#21  
  1. VDC Pin

Tutorial: https://synthiam.com/Community/Tutorials/161/1

Quote:

Ground: located towards the centre of the board.

VDC: The centre pin, regulated at 3.3 volts (5v tolerant)

Signal: The outermost pin from the centre of the board.

it's an error:

The VDC pin is a 3.3v regulated OUTPUT voltage pin The Signal pin is an INPUT pin (5v tolerant)

PRO
USA
#22  
  1. Signal (INPUT) Pin

ADC reference voltage is 3.3v ADC resolution is 12 bits

if you feed 3.3v (ADC VDC) to the Signal input pin (adc0)


GetADC(adc0) #returns 255
GetADC12(adc0) #returns 4095

5V tolerant means if you feed more than 3.3v you don't burn the EZB, but will have erratic readings.

PRO
USA
#23  

if you want to read more than 3.3v you will need a voltage divider.

As an example to step down an interval 5v-0v to 3.3v-0v you can use:


(5V Output Sensor)---[1.8k ohm resistor]---[EZBPin]---[3.3k ohm resistor]----GND 

if you get noisy readings you can add a 100nF capacitor in parallel with the 3.3k resistor.

A voltage divider can be used to step down voltages but should not be used to supply voltage to a circuit.

#24  

Thanks much ptp ! That helps alot !......Rick B.

PRO
Synthiam
#25  

I updated Steve's tutorial with the proper verbiage for the adc ports on that link

#27  

Hello ptp,

With regards to your comments earlier regarding the voltage divider for the a/d, you mentioned a cap value to reduce noise issues. Did you mean 100 nanofarad or 100 picofarad. Thanks much !

PRO
USA
#28  

100 nf = nanofarad

pico = 10 e -12 nano = 10 e -9 micro = 10 e -6

btw: when searching, some suppliers change the scale so a 0.1 uf (micro farad) = 100 nf (nano farad) = 100000 pF (pico farad)

also the type is a ceramic (no polarity) very common type has the marking code "104":

just a random search in amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/uxcell-100000pF-Voltage-Ceramic-Capacitors/dp/B008DFE5L4

#30  

Hello,

Just wanted to verify I am connecting up correctly to the A/D Port. I assume the ground should be connected to the black strip connector pins on A/D Port and Vcc connection goes to the middle red strip connector pins and the analog input goes to the white connector pins of A/D Port? I am connecting a potentiometer and using the red A/D strip connector pin to use A/D 3.3 volt output. Also when using conversion value for 12 bit a/d it would be 3.3v divided by 4096 as 3.3v is A/D reference voltage? Thanks again and Happy Easter !

PRO
Synthiam
#31  

the datasheet will be useful to print out and tape to the wall - that's where i keep mine for reference: https://synthiam.com/Tutorials/Lesson/18?courseId=5

Yes, the ADC is 3.3v because the EZ-B is 3.3v logic

#32  

Hello DJ,

Thanks for the reply ! I checked out the link but doesn't say what pin functions are located where on the a/d ports. There are three pins for each port. There is a strip of black pins, red pins (center) and a strip of white pins. Just need to verify what color pins go to port vcc, ground and signal in. As far as I can see the ground of sensor goes to black strip pins, vcc of sensor goes to red pins (center) and analog in goes to white strip connector pins. Would this be correct? Rick

PRO
Synthiam
#33  

haha, yes - those colors are universal facts, which is why they're not defined in datasheets. The concept of gnd is also labelled with a symbol of - (minus). The opposite applies to positive, which is a + (plus). Much like your car battery, stereo speakers, well really anything...

Gnd is black Positive is red Which leaves white, and you guessed it, that would be signal :)

Do not just "check out" that link. Print it or save it to your desktop for reference. There is a lot of information in there which will be useful

#34  

Thanks DJ,

What great support ! Best in the business, actually any business for that matter ! Rick

#35  

Hello,

I made the mistake of leaving the adventure robot on too long past the point of the battery warnings. I inspected the battery and it wasn't deformed any. I removed the EZ-Bv4 and tried charging the battery with included charger. Originally I received 3 leds flashing red six times with one second delay in between. I let the battery sit for about 45 minutes and with the controller removed I tried recharging again and it appears to be charging fine. Is this pretty typical and should the battery be used now even if it charges with both cell lights green? In other words is it safe to use?

I thought about a way to power the Ez-bv4 on and off using a low power photon processor or other small internet of things processor. The small iot processor would control a relay to act as a remote power switch. You could tweet a command to turn relay on and off. This would allow one to conserve power on robot when not in use. Power could be turned on remotely when robot needs to be active. I'm thinking of cases where I might be away from home for a period of time. When I want to see what is going on in our house I could turn the robot on to view the camera on adventure robot then turn power off remotely until the next time I want to check things out. What are your thoughts regarding this idea?

Any chance that a larger milliampere lipo battery could be used with the ez-robots? Any plans for the future to offer such an upgrade?

I have successfully put adventure robot controller in the client mode. I was also able to port forward the ip address and ports and using ARC mobile, control and view camera over cell phone 4G connection. The response was quite good for both the robot movements and also the camera stream. It was actually pretty impressive and I am using the lower camera resolution. I'm also using an older Samsung s4 phone and T-Mobile's 4g network that isn't known for its speed compared to other carriers.

Can I post a photo of my adventure robot creation in this thread? It is pretty cool and I have modified original adventure robot design. Have added 1/4 × 3 inch rubber bands on the wheels and it moves much better on carpet. Also have found some small casters from pololu that should adapt easilly to the adventure robot. I' ll try and post photo of what I have done so far. I have also modified the adventure robot mobile app to run the rgb animation display and there was one button to play a sound that was not labeled, so I labeled it. Had to change a couple of buttons around to get the text to display correctly. The ARC windows and mobile versions are very powerful and way awesome ! Nice work ! I plan on adding a lever servo so I can tilt camera. Don't need rotation servo as I can rotate robot itself. Can save on servo and power this way. Will post mobile app to cloud once everything is done. Maybe I will post what I have so far.

Rick Bonari

PRO
Synthiam
#36  

Long as the battery isn't puffy - as per the tutorial and it's included example images - you will be fine.

You sure can post pictures! Post away:) Everything is about sharing here!

As for turning on and off the ez-b remotely - you will find that the ez-b will most likely use less power than any IoT device. This is because the ez-b most like uses the same STM32 ARM processor. Also, the EZ-B has a digital switching power supply, which is hundreds of times more efficient than a linear regulator which is found on cheap hobby products.

If you want the ez-b to turn off automatically when the battery is low, there are way more effective ways of doing that with less complications. One example, is to use an Arduino and a relay similar to that was used in the Bimbo The Clown..

This arduino code loop checks the status of the green pin of the ez-b to see if wifi is connected - if not, cycle the power via the relay. Use one of those 2 or 4 pack relay pcb's that we used for Bimbo The Clown - jeremie posted the link to the relay in one of the threads.


/**

analog 0 will be connected to battery to check voltage
digital 1 will be connected to master power relay
digital 2 will be connected to ez-b relay
**/

while (true) {

  if (analogRead(0) < 600) {

    // disable master relay that provides all power
    digitalWrite(1, LOW);

    // no need to do anything because the power will be cut 
  }

  // check if the green led on the ez-b is not on
  if (!digitalRead(2)) {

    // cycle ezb power with relay
    digitalWrite(2, low);
    delay(2000);
    digitalWrite(2, high);
    delay(5000);
  }

  delay(10000);
}

You can also look at the User Tutorials in the learn section for examples that ppl have - or use the search feature and find what others are doing.

I would recommend you start by comparing the power consumption between the IoT device that you're referring to, and the EZ-B. You can compare power consumption by using a multi-meter. If you don't have one, get one because they are useful in electronics - specifically what you're attempting to do.

#37  

Hello,

just wondering how I get a photo stored on my phone to show in my posts? Below I have tried to attach a photo file but when uploading it just shows the apparent link but no picture:

User-inserted image

Not sure what the issue is. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks much...Rick B.

#38  

Hello,

It worked. Looks like once you hit reply it actually puts the photo in with the text. Yeah ! Here is another photo:

User-inserted image

PRO
Synthiam
#40  

That is one decked out adventure bot:D He's pretty lucky to have all those attachments! The RGB LED Array is my favorite to play with.

Good idea with the elastics. We choose the version 2 wheels (which you have) to be a little slippery to assist with navigating and not leaving floor marks.. And most importantly, to be easy on the servos. The version 1 wheels were much stickier and caused servo failure and leaving marks on peoples floor. If the elastics are working for you, that's awesome :)

#41  

Hello All,

I updated the adventure robot with a tilt servo for the camera and also gave him a red nose. Also updated the mobile app and updated to the cloud and enabled public use of th app. Following shou be some updated photos of it:

User-inserted image

User-inserted image

User-inserted image

Rick B.

PRO
Synthiam
#42  

Nice - that will help him track a ball or something on the ground if he can look down now. Have you made animations for the rgb array?

#43  

Hello DJ,

I made one test animation, along with a frame to clear the display to conserve power at times. I really like this display too. I updated the mobile app and it should be available to anyone on the cloud.......Rick B.

PRO
Synthiam
#44  

Nice. Interesting fact... The display uses as much power as one led. This is because there is only one led on at a time. Even though it looks like many are on, there's actually only one on but your eye sees many.

So having it off doesnt save a lot of juice. It saves as much as one led.

Neat, isn't it? That was a little invention I came up with...

#45  

DJ,

Yes, I think the display is so awesome. I think your software and hardware are awesome and the best thing going ! In a few short hours I have been able to do things I have wanted to do for years but haven't been able to accomplish because I either didn't have the time or expertise to bring it all together. Looking at getting an Irobot create and of course other ez-bit pieces in the future. Also looking forward to the new version of ez-bv4 controller. I'm also not done with the adventure robot. Really awesome hardware and software combos ! Rick B.

#47  

@rbonari

That Adventure bot is pretty cool. I liked it so much, I decided to build one of my own out of parts from the dev kit and the six kit. Here is my variation.

User-inserted image

User-inserted image

Hope everyoe likes!

#48  

Hello robohappy,

I really like your adventure robot design. Awesome job ! Rick B.

#49  

Hello,

Just wondering what the best wireless game controller is that people use with ARC and windows 7. Would like to add it to my adventure robot project...Thanks Much....Rick B.:) :)

PRO
Synthiam
#50  

The best i've found is the f710 logitech wireless controller. You can find a link and more info on the Joystick manual page by pressing the ? question mark next to the X on the joystick control. Here's a direct link: https://synthiam.com/Tutorials/Help.aspx?id=43

Some use xbox controllers. I prefer the logitech

#51  

Thanks Much DJ,

I did a whole bunch of demonstrations at the local STEM SHOWCASE today with with the adventure robot and ARC and had tons of interest in ez-robot. Young and old alike were amazed at the power of the hardware/software. The parents loved the concept for their children and the Kitsap CREATE (computers, robotics, electronics, art, technology enthusiasts) members were excited about the advanced features of the controller hardware and ARC combinations. Again, great work !

When will the newest ez-bv? be released. I can't wait !......Rick B. :)

PRO
Synthiam
#52  

That's awesome news! The /2 upgrade to the v4 will start shipping when the current supply of v4's are sold - we seem to still be on track for May/June.

We also have the mini ez-b which is called the IoTiny and should be shipping at the same time frame. The IoTiny is designed for DIY projects. It will cost a fraction of the v4, and provides 8 digital i/o, camera, audio, i2c and 2 adc.

Also released each month after the /2 starts shipping will be the Serial RGB, 8x8 RGB, 4-in-1 v2, and inverted pendulum... which you may have seen pop up as new controls in the last few releases of ARC.

#53  

Hello DJ,

I have attached photos of my adventue robot interfaced successfully to an lcd/kepad display and led using serial send an receive operations via ezb uart0 port. I also was able to use ezb terminal control to debug scripts in both directions. I will be updating project and loading it to cloud so others can view. Rick B. User-inserted image

User-inserted image

User-inserted image

PRO
Synthiam
#54  

That'a boy! Nice work! Wow and to think you've only been ezroboting for what... 2 months? Impressive

#55  

@rbonari Very nice setup.

Have you found a way to make the servos driving the wheels run at a slower speed?

I've read a lot of posts where people have issues, but have not seen a good solution, even using the new speed sliders in the continuous rotation control on the 2016.08.07 release

Thanks, Frank

PRO
Synthiam
#56  

Change the values for forward and reverse to be closer to 90 to limit the top speed globally in the project.

If you wish to only limit the speed in the mobile interface, change the max speed option to a lower value on the analog joystick control. You will have to edit the mobile interface to change that value on that control.

Those are your two options. Please limit topics to a single thread:) thanks!