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Resolved Resolved by DJ Sures!

Benefit Of Onboard Computer

Hello to all the members of the community here.  

I am starting to build an InMoov robot project using ezb controllers and want to understand what if any is the benefit of adding a onboard computer to the project is?   Also what computer configuration would be best to use?

Currently I am going to be using a IoTiny in the head and two ezb4’s in the chest.

Related Hardware EZ-B v4


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#1   — Edited
There's a lengthy writeup here, and if you haven't checked that section, it's a good idea to now (save you a lot of headaches in the future, haha): https://synthiam.com/Support/Get-Started/how-to-make-a-robot/computer-configuration.

Am I guessing you mean EZ-Robot EZBs? 

In my opinion, USB is better than connecting all of the EZB's over WiFi and experiencing wifi issues. Having to deal with wifi for every ezb is just one more thing to go wrong.

Also, USB gives you a much faster response time for peripherals (i.e., moving servos). USB latency is in the microsecond range, where WiFi latency is in the millisecond range (1,000 times faster with USB)

Lastly, when you want to use the robot, it's easier with USB because you don't have to power on and connect all the wifi devices and such.
#2   — Edited
Wow thank you for the fast reply to my question I will check out the link you provided.  But it sounds link the onboard pc has many benefits for the build.

Ok I had time to review the link you sent me I think the best way to go would be the LattePaanda with Windows 10 and ARC installed on it.  My next question is can I use VNC or something like that from my notebook to control it so I don't so I don't have to mount a screen on the robot?
Thank you DJ Sure,  I appreciate your help.  If you have anything else you can add on my followup question please do.
#5   — Edited
Latte Panda is excellent for running ARC but the older Original one is really picky on the power source..for example I have a Nimh 8.4 volt 3000 MA R.C. battery high performance, yet the Panda refuse to power up full as not enough amps to Start the small HDMI view screen. Then I have the really expensive 7.4v Lipo 5000 50c burst rating and it will run the Panda no problem for about 1 hour. I have also tried several 12 volt lead acid batteries, the one tractor utility battery with 18 Amp hour should be able to start Panda but sadly no ,same problem as the 8.4 Nimh.Then I tried a battery for a E bike at 12 amp/hrs and it does have stronger amps to run Panda for about 1 hour. That Panda is very very picky on power.Even certain USB wall power plugs not good enough so don't be discouraged if Panda fails to start, upgrade the Amp rating on your power...some of the DJ tips on running headless very helpful too, in my case it could be the small hdmi screen using up too many amps, so running without can help.
#6   — Edited
Did you look at the battery solution in that section? I run a rock pi for about 8-10 hours with the small low cost battery from that. I’m on my phone so you’ll have to navigate to the link. But it’s in the same section.

the battery from that support page will run your latte panda with no issues. All versions. It’s a real good battery solution for sbc

i have around a dozen robots running that battery. That’s latte panda and rock pi and atomic pi and up board. Mainly cause I build a robot for every thing that I show on live hacks:)
No not seen that, will have a look,  unless it was the battery power pack you talked about on the live hack bought at Amazon.
Well I ordered my LattePaanda with Windows 10 and ARC installed on it. It will take some time to get here but at least it's on the way.  I want to run it headless in the robot and I think I want to mount it in the head of the robot.  The plan will be to connect both EZB4's and the IOTiny by USB/TTL's.

Now I need to decide how I want to power it.   I was going to go with a 6V 50A switching power supply to power everything and use a BEC set 5.1v for the LattePaanda and powered USB Hub. 

Does anyone have any comments or input on the power setup?
What you described is how our inmoov is powered. The only difference is the computer is on the back rather than the head. It’s easier to get to - doubly so if needing to connect keyboard and mice etc for setup. 

That will be a hefty power supply. Enough for the servos for sure. Be cautious of wiring to ensure the cables can carry the current.

I use a single ezb v4 via usb to the onboard computer. The ezb has an ssc32 connected for extended servos. That gives me 66 servos capability with one ezb. 

I use a usb camera. For speech recognition I use a Jaba audio conference speaker/mic combo mounted on the front waist. 

originally I had the camera in the eye. But since then I realized it makes more sense on the chest. People don’t know that it’s on the chest, but it allows the robot to track objects easier.
DJ,  Based on your comment I need to ask what size power supply you are using on yours?   I agree on the camera location I have completely reengineered the inside of the head and remixed many parts to build a complex eye system with independent eye control and upper and lower eye lids using six servos.  The plan was to mount the LattePaanda above everything in the head.  I am using the skull top with the back access hole if I need access but I may mount it on the back depending on how much space I have to work with.

Can you tell me what USB Hub you picked to use and helper board for the USB EZB4? 

As soon as I start my ARC Pro subscription I will start posting details about my build under the robot section of this sight.User-inserted image
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The printing looks great. I like the inside head design.

I don't know what USB <-> uart I am using. Any that works with Windows 10 will suffice. The internals always seems to be the same.

I don't use a USB hub because I only have three devices connected: a USB camera, sound, and ezb.

I'm not sure what power supply the inmoov has - but Jeremie might chime in if he sees this post. He found it for me.
I found a 20A 5V supply from a Chinese company, which I can't remember the name of to supply the inMoov.

They are common, you should be able to google it, or you can use an ATX power supply if you have one. Obviously the 5V rail.
Hey thanks guys!   I thought based on reading other materials it required more than 40 amps to run the robot I would love to be able to use a smaller power supply if I can.  

I also got to thinking after my last post that I don’t think I need the IOtiny in the head if I install the pc because I should be able to use 8 ports on the GPIO to run the servos. If that does not sound correct please let me know.  

I have so much to learn and I really appreciate your guys help putting me on the correct path on this project.
#15   — Edited
Ok I need some more help guys.  I have to decide where to mount the pc at and it will depend on if I have to turn it on to make it boot up. 

Can you you make the latte panda boot without pressing the on/off button on the board?   

I want to mount the board in the head of my inmoov but that is not going to work if I have to turn it on by pressing the button on the board. 

Also can you make it auto load an ARC project when it starts up?

Thank you in advance.
#16   — Edited
Unfortunately, the only way to turn on the latte panda is with the power button. You could try soldering a wire for a remote switch - but you'd have to be careful not to damage the board. I wouldn't recommend doing that

You can have ARC startup with projects etc. Here's the support section link: https://synthiam.com/Support/Tips-to-Make-a-Robot/Load-project-on-Windows-startup

Also, be sure to follow the guide to install windows for performance, or you'll be kicking yourself later :): https://synthiam.com/Support/Tips-to-Make-a-Robot/Overview

Thanks DJ, Because I have the newer BIOS in my Lattepanda already I just needed to do the following:

How to switch on/off the Auto-boot function in LP v1.1/v1.2:

1.Press [Esc] or [Del] once just boot up the system to enter the BIOS
2.Go into Boot->Machine Status AC/Battery In
3.Change it to Power On/Power Off

So thank you for pointing me in the right direction! As far as all the performance settings I have also done them per your recommendations.
DJ I have another question on the LattePanda when the Leonardo is loaded on it.  Are the below the only pins I can connect servos to?

Leonardo, Micro, Yún.    3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13     490 Hz (pins 3 and 11: 980 Hz)
I’m not sure on that. Arduinos are all different. Where’d you find those servo pins from?

one way is to try a port and see if it works
That looks like your answer then:)
Well that sucks because I could of used one more darn it.   I was hoping that was old information.  I need support for 8 servos and it only supports 7.  

ok well thanks for your validation DJ.
#24   — Edited
I only validated the research you’ve done. I can’t verify if the servos work on other ports. Ardunio is open source and half of anything isn’t documented because open source people don’t get paid to do anything. So as I said, test it. Test a port and see if it works:)

i know some things but I don’t know all things haha


i know some things but I don’t know all things haha
Well sure in the hell no more than me when it comes to this stuff LOL

I would love to be able to talk to you about ARC programming for a few mins on the phone to try and get a better understanding how thing are designed to work with each other.  Let me know if that is something that maybe we can do.
Sorry that’s not something I can offer. Have you had a look at any tutorials or the support section?
Yes I have and they left me with questions.  I can post them here on the site but I was looking for a simpler method...  As a former CEO and also a head of a R&D in software development company myself I understand why we can't get on the phone.
Id love to build robots with people. It’s why I started this:) it’s just not sustainable. My time on here is a luxury but it also helps keep my finger on the pulse.
Hi DJ.

Above you have that you have mounted a usb camera in the chest of your Inmoov. Do you have a pic of where and how you mounted it?

The eyes that i am using i have modified and as such i can't put a camera in them. So the chest was my next thought.

Sadly I don’t have a pic but it isn’t cleanly mounted. It’s pretty much a retro fit due to time constraints and far too many projects. I won’t be in calgary for quite a while to show anything like that. And I’m not quite sure if it’s even still there because it’s been a while since I’ve used the inmoov. 

id recommend a retro fit in the chest plate. Use a camera with the highest field of view. There’s some good affordable ones on Amazon.
THe biggest benefit of adding a onboard computer to the project is that your computer will be set up and working right away. You can use Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection to make changes if needed.


The biggest benefit of adding a onboard computer to the project is that your computer will be set up and working right away
Agreed. However these SBC boards take a long time to boot into Windows and start up ARC. Once you are into Win and want to work in the interface, there is also a lag in the time you click on a menu or button and the response. However data seems to be sent to your EZB quick enough. 

Another advantage (may have already been motioned) is that if you can hard wire connections to EZBs through USB you don't have to run data through your home WIFI or use WIFI AP mode.