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Evaluating.With Robotic Head

I apologize if this is covered elsewhere. I haven't done a full search of the forum yet. I was led to this site via the Robotics Squared robotic head website. In particular, for a college project we are trying to build a robotic vision tracking head, as pictured in the video on this site. Is the ARC kit the only thing I need to purchase from EZ-Robot? We also plan on adding the robotic neck. Will I need additional parts to handle it (other then their neck and the ARC kit)? Finally, if I wish to use a raspberry Pi as the controller, I'm assuming there is nothing else I need to buy (I have the raspberry pi already).

The goal is a "greeter head" that tracks folks as they enter a room, and can say "hello" (I realize the lips don't move on the head). A very basic animatronic robot head.

I guess what I'm really asking, as the head isn't a ez-robot product, can anyone point out a tutorial or give me more info on starting this project. Although I'm a very experienced programmer, when it comes to soldering, I'm all thumbs.

Thanks,
James A. Brannan

AI Support Bot
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Synthiam
#1  
You don't need the PI at all just the ez robot developer's kit and ARC which is free... What you want to do is very straight forward using just the ezb4 and ARC... Download ARC which has many example projects to get you started...
#2  
Thanks, that helps make me feel pretty good about being able to get all this to work with the clear plastic head from Robotics Squared and the EZ-Robot developer's kit.

So I will be purchasing. I haven't gone through all the materials yet, but I do want to make the guy work without hooking up to any external computer. Assuming the EZ-B4 is able to do that. Also I'll probably have to do the coding in C++ or Python, as it's for a class. Hopefully that is as easy as the SDK appears to be.
#3  
The EZ-B requires a computer connected via WiFi. You don't need the SDK in most situations, just ARC. Most uses of the SDK are for integrating ARC to external hardware or application that doesn't have ARC support yet, although if you prefer programming everything yourself you can certainly do everything that ARC does in your own application with the SDK. It is a dotnet SDK, although there is also a mono version available if you are developing in Linux.

You can also use ARC to create apps for iPhone or Android to control the EZ-B, although with somewhat less functionality than a Windows computer.

Alan
#4  
I use a Windows 8.1 eight inch tablet that fits onto my robots...
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#5  
Okay...so as the head isn't going anywhere, I could mount it to a crate/box containing a mini pc or a tablet or something and connect from that device to the EZ-B. I could use it in "server" mode where the EZ-B would form it's own wifi network with the device. Does this seem correct? As pc's are so cheap and so small these days, hiding it wouldn't be a problem, as I'd put it below the head and neck. Moreover, I can connect my iphone to it or my android phone....even cooler.

Thanks,
James A. Brannan
United Kingdom
#6  
@jamesabrannan.

Quote:

I could use it in "server" mode where the EZ-B would form it's own wifi network with the device. Does this seem correct?


That is correct. The AP mode (Ad-Hoc mode) is a direct connection from your PC to your EZ-B. A great tablet PC you can use would be the Acer W3 which runs full Windows 8, and this would give you the option to use every control and interface within ARC. So using that with the Development kit or an EZ-B v4 by itself with a camera along with a Lever servo and Rotational servo motor, using the servos for head/neck pan and tilt, camera for motion/face/colour tracking ect using ARC, and your all set. No real soldering is required, as everything is plug and play.

As you mentioned about using smartphones, saving a project to the EZ-Cloud gives you the ability to use your iPhone or Android phone, but at the moment the camera control is not supported on the mobile app just yet, so using a laptop, PC, or as mentioned a full Windows 8 tablet like an Acer W3 would be a better option for your "Head" project.
#7  
The windows 8.1 full version tablet i use costs less than $100 got it on Ebay. i use a mini rf wireless keyboard instead of a joystick or wii controller. Cost $20 on Newegg.com
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#8  
@rb550f Agreed, forget the joystick.... That mini keyboard is much better... I even have one that I forgot about until you just reminded me of it...:)
#9  
Hmm...well suddenly the builder's kit no longer appears for sale. This is disconcerting, as I was planning on using it and not one of the preconfigured robots. Oops....simply removed from main Shop page, still on the DIY page.
PRO
Synthiam
#10  
@Jamesabrannan we're moving the store around while preparing to add new items this week. You must have caught us during the change over. The Developers Kit is on the main page now
#11  
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Hi James,

Just the two servos, a few bits of hardware and the EZ controller will give you all you want. I am not a programmer, but was able to get the head tracking running in a short period of time. Lighting is very important, so be sure to consider it in your location. I bought the Developer kit and got all I needed, plus.

Ron
#12  
Thanks all. Not sure who helped me...but gave Richard R credit since he was first to respond. Got the Robot Squared head and working on it now.
#13  
James, I am not trying to change your mind, but your idea needs to have information available to it. The internet or IoT is full of things that would help bring this vision to a reality. FourSquare has an API that would be great for this. You would just need to have access to the internet and do a little bit of coding using the SDK.