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Ez-B Questions For Johnny Five Robot Build

Here is a YouTube video with my VERY novice questions.

Thank you,
Terry.

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Synthiam
#1  
Don't take this wrong, but I think you will have better luck if you write your questions rather than do a video. No one who is going to be able to answer your questions has time to sit through a 24 minute video, write down your questions to capture them all, and then write answers.

I got through the first two.

Security: They are as secure as your WiFi network (assuming you put them in Client mode, which you will want to if using multiple EZ-Bs in the same robot). The device itself is not password protected, but will authenticate to your network. Another option is to connect it via USB instead of WiFi if you can have an on-board PC (only available on the v 4/2). The USB cable connects to the camera port, so you lose the EZ-B camera for that, although you could use one ioTiny on WiFi just to control the camera and possibly non-critical components if this is a concern.

Daisy Chaining: No. There is no way to physically daisy change the EZ-Bs, although again, if you have an on-board computer and are using USB connection, you can add one or more USB hubs to control multiple EZ-Bs. Also, the person who said you can control 5 in one instance of ARC was incorrect, you can control I believe 256. The connection window defaults to 5 but you can add another connection window with additional connections.

There are other was to add additional servos as well. The EZ-B can control an SSC-32 board which can control 32 servos using a single UART serial port.

You can use Dynamixel servos, which are expensive, and a non-standard size, but can be daisy chained and run from a single EZ=B UART port.

I'll try to find time to watch the rest of your video over the next couple of days and answer anything else I can. Excited about this project, and I think you are correct that EZ-B is a better solution than arduino because of the speed of development and the vast configuration (including the ability to add plugins to perform any function that isn't supported directly).

One thing I would suggest, if you have the budget, is to buy a ROLI kit and use it as a test bed. It has a lot of the same capabilities you are shooting for, but on a smaller scale. H-Bridge for locomotion (you will absolutely need - I suggest Sabertooth or Roboclaw for a bot this big), muliple servos, a pan/tilt head/camera, etc... You can learn a lot about the EZ-B capabilities and then translate them up to the larger robot.

Alan
#2  
Hello Alan,
Your 100% correct, the video questions format was easier for me, but places all of the burden on the very people I'm asking for help from.

I will do as you recommend and put my questions into text format and post.

Adding in simple to the point questions for everyone.

1. Does anyone know what Camera module is used that plugs directly into the Camera module's PCB? (looking for one with slightly longer connection leads).

2. Is the Black connector UART connection on the EZ-B v4/2 Wi-Fi Robot Controller a standard PC USB communications port? (If not, what connector/connectors perform that function?).

3. Here is my current thinking for Johnny Five's systems. Onboard Intel NUC or similar small form factor powerful PC that runs EZ-B software, All EZ-B controllers directly connected to onboard NUC-PC VIA USB, Remote control Via WiFi to tablet. Does this approach seem like a good idea or will it be problematic?



Thank you,
Terry.
#3  
Hey Terry, I'm working on a video reply for you that I think might help answer a few more of your questions. I'll try to upload it this afternoon.
#4  
Thank you, JustinRatliff for all of your help! Note, My EZ-B v4.x/2 Comm Upgrade JUST got delivered!

Thanks,
Terry.
#5  
For your questions in post #3. Sorry for formatting, on my mobile commuting home.

#1. 6 pin JST. EZ-B sell a 6 foot cable. If that isn't long enough, you can make longer but you will need a JST crimper.

#2. Nope. Uart is simple serial. Also called TTL. Simpler than, but similar to rs-232., To connect the EZ-B to the computer via USB you use the camera port. There is a cable diagram somewhere on the forum. If no one posts it by tonight I'll find it and provide a link.

#3. This is exactly what I would recommend for your environment.

Alan
#6  
Thanks Alan for the reply!

On Question 1, to clarify, I'm referring the the Camera module itself were it plugs into the Camera's PCB board. Not the JST wire from the Camera's PCB to the Controller. It's covered in my long video.....LOL

Thanks,
Terry.

On Speed controllers, not a real big Fan of RoboClaw controllers.

#8  
Terry, for the Camera question, you might want to split that out in a separate thread just by itself because your question is about taking the camera sensor eye off and separating it from the PCB - which I cover in my reply video.

- I don't know if you can do that. But I know I few others have dissected their cameras a lot more than I have.

But if you go with an onboard computer and hardwire all the EZBs with USB to the computer, you don't have stay with an EZB camera because you can use any PC camera with ARC at the point.
#10  
Thank you both for your help!


#11  
That's awesome Terry! You are welcome! I'm glad we could help.

This will encourage me to dust off my own J5 I started!
PRO
Canada
#12  
Welcome to the forums Terry!

I am blown away at what you and your team are doing, I'm pretty excited about it! Amazing work! I'm a big fan of J5 as well.

Finding an extension for the ribbon cable on the camera is definitely possible. I haven't tested it myself to see how such an extension will effect the image quality but I have a feeling it will work.

What you'll be looking for is a : 24 pin ffc ribbon cable extension

I've noticed several products appear on a google image search but I'll leave it up to you to find one that will fit the form factor you want. Do keep in mind that the camera's ribbon is flexible and can be carefully *bent to fit a 90 degree angle.

*edited
#13  
Terry,

Just curious, where are you located? 2 reasons.
1) you look and sound incredibly familiar and I am wondering if we have met.

2) I know physical location isn't important for this kind of thing in our digital world, but I would love to work on the software side of this project if you want help with ARC and software/network design. My builder skills are junk, but my ARC skills are pretty good.

Alan
#14  
Jeremie, Thank you for the specific information! That puts me on the correct path now. Just need to find a short one, a few inches long at the very most. Happy to hear we have yet another J5 Fan within the Forum!

Alan, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Thanks for the offer, I'm going to need all of the help I can get....LOL!
#15  
Williamsport is pretty far from anywhere I frequent, but not Too far away. I am in the DC suburbs in Maryland, so I would be mostly helping remotely, but would love to come see Johnny 5 when you /we get it operational.

Let me know what I can do to help.

Alan
#16  
Hi Alan,

You asked, "Just curious, where are you located? you look and sound incredibly familiar and I am wondering if we have met."

Yea, you may have bumped into me. I was really into the DIY "Clone Yourself" Community some years back. About 12 or so of them escaped one night and every now and again somebody spots "me" somewhere I have never been! :D

I look forward to collaborating with you on the project! Shoot me an Email J5GURU@comcast.net and I'll give you my Skype contact information if you want to Video chat sometime.

I guess the first thing I need to do is get Windows 10 installed on my laptop, Streamline it and get rid of any Windows 10 "features" that are not absolutely necessary in order to run the EZ-B software as efficiently as possible. Laptop is Samsung with Intel i3-2310M CPU @ 2.10GHz with 8GB of Ram. Should do the trick as a suitable PC testing platform for now.

Thanks,
Terry.