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Asked — Edited

Ez-Builder On An Ipad

How do I use ARC on an IPad. We want to be able to control a robot here at the museum using IPads that the Educators carry around with them.

So How do you run ARC on an IPad. Is therean APP that you can run?

Thanks

Dan S.
Fabricator
The Children's Museum of Houston

AI Support Bot
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Synthiam
#3  
I just rewatched the video done by JD Sures hacking the Brookstone Rover and he is shown controlling the rover using both an android Tablet and Ipad with the ARC software on them. So how did he get the software on the Tablet and IPAD?

I need the software on an Ipad to control the robot here at the Children's Museum.

Dan S.
United Kingdom
#5  
Please re-read my post and the pages and posts which I have linked to.

There is a manual for the EZB however it doesn't do much without the software.
The software is updated very often and a printed manual would be out of date very quickly. These forums, the community and the website all act as a live instruction manual. Searching the forums will usually provide further information and examples.

On the downloads page for the software it clearly states that it is for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.

The video shows the HTTP Server. Follow the link in my earlier post for information and videos on how to use it.

As it stands there is no software for the iPad regardless of need. However, you can use an iPad to connect to the HTTP server and control the Windows PC running ARC via the iPad, iPhone, Android Tablet, Smart Phone or any PC. You must have a Windows PC to run ARC, running Windows 7 as a minimum for voice recognition to work.

The manual which states the maximum and minimum voltages, current etc. etc. etc. is available by clicking on Explore, then FAQ.

Quote:

Q. Is there an EZ-B Datasheet or Setup Manual?
Yup! It's right here! You will also enjoy our Tutorials.


To make it even easier for you Click Here
PRO
Synthiam
#6  
Hi Dan! The video you are referring to is on this tutorial page: http://www.ez-robot.com/Tutorials/Help.aspx?id=48

Please watch the video and read the tutorial documentation:)

an iPad does not have the power or screen real-estate to run ARC. iPad's are great devices for viewing and controlling - not for designing. ARC is a design software, much like a programming language or CAD. So, that being said, you will notice that the tutorial video is not about running the software on the iPad - instead, i'm using the ipad to connect to the computer that is running the software.

Also, there are more technical roadblocks for the iPad. One is the connectivity method... We choose Bluetooth because of the low cost and most importantly: Computers only have one WIFI card. If the EZ-B was WIFI, you would lose connectivity from your laptop to the internet. Since ARC is mostly tutorial/video/online dependent/cloud storage for design, you would not be able to use the internet while connected to the EZ-B if it was WIFI. Apple products will not allow connecting to a device with a serial communication protocol (SPP) without a MFI certified module. We went down that route and received MFI certification - however, each MFI Bluetooth module would cost us $30 to purchase (plus more to implement and maintain in code) - which would raise the cost of your EZ-B substantially.

Back on how you can use the iPad.... You can go one of two routes.

1) With any powerful software like EZ-Robot, you will need a PC. I hope I made that clear about why those requirements are necessary. So if you purchase a low cost netbook from BestBuy/FutureShop, you can use the Netbook as the "computer" for the robot. As long as the Netbook is within Bluetooth range of the robot, the iPad can connect to the netbook like in my video. The iPad connects to the Netbook easily over WIFI using Safari web browser.

2) iPads are neat, but quite dated. For the same price of an iPad you can purchase PC tablets. We use Sony and ACER PC Tablets at EZ-Robot. They run Windows 8 (not the RT version) and therefore can load ARC.

This is mostly explained if you watch the tutorial video that you had referenced in your message. Please turn up the volume and listen and watch the tutorial video. Let me know if you have any questions:)
Canada
#7  
Dan S.,

Power Distribution Board Dan S.?

Welcome!

We'll get ya sorted out. It's a great forum and EZ-B is a great system!

Kris
PRO
Synthiam
#9  
@kudo, please read my response above.:) Specifically I say no it will not run on Windows RT.

Reason why: windows rt uses a compact .net framework and the OS does not include support for ARC features.
United Kingdom
#10  
I doubt it since the only desktop applications which are supported by Windows RT are those which come with Windows RT itself.
#11  
OK well that all makes since now. So the laptop would act as a server that the I pad connects to to run the ARC software. Looks like I will have to talk the museum into purchasing a couple Windows Tablets. Any recommendations on which one is the best? Would a Google Chrome tablet work? I have not read the specs on it yet.


Thanks guys for all the help and I hope I an not too much of a pest with questions as this board is new to me and I am kinda under a deadline to get this robot working.

I do have a couple more questions though. Has anyone tried using a sound module called SD Card MP3 Player Board v2.0 from MDFly Electronics? I have a couple of these in the robot right now and using a RF remote to activate the 8 sound files I currently have on it. It has the capability of reading 99 files in Hex format using the RX,TX TTL Level at 3.3v.

I would like to be able to use these If I can other wise I will order one of the soundboards listed in the ARC.

Lastly I am using the Basic Micro RoboClaw 2x30 Motor controller to operate the drive wheels. This is basically the same thing as the Sabretooth controller and will use the Simple Serial interface. From the documentation I got with it, It looks like it is set up the same way as the sabretooth using the 3 wires. I/O going to S1 , VCC and GND with baud rate and 38400.

Dan S.
#12  
Kris: yes the one in the same Power distribution board maker. The latest run is under way. doing a 100 boards this time. If I can get this EZ-B to work on this robot for the museum. I am considering trying one in My R6 unit, but will need to get a tablet first as it would be easier than carrying around my laptop.

Dan S.
Houston R6 Builder - The First R6 Unit.
United Kingdom
#13  
You're not a pest, the community is here to help so ask and receive answers.

Google Chrome tablets? If you are referring to the Google Nexus it's Android, so ARC wouldn't run on it itself but would require a windows PC much like the iPad.
If you mean the chrome book, as far as I am aware it's not Windows either.

What you'll need is a Windows 7 laptop (I say Windows 7 as it shows to be the best of the bunch however XP or 8 would do - XP has limitations with voice recognition though - i.e. there is none). The Acer One Netbook is a popular choice but any Windows Laptop with minimum of 2Gb RAM would do the job (2Gb Ram make sure it's running Windows 7 Starter and only the ARC software as it is right on the limit to what works well).

Edit: Or a Windows 7/Windows 8 Tablet. The Acer Iconia W7 (I think that's the model) I've heard good things about but my Acer B1 (android) kinda sucks so research first. Any Windows 7/8 tablet with bluetooth should run it but more power hungry features such as the camera may not be so smooth.

I believe there is a topic on the MdFly soundboard with a guide to getting it to work. Try this one

The motor controller should also work provided you know the serial commands. Using SendSerial() in a script, custom Movement Panel or joystick commands should do it. You may fall on your feet and be able to use the sabertooth Movement Panel if it's the same commands. Wiring would be Vcc to Vcc, Gnd to Gnd and Signal to S1.
Canada
#14  
Hey Dan,

I'm Lumpy on Astromech.

I have (2) of your boards. You actually added the USB port to your
design when I had inquired about it way back when. Your boards work
great!

I run the MDFLY boards in my smaller robots. They work fine with the EZ-B. If
you need help or code examples, just let me know.

I use a Sparkfun MP3 trigger in my large R2.

If you need help with anything EZ-B related for R2 you can catch me here or
at Astromech.

Kris
PRO
Synthiam
#15  
If you decide to use a netbook as a server, hidden somewhere within the museum by the robot - that would work also. If you go that route, we can help you setup public access in read-only mode so your guests can control the robot too! All we would need to do is create a very simple HTML page that sends commands to ARC. It's quite easy to do if you have HTML expderience, and I've been looking for a reason to do a tutorial on it.

As for the tablets. We use two kinds.. The newest one we purchased is a Sony tablet. They come in i3, i5 and i7 processors. The price of the i3 and i5 is less than an iPad - and the Sony has hundreds of gigabyte storage, where iPad has less.

The more affordable tablet we use is the Acer W500. It runs Windows 8 and is actually quite fast for the specifications. It's only an AMD-C50 processor - but ARC is pretty good on resources.

No matter what computer you chose, it's important to recognize that ARC prefers to have full CPU priority. So any additional software that is running in the background will affect performance of ARC.

We shut down every single systray app using either Task Manager (Windows 8) or MSCONFIG.EXE (Windows 7)
United Kingdom
#16  
That's the one I was trying to think of, Acer W500 (not W7 - I knew it was W something lol). I've only heard good things about it and they aren't too expensive either.
#17  
DJ: I will keep that in the back of my mind for future use. Right now only the educators will be operating the robot. We don't want it to go crashing into a bunch of small school kids. I can just read the haedlines now, " Robot runs amuck at musem and runs over several children sending them to the hospital" Thats not something I want to even think about. This has to be able to be controlled with a firm hand and allow the user to quickly vary the speed and stop ot on a dime if a kid gets too close. I was able to do that using the 2.4GHz R/C equipment, but now that I am switching over to the EZ-B, I have to make sure that I get the same functions as with the R/C system.

Kris: I will be talking to you about using the MDFly board. I have two of them in the robot now, but since each can do up to 99 files, I will be pulling one out. I already have it connected to a small amp I built for it. So just need to hook it up to the EZ-B.


Rich & DJ: I will give the Educators the info about the tablet and I will make sure they get a good one and only use it for the ARC and not put any software on it that would impact the operational speed of the EZ-B. I will have them get one with the largest amount of ram , as they do want to use the camera function.

Dan S.
#18  
DJ: Would one of these work ? Acer Iconia Tablet W510-1666 10.1 screen 64Gig. or Acer Iconia Tablet W510-1620 10.1 screen 32Gig . I want to make sure that the tablet I get will run the ARC.

I am ready to head out to purchase one.

Dan S.
United Kingdom
#19  
The 510 should be fine, they are very close to each other (the 500 and 510) with the 510 having the better cpu but the 500 having the better graphics performance.

A quick search found this it should be of some help on choosing between the 2 (if you have the choice)
#20  
Rich: Thanks for the input. One other question though. I have a Sabretooth Controller hooked up to my two motors like the manual shows and hooked to the EZ-B as indicated. +5 to +5, Gnd to Gnd and S1 to D0 Signal pin. Using the Sabretooth control which is the up/down left/right arrows. I can only get the motors to go in forward and reverse. I can not make them go opposite directions to turn the robot.

Dan S.
United Kingdom
#21  
I saw your thread on that, unfortunately I've not used or had any experience with the sabertooth other than what it says on the tutorial pages. I know others have so hopefully when they come on they will see the thread and help you out.
#22  
Rich: never mind: I figured it out. Apparently the Preset controls in the Sabretooth Control Arrow buttons are set only for forward and reverse. I had to swap the settings for the left and right controls to get the motors to go in opposite directions.

Got that working, so now I will try using the Robo Claw controller and see if I can get it to work as That one has a hight amperage rating.

After lunch I will be going to get the Acer Tablet, so I can start working with it instead of the laptop.

Thanks for the help

Dan S.