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Ez-Robot Arm

Hi all,

I am interested in purchasing the EZ robot arm. IS there any more information available on the site? I was looking for a demonstration video and more pictures if possible. The picture in the store page seems to be cut off, and I cannot really tell how I would need to make a base.

Also, another question, can I fire HJPL machine code through the EZ PCB system to a serial port on my robot while using this EZ PCB to control the arm on my robot?

I pulled the robots skins off and in the pictures you can see the CPU and sensing controls, and on the front the relay motor boards. There is more than enough room for the EZ PCB on the front next to the Relay board, and the onboard computer can fit inside the frame itself. What I want to do is mount an arm to the top, so it can pick up and load things onto the head, which can carry maybe 15-20 pounds (The robot weighs about 35 pounds. So my main Idea is to use the EZ PCB to fire machine code commands to the existing control and sensing system, and then also use the EZPCB as a tracking arm, and try to integrate the whole environment if possible I have ordered another 12 volt motorcycle battery to power the onboard PC and possible arm if I get that.

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Synthiam
Canada
#1  
Hello Heathkit Hero, and welcome.

I too have been interested in the arm, so I did some Google searching and believe it is manufactured by Dagu and/or Arexx. As for whether the version on this site has the base/control board or not is still unknown to me... but I almost believe not as the price here is much cheaper then elseware (and while the base may be nice, the control board is superfluous as we have the EZ-B:) )

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As for strength... based on reviews I have seen, the stock servos (particularly at the base/shoulder end) may not be strong enough for even the arms own weight... but stronger servos should resolve that.

I am waffling between purchasing one myself... or just a bunch of servos and making my own arm... I came across some servo brackets www.servocity.com that I think would make supporting arm segments a bit simpler/stronger.

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Hope this helps... and hoping someone else on this site has had "hands on";) experience with the available arm so we both can get more info.

Gunner
#2  
I would love to see a video of one of these working as well. Very cool Heathkit by way.
#3  
Wow Gunner, that is a great image of that thing. And those servo brackets are awesome. I just ordered an RS232 serial interface for the hero, and a RAM and ROM upgrade from the guy who bought out all rights and parts to the original line of Heathkit robots. He said he is familiar with EZ Robot and has hears some good things about them, I think the EZPCB will be a great addition, and I will be able to keep all of the original electronics in the robot, as well as integrate new sensors and Arm without gutting the whole thing and starting from scratch. Jer361 I found a video of that arm with a sensor mounted to it tracking a guy's hand, now I have been looking for it half the day and cannot find it.. Still looking though!
PRO
Synthiam
#4  
I'll make a video for you:) It'll take about a week
#5  
Hi Dj,

Can different Servos be placed in that arm? I do not know much about them, but would it be possible to buy the hardware kit and install some heavy duty bearing type servos into it? It looks like a great arm, and If I could just get it to pick up a 200-300 grams reliably that would be the deal maker.

Check this out, I found the video (Is this the same one?)



PRO
Synthiam
#6  
The servos on the EZ-Robot Arm are replaced with S06NF (which are metal ball bearing):)

Servo Details: http://www.robotshop.com/s06nf-std-servo-motor-2.html

That is the same arm - but I do not sell it with the base. The base is neat, but not worth the extra money because it will be put on robots. Or if it is to be used on a table, there are alternatives to mount the arm and save money. The base also would come with a microcontroller - which would be replaced with the EZ-B anyway.

That video is pretty bad - it is using the IR array for tracking. There are 5 (or so) IR transmitter and receivers - much how the Sharp IR Distance Sensor works (but there are 5 of them). The idea is it compares the strength of each receiver to determine the direction.

You would experience amazing results by using the EZ-Robot Camera instead - however, I would not mount the camera on the robot arm. I'd put the camera on the robot, as usual. And use the servo Relative Position option.

#7  
Ok, Im sold. I will place an order early Monday and give everyone a report when it comes in... I will test it using a Rabbitcore 2000 microprocessor and then I will purchase the EZ-PCB
#8  


I bought the robotic arm and love it. Very easy to use. It seems very well made and well thought-out. I was expecting plastic for that price and once again was pleasantly surprised. Here's the most important parts of the script that makes it pick up a lid and gently place it on a bottle. With the servo speed controls you can make positioning fast but slow to place objects.

I used Goop glue to glue the shoulder of the arm into the tank and it's very firm. Not sure how I'm going to get it out of there in the future.

I took the case off the wireless camera to reduce weight as it's mounted near the claw.

Code:


#Servospeed 0 is the fastest (which may be the cause of occasional brownouts)
ServoSpeed (d7, 0)
ServoSpeed (d2, 0)
ServoSpeed (d3, 0)
ServoSpeed (d4, 0)
ServoSpeed (d5, 0)
ServoSpeed (d6, 0)
#park arm:
$t=200
servo(d7,50)
sleep($t)
servo(d2,13)
sleep($t)
servo(d3,1)
sleep($t)
servo(d4,97)
sleep($t)
servo(d5,1)
sleep($t)
servo(d6,50)
sleep($t)
sleep(500)




# arm up
servo(d7,50)
sleep($t)
servo(d2,50)
sleep($t)
servo(d3,50)
sleep($t)
servo(d4,50)
sleep($t)
servo(d5,1)
sleep($t)
# below closes claw
servo(d6,80)
sleep($t)
sleep(500)


#Grab Lid
# below Opens claw
servo(d6,50)
sleep($t)
servo(d7,50)
sleep($t)
servo(d2,67)
sleep($t)
$t=500
servo(d3,14)
sleep($t)
servo(d4,69)
sleep($t)
# Slows the final movements just prior to approaching the lid to prevent it from overshooting or bumping into it's object.
ServoSpeed (d7, 5)
ServoSpeed (d2, 5)
ServoSpeed (d3, 5)
ServoSpeed (d4, 5)
ServoSpeed (d5, 5)
ServoSpeed (d6, 5)
servo(d5,1)
sleep($t)
servo(d6,87)
sleep($t)
sleep(500)


Bill
#9  
Has anyone ran the ez-robot program under Linux? I have the onboard computer installed on the hero robot, and now I am interested in the EZ robot PCB for arm control. I winder if WINE might be a way to do it.
#10  
Windows sir . Windows is the os you will use. Xp or win 7 if your want everything to be onboard you can get a mini itx motherboard and pico power supply as well. It appears you have lots of room especially if you remove the out dated micro processor.
#11  
Ok, Thanks jstarne1 I will need to brush up on windows and I will load it- at least the computer problem is solved, I spent a week of spare time disassembling a netbook an reconsituting it's parts into an onboard PC. I just need to finish the USB ports for mouse and keyboard. I was able to connect a serial cable into the CPU motherboard, and now I can control the robot straight by automated commands through terminal emulation. SO now it makes total sense to keep the existing electronics in there as it drives all of the Sonars, drive motors, motion and light detectors.



The PC addition took me a week of spare time, gutting the cases adding standoffs an mounting everything....


REAR DISPLAY RUNNING WITH CPU LOAD HEARTBEAT SCREENSAVER:

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Now I have successfully figured out how to pull all data with a command that sends back source code in machine language. I will let it run all night until I think I have sniffed everything out:


DATA SNIFFING PACKETS FROM 8088 CPU ALL NIGHT:

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SO now my next step is to figure out a bridge between EZ robot PCB an ARC and the Onboard Terminal emulation program that will respond to the data inputs from the sensors.

I think the added capability plus being able to run my arm with the EZ PCB will make an exceptionally advanced full size functional robot. I also plan to add the video eye underneath the I/R- Motion detector space on the head for face and Glyph recognition



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#12  
Wow you really went the extra step to grab all the onboard code. Thats great. More than I could do (though i would love to know how)
#13  
Hi jstarne1, I can probably help you with that. Let me know what you are working on.
#14  
Great project Heathkit! I've got a Hero 1 and just ordered a EZ-Robot kit. I've been debating whether to strip the old processor out or keep it.