Welcome to Synthiam!

The easiest way to program the most powerful robots. Use technologies by leading industry experts. ARC is a free-to-use robot programming software that makes servo automation, computer vision, autonomous navigation, and artificial intelligence easy.

Get Started
United Kingdom
Asked — Edited

Omnibot Project

Inspired by this website and it's community I have just got hold of an old omnibot for my first attempt at creating an ez robot. As this is my first time I need some help and advice as to what I can and can't do and thought I would put my ideas to you guys and see what comes back.

My first idea is to remove the original drive and replace it with something like the rover 5, has anyone tried or achieved this?

Also I was wondering if there is anyway of controlling a tablet that is built into the omnibot via the ez-b?

I know this one is really out there but any thoughts on wireless charging or anyway of configuring it to charge itself when the battery is low?

Please excuse my ignorance and be kind:)


Upgrade to ARC Pro

Get access to the latest features and updates with ARC Pro edition. You'll have everything that's needed to unleash your robot's potential!

United Kingdom
Check out the project showcase for many examples of Omnibot based projects for ideas.

I haven't seen an Omnibot with a rover base but there is one robot that uses a similar idea that I'm aware of:)

Controlling the tablet via the EZ-B no but since the EZ-B needs connection to a PC you could control the tablet via other applications on the PC. It depends on what it is you want to do.

Wireless charging has been mentioned before, it's inefficient but possible. Also finding the charging station/base when low battery is a topic of much discussion.
United Kingdom
Hi Rich

Thanks for coming back to me, very helpful.

I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel so it looks like a good option would be to use a Roomba for the base, thus solving my drive and charging issues. Has anyone on here successfully achieved this? If so does anyone know which models of the Roomba are best for this and also quiet?
You definately want the i-Create. It is cheap and good. I have used it with the EZB many times.
United Kingdom
Hi MovieMaker

I actually quite like the idea of the Roomba vacuum functions as an added addition to my robot as well as the automatic charging. Would I need to keep the existing Roomba controls or would the ez-b be able to take care of all the existing functions?
You only attach the roomba via a serial cable (all you need is 2 or 3 wire interface)... Then EZb would send instructions to the Roomba on what to do... Like (SeekDockingStation) command... or (sidebrushon)...the roomba then will execute the commands... Nothing more than that.. a simple interface....
United Kingdom
Hi rryerson

Thank you for your advice, can the ez-b also control the vacuum functions? Has anyone successfully done this that can share a video or photos?
@subc Yes, check out the script manager in ARC for all the commands available to control the Roomba....
United Kingdom
Ok I have had a good think about this and as it's my first project I seem to be overcomplicating things for myself. I have decided to keep it simple and maybe use one of the old R.A.D robot bases instead of a Roomba, anyone have any experience with using one of these for an omnibot?

My main concern is noise with this base as I have watched a few youtube videos and they seem quite loud, can you upgrade the motors so they are more silent?
United Kingdom
The RAD base is very loud. The one I was using for Jarvis was a very bumpy ride too, I wasn't happy with it at all.

What's wrong with using the original Omnibot drive train? Hook the 2 motors up to a H-Bridge and it's a great drive train. It's still a little noisy but not as noisy as the RAD and can be soundproofed with Dynamat to make it quieter. It's fast and powerful too and saves any messing around.
United Kingdom
You're quite right Rich, what am I thinking! I need to reign it right back, my imagination is running away with me and I do tend to over complicate things.

Dynamat is a great idea but does it make much of a difference? Any other tips for taming that noisy drive?

Also will the original 6v battery be good enough to power the drive and the ez-b? Maybe I should use two batteries but would the original charge system still work?
United Kingdom
I started off using the original 6V SLA battery in Melvin (Hearoid, shares the body of an Omnibot) and it run fine. I upgraded to a 2S LiPo eventually for a few reasons though but the 6v battery will be fine and will run the motors without a regulator and power the EZ-B just fine.

I've not used dynamat on my robot yet but it has been mentioned that it makes a massive difference. If it's anything like when used in a car then it will make huge amounts of difference. Another thing to quieten it down would be to re-grease the gears.

As for the original charge system, I have no idea, none of my Omnibots not my Hearoid come with charger (I guess they go missing a lot). That's a reason why I upgraded to a LiPo (others included higher capacity, smaller size and lighter). If you parallel the batteries then probably yes but you will fill most of the Omnibot with batteries. A 6v SLA is about £7 from Toolstation, a LiPo is about £20-£25 from ebay. The space, ease of use and capacity is worth that extra £13-£18 in my opinion.