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Has anyone ever used OpenBot? How do I use it on my raspberry pi? Does it allow me to control my robot from my pi?


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@artblack01, I get ya:) I use Linux primarily when I'm not on EZ-Robot time. EZ-Robot is the only place I use Windows;) It's pretty well worth it though, ARC is good software.

Like @RichardR said, a little old Windows 7 laptop can be had cheaply. There are also Windows 8 tablets that are capable of running ARC. There's one in particular that the forum members here seem to like and is vetted by many;) The Acer W3. Cheap little thing, works well from what I hear.

But unless I am mistaken... isn't this what OpenBot is for? Interfacing with EZ-B via Linux? Will take more programming than ARC probably. But it's always good to learn if you don't know how yet:) And it's a bit surprising to hear someone else who is using Linux and is just starting to program! Way back when... that's how I got started, I used Linux and didn't know how to program and had to force my way through. Of course, that was back when Gentoo was the cool thing, everyone was coming off RedHat and gaining dislike for it...xD There was no such thing as Unity, it was KDE or bust, and the interface is not as good as Windows and requires you to program quite a bit to get anything done. Linux users these days...xD Got it so simple with that nice Unity interface in Ubuntu. (I use it too :D)

Understand your dislike of Windows, but there are a lot of issues with distributing consumer level applications for Linux. That's why DJ did publish the Openbot libraries for programmers to perform basic functionality in Linux, but writes the ARC in Windows, where 90% of the consumer market is, and used dotnet framework, because, whether you like Microsoft or not, it provides a very good programming framework and handles a lot of the heavy lifting so the developer can work on features, not back-end functions.

I would not recommend this for EZ-B v3 since accessing Bluetooth from a virtual machine is problematic at best, but with an EZ-B v4 using WiFi, you should be able to run a Windows 7 or 8 instance in VirtualBox or the free version of VMWare (I believe VMWare desktop is still their free version). No need to buy additional hardware, just need a Windows license. If you know anyone with a Windows 7 DVD, you can install and run for 120 days without purchasing a license, so you could get started at no cost until your finances allow the purchase of a license.




I have another question.... is it possible to add to the EZRobot (hard drive, other motor and sensor drivers) to increase it's vocabulary and abilities to do things? Like have a more AI feel?

I think you have a fundamental mis-understanding of how EZ-B works. It is not like an Arduino where you program the board. It get's its "brains" form a WiFi connected PC (or Android or soon iOS device - although for both of them, with the application built in ARC on Windows). So, yes, you can expand in may ways. Virtually anything a PC can do can be interfaced one way or another to a robot built using an EZ-B. The EZ-B itself can control digital and analog devices, so can be expanded with motor controllers, sensors, and literally thousands of different devices.

And that is not counting the direct support from ARC of several 3rd party robots and devices including Roomba and AR-Drone.

Maybe you don't quite understand how the EZB controller works... It will need a PC or Android device (Android needs an app built on a PC using ARC) at all times to control the EZB controller... In other words the EZB is tethered to your computer (via wifi) at all times in order to run... At this point you will need a windows 7 or 8 computer to use the ARC software (which is recommended for rookie programmers)... The computer is the brains and has the processor might to make the EZB as powerful as it is...

The EZB4 uses wifi to connect to your PC except for serial in and out there is no way to connect something like a hard drive to the ezb.... Why would you anyway, since you have at your disposal the entire hard drive of your pc to use... On the other hand, like all microcontrollers you can add a host of analog and digital sensors directly to the ebz ... aka input and output. This includes motor controllers, GPS, Gyros, etc....


That's why DJ did publish the Openbot libraries

Correction: OpenBot was not published or created by DJ. It's a community project by Tom Briden.
@Chrissi, thanks for the correction.

@Richard R, Looks like we were typing at the same time. You said it better than me.....

Maybe DJ needs to create a Linux based "all in one" EZ-Pi? Take an Raspberry pi, add more IO, and a Linux based ARC and you get "EZ as Pi" version 5 ... ;)... Does Linux have text to speech and speech rec?
@Richard R I don't know about other lynx computers, but the pi has 2 usb's and can control webcams with microphones or just a regular microphone.
I know, I have one... but who says a new board can't be developed with more microcontroller like IO ...?
Yes, there is TTS and Speech Reco for Linux. I know for TTS you can get as good quality as anything available for Windows. Not sure about the speech recognition. Would need a whole lot more power than in a Pi to do it right though (although you could always do what Android and iOS do and pass off most of the speech reco to a cloud service and not need too much local processing).

@Alan... I don't think it is beyond DJ's abilities to develop an EZ-pi type board as an all in one.... Perhaps a pi in the sky maybe :P? But cool to think about nevertheless...
Certainly could be done. Enough of us are working on bots with embedded computers that I think we have also shown that the market is there.

Raspberry Pi just came out with the B+ model which has 4 usb ports with 5volt power same processor... windows is also trying to get in the market but doesn't seem to understand the difference and it's $299 vs the $35 Pi.

You are correct that I don't understand the EZ system, do I need to have the PC running the whole time for the robot to work or does it program the robot and then let the robot do it's thing autonomously? Like if for some reason I turned off the app... I am planning on building a robot that could say go as far, as the batteries allowed, away from me and possibly collect information.... I noticed the quad and I know wifi only reaches so far but radio controlled devices let it go much further... I will have to post a Quadcopter I am building which is capable of autonomous return flight when either power is low or radio signal vanishes.

Thanks for everyone's help by the way. I tend to ask a billion questions so I hope no one gets too annoyed with me. I'm not very talkative in person. Unless you ask me about my projects then I tend to list them off and talk about what they do and how I did them until you shut me up. Ha ha. :D
the ARC software has to be running somewhere. there are many options but the main thing is that a computer must be connected via a ip network to the ez-b. because the internet is an ip based network, the computer could be anywhere with an internet connection as long as the path from the computer to the ez-b isnt being blocked by a firewall.

another option is to use an iphone or android if you have published the app to ez cloud.

it is best to think of the ez-b as a gateway for your computer to have access to all of the devices attached to the ez-b. this makes the ez-b far more powerful than anything else available. it removes a lot of limitations that other architectures have.

btw, this was typed on a tablet running linux. see, we do like linux on the forum.
you could use a directional antenna and get quite a long way with wifi. businesses often use wifi to connect offices that are inline of sight over miles. it all becomes about the curvature of the earth and elevation necessary to get line of sight. the wave length of wifi is so short that your antenna would be small and portable.
from the looks of it, it might of not been a great idea for me to have purchased a beaglebone to run the brain. =(
Since the PC is the "brain", stash your beaglebone to use as an adjunct support interface widget in the future applications not yet identified.
was hoping to use beaglebone as credit card sized brain.

the benefit are immense, since it can be used as a standalone computer with hdmi output to screen, support for keyboard and mouse. Best thing for autonomous tasks without restricted range and excessive weight.

im sad =(

i actually got two beaglebones and several rc trucks for locomotion, along with hgates and 4g cellular internet to host a server on beaglebone and connect to main brain for uploading cached data
scratch that last part, looks like ill be coding from beagle after all.