Asked — Edited

Remotely Power On Or Off Revolution Robots?

Hello - I am mostly paralyzed from Lou Gehrig's disease and I won't be able to turn my Roli on or off to use it when I am home alone. My house is fully automated so I can be left alone for a few hours at a time. Is there a plan or a way to do this seemingly simple task? Robotics for the disabled is a largely untapped field. I performed a few searches but came up empty. Thank you in advance for your replies.


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Do you mean Roli will be with you in the house? If so, voice commands will work controlling him... If over the internet where Roli is somewhere other than with you, I will have to leave it to someone else to help... I do however know how to control the EZB over the internet via a computer or Android device, but that requires a mouse , keyboard or some other tactile user interface.. Not sure how to do (or if it's even possible) voice control over the internet...


I can use a mouse and I control everything from my computer and some voice control. I plan to run my Roli with my computer and my android tablet both with a mouse or mouthstick, but that would be after the power switch has been manually turned on, what I need is a way to power it on, unless there is that capability now.


Ok, gotcha' someone with some serious electronic skills should chime in here... sorry I can't help dude....


Remotely powering off should be a fairly simple hack. Here is a good thread on controlling switches from EZ-B

Remotely turning back on is more of a trick. Once the EZ-B is off, it is not listening for a signal, so you would need some kind of physical access to the switch. Maybe a low power consumption DC remote switch (something like could work for both the on and off (that was just the first google hit for remote DC switch. Probably better options available that are closer matches to the voltage and amperage of your Roli battery).



Wow this is a great application! I would like to help you with this one. First, let me find out what the power consumption looks like... You can power down all of the devices connected to the robot, and just let the ezb run - but first we need to see how long a charge will last if left on in lower power mode.

I'll get back to you


I going to say sleep mode would be the feature for this where the EZ-B is technique still on but no features running thus in power saving mode and waiting to be woke back up.


That would be an awesome script command... low power mode.... maybe something like... ezbhibernate()? And ezbwakeup()?

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As Alan said, this has been discussed in the past, more than once. It's one of those things that has always been up the top of my list of things to look at but not made it higher than about 3rd or 4th on the list (autonomous charging is another one of those items).

I can't help much with it but I have a great interest in this so want the notifications of updates:)

FYI, for anyone looking for info on the EZ-B V3, with no load on any ports it draws 0.03 to 0.04 amps according to my Adafruit INA169 current sensor (one of the best things I've bought just because I was placing an order anyway and needed to get the order value up for free shipping).


It sounds like an adaptation is in the near future! The ability to do this would be a huge deal for me and it sounds as if there is some interest in the community. To give an example of how I envision using the Roli is, someone comes to my door, I turn on, or wake up Roli and drive him to the door which is opened using a remote controlled door opener, I can now see and speak to the person at the door. They will freak out by being greeted by a robot! It will be AWESOME! Thank you! I have a friend that is in the electronics field that helps me with this stuff. He is always wondering what I will come up with! He won't see this coming, if I need any help!


The lower power mode is enabled when there are no devices connected. It's a feature of the EZ-B v4:)

Also, due to the power supply being a Switching Power Supply, there is no heat during idle - therefore low energy consumption.

In this video, I talk a bit about the power supply that we created...


Wonderful! I would have my caregiver turn it on before she leaves, connect to it when I want or need to use it and disconnect when I am through and it is in low power mode. Brilliant!


Gotta luv that low power consumption in the EZ-4. Revolution is also ..."green" awesome DJ

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Hi stelmobarry and everyone else.

Funnily enough I had a similar thought to you, of doing something along these lines on my current build. I don't have my EZ-B v4 just yet but expecting it soon, so I have not had the chance to physically look at one. Can someone tell me how the EZ-B4 power button works, i.e is it a click ON/click OFF switch or a momentary ON/OFF switch?

I did some web searching and came across this on the Amazon UK site, something similar to what thetechguru found which I was curious about. Remote control switch

Does anyone know, could something like this be connected to the EZ-B power switch or even bypass the switch completely and play nice with each other? Obviously it will need it's own power supply but a battery should last a long time between charges. If this was to work it would be a relatively simple and inexpensive fix to create a neat and useful feature for robot users from all walks of life.


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The V4 doesn't have a power button itself. I believe the revolution robots have power switches though.

The power switch/button on a custom build could be anything you want it to be. I have a simple toggle switch on one bot, Melvin doesn't have a switch at all and my test bot I just unplug the battery to shut it down.


In basic terms, the V4 board doesn't have an on/off switch... just a standard 2.1 barrel plug connector... Plug it in and it powers up...

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Sorry, my mistake about the power button. blush . Just watched JD's video about EZ-b power.



One Idea I have that I want to do with scraps is use a push on/off button and have a solenoid push it that will be plugged into a low power RF remote controller setup that way you could use some thing like a garage door remote to trigger it on and off

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Why not just use the low power RF controller to short the connection of the switch or switch a relay? Adding in a solenoid to push a switch seems like over complicating things to me.


If you use a push on/off switch triggered by a solenoid it should use way less power

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@ rich. That was what I was thinking for stelmobarry's bot. Simply bypass the power switch on the roli with something like the remote I supplied the link to, which should use very low power consumption. Would something like that work him?


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@wolfy, Are you sure about that?

A MOSFET based switching circuit to simulate a button push will used extremely little power. With the correct latching circuit for the power (i.e. a push on/push off type circuit similar to that of a PC power switch) the circuit will only require energising for a fraction of a second. A solenoid is effectively a motor, these are known for having very low efficiency. Not to mention the possibility of mechanical failure.

@steve, it should work. It's a circuit I've been wanting to get on to looking in to for some time now but never had the chance to do so.


A relay or transistor will draw constant power when the bot is powered up A solenoid only uses power for a moment and the controller will only use a tiny amount of power when on standby plus relays can cause other problems like power spikes though the ez-b

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At worst it would draw minimal power while the robot is on and no power while off. Yes you would need a latching circuit rather than a mechanically latching switch but the current draw of that would be barely noticeable and it would eliminate any possible mechanical failings, not to mention would look a whole lot better (i.e. it would be invisible or totally hidden while leaving the push switch accessible for manual operation)


But it needs to be triggered remotely that's the most important part to be completely remote

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Further details on this circuit

Something along these lines. This one even allows the EZ-B to turn itself off. This is just an example, there are other circuits which could also be used. You can also have a remote RF controlled switching circuit run along side it to simulate the push button for remote operation.


Hello I found a Simple RF Receiver that should be small enough to fit into most any robot just use a small transistor on the output should do the of a simple remote power switch


That is really slick @Wolfie. Of course the question that comes up is how much power is the receiver drawing, and is it any less than just leaving the EZ-B on (for v3, almost certainly, but v4 goes into low power mode when ARC is not connected). I am sure there will be uses for this in any event. Cheap enough I will probably oder one just to play with.