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Several Ez Robot Questions

Hey, Im a long time programmer looking to start in robotics, and i've several questions aboutnthe ez robot kit. Complete hardware noob here, so be patient:)

First: Can I replace ez robot's microcontroller with an embedded board and switch between that amd microcontroller for testing? If so how, and where could I buy the embedded programming board? I know the embedded board wont support most of ez robots features, but will I be able to use all the things in the kit? Like servos, etc. I've also read that EZB has Arduino support and apparently arduino works with embedded programming. Is there any arduino setup tutorial?

Second: The info in the about page is a bit messy, so i'd like to clarify what the complete kit exactly includes without buying extra addons, does it include all the necessary for speech recognition and object avoidance?

Third: As a programmer, I'm always curious, can I make the interactions with the bluetooth microcontroller myself
instead of using ezsdk or ez builder? Again, just for tests.

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Synthiam
#1  
Hi! Welcome to the community:)

1) The EZ-B has Arduino Shield Support - that does not mean it supports an Arduino. You will not be happy with embedded programming, unless you wish to build robots from the 1990's. The concept behind EZ-Robot is to easily build real robots that do amazing things. Embedding programming is an oldschool mentality for robotics. When you watch a video of a robot doing amazing things, they are being controlled wirelessly from a PC. The EZ-B levarages the power of your computer. The EZ-B is an extension of your computer to control physical hardware:)

If you wish to get into embedded programming, you can find some great affordable arduino kits that teach you how to flash an LED. Many online hobby shops offer a selection of arduino kits.

2) The EZ-Robot complete Kit includes 6 servos, camera, distance sensor, wheels, battery holder, EZ-B Robot Controller, servo attachments, power charger, usb cable and misc hardware. It supports nearly a thousand features including speech recognition, camera tracking, object avoidance - yes.

This was taken from the EZ-Robot Complete Kit desciption (let me know if you need further clarification):)

Quote:


Our complete kit offers Speech Recognition, Vision Color/Face/Motion Camera Tracking, Glyph Recognition, Joystick/Wii remote, HTTP Server, Mobile Device Support, Custom Scripting (C#/VB/EZ-Script), Object Avoidance, GPS/Compass Tracking, and hundreds of more features.



3) The EZ-SDK is necessary to communicate with the EZ-B because writing your own library would probably take you many years:) But you can try!
#2  
Hey DJ, Thanks for your response, well I definitely know non embedded programming is better, but I actually have another reason for buying the kit, aside from the pure fun of it. I will be conducting several experiments between embedded and non embedded programming and as for building my own library, its just for learning, but where could I get started on it? Ive seen an open source linux kit.

Also, thanks for pointing me to thr arduino kits, take in account I will always buy the EZB, but where can I find a good arduino kit? And if I buy it, will it will not support the parts of EZB then?

Some more questions, what are the advantages of using an Xbee instead of bluetooth?
Can the EZB speak?
If the EZB can speak, does this mean I can use the speakers to play sounds from say, mp3 files? How?

Thanks for everything
PRO
Synthiam
#3  
My suggestion is to download and install ARC first. That will help you understand the power of EZ-Robot:)
#4  
Hi DuxDucis,

Do a surch on this forum for Xbee and you'll find lots of info. Also go to where Xbee is sold like the Robot Store and read the discription and reviews. That way you can make an informed decision matching your needs. The only drawback to the Bluetooth on EZ-B is that it has a range of about 30 feet and walls will cut that down. Of course that's normal for this class Bluetooth.

EZ-B does not talk but uses Windows Vioce to answer back your scripted responces by several methods. One way could be though Windows Voice Recongnition. You can try this on your Win 7 computer even without an EZ-B. Anouther way would be to get a Sparkfun MP3 Trigger, mount it on your robot with a speaker and have EZ-B trigger sound files.

Have fun and welcome!

Dave Schulpius
#5  
"Some more questions, what are the advantages of using an Xbee instead of bluetooth?
Can the EZB speak?
If the EZB can speak, does this mean I can use the speakers to play sounds from say, mp3 files? How?"

Advantage of XBee is range. The EZ-B is controlled by your computer, so if your computer is not part of your robot, the robot can only go 30 meters or so from your computer. XBee is significantly further range (although I don't have the numbers handy).

The EZ-B itself can't speak, but ARC Software can, so the voice would be coming from your computer. There are many solutions to this however. Again, if the computer is part of the robot, no issue. If it is remote, there is a device called an MP3 Trigger that EZ-B can drive and it can play pre-recorded MP'3s to a speaker. Or, you could get a Bluetooth or other remote speaker on your bot and set it as your default sound device on your computer. Other solutions about as well. Searching on this forum will provide a lot of answers to your questions, and like DJ suggested, download the software and play with it a bit, and it will begin to all make sense.

Alan