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Resolved Resolved by DJ Sures!

Six Keeps Burning Out Lever Servo Motors

I have a Revolution Six that I have used for one of my robotics classes the past two years. Last year, Six worked fine. This year, for some reason, it is burning out lever servo motors. I have gone through 5 already this year on the same robot. The burnouts occur on different ports, and happen at different times. I asked my students what they were doing when the motors stopped working and they said that they were just using some of the built-in movement scripts.

These burnouts are becoming quite expensive to handle. Has anyone experienced this situation before? If so, what can be done to rectify the situation? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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Sorry I am not going to be much help, but you know the old saying... If you really want to test the durability of something, let a kid play with it... Still, I would take what those kids are telling you how it happened with a grain of salt. Kids especially don't like to admit they did anything wrong in order to avoid possibly getting into trouble... Anyway, rumor has it the new ez robot servos have been updated for better performance and durability...
You might want to check that all of the wires are routed correctly. If they are routed through the rectangular hole in lever bracket, it will cause strain and either prevent the servo from moving to its full extent, or pull the wires out, breaking the servo.

With the 6 powered off, make sure all of the servos can move their full range of motion by hand (some may be stiff, but all should move, without the wires stretching or catching).

Alan - I have tested each burned out servo when the students reported the problems. I check for full range of motion while powered down. I also check the connectivity of the connectors to EZ-B. In addition, I swap the port connection of the bad servo with the port connection of a good servo to see if the problem follows the servo or the port. Inevitably, the problem always follows the servo. I did not check the connectivity of the wires to the internal posts of the servos. I can try that next, but the wires do not appear to be stressed in any way. As always, you are a very good source for helping me out. Thanks.

Al B

Richard R - I fully understand you about kids and their ways. Thanks for your insight.
Hi! The six project was modified in July 2016 to remove the Fast Walk from the interface, also a warning message was added to the project Note section that says the Fast Walk may cause servo damage.

Ensure your class is using the latest ARC with the latest Six project. The latest six project can be loaded from either the EZ-Cloud AppStore or within ARC.

If the robots are used often, 2 years of servo motor use is an acceptable amount of wear and tear. Which means they may be ready for replacement, as they're tiring out. Those little tiny motors in the servo mechanisms work very hard:) specially when excited little hands are using them!

First step is to ensure the Fast Walk is not used as per the documentation in the project. While the Fast Walk may be visually appealing, the six robot is not a toy and therefore the Fast Walk is unnecessary for educational activities.:)
Although this is the second year of using EZ-Robots, I would not say that they are used often to any extent. I'm sure that the students are using the Fast Walk, so I will tell them not to use it. I will also make sure that their ARC is updated to the latest version.

Thanks for the helpful pointers. Hopefully this will eliminate the unusually high loss of servos.
Once you update to the latest version of software, ensure your students are also using the latest Six Project that is included with the software, and also available on the EZ-Cloud appstore.

The software alone will not prevent the Fast Walk - the software combined with using the latest project is the way.

If your students have saved previous projects, they will have to update to the latest project and overwrite their saved projects.

The Fast Walk has been known to decrease life expectancy of servos, which is why it has been removed from the six project in july.

Updates to projects and ARC software are important to benefit from the advancements made to the product. Product advancements also mean new features and usage improvements, such as this scenario. Without updating the software and projects on a regular basis, you will not be able to enjoy the benefits of advancements.

I don't recall seeing that in the release notes of any release, and I do read them all. Perhaps when you change the sample projects you could also publish release notes. I use a modified version of the Six project, and didn't know that removing fast walk was important. In fact, I have fast walk built into the buttons on my custom Android Wear control project, so I have a bit of work to do to remove it. Luckily I guess, I don't use that feature often as I have not had a problem.

(If you did publish it, and I missed it, I apologize in advance).

I will let the students know to upgrade their projects to the latest Six project, too. Thanks for the additional info.