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Asked — Edited

Stand Alone Operation?

I believe I missed something really fundamental about the ezb architecture but I would appreciate some clarification.
So the ezb requires either a computer or phone/tablet to operate at all. I missed that.. Being new to all this I thought that code was built on the pc and sent to the controller but the strong WiFi integration was mainly for added functionality . As implemented it is different than my limited experience with lego robots and reading on arduino stuff.
My point of clarification that I need to know quickly and am not finding easily is...how does the desktop vs. Mobile apps compare or integrate... I really do not want a pc in the loop for my projects but a phone or tablet me be okay.. But I don't like the thought of developing 100% on the phone or tablet. Does the code port between the two in some way?
I apologize if I should be able to find this but I am in a panic. I may need to cancel my order! :(

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#1  
@DJ I think you need to make a video on how the ezb4 works in contrast to an arduino or other controllers...

@kennard42
1) The ezb needs a constant connection to a pc or mobile device (not both) at all times. Why do you think it's so powerful? It's not a micro controller like an arduino, it's a robot controller. There is a distinction....

2) All code remains on the pc and or mobile device... nothing gets downloaded to the ezb... The ezb4 does what the pc tells it to do in real time so the PC or mobile device is doing all the work...

3) The mobile app is developed from within ARC PC, uploaded to the cloud and then downloaded to the mobile device. So you make your own mobile app from within ARC PC...

4) You can code your mobile app to do what the desktop version does... Meaning, you can make a duplicate app on your mobile device if you wish... just be aware some controls like speech rec is pc based only still. This means some controls from ARC cannot be duplicated on your mobile version app...

If you cancel your order your robot will hate you for using an arduino instead...:)

Dude, seriously stick with this. Don't cancel your order.... You will soon discover how powerful and flexible the ez robot platform is.... Like I said, what else is left out there?... Adruinos can't really do much and ROS (Robot operating system) has a huge complex learning curve.... The ezb4 will blow you a way if you give it a chance and don't panic. I promise you that....
#2  
I double that. This compared to an addition is WAY easier and faster to set up. I have the intentions to get an arduino, but just to make a video proving just how much harder it is. I have used Lego mind storms, and this compares well, but allows you to do way more.
#4  
Depending on the size of your robot, it is very easy to integrate a Windows computer on board and have it be quite autonomous. Many of us are using the Acer W3 Windows tablet. If you need something smaller, and don't need a screen when the robot is off doing its own thing, there are several small headless computers for not much money.

On a whim, I just bought one of these: http://www.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-pc/pp_226805.html

Runs Windows 10 better than my 1 year old laptop. I haven't decided whether to use it to give a brain to my not-smart TV or use it in a robot yet, but I am quite pleased with it. There is a good review here: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/voyo-v2-windows-10-mini-pc-review-and-giveaway/

Only thing I don't like is that it has a small OS partition (about 30 gig) and a larger SSD data partition that it treats as removable storage, even though it is not removable. Need to be careful if installing a lot of apps to install them to the D drive to not run out of space on C.

Best thing about it for Robot use (even better than the W3) is that it runs on just 5 volts, and has its own battery so doesn't actually need to be powered by your robot as long as you remember to charge both the robot and the computer when you do need to replenish. (W3 charges on 12 volts, so if powering from the robot, would need a more powerful battery than you may have been planning on).

Alan
#5  
Thanks for a fast very precise response. I have a couple projects in mind.
The first one had been a highly animated semi robotic boat. Many servos. Many functions etc.
After scouring Internet it seemed that the ezb WiFi and app was way easier cause its integrated. Many solutions for arduino but they all seem really custom...plain. Not sure I am saying this right .
I got discouraged anyway cause way too complex so many areas I have to learn to get it going.

My more recent idea is more simple but looked like a good stepping stone.. I knew ezb is overkill for this but figured would not need to learn two environments..

That and the cyber Monday deal and a self determined deadline got me off my keister.

The community here appears awesome and was also an important factor.

A side question . If I want to try and post my idea in great detail..and seek some feedback would I put that in the project showcase and to do that do I simply tag it as such. I am hesitant cause its lame as compared to most I see here.
#6  
We will always help you out dude... post away... I have gotten many ideas from forum members who post so called "lame" questions.... Sometimes I get stuck with narrow vision, then someone like you comes along and posts something that may seem lame, but ends up being a great adaptable idea...:)

DJ will tell you that a significant part of ez robot was built with the help of ez robot forum members (like yourself and even me) idea's and contributions...
#7  
I'll second what Richard said, and answer your question about how to post it. I would not use project showcase until you are building it. Just tag as general discussion if the other tags don't fit what you are looking for.

Alan
#8  
Yea, just post your concept with a general discussion tag and we'll help you work out the details. This community is awesome and if it weren't for it, I wouldn't be here.
United Kingdom
#9  
I had the same concern about not being stand alone, but I loved the interactive debugging I had with a Netduino when I connected it to the USB cable. I thought the EZ-B would be so much better with its objects and ARC.

After using it for a few months, ARC and EZ-Script were different than what I expected, but being able to use the C# SDK got me back on track and being able to monitor things with ARC from a PC in real time has been fantastic.

I do like the concept of having a fully autonomous robot and I'm increasing the size of my platform so at some point it could accommodate a small PC/Pi/etc. I do wish there was a way to connect without Wifi for this purpose.

So while I understand the concern of WiFi always, the rapid development plus the power of a computer and the Internet are worth it in my opinion. Once the robot has been debugged, you can then port your code over to another processor if it is not using fancy camera functions.
#10  
So it seems that my order has shipped. So I have to factor in the need for a tablet/PC at all times or resell the EZB since shipping costs to/and from are steep.

My initial project implementation just got more complicated/expensive than I anticipated (I guess this is the rule).

In most respects my initial project is far more simple than the mobile robots people are building with EZB, but I have another requirement that makes my actual use more challenging in one respect -- it needs to break down easily.

So, I want to build basically an animated display. There would be three primary modules. Each of these would be the same but would operate on different timing. Each would have up to 5 motors or servos and possibly several sensors. so they would need at least five wire sets plus power.

The major hitch is that this thing needs to be portable.

I figured if I build it in a modular way, I can put the EZB in and build one module initially, get all the mechanics working and all that. No wiring transportation concerns.

But when I get to multiple modules they need to transport separately. I don't want to have to buy an EZB for each module. I don't want to have to hook up wires for each module when I take this to a show (typically a two day event). Seems like hooking up maybe MANY more than more than 15 wires in the right way would be tedious when I move this. I mean if I hooked up any of them wrong then some aspect would not function though I guess it would be easy to spot.

My thought had been that I would have an arduino of some kind in each module and command them via I2C. So in theory each module would only need one set of wires to hook up at an event plus it's own power.

The alternative I can think of is some sort of sockets that would make that wiring more quick and less painful...? But I have no idea how to find this sort of thing.

Also, I think the EZB is way overkill for this specific project, but I do have a future project that would use it more fully.

Speaking of that other project.... it is basically this remote control boat. What concerns me with this one now with the realization of how the EZB needs a tablet or PC is that... in the case the boat were to lose signal somehow it is dead. That is...there would be nothing on board to say make it stop, drive in a circle or say return home (if I had GPS module). To be fair, I am only talking probably 100 foot target range, nothing too dramatic here.

I considered standard R/C control but expected to have as many as 18 functions so the tablet control seemed far better, this is one key reason I found EZ-robot in the first place.