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Well It Is Official. Cochran Robotics Inc Gp Is A Company

Spock wont be worked on in a while. I will be focusing on getting a few products to market by November of 2016.

I had a meeting with my investing partner last friday. He is willing to back the projects and has offered a very considerable amount of money to do so. His father owns a very large company in india who already has contracts with Chinese manufacturing houses and India based support firms. We will leverage this to help us get the ball rolling when we start production and after the products get to market. I should have funding for a prototype by the end of the week.

An artist friend, who I met because of EZ-AI is working on the concept artwork. I thank him deeply for his willingness to do the artwork as I can't draw for anything. Once complete I will pass this on to the mechanical engineer (a friend of my wifes). I will use his equipment that he has available to him (6 axis CNC, Really advanced CAD tools, fluid flow calculation software for Injection mold modeling, resistance calculating software based on the model and weight, Electrical engineering software for calculating current flow and resistance of electronics and extremely high end skills at product design and documentation necessary for taking a product to market). He works for a major company who makes a lot of industrial equipment so his expertise will be very valuable. He will make the 3D models and CAD drawings of every component from the artwork provided and from the list of items that I have chosen for this product. He also has the pull of the large company he works for to get CAD drawings and detailed schematics for everything that I will be using. This will help a huge deal.

The goal is to get the prototypes complete by December of this year, and get the parts being manufactured and ready for assembly by July. From there, we will hire in people to build the final products. The nice thing is that I don't have to rely on a kickstarter to get things going. Pieces are falling into place and it is very exciting.

My son will be finished with College in December of this year. He will be helping me to write the software for the robot through the next November to fine tune the software for release. There are quite a few things that are going to be added, which will eventually find their way into EZ-AI.

I have some questions out to other people/companies about using their products with my products. This will help to determine which way I take some things. Voice recognition will be a very important part of this project. I will be using a tablet or really light weight computers. Because of this, voice processing would be nice if it were done off the computer and this is where Watson or DNS Cloud will be a huge help. It is really amazing all of the tools that are available to make insane products now. It will only get better from here.

I will be making a trip to EZ-Robot in August or September. I will present the products concepts to them for a couple of reasons. DJ, I wont be asking for money so no worries there :). I want to build a business relationship with them because the products will be using the EZ-B V4 controllers and some other components. It is a good idea to share this with EZ-Robot because their products are driving mine, and for them to understand what I am doing is very important to me. I am not saying that this product would drive them in any direction, only that it is good for them to understand what someone is doing besides what can be stated on a public forum. Richard, I will let you know when I will be at EZ-Robot. I would love to meet you and anyone else on this community in the real world.

With all of that, poor Spock is going to take a break from development. Who knows, by the time I get back to him, they may have legs out for him.

I will be getting that Ultimaker 2 that I have been talking about shortly and will be able to tell if it lives up to the hype or not. I will be working on this project a lot in my spare time, so I wont be hanging out in the community as much. I will be dropping in from time to time to see what's going on with everyone else's projects. I always enjoy reading about other people's ideas.


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The device communicates on a serial port. Features are turned on and off through the serial port. Data comes back through the serial port. The EZ-B has a serial port, so I would say yes.

The plan that I have is to use an arduino or PIC controller to be able to pass commands to the camera. For example, something like "Turn on Face Tracking" would be passed to the arduino or PIC. This device would then send the appropriate command to the camera to turn on Face Tracking. The result of the camera sensor would then be passed back through the Arduino or PIC which would then handle any business logic needed to make the values logical. It would then pass the information back to the V4 or to the PC for use in EZ-SDK, ARC or UniversalBot. The only reason that I could see that the V4 would have an issue with this is if it is flooding the bandwidth. Limiting the data that is going through the serial bus on the V4 or any other controller would probably be advisable. This is why I am going to put a subsystem in place to handle the business logic, but you could do a lot of it in a script. It is just all about knowing the commands to send to the sensor and what to expect back from the sensor.

There is an extensive programmer's manual which is really nice that is available from Omron but it is a bit of a pain to get your hands on. If you would like the document, I can sent it to you.
One more thing...
There are usable libraries available from Omron that are C/C++ objects. These can be referenced from C# or other languages pretty easily.
Dave, to duplicate the testing you did will require one to purchase the $750 kit from Mouser ?
Yes. I bought the dev version from Digikey. The reason this is required is that it has the the usb connection to for the computer. The usb connection converts USB to Serial for use with the board. The ~$211 after tax and shipping is the one that contains the actual sensor. This is what you would want but I would wait unless you want to do some development work to interface to the serial port.

I dont know when I am going to have time to do this work yet because of so much else that needs to be completed. I may have one of my devs do it for me but I dont know yet. I really am having to give away a lot of the dev work to others to make sure that everything else happens that needs to happen so ultimately this might be one of those things that is pushed to them. I hope not because it is an amazing sensor and I want to play with it badly.

Anyway, to duplicate what I did, the ~$825 after tax and shipping is needed right now.
Thanks for the info Dave, I'll certainly wait a bit to see what else may be possible by you and your development team. Like you, I think this combination sensor has just a bit of everything for visual reality.
That is an amazing piece of hardware. As Tony said this could be quite an advancement in consolidation, if you will. Every robot and toy can benefit from this little guy!
United Kingdom
From what I am now finding out about the v4 UART link, I (personally) think it will be difficult to get this device to work reliably with a direct serial connection to the v4.

Any device (like this) sending continuous serial packets we probably have the same issues that I am seeing with the ALTAIR head PIC network with lost data and packets.

I think the only way to interface a sensor like this with the v4 is via a PIC or Arduino this way error correcting can be attempted by the interfacing microcontroller.

Hello Tony,

i hope somebody will find a way with a Arduino to connect the Omron Board to the EZB4!

Whats up with your Board, you got it?

United Kingdom
Boris, I will produce a PIC to interface this sensor. David kindly purchased the sensor and dev boards on my behalf - He will be sending these to me in a few days so I can start working on them.

This sensor looks to be a game changer in robotics and will add great new features to my ALTAIR robots.

United Kingdom
Hi Will, yes it is, I have done a lot more testing and am finding real problems with the v4 UART link and continuous serial transmission - I will post more information on my original thread in the next day or so.

Hello Tony,

if you are producing a PIC and it works, i need also a PIC.

It´s possible to get one from you?


I got my cameras today. I will send yours out this weekend.


Tony and I are using this for commercially available robots. The issue that we both have is that we don't want to give away something that we create and load onto a PIC or arduino. It kindof kills the sellability of our robots if everyone else can do the exact same thing. Tony has been kind enough to show some of the technology that he has put into his robots and I am doing the same. It's not good business to then give away the secret sauce that allows either of us to make money. While we have worked together and helped each other out, I dont have any of Tony's secret sauce in my robots, and Tony doesn't have any of mine in his. We do use similar or the same components in some areas, but what makes these components work is unique to each of our platforms.

I would be willing to pass along anything that has been given to me from the vendor, but I cant (and I suspect it is the same for Tony) give away what makes my product sellable. I will be happy to give away early versions of my software, but no longer share the the code.
I say all of this, but I am sure if you wait for a bit, someone will interface an arduino with one of these, and then it is just a matter of exporting the received serial data back to the V4.

So i was thinking this is a "Community"

I understand also bussiness!

But now i bought a Omron Board for nothing!

I was thinking, that we (sorry i can´t programm in C+) find a solution to use this board with the EZB4.

But i know: not to much thinking!
It is community. It is sharing of ideas. It is someone getting a piece of new technology and showing what it can do so that others don't have to go spend the time and money to do so. If someone is interested, sure buy it and go to town. Its not "Make my robot work for me". There are plenty of people willing to give away what they have done and I am one of those. I wont give away my code for driving the motors that I will be driving unless I do that inside of ARC. Once in ARC I will give away everything I do. What I can't do is give away something that I program or pay someone to program that is proprietary to my company. That hurts my investor and my employees. I hope you understand.

Edited to convey the idea correctly.
@rentarprinta don't worry the community will likely help you either way, it looks like a lot of people are interested in the Omron B5T

I will help look into the serial communication issues that @Toymaker is experiencing. I have had great luck with the hardware UARTs on the ez-bv4 so I am a bit confused. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with WiFi signal strength.

@Toymaker are you connecting via AP mode or Client mode?

i hope you are right!

It´s not that i want to have a finish solution, i also offer my help and time to get a good solution! Is there a chinese work, no prob i can do it!
I would be happy to help you figure out how to make it work. At this point I can't offer much help other than the programmers reference though. I haven't tried to connect to it outside of the software that they provided which wont be of much help.

I need time to see what I can do, and then if you would like help, I can help you. I just can't give away a completed solution like you asked Tony to do with his PIC. Knowing Tony, he would probably help also.
United Kingdom
Hi Jeremie, I am using (default) AP mode, and the wifi channel is not busy during these tests. From what I am finding sending/receiving small amounts of data via the UART is no problem. Its the receiving of continuous data is where there is an issue, so not to hijack David's thread I will post more info on my original thread.

Boris, I totally agree with David, we are both working very hard to build commercial robots that we both want to sell one day on the open market. To do this we have to have some advantage, USP (unique selling points) over any possible competitor else we will not be in this fledgling business long. I have produced a number of custom PICs so I can hugely enhance what the v4 (and ARC) can do. These devices only cost around a pound each, so for the end product they have a very low prime cost overhead impact, but someone has to produce the firmware for the PICs and this is the expensive part and it is also with this unique code where the commercial advantage is. Many people do not understand this and get upset when I will not just give away the microcontrollers or code - if I just did this then I would soon be seeing my tech in competitors robots without any credit or remuneration and my USP advantage would be no longer there.

If I was just a robotics hobbyist it would be different, I would have no problem in sharing everything. Also like David I am happy to help others where ever I can, its just the custom PICs that are the issue.