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Asked — Edited

What Happened To The V3 Board?

I have been away from the group for a few months doing other things at the museum and when I come back and find that the version 3 board is not listed in the Buy section. What happened to it as it was a great board, that's what I am using in the Robot I built for the Museum and it has worked great all through last summer. Is the Version 3 still available or is the V4 the only one that will be available?

Dan S.
The Children's museum of Houston.

AI Support Bot
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Synthiam
United Kingdom
#1  
The V3 has been discontinued. The V4 is it's replacement and currently in pre-order. There is a long lead time on the V4 currently however the improvements made to it are worth the wait.
#2  
What happens if I need to get a replacement for the V3 board if something should happen to it. I noticed last night that the new version of the ARC software will not run on Windows XP anymore and only runs on Windows 7 and 8. I am currently using a laptop to setup and test the feature on the V3 board in the robot and the OS is windows XP. This seems to be a issue for me as it is not backwards compatible since the Widows tablet I bought to run the robot uses Windows RT and if I update the software when the update message comes it, I will no longer be able to use the program should I want to make changes to the configuration and add features to the robot. I guess this means that I will have to purchase a new tablet to operate the robots if I want to make any configuration changes or additions to it. Also is the V3 version board able to operate using the new version of the software since it uses Windows 7 and 8 only?

When will the V4 be available in case I have to start over from scratch. I never know when they are going to use the robot at the museum so I have to have it operational at all times. Are their any V3 boards still available I can get as a backup in case something happens to the board I currently have?

lastly has any changes been made to the software controls so that you can operate two motors separately to drive a robot like tank control. This was a big issue with me since I started operating the robot using standard RC and could control each drive motor independently to get better steering than with the system used on the ARC software were you could only move forward and then stop to turn the robot. When both drive motors are not exactly matched the robot can drift one way of the other while moving forward, so you would have to stop to correct the course of the robot instead of getting a fluid drive motion.

Dan S.
Fabricator / Robot builder
The Children's Museum of Houston
United Kingdom
#3  
Windows XP has not been supported for a long time now. It is just too old an OS to continue support for.

The V3 board will work with the latest release of the software. There will be V4 specific controls which wont work with the V3. There is also an android version for the V3 which is very new and in early development.

The V4 is in pre-order. The exact date of shipping is unknown due to manufacturer problems and Chinese new year holidays. It will be posted when shipping begins and there are regular updates on the V4 board on the forum and in the newsletter.

No, the V3 is discontinued, there are no more being made. There will be a lot coming up for sale when the V4 is shipped though, it may pay to get one (or more) of these in reserve just in case if you require it to be a V3.

You have always been able to control two motors separately. There are examples of this in the software, the forum and I have provided a very detailed tutorial for the L298 H Bridge which will explain operation and can be used as a guide for other H-Bridges. There is no native control but it isn't a difficult thing to script and I have provided examples for this. Check my projects on the cloud by looking at my user details.
#4  
Rich: I will keep watching then for when the V4 arrive so I can nab a couple of the V3's for backups as right now I do think the museum will want to spend a few hundred dollars for a new tablet plus another hundred to replace the controller that is currently working in the robot, so I will stick with the V3 for the time being. So your saying the the latest version of the ARC with clearly says only for windows 7 & 8 will, run on the Windows RT Tablet that I currently have?

Maybe I didn't make my self clear on the two motors operating independently of each other. I am aware of that as I am using the L298 motor controller to operate both arms and the wrists which are done using voice commands. What I meant was being able to use two separate touch screen movement pads to control separate drive motors for the wheels. I want one on each side of the tablet screen so I can use my thumbs to control each motor independently and not have both drive wheel ganged together like it is when using the Movement Pad that uses the cross pattern. That way I can have the camera screen in between the two up / down controls as everything else on the robot is controlled using speech recognition. Having two movement pads to control the drive motors separately, you get a much better control over the driving, so you won't have to stop to correct your course should the two dive motors not be exactly matched. Very seldom do I ever find two motors perfectly matched in RPM's so that you don't get a drift one way or the other when driving in a straight line. The pic is what I have in mind. It has two Movement pads, one on each side of the screen to control each motor separately using the thumb to slide the control up and down lick you would do with a joystick and the have the camera picture in the middle of the screen.
User-inserted image


I hope this can be done with the new version of the ARC software and if not can be incorporated into it. Do so will give you much finer control over the operation of a robot in real time.

Thanks for the information and feedback.

Dan S.
PRO
Synthiam
#5  
You can do that right now - all you need to do is ask:) Use servo Pad's with setting only the Y axis to virtual servo V0 and V1. Then a script to watch the position of each servo Pad and set the direction respectively..

Here's a starter project for you to work from: DualTouchMovementControls.EZB

As for parts of the EZ-B v3, we have 500 microchips for future customer issues. We also have a few hundred blank PCB's. If you need replacement parts, we can help you with that :). We always put our community first - you know that:D

Regarding Windows XP. Microsoft has discontinued supporting XP as it is a really really really really really old operating system. Do not worry about upgrading to Windows 8, your ROI on Windows XP has been through the roof :). There is no way to support Windows XP, even if we wanted. In order to use performance enhancing features of the newer operating systems, there is no support for Windows XP by Microsoft - this means our code will absolutely not work in Windows XP. We are not responsible for Microsoft cancelling support of a very old operating system. All we can do is continue to develop on supported current operating systems to provide additional performance and functionality to our community.
United Kingdom
#6  
That's good news on the v3 spares.


@droidmech2002 No I am not saying the latest ARC will run on Windows RT. AFAIK no version of ARC will run on Windows RT as Windows RT 8.1 only runs built-in applications or apps that you download from the Windows Store.
#7  
DJ: thanks for the heads up on the spare parts should I need them in case something happens to the robots control board. I understand that Microsoft stopped supporting XP awhile back and that's something I have to live with. I just hate having to buy a new OS every 2 or 3 years, thats why I have stayed with XP and have not upgraded to Vista, 7 or 8, but with all its problems XP works for what I do. Heck I still use windows Millennium on one machine and DOS 6.1 on another to do my Autocad work. I guess in my older age I hate change and like to stay with what I know. I guess when I get around to upgrading the control system on my own personal Astromech droid I will get a Windows tablet and then have to learn windows 8 if I want to use the new EZ-Robot control board, which I really do like very much. Of all the robot control systems I have seen, this one is by far the best and I love how simple it is to use and especially the voice recognition part of it. The Robot I built for the Museum uses that part for everything except for the actual driving of it. Movement of the arms up and down, turning the wrists back and forth, opening and closing the eyes and making the antenna on its head rotate as well as making it talk are all done using voice command and the scripting. I even have it programmed to dance to the Mr. Roboto song as the music plays from the on board Mp3 player and the kids really love that part.

I will have to download the new version of the ARC to a computer at works that has windows 7 on it so I can check out the new features and change over to the dual touch pad movement controls.

You guys are great and love to product. Thanks for the help and info.

Dan Stuettgen
Fabricator / Robot Builder
The Children's Museum of Houston