Community Question

I have two servos which cannot be hard wired directly to the EZ-B controller. They will be located about 10 feet from the EZ-B and I can't run wires to them. These servos will be controlled by the script running in the EZ-B using information from the camera input. Can I use a wireless device like an xbee to connect the servos to the pwm outputs on the EZ-B? Has anyone ever tried this or has suggestions as to if it can work?

DJ Sures
Commented April 2015
Andy, there's a secret pricing change in our entire store happening next week. I would recommend holding out on fighting with arduino and simply purchasing an additional ezb. The time and hardware costs that it will take you to program arduino with xbee modules will be much higher than the cost of an ezb, which includes the wifi, servo controls, software, etc....

Other than controlling a neo pixel ring, I have no clue why anyone would own an arduino over ezb for anything robotic related. An arduino is a closed loop system. Meaning it's good at running a short loop repeatedly with borderline acceptable performance to do a single task. Essentially, it's good at flashing LEDs or something in a loop while your ezb does real robot stuff. Don't get me wrong, arduino has its place with localized processes, but it shouldn't be considered for applications like this.

Specifically servo control / it's quite terrible at that.

For the hardware and time cost... Wait for the new prices and purchase another ezb :) save yourself the headache. Fact is, if you spent time and money on the arduino route, you'd be circling around back to ezrobot once your hair turned grey or pulled it all out :D haha
Commented April 2015
A really "off the wall" idea!
Hack a cheap RC transmitter like this one.

User-inserted image

Remove the pc board from the transmitter, connect the EZ-B power and ground, then take two of the stick pots, remove the center wires and connect them to 2 analog ports of EZ-B. Write the EZ-B scripts to control your device.

Put the receiver in the remote device and hook up the servos.
Richard R
Commented April 2015
@DJ... It's not much of a secret since you just told us... LOL...

@Andy Roid..... DJ has a point.... If you can figure out how to get an ezb onboard your Minions all your complex problems would be solved.... No need to fumble with separate wireless setup, don't have to worry about complicated arduino coding (it's C++ by the way) and best of all you have 100% of the ezb capabilities onboard now.... Just a thought, but maybe you can strap the ezb's on the minion's back to make them look like they are just wearing backpacks....?
Andy Roid
Commented April 2015
I really didn't want to go the arduino route. I am VERY happy using the EZB and realize the great abilities of the unit. The size is my only problem.

DJ, thanks for the tip. I will be watching for the "secret" next week and will be putting in my order. By the way,,, LOL,,, my hair has gone gray already..

The EZB is the way I want to go. The Halloween project will use two units, one new and one from my "Lilian" robot. She will be quiet those two weeks in October. The additional unit with base will run the remote servos and now we can add more to the stand alone area using the additional I/O and features.

Thanks to All for the options and help.


P.S. Where can I get a plug for the power connector on the back of the EZB. ((not the base ) I rather not use the power shell)
Commented April 2015
I agree the easiest route is with two ez-b units. The most expensive part of alternative approaches is usually the radio modules. Xbee units are not cheap and if you already have them that is most of the expense part. If you have an arduino and know how to program it the code to control a servo with serial commands is not rocket science, although it would take a bit of work. In reality programming is not even necessary if you don't mind spending around $20. Pololu makes a servo controller that can be configured to take serial command and control a servo. It is a six-channel Micro Maestro . The coding on the ez-b side to use the micro maestro is a bit of work, but very doable. You will most likely be happiest with two ez-b though. I am also looking forward to any deals that may be coming.
Avatarby Andy Roid
Published Friday, April 17, 2015