Control UBTech Alpha robot via bluetooth
How to add the Ubtech Alpha 1 Bluetooth robot skill
- Load the most recent release of ARC (Get ARC).
- Press the Project tab from the top menu bar in ARC.
- Press Add Robot Skill from the button ribbon bar in ARC.
- Choose the Movement Panels category tab.
- Press the Ubtech Alpha 1 Bluetooth icon to add the robot skill to your project.
Don't have a robot yet?
Follow the Getting Started Guide to build a robot and use the Ubtech Alpha 1 Bluetooth robot skill.
How to use the Ubtech Alpha 1 Bluetooth robot skillControl UBTech Alpha robot via bluetooth and control servos. The Virtual Servos in ARC will control the UBTech Alpha robot servos. Use the configuration button on this skill to configure what servos are to be used. The Vx servos in ARC correspond to the servo IDs of the UBTech Alpha robot.
- V1 controls servo ID #1
- V2 controls servo ID #2
- V3 controls servo ID #3
- and so on...
1. COM Port Drop-down
Select the Bluetooth COM port that corresponds with the Alpha1 robot connected to your PC.
2. Connect Button
Once the proper COM ports is selected, press the Connect button to connect ARC to the Alpha1
3. Init Button
Initiates communication with the Alpha1 robot.
4. Status Display
Displays text corresponding to what actions are happening with the skill.
1. Virtual servo Checkboxes
Check (enable) each virtual servo that corresponds to the servo ID's you have on your Alpha1. If you would like to control the servo, it will have to be enabled.
How to Use UBtech Alpha1 Bluetooth Skill
1) Connect your PC to the Alpha1 robot via Bluetooth.
2) Add the UBtech Alpha1 Bluetooth skill to your ARC project (Project -> Add Skill -> Movement panels -> UBtech Alpha1 Bluetooth).
3) Select the Bluetooth COM port for the Alpha1 robot and select CONNECT.
4) Use the configuration menu of this skill to select the servos you wish to control. Place a check in the box beside each servo to control.
5) Now that you have the skill configured, you may use any skills in ARC that support servos to move the Alpha1 robot. This includes Auto Position, Camera, Joystick, and more.
*Note: When editing scripts in other skills, use the Cheat Sheet or right-click in the editor to see available ControlCommand of this skill. You may connect, disconnect, and control LEDs.
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You'll need to select the Vx servos that correspond to the servo IDs of the alpha. Then, you can add other robot skills and ensure you select those Vx servos in those skills as well. Specify the min and max of those servos or they will not move.
There's a dozen or so EZB firmwares available for variety of hardware - while the most popular is the EZ-Robot EZ-B v4, which comes pre-installed with the firmware. The list of EZB compatible hardware is here: https://synthiam.com/Support/Hardware/Hardware-Overview
If you're still having trouble and believe a firmware update on the alpha changed some things, we'd be happy to help you out. However, there's limited information available about their communication protocol. It would be a good start for you to contact the manufacturer and request a protocol definition for the bluetooth connection. We can go from there to update the skill appropriately
Im slowly getting my head around the software but its a totally new way of thinking for me.
Now I have him moving, I would like to start programming some routines using Roboscratch. I assume I would have to add the Alpha servo skill to be able to do this, is that correct?
the concept is the graphical skills replace large bits of code. Each skill is some sort of function that communicates with one another. In your case the alpha skill is acting as a servo driver.
Roboscratch uses the configuration of alpha. I think you might be beyond RoboScratch though. It’s made mostly for elementary school children. Not to say it isn’t fun, but it isn’t super exciting.
id recommend using the Auto Position skill. It lets you design the movements and such. Now, we have heard reports that the alpha had trouble with having the servo positions sent in rapid concession. Be warned of that limitation apparently. Here’s a link to the Auto Position manual: https://synthiam.com/Support/Skills/Movement-Panels/Auto-Positioner-Gait?id=16057
I've done a quick test using Auto Position and think I have it straight in my mind as to how it works. I dont appear to be able to control servo speed at the moment, I am tired though so will have another look tomorrow.
Am I not understanding the software?
Am i using the software incorrectly?
Does the software function correctly with this robot?
Does my robot function correctly?
I was really hoping for this to be a cheap introduction to robotics and I now think I was wrong. I also dont really want to spend any more money on this as I feel I have already spent enough on what is now effectively scrap.
As I cant answer any of the above questions, I simply cant think how I can continue with him.
My advise is to sell the robot and get yourself something more reliable and cheaper. I do recommend the EZ-Robot JD Humanoid if you want to maintain the humanoid form-factor, because it works very well - and has people learning with it all around the world starting from elementary school. EZ-Robot also has a lot of tutorials for their robots. Here's the tutorials for the JD: https://www.ez-robot.com/Tutorials/Lesson/125?courseId=1
Oh, and here's where you can get a JD: https://www.ez-robot.com/Shop/
I've been working on Alpha 1S until last february using EZB V4. I couldn't obtain reliable servo control.
I do know that protocol information is missing, but I'm seeing here a "skill" suggested for that robot and a "version 19" (for the plug-in ?) making me hope that some progress has been made since then . Have you or someone else tested with success these new tools ?
I have managed to obtain their servo callibration tool though. If this is any use to anyone, I would be more than happy to send it to you.
I had kind answers from Ubtech whenever I asked for explanation of their software and hardware problems for the Alpha 1S. I never asked for protocols etc.
Didnt see that, there you go.
Anyway, Im not sure of the information you used to create this plugin but I found the attached file today and thought it might be usefull. It means nothing to me and may even be the info used to create your plugin.Alpha1 Series Bluetooth.pdf
Controlling a robot by sending commands is basic effort that we do everyday with tens of thousands of other robots. This causes us to believe that the ubtech alpha robot has a fundamental bug in the protocol design or servo firmware. Because it’s not upgradable, they discontinued the product following these issues. The internet is full of others experiencing the same issues. To the extent that there are people creating replacement PCBs (circuit boards) to make the robot operational by remote commands.
while the robot somewhat works with the command set they published, it seems to be about the best it does. Contacting the manufacturer for support with their product is the best advice. Otherwise, many other Synthiam users have simply sold their alpha robot and upgraded to more cost effective and powerful robots that include cameras and real robot features.
I rewired the four connectors arms and legs to one connector and it works!!!
Hope this wil help you if the cost is a problem you can try the EZ-B IoTiny
I verified that the bluetooth module was disabled and a 433Mhz RF module was inserted, probably to start all the robots simultaneously. however, I believe the controller (STM32) firmware have been modified to use the RF module. Could someone explain to me how to reinstall the original firmware? Thank you!!!
remember the alpha robot shoulder servo's are sitting horizontal in the body . not vertikel as jd .
thats why his arms doesn go al the way up but only forwart . just my 2 cents .