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Hope everyone has been having a blast building robots!
I haven't posted since last year and now its time to scramble and get the G-Bot ready for this Halloween. Always a fun time!
This year the G-Bot is getting upgraded from v3 to v4. I am excited to enjoy the better range and connectivity of wifi over Bluetooth. I’m also upgrading his neon power supply, adding a couple more Sabertooth (2x12s) controllers (to work on some arm functionality) and adding three Kangaroo auto-tuners to make control of the drive and arm motors a lot simpler.
I am also correcting a few design flaws I learned about last year. I’ll be connecting a cutoff relay to his power pack to directly disconnect power from his drive motor controller in the event he runs amok again…
I’ve been picking people’s brains for thoughts and ideas since this is a process a little outside my scope and an electrical engineer friend of mine talked about how industrial robotic systems are designed. He said I should consider a controller dedicated to only monitoring the health and performance of the other controllers. In the event of a lockup or other type of failure the monitoring controller can shut one down or run other scripts as needed.
The old G-Bot setup used two EZB v3s, one in the lower half and one in the torso section. Since I’m swapping them out to v4s, I really will have no use for the v3s.
Anyone know if its possible to use one of the v3s to monitor the two v4s? Can a v3 be direct connect to two v4s for this purpose? If so, I’ll need to also upgrade the slip ring that connects the two sections of the G-Bot since right now they only have enough conductors to connect power.
Does the EZB v4 also support Bluetooth? If so, I wouldn’t have to change the slip ring.
Any thoughts or links or other information would be greatly appreciated!
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Unfortunately the ezb3 can't read serial data only send it so it may not be much use to you for what you want to do.... The V3 is still good for reading analog or digital, though....
Another thought is using the V3 which also requires access to the computer, but even shorer range is probably not the best choice for a Watchdog.
Best would be something that can run independently like an Arduino that would send a serial request to one of the UART ports in the EZ-B, and if it didn't get a response (or maybe missed a couple of resposnses depending on how sensitive you want it to be) would trigger a relay to cut power to the motors.
I have no skill in programming Arduino, but others here might be able to take thia idea and run with it.
Gwen, your last post was blank.
Wow, very ambitious. I'm really looking forward to your upgrades. I'm really interested in the arm design your useing. How about a hint to what it is?
As far as the monitoring, you may be able to use the ADC ports to watch the voltage on the V4 ezb. I haven't thought through the process but it could watch for deep voltage drops or an outage and send an alarm or run a script. Be careful of the voltage difference between the two units depending on how to attach them. You may need to level or lower the voltage. I think the V3 's ADC signal pin will only accept 3.2 volts but may be tolerant to 5 volts. Also make sure there's a common ground between the two.
You can run one ezb on wifi and one on Bluetooth (I think) within the same project. Someone who knows better needs to check me on this though.