Let's Make Robots!

Ro-Bot-X Chumby Re-Born !

After Ro-Bot-X's little chumby suffered a massive overdose of voltage, he's back up and running with MRL (headless)

Here he's boadcasting a very slow camera stream to my house (2500 miles away)

Yay !  Back from the dead !

It's not super stable video feed, but I have some ideas on that.. also we could try some different camera's too... 

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I changed the startup script to start the Invoker services on the Chumby
The Green Tabbed Service are running on the Chumby, and the Grey ones are running on my desktop here.
Since the Invoker service is running on the Chumby I can use it to start other services on the Chumby.. Motors etc.

I was looking into your MRL video the other day and it looks interesting. Maybe I should try one of me bot with it. But I am really just a no background guy. Any suggestions how should I start to try it? Like platform or software or OS I should install first?

Hi hradmouse,

I've seen your bots - they are awesome.. !

MRL currently will run on Windows, Linux, or a Chumby (ARM-7)... it can control micro-controllers through USB FDTI ports on these platforms...

1st decision
You have to decide if your computer is going to be on the bot - or communicating to the bot wirelessly

MRL -> Wirelessly -> Bots
This means the micro-controller is on the bot but the computer is controlling it.. The communication method can be important depending on what kind and how much data is exchanged. Range, robustness, expense are also some other considerations you might have.  Recently I ordered 6 BlueTooth modules with the idea of creating 6 inexpensive bots that interact/swarm with one another..  A computer running MRL would be central to all of this.. coordinating everthing between the little guys.

Computer + MRL on Bot
This is how MAAHR and Ro-Bot-X's Chumby is working...  It means you either need a little bitty computer (like a Chumby or Phone) or you need a regular computer and all its support batteries or power converters.  My experiments often include an old laptop plugged into an Arduino and the Arduino plugged into an H-bridge... It's convienent "IF" you have an old laptop :)
That being said MRL can run on one computer and talk to another instance of MRL giving it control and exchanging data ... kind of like the Borg :) ..  This is what Ro-Bot-X will probably do for remote control, running one instance on his laptop and another instance(headless) on the Chumby.  Connect the two an you have control over both...

I prefer using Linux because:
I'm confortable with it.
It can make old hardware very useful.
You can really strip it down - it can run headless if a screen/gui is not needed
Linux typically has better networking and networking utilities...

Got old laptop, chumby, linksys router, or bluetooth for your MTMP ? 

Hum, this is really a bit beyond my knowedge! But cool! I'd like to chellenge myself. After Tachikoma I'm gonna build another tracked machine. If you don't mind me to bug you all the time to learn your MRL, I'd like to try new system to chellenge myself. Do you mind?! Teehee....

Here is what I got but new sure if this match the requirement. I got an EeePC with win7, (Don't mind to brainwash it to Linux, but Linex is far away from me now, haven't touch it for 15 yrs.) OK, I got:

  1. EeePC
  2. Bunch of Arduinos and shields, sensors etc.
  3. 2 bluetooth dongles
  4. An working robot with no brain.
  5. Webcams

Now about Chumby, no idea what is it. Looks like a FLASH APP?

Let me know if you have any documented STARTHERE robot or something so I can start doing something. BTW, Thanks to remember my MTMP, LOL~~~


Sounds great...

I'm guessing your considering the EeePC for the Robot, it's not your "main computer" ... the "main computer" your using to write on this Blog ? 

You want a Hello World Servo ? 

Steps :
1. Plug Arduino in computer, start Arduino IDE
2. Plug a Servo control line into pin 12 on the Arduino
2. Copy Paste & Upload this sketch  http://myrobotlab.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/src/resource/arduinoSerial.pde 
3. Download MRL  http://code.google.com/p/myrobotlab/downloads/detail?name=myrobotlab-0014.zip 
4. Unzip double and double click myrobotlab.bat
5. Click the "Services" tab - this is where you get to choose the Services you want.  Select Arduino and right arrow - name it arduino.. Select Servo and right arrow - name it servo .  You should have 2 new tabs named "arduino" and "servo" - Click the arduino tab and check port :  select the port which has the Arduino attached to it (if not already selected) (figure 1)
6. Click the "servo" tab select "arduino" and pin 12 from the drop down, then press "attach" - this tells MRL that your servo is attached to the arduino on pin 12. figure 2.

What is happening
1. Well if it works your on your way (and if it doesnt work - don't feel bad.. I've been there) 
2. You can possibly control the servo through the gui - its not the best nor most robust way (if you have better ideas let me know)
3. Look at the gui tab - you can move things around in here.. figure 3, and see a couple message routes - but the general idea is that there are a bunch of blocks (services) and you can stick them together differently and in different ways...
4. You've learned a couple of blocks - there are many more - 
5. Ask lots of questions - the only dumb question is an honest question not asked..
6. Don't get frustrated...  it's just a start... :) 

figure 1.

figure 2.

figure 3.

I couldn't find any ports on dropdown list.(Arduino is in port5 now) Did I miss anything?

Hay Hardmouse... Progress !

Ok, next step - can you load the Arduino IDE - and when you have an Arduino plugged in can you upload a PDE to it ... if so what port does it say it's on..
Also .. is your system 64 bit or 32? 

I have it uploaded and its in PORT5. I also try PORT 19 and 20 but the dropdown list still shows nothing. I am in WIN7 64

Hmmmmm...try this...

  • copy from your arduino-00xx/rxtxSerial.dll to myrobotlab-0014/bin
  • copy from your arduino-00xx/lib/RXTXcomm.jar to myrobotlab-0014/lib

 I suspect its a 32/64 bit problem for windows.. I have it running here on a virtual machine, unfortunately at the moment I only have a windows XP image... but its listing the ports.

same thing, no ports shows up. This win7 problem cause me too much trouble already. I have other problem with AXON II as well. I might need to find virtual XP to run these.