EmbeDream YM4 and Arduino Uno

March 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

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Another weekend night of hacking fun hooking up a Arduino Uno with YM4 robotic car from EmbeDream. The YM4 is a well designed FIRA compliant robot car with built in power supply. The left and right wheels are controlled independently and the built in feedback from wheels.

The break out board for the YM4 is easy to work with. The H-bridge control are CT1, CT2, and CT3. CT1 control the speed with PWM and CT2/CT3 decide the direction of the wheel. This is the same configuration for both wheels. The following is a quick sketch to get YM4 going forward.

#define RIGHT_CTRL_1 5
#define RIGHT_CTRL_2 6
#define RIGHT_CTRL_3 7
#define LEFT_CTRL_1 11
#define LEFT_CTRL_2 12
#define LEFT_CTRL_3 13
void setup()
 pinMode(LEFT_CTRL_2, OUTPUT);
 pinMode(LEFT_CTRL_3, OUTPUT);
void loop()
  digitalWrite(RIGHT_CTRL_2, 0);
  digitalWrite(RIGHT_CTRL_3, 1);
  analogWrite(RIGHT_CTRL_1, 128);
  digitalWrite(LEFT_CTRL_2, 0);
  digitalWrite(LEFT_CTRL_3, 1);
  analogWrite(LEFT_CTRL_1, 128);

Now, the TODO list

  • Find a more secure way to protect the Uno board and protect it from bumping into objects when robot start to run
  • Figure out how and where to attach sensors: ultrasonic distance and infra red for distance and obstacle sensing
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Visited by EmbeDream and their awesome FIRA bot

February 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

We received visitor from Nanjing based EmbeDream today. The gust come bearing gift of their open source FIRA bot. It’s of great design and I can’t not wait to try to hook it up to Arduino to have some fun! Here are some photos of the bot.

It’s small cube.

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Take apart one side

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Chaotic Robo Event

January 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Xindanwei end to end. Ricky kicks off the event with A.R.T. and gave a short introduction to how he got started with the project and how ART was built. IMG_7914.JPG Then we have the introduction to the HCR robots by the presenter also named Ricky. HCR is an open source robot built to for home caring. IMG_0221.JPG And some random photos from the events. IMG_7915.JPG]]>

Robotic class @ Xin Che JIan – 机器人课程 @ 新车间

January 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

新车间的机器人课程是针对对物理运算有兴趣了解的朋友提供入门的课程和实践机会,适合十岁以上的人参加。 课程内容为: 8小时的授课时间:

  • Arduino入门
    • 电子和物理计算硬件概念
    • 编程语言处理
    • 物理计算: 软件與硬件的互动
  • 机器人入门
    • 什么是机器人?
    • 如何用遥控车和Arduino來做机器人
    • 自主玩具机器人 (A.R.T.) 入门
  • 实验室共有2〜3个教师提供援助
  • 动手做自主机器车
对于15岁以下的孩子,我们希望看到家长一同参加。 课程总费用为1500元,包括8小时授课时间和16小时的实验室时间,Arduino材料费,玩具遥控车一台和基本传感器(价值500元),并赠送两个月的新车间超级会员(价值4000元)。 课程時間為周日下午,有兴趣参加可以写邮件到 [email protected] 报名。 Robot class@Xinchejian aims to promote the understanding of physical computing and provide hands-on experience with Arduino platform. This class is designed for 10 years old and more. The robot class consists of 8 hours of lectures and 16 hours of practice. 8 hours of lecture:
  • Introduction to Arduino
    • Hardware Concept of Electronics and Physical Computing
    • Processing programming language
    • Physical Computing: Interface Digital and Physical world
  • Introduction to Robotics
    • What’s robot?
    • Robotics using RC car and Arduino
    • Introduction to A.R.T.
16 hours of supervised hands-on labs:
  • 2 ~ 3 teachers in labs offering assistance
  • make your own autonomous robot car
For kids under 15, we’d like to see parent participate. The cost of the courses is 1500RMB, including 8 hours of lecture plus 16 hours hands-on lab, the Arduino starter kit, RC car and basic sensor (500RMB in value). We will also provide you two-month Xinchejian super membership (4000RMB in value) for free. The classes will be on Sunday afternoon. For class registration, please send email to [email protected].]]>

ARTv5 Electronics Design

January 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

ARTv4 to have interesting, pseudo-intelligent behaviors (and not running out of SRAM which causes it to reset randomly…), I’m also working on the next generation electrical design for ART… I’m naming the bundle of software and electronics ARTv5. The plan is to support more infrared and ultrasonic sensors with an RF transceiver for sending telemetry information.  I also want to start producing and using PCB boards to get away from the fragile breadboards. More specifically, these PCB will take the form of Arduino-shields that I can stack on top of each other. The plan right now is to create three boards that are stackable:

  • One for the ultrasonics sensors (front, rear, left, right);
  • One for the infrared sensors (front, rear, left, right);
  • One with four connectors to ultrasonics sensors, infrared sensors, motors control in addition to the connector for the RF transceiver.
The last “shield” will also host the CPLD (Xilinx xc9536). All incoming and outgoing signals go through the CPLD to give me the flexibility to do additional processing using digital logic instead of the microcontroller code. In addition, I also have a Texas Instrument CC1101 chipset transceiver (supposedly RFC1100-A but the board they sent me has FT1100A-100) with Power Amplifier that I’m adding so that the Microcontroller can send back telemetry information to the PC… So there’s the following connections:
  • Ultrasonics sensors shield: 10 wires (1 VCC, 1 GND, 4 echos, 4 triggers);
  • Infrared sensors shield: 6 wires (1 VCC, 1 GND, 4 signals);
  • RF transceiver: plugs into two 9×2 headers (1 VCC, 1 GND and the SPI wires);
  • Four control motor wires for the H-bridge (used right now to connect directly to the RF transmitter as a hack).
To do the design, I’m still using the fantastic Fritzing 0.4.3. Although it does crash regularly and has various nitpicks that, if solved, would make this even better there’s nothing really comparable. The workflow feels natural and the results are attractive. I haven’t been able to produce etchable versions of my PCB design due to what seems to be a bug, but the Gerber RS-274X files it generates seem to work fine (if GerberView output is any indication). I’ve compiled a list bought so far and the cost so far is a bit under 800 RMB. On the basis of that new design I need to add to the wishlist a whole bunch of stackable female headers in addition to figuring out the cost of producing the PCB. The BoM generated by Fritzing for the ART Shield says:
  • 1xGeneric female header – 10 pins;
  • 1xGeneric female header – 2 pins;
  • 2xGeneric female header – 4 pins;
  • 1xGeneric female header – 6 pins.

TX-2/RX-2: Heart of the cheap RC Toys from China

January 9th, 2011 § 12 comments § permalink

As I was trying to hook up the motor to Arduino, I realized that there wasn’t any H Bridge and it was way too cold to go out and get it. Hmm… I figure there must be some H Bridge on the control board I just rip out of the car. IMG_0216.jpg As I located the two H bridge on the board, I notice the RX-2 chip. Out of curiosity, I decide to google for this chip. To a pleasant surprise, I found RX-2/TX-2 Datasheet in Chinese and guide for exactly the board in the car and remote. IMG_0215.jpg untitled.jpg Decide to replace RX-2 in the car with Arduino so the H-Bridge on board can be reused and the RF for the remote can still work. Still trying to figure out what I am going to do with those remote control signal. A few facts about RX-2/TX-2 chip I found is that the RC frequency can be adjusted by different resistance from 100K to 500K Ohm between OSCI/OSCO pins. untitled.jpg]]>

ART Telemetry wireless solution

January 9th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Been researching wireless solutions to transmit in real-time sensor and decision information from ART in addition to possibly enabling minimal controls (on/off/behavior switch) and perhaps even wireless firmware updates.

My criteria:
  • Low-cost (<200RMB, preferably <100RMB)
  • Simplex or half-duplex OK
  • Low-bandwidth (>1,200 bit/s)
  • Low-power (<100 mAh)
  • Medium-range (500m-1000m)
  • TTL or SPI interface
One of the main issue is that I cannot find a clear reference to the spectrum allocation in China (The US has a very convenient Frequency Allocations Chart: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frequency_allocation).
I know that 2.4Ghz is good worldwide (such as what the Nordic nRF240L uses) but that has a very limited range (50m-100m). So is Bluetooth and to a certain degree Wifi (and they are pretty expensive too).
There are these:
Last one actually looks better than the Nordic on paper, but from what I gathered the price is pretty high.  I wonder about the price and why I can’t find it on Taobao…

新车间开放日:休闲机器人的时代 Robot Contest Kick Off- Xin Che Jian Open House: the coming of entertainment robots

January 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

新车间开放日:休闲机器人的时代 时间: 2011年元月十六日,下午一点到五点 地点:徐汇区永嘉路50号新单位(近陕西南路) 费用: 免费 随着数字零件价格的降低加上丰富的开源机器人软件,DIY机器人已经可以当做事一个假日的休闲活动。这次的新车间开放日我们将介绍几个会员DIY的机器人和介绍一个将要举办的积极人竞赛。如果你对机器人有兴趣,请在这个周日加入我们,一起了解现代机器人的发展,一起讨论如何玩机器人。如果有小孩的话,非常欢迎他们一起来参加这个的活动。 – 关于HC Robot http://code.google.com/p/hcrobot/ – 关于A.R.T. http://xinchejian.com/?p=289 在这里注册 Robot Contest Kick Off- Xin Che Jian Open House: the coming of entertainment robots Time: 13:00 – 17:00, Jan 16, 2011 Location: Xindanwei, 50 Yongjia Rd Cost: Free, Open house Building robots is fun and building robots to race is doubling the fun! The era of robot building as hobby has come and we plan to celebrate the beginning of this era with a festive robot contest. At this Xin Che Jian open house, we will present a few home built robots and the plan for a contest for discussion. Come and see how you can get involved! If you are a parent, bring the kids! We are sure they will love the robots! Robots on site: – HC Robot: open source home help robots http://code.google.com/p/hcrobot/ – A.R.T. http://xinchejian.com/?p=289 Register for the event here]]>

A.R.T. Glamour

January 6th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

A.R.T. ]]>

RoboMaster: a new robot contest for kids in Shanghai

December 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Photos from the new robot contest for kids in Shanghai called RoboMaster. Looks a lot of fun! DSC00165.JPG IMG_4183.JPG IMG_4194.JPG]]>

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