eBox 3350MX and RoboRealm

Based on DMP's Vortex processor / SoC this board is a full computer capable of running a standard Windows and Linux installation on the backpack of your robot.
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eBox 3350MX and RoboRealm

Post by ozfiddler » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:14 am

Post by ozfiddler
Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:14 am

I have been playing with an eBox 3350MX for a while now and I recently came across a very interesting program called RoboRealm that provides computer vision and image analysis. It runs on Windows and seems to work happily on the eBox so I thought I might post some information here for others.

RoboRealm is primarily designed for vision so there are endless possibilities for processing the image in terms of colour, blobs, edges, lines, filters, etc and numerous ways to define and apply parameters such as centre of gravity, angles, distances, etc. However, the software also has many other modules of more general use in robotics - programming in a number of different languages (including C, Python and VBScript) and a lot of interfaces for many commonly available robot systems and peripherals.

Particularly interesting for me was the Arduino module as I had built Arduino-based robots before. Turns out this made things really easy... I just had to load the supplied file into my Arduino board, insert the module into RoboRealm and then it could be used to either control servos and motors directly, or if linked to variables then control could be carried out via a simple program or through another module. In my case, I used RoboRealm's "keyboard read" module to map movement of servos and motors to various keys on the keyboard.

I've now got my ebox-bot built and a working... this is how it looks so far:

Image

Most of the parts came from Robosavvy - Dagu chassis and robot arm, DFRobot motor controller, Sharp distance sensor and of course the eBox. The three usb sockets on the eBox are used for a webcam, the Arduino and a wireless adapter, which gives me wireless control of the robot from my PC via remote desktop.

Another feature I liked in RoboRealm was the "display variables" module that can be used to show the value of any variable directly on the webcam image - so you can use it to make a "heads-up" display. Mine tells me the positions of the webcam tilt, the arm and the hand, how far in front of me an object is, and gives an indication of battery voltage. This is the display I see from my PC as I drive it around:

Image

Things are still at a fairly basic stage, but I've already been able to make a mobile, remote controlled robot that lets me see and interact with the surrounding environment without too many headaches. I've done a rather boring youtube video which shows it in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zas162OW22U

I've now also fitted a speaker and a small amplifier so that I can try to get some speech working. I'm hoping to use the Microsoft Speech SDK to do speech recognition and provide spoken responses. RoboRealm has an the object recognition module (this is actually a plug-in that you have to buy separately)... hopefully my robot will soon be able to recognise some objects and say what they are.

I'll post again when I have made some more progress, or you can check things at http://simplycomputing.com.au

More details about RoboRealm can be found at: http://www.roborealm.com/. I should add that there is a forum on that site and they give good support. I've had a few minor problems along the way, but they did a good job of sorting them out for me.
I have been playing with an eBox 3350MX for a while now and I recently came across a very interesting program called RoboRealm that provides computer vision and image analysis. It runs on Windows and seems to work happily on the eBox so I thought I might post some information here for others.

RoboRealm is primarily designed for vision so there are endless possibilities for processing the image in terms of colour, blobs, edges, lines, filters, etc and numerous ways to define and apply parameters such as centre of gravity, angles, distances, etc. However, the software also has many other modules of more general use in robotics - programming in a number of different languages (including C, Python and VBScript) and a lot of interfaces for many commonly available robot systems and peripherals.

Particularly interesting for me was the Arduino module as I had built Arduino-based robots before. Turns out this made things really easy... I just had to load the supplied file into my Arduino board, insert the module into RoboRealm and then it could be used to either control servos and motors directly, or if linked to variables then control could be carried out via a simple program or through another module. In my case, I used RoboRealm's "keyboard read" module to map movement of servos and motors to various keys on the keyboard.

I've now got my ebox-bot built and a working... this is how it looks so far:

Image

Most of the parts came from Robosavvy - Dagu chassis and robot arm, DFRobot motor controller, Sharp distance sensor and of course the eBox. The three usb sockets on the eBox are used for a webcam, the Arduino and a wireless adapter, which gives me wireless control of the robot from my PC via remote desktop.

Another feature I liked in RoboRealm was the "display variables" module that can be used to show the value of any variable directly on the webcam image - so you can use it to make a "heads-up" display. Mine tells me the positions of the webcam tilt, the arm and the hand, how far in front of me an object is, and gives an indication of battery voltage. This is the display I see from my PC as I drive it around:

Image

Things are still at a fairly basic stage, but I've already been able to make a mobile, remote controlled robot that lets me see and interact with the surrounding environment without too many headaches. I've done a rather boring youtube video which shows it in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zas162OW22U

I've now also fitted a speaker and a small amplifier so that I can try to get some speech working. I'm hoping to use the Microsoft Speech SDK to do speech recognition and provide spoken responses. RoboRealm has an the object recognition module (this is actually a plug-in that you have to buy separately)... hopefully my robot will soon be able to recognise some objects and say what they are.

I'll post again when I have made some more progress, or you can check things at http://simplycomputing.com.au

More details about RoboRealm can be found at: http://www.roborealm.com/. I should add that there is a forum on that site and they give good support. I've had a few minor problems along the way, but they did a good job of sorting them out for me.
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