Need a robot - suggestions?

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Need a robot - suggestions?

Post by Jag » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:40 am

Post by Jag
Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:40 am

Hi all,

I'm in the market for a robot. Many years ago I almost went to Reading Uni to do cybernetics and computing but my A-levels weren't good enough. Several years later and I still need a robot fix.

While I'm a "beginner" when it comes to robots, I'm a professional software developer (c#/.NET) and I have no problem with screwdrivers/electronics and I've had a bit of experience with Taimya and nitro RC cars.

I want something that will keep me occupied both tinkering and software. I don't want to buy something that I really get into then can't upgrade/customize.

After reading several posts, videos, articles and reviews of what's out there, it seems the choices for me are RoboBuilder, Robotis or Kondo.

The RoboBuilder is the cheapest and seems the most "complete" and has the advantage of the C based software. However, it doesn't seem as scalable and there doesn't seem to be as many parts and bobbins for it compared to say Robotis/Kondo.

The Bioloid comprehensive kit seems more hardcore but Robotis is a more established robotics company - I have a feeling the Bioloid is more scalable/cusomisable.

Then obviously, if I were to consider a Bioloid that's the same pricepoint as the Kondo. Both seem aimed at serious enthusiasts but they seem to more longevity due to the cusomization options.

So, what do I get? RoboBuilder vs Bioloid vs Kondo.

Cheers,
Jude
Hi all,

I'm in the market for a robot. Many years ago I almost went to Reading Uni to do cybernetics and computing but my A-levels weren't good enough. Several years later and I still need a robot fix.

While I'm a "beginner" when it comes to robots, I'm a professional software developer (c#/.NET) and I have no problem with screwdrivers/electronics and I've had a bit of experience with Taimya and nitro RC cars.

I want something that will keep me occupied both tinkering and software. I don't want to buy something that I really get into then can't upgrade/customize.

After reading several posts, videos, articles and reviews of what's out there, it seems the choices for me are RoboBuilder, Robotis or Kondo.

The RoboBuilder is the cheapest and seems the most "complete" and has the advantage of the C based software. However, it doesn't seem as scalable and there doesn't seem to be as many parts and bobbins for it compared to say Robotis/Kondo.

The Bioloid comprehensive kit seems more hardcore but Robotis is a more established robotics company - I have a feeling the Bioloid is more scalable/cusomisable.

Then obviously, if I were to consider a Bioloid that's the same pricepoint as the Kondo. Both seem aimed at serious enthusiasts but they seem to more longevity due to the cusomization options.

So, what do I get? RoboBuilder vs Bioloid vs Kondo.

Cheers,
Jude
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Post by i-Bot » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:49 am

Post by i-Bot
Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:49 am

Since you are good at software, I suggest you put that out of your selection criteria. Robotis and Robobuilder have plenty of free alternative software in C and are well documented. Kondo slightly less and it helps to read Japanese ! Alternative controller firmware with source is available for Robotis and Robobuilder, and C/C# libraries are available to interface to controller or direct to servos.

IMO, it comes down to cost. There are 4 alternatives;
1) Robobuilder: Low entry cost. I saw one go on ebay for £150 last month ! Can be upgraded to metal brackets, metal gears. Not many stock moves for upgraded hardware.
2) Bioloid Comprehensive: Value entry into Bioloid
3) Bioloid Premium: worth the extra if you can afford it. Adds, LiPo, better styling, new controller.
4)KHR. You would really need the 3HV which is rather expensive.
Since you are good at software, I suggest you put that out of your selection criteria. Robotis and Robobuilder have plenty of free alternative software in C and are well documented. Kondo slightly less and it helps to read Japanese ! Alternative controller firmware with source is available for Robotis and Robobuilder, and C/C# libraries are available to interface to controller or direct to servos.

IMO, it comes down to cost. There are 4 alternatives;
1) Robobuilder: Low entry cost. I saw one go on ebay for £150 last month ! Can be upgraded to metal brackets, metal gears. Not many stock moves for upgraded hardware.
2) Bioloid Comprehensive: Value entry into Bioloid
3) Bioloid Premium: worth the extra if you can afford it. Adds, LiPo, better styling, new controller.
4)KHR. You would really need the 3HV which is rather expensive.
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Post by Jag » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:01 pm

Post by Jag
Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:01 pm

Thanks for the reply -iBot.

I've done a little more research and there doesn't really seem a massive difference between the RoboBuilder and Bioloid - apart from the customization options once you get "bored" with the basic kit. The price difference between the RoboBuilder and Bioloid I think is the difference between a newbie and someone who knows what he wants it seems :)

I think I'll go with the RoboBuilder.

Could you tell me the difference between the 5710 and the 5720? Apart from the LEDs and the colour.
From RoboSavvy I see that the 5710 comes with the Distance and Acceleration sensors that are already part of the 5720 which instead gets the USB/Bluetooth bits. You can get these here for the 5710 for about an extra £60 but the 5720 is an extra £90 - do you pay extra for LEDs and transparent bits or is there some other fundamental difference with the hardware?

I'm currently thinking the black 5710 is the one for me - I can get the bluetooth and USB/serial adapter if I want to invest more later. And one last question, I see the 5720 is labelled as a kit where the 5710 isn't. Could you clarify? Is the 5710 pre-assembled?
(Doesn't really matter much but was kind of looking forward to "building" the 'bot)

Thanks again,
Jude
Thanks for the reply -iBot.

I've done a little more research and there doesn't really seem a massive difference between the RoboBuilder and Bioloid - apart from the customization options once you get "bored" with the basic kit. The price difference between the RoboBuilder and Bioloid I think is the difference between a newbie and someone who knows what he wants it seems :)

I think I'll go with the RoboBuilder.

Could you tell me the difference between the 5710 and the 5720? Apart from the LEDs and the colour.
From RoboSavvy I see that the 5710 comes with the Distance and Acceleration sensors that are already part of the 5720 which instead gets the USB/Bluetooth bits. You can get these here for the 5710 for about an extra £60 but the 5720 is an extra £90 - do you pay extra for LEDs and transparent bits or is there some other fundamental difference with the hardware?

I'm currently thinking the black 5710 is the one for me - I can get the bluetooth and USB/serial adapter if I want to invest more later. And one last question, I see the 5720 is labelled as a kit where the 5710 isn't. Could you clarify? Is the 5710 pre-assembled?
(Doesn't really matter much but was kind of looking forward to "building" the 'bot)

Thanks again,
Jude
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5710 Spec

Post by NatoBot » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:38 pm

Post by NatoBot
Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:38 pm

Does the 5710 have a built in Gyro?
Does the 5710 have a built in Gyro?
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Post by PedroR » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:53 pm

Post by PedroR
Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:53 pm

Could you tell me the difference between the 5710 and the 5720?


Hi Jag

As you may have noticed the Robobuilder editions we have on RoboSavvy are special ones which come with a few extras/add-ons included.
Here is the rundown on the differences:

Robobuilder 5710K : Standard 5710K + Add-on Distance Sensor (inside the Head) + Add-on Accelerometer (3 axis).
Upgradable with Bluetooth and USB2Serial (not included).

Robobuilder 5720T : Standard 5720T (which already includes the DIstance Sensor and the Acceleration Sensor) + Add on Bluetooth + Add on Usb2Serial

The other difference between the 2 robots is that the 5720T has transparent servos with LEDs inside.
The servos are mechanically identical on the 5710 and 5720; just the 5720T has transparent casing and LEDs inside.

I personally like the 5720T better as the whole transparency lets you see the gears moving and LEDs make it look more appealing.

Having said this, from a functional standpoint both robots are equivalent (only the included extras vary). The difference is mainly the looks.


Does the 5710 have a built in Gyro?


Hi NatoBot

The 5710K does not include a built in Gyro but includes a built in 3 axis Accelerometer.
The accelerometer lets it detect when it falls and get up automatically.


Regards
Pedro.
Could you tell me the difference between the 5710 and the 5720?


Hi Jag

As you may have noticed the Robobuilder editions we have on RoboSavvy are special ones which come with a few extras/add-ons included.
Here is the rundown on the differences:

Robobuilder 5710K : Standard 5710K + Add-on Distance Sensor (inside the Head) + Add-on Accelerometer (3 axis).
Upgradable with Bluetooth and USB2Serial (not included).

Robobuilder 5720T : Standard 5720T (which already includes the DIstance Sensor and the Acceleration Sensor) + Add on Bluetooth + Add on Usb2Serial

The other difference between the 2 robots is that the 5720T has transparent servos with LEDs inside.
The servos are mechanically identical on the 5710 and 5720; just the 5720T has transparent casing and LEDs inside.

I personally like the 5720T better as the whole transparency lets you see the gears moving and LEDs make it look more appealing.

Having said this, from a functional standpoint both robots are equivalent (only the included extras vary). The difference is mainly the looks.


Does the 5710 have a built in Gyro?


Hi NatoBot

The 5710K does not include a built in Gyro but includes a built in 3 axis Accelerometer.
The accelerometer lets it detect when it falls and get up automatically.


Regards
Pedro.
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Post by NatoBot » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:28 pm

Post by NatoBot
Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:28 pm

Thanks Pedro

Cool that answers my other query about what an Accelerometer does. ^^
Thanks Pedro

Cool that answers my other query about what an Accelerometer does. ^^
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Post by Jag » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:05 pm

Post by Jag
Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:05 pm

Thanks for the clarifications Pedro.

My 5710 will arrive Monday - and I've accidentally got all of next week off :)

"Me vs. you" soon Nato ;P
Thanks for the clarifications Pedro.

My 5710 will arrive Monday - and I've accidentally got all of next week off :)

"Me vs. you" soon Nato ;P
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Post by NatoBot » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:34 pm

Post by NatoBot
Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:34 pm

With a little luck and determination I might just figure out the programming for my DFRobot-USBSSC-32 I/O before you have your Robobuilder unpacked :p
With a little luck and determination I might just figure out the programming for my DFRobot-USBSSC-32 I/O before you have your Robobuilder unpacked :p
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