Creating code for multiple Wowwee robots using Roboremote

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Jane Braybrook
Jane Braybrook's picture
Creating code for multiple Wowwee robots using Roboremote

Creating routines for several Wowwee robots simultaneously using the Roboremote software exposes limitations of the Wowwee software. It can be done, but it's not easy. I'm one of the software designers of Go-Robo Studio. We're currently working with the Roboremote APIs (thanks Wowwee!) to integrate all the features of Roboremote into Go-Robo. This will allow you to create timeline programming applications for multiple Wowwee robots simultaneously. Go-Robo Studio currently works with RS1, RSV2, RS Media, Roboquad, Robopet, Roboreptile and Roboraptor. We're adding Femi, Wrex and Tri-bot at the moment.

The programming language in Go-Robo is called GRIDscript. It's a simple scripting language a bit like Microsoft's Visual Basic. Like all languages it has loops, variables and conditionals. All the IR commands are stored in a database along with their timings (You can hack the XML instruction databases). You can use Go-Robo to download programs into your robots and Roboremote, or you can stream commands to control your robots directly from your pc.

The next beta will be available in a couple of weeks, this will include the new robots Femi, Wrex and Tri-bot. So if you have some robots and a Roboremote and fancy trying out some programming with Go-Robo Studio, it would be great to hear from you.  

iquad
iquad's picture

I dare say it's a brilliant idea.

jjr0062
jjr0062's picture

Is this software available in the US? I think this is what I am looking for for my scout troop.

Thanks
Jimbo

Jane Braybrook
Jane Braybrook's picture

The software is available at www.Q4technologies.com. A new version that includes Femi, Wrex and Tri-bot will be available January, but you'll get a free upgrade if you want to get the current version now.

Peter
Peter's picture

crmfghtr said: There was a Roboremote hack posted on here on how to add sensor inputs to the roboremote, if you could incorporate that into the software it would open up the Wowwee robots to the multiple mods made on other hobby robots like Robonova, Mindstorms etc. Look forward to your software!

Go-Robo already supports other IR Devices which can read InfraRed withoiut modifications: Robo-Blaster, USB-UIRT, Tira-2 and RedRat3. So reading and reacting to InfraRed isn't a problem. It's just that the robots don't give enough commands for us to do much with.

If you're looking for feedback, Rovio does the job. There's a lot of information accessible through the Rovio API which isn't used in the Rovio software.

MrScott
MrScott's picture

The RoboRemote hack I described in my article, http://www.robocommunity.com/article/12602/Hacking-the-WowWee-RoboRemote/ , provides a way to add some external triggers of the RoboRemote buttons.

What you do with those triggers is wholly up to the ingenuity of the person designing them. Simple contact switches, better motion detection or sound detection, or a wifi linked micro-controller, are all possible trigger mechanisms.

What the RoboRemote does once a button is triggered is where the RoboRemote programming comes into play. I used the WowWee software to tinker with my experiments. My understanding is that the Go_Robo Studio is an alternative option for programming the RoboRemote buttons.

The Robodance application is also being worked on to support working through the RoboRemote.

With the remote selling at a relatively inexpensive $20, I think this can be used as an economical entry into control logic and programming for robotics.

Peter
Peter's picture

I understand how the Roboremote hack would work and it has lots of potential. For example, the 12 pre-coded IR streams could be triggered by different types of sensors to give robots an apparent degree of autonomy in their environment.

The next releases of the Go-Robo family and the current Roboremote software can both prepare and download the IR sequences. Go-Robo has the advantage of a scripting language; a time-line editor; implicit command timings and compound IR commands. Both products have hackable command databases (be very careful with these and make a backup first).

To clarify what Go-Robo is: the Go-Robo family is primarily an introduction to programming. Go-Robo Studio is designed for older kids and adults, it's technically a lot easier than Visual Studio, Flash and Microsoft Robotics Studio etc., and is designed as a primer for these or as a tool for the hobbyist / hacker. We are extending range of software with versions specifically for Wrex, Femisapien, RS1 and RSV2, designed for younger kids.

Jane Braybrook
Jane Braybrook's picture

Yes, your right, Go-Robo is an alternative way to program the Roboremote buttons. You can also use it to download programs into the robots memories and control them by streaming commands.

The idea of modifying the Roboremote to improve feedback is interesting and a nice project that I will try and I'll get a couple of education advisors to have a look at.

What Go-Robo will enable you to do is prepare and download IR sequences to the Roboremote. You will also be able to save and manage a library of downloadable sequences on your computer. I'll send you a private message so you can download a copy to have a play with.

CraigR
CraigR's picture

Hi Jane, Have modified Roboquad with powered wheels up front and a castor in back. I need to change command structure for differential steering instead of crab walking. Would like to bump up sencing to detect squirls in the back yard; eating my balbs and plan to mount high presure squirt gun to anoy them, away. Do I run a comm line from my computer to the remote? I got a million stupid questions, little background and a dream. I'll go to your website and try to get a grip. Thanks so much , CraigR

CraigR
CraigR's picture

Hi Jane its me again, my laptop's got a IR transever built in; can I bypass remote and program and control and recieve data directly or is the remote necessary. Showing my ignoance... thanks, CraigR

Peter
Peter's picture

CraigR said: Hi Jane its me again, my laptop's got a IR transever built in; can I bypass remote and program and control and recieve data directly or is the remote necessary. Showing my ignoance... thanks, CraigR

Hi CraigR,

The IR transceiver in your laptop is probably IrDA, which is different from the Infra-Red protocol used by Wowwee robots - they use CIR (Consumer Infra-Red). IrDA is better for high speeds over short distances. CIR is better for longer distances and lower speeds. Go-Robo can use Roboremote, Robo-Blaster, Tira-2, RedRat3 and USB-UIRT transceivers. A very small number of computers do have CIR transceivers built in, but Go-Robo can’t use most of them. If you don’t have a suitable transceiver, get a Roboremote as it’s the cheapest by far and the best one for Wowwee robots.

Peter.

winger
winger's picture

Hi A quick question ? Will Go-Robo talk to I-Sobot ? He is the one that I am really interested in programing. I do have the RS Remote,RS1,RS Media,Robosapen, and looking to get the Femsapion soon. I was interested in one of your statments about being able to communicate with other IR devices. I have a slue of helicopters and such that use IR.
Thanks
Winger
Richmond VA
USA

Peter
Peter's picture

It is technically possible as Go-Robo has a generic communications library and already supports 5 IR devices: Roboremote, Robo-Blaster, Tira-2, RedRat3 and USB-UIRT. With the next release of Go-Robo studio we'll be supporting 12 of the WowWee robots. We need to work very closely with the robots to ensure our software works well with them and it makes it much easier when manufacturers help us - WowWee have been very helpful to us in terms of technical support. What you are looking for is a generic IR solution and we're about programming robots for home and education.
Sorry we can't help directly.
Peter.

RS
RS's picture

Hi Peter,

How and from where can I get Roboremote in Indis

Peter
Peter's picture

RS,

I'll look into this and get back you soon.

Peter.

dairolozano
dairolozano's picture

Any plans to deliver a new version of GO-ROBO Programmer and STUDIO ?

Jane Braybrook
Jane Braybrook's picture

Sadly no.

Go-Robo was a project with UK schools to help children learn programming using toy robots, but schools have alternative 'free' ways of teaching programming, such as Scratch, which are easier to use in a classroom situation. We have frequently been asked to write a version of Go-Robo using on-screen robots to get around this problem, but it's a step too far for us. Currently schools expect and get 'free' programming software and apps supplied by the likes of MIT who have huge sponsors funding their projects. Small developers like ourselves cannot compete in such a marketplace as at the end of the day we need to earn a living.