"RS Media Control Station" software

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gerber
gerber's picture

Hi

If you add the serial hack and using the USB-TTL module to communicate with the robot, battery power is not a problem as you are only using the RX, TX, GND connection and no power is taken from the robot. For this mod the power comes from the PC to run the USB-TTL module.

As Jamie said if you decide to make the robot wireless with the Bluetooth module the Bluetooth module is taking power from the robot and your battery life will be less. I donÂ’t have the problem with this myself because I run my robots from a main adapter. A useful thing to know when running you robot from a mains adapter is that in the manul it states to use a mains adapter running 7.5v. The problem with is that you will only be able to control the upper body movement. If you change the voltage on the mains adapter to 6v you will have full body control of the robot (Freddya told me about this last September and I havenÂ’t used batteries since)

About 2 years ago I used to use batteries I found I had to change the batteries nearly every day which I found a pain and that is why I prefer running my robot via mains.

I am in the process of adding switch on my robot under the cover for the mini usb connecter so I can switch off the power to the Bluetooth module.

Cheers
Gareth

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi Donnie / Curtainmaker

Sorry I can't be any more help with the Standard USB connect to the robot. I will see if I can get hold of a windows XP machine and I'll have a go of the standard connection on that.

Cheers
Gerber

Curtainmaker
Curtainmaker's picture

Hi Guys
Thanks Jamie i will look into that web address and get me 1. Question is now do I make it USB or bluetooth.
Thanks Gerber for trying and all your help, I will persist with the way Im going until I do the hack. I still feel we are just about there and are missing the final link somewhere.
I still feel the robot has cybertenitcally inherited my wifes Genes as she won't do as I command either. (whether I'm Bluetooth or Blue in the Face)
Regards
Curtainmaker

Jamie
Jamie's picture

Hi,

If you want BT, your batteries will drain quicker, making a bigger bill (2 lots of batteries every month!) And if you get wired it will still last the month or whatever it currently is.

Cheers,

Jamie Kugelmann

Curtainmaker
Curtainmaker's picture

Hi Guys........................

IT WORK, IT WORKS.

Thanks Gerber, Vader, Jamie and everybody else.

I have got it to work not once but twice.

Yeh Ha

Curtainmaker

Curtainmaker
Curtainmaker's picture

Hi guys, I have included Screen Dumps of the setting I had, I did turn off  the windows firewall first when I started trying things but I am now unsure if it was still off or it had switched itself back on when i had to refired up my laptop when things wouldn't load.

But VSPE was started and then USB2tcp then RS Media console,  This seems nothing new to anything else we have tried over the past weeks, but it now works..

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi Curtainmaker

Well done. It's a great feeling isn't it to get it working. I remember it being the same for me one minute it wasn't working and the next for no apparent reason is started working and I don't know what had changed. You will be able to pass the knowledge to Donnie who is having the same trouble as you were.

Are you going to do the serial hack now?

Curtainmaker> Question is now do I make it USB or bluetooth.

You will need a USB-TTL to set the baud speed bluetooth chip so I would start with the USB-TTL first then move on to the bluetooth mod. On my bot I have add both of them. I can't use them both at the same time but the reason I added both is so that if I need to connect with the USB-TTL some time in the future I can switch off the power to the blutooth module (with a switch I have installed on the robot) and connect the robot to the pc via the USB-TTL. I am just finishing reassembling the robot at the moment but will take picture and post them to show you what I have done which may help you if you do the serial hack.

I have started working on the next release of my software which will have multibot control and hopeful have live video feed from the robot. I don't know when it will be ready though but I will keep you posted with my progress.

Cheers
Gerber

Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko's picture

hello every1 :

well the weird thing i got it work a day ago 2 :)), and i was here now 2 let u know how and here i found Curtainmaker made it 2, good work everybody and Gerber i wanna tnq 4 remembering me telling Curtainmaker 2 pass me the information when he said he did it, i really like u ppl alot :) and tnx every1 who tried 2 help..

Gerber waiting 4 ur new programs and yes plz keep us posted with ur progress :)

tnx again every1 who tried 2 help just 2 help :)

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi Donnie

Glad you got it working. I recomend you do the serial hack now as the communication setup is a lot simplier. In that I mean no extra program need to run in the background.

Gerber

Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko's picture

hey Gerber

well i know ur right and it will make the connection lot easier like u said but right now its a little hard 2 buy it coz i already bought lot of stuff online so i must cool down 4 a while, but i think this gonna be the 1st thing ill buy next time.. :)

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi Donnie & Curtainmaker

As promised I have started another thread showing photos of the serial hack I have add to one of other the bots I have. The mod took me roughly one and a half hours to complete. Below is the link to the thread.

http://www.robocommunity.com/forum/thread/18331/2-x-RS-media-with-serial...

I will probably put detailed instructions of how I did this in the user manual for the next release of my software.

Cheers
Gerber

Curtainmaker
Curtainmaker's picture

Hi Guys

Congradulations on the Movement through Gerbers Program Donnie. I see that you have some bots with the hack done, aren't you lucky. hope it all goes well for you

Curtainmaker

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi

On the weekend I added the serial hack with both wireless and wired to the other 3 remaining bots I have, which means I now have 4 completely wireless bots. I took loads of pictures while doing the mod so in the next release of my software I hope to have full instructions on how to the same mod as I have done. Hopefully this will be helpful if other people want add the same serial hack as me.

I am going to work on the multi bot control in my software this week. I'll give further news on my progress later in the week.

Cheers
Gerber

Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko's picture

Curtainmaker :

tnq so much 4 ur msg and gnograts 2 u as well :))

Gerber :

hope everything works exactly like u want :)

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi

This is just quick update to let you know the progress of where I am in writing the next release of RS Media Control Station software.

Since christmas I haven't done any work on the software due to having lots of other projects on the go, but after finally getting all 4 of my RSM's wireless last week I desided to add some new feactures to the software which are as follows:

1) Adding a terminal console along the lines of hyperterminal or teraterm which will run in a window with in the software.

2) Adding the fasility to control multiple bots. With this feature you will be able to give the bots nicknames which will make it easier to connect to them rather than having to remember the com port number. You will also be able to make the robots link together so they perform action at the same time, or with a delay, or reverse action of robots (example: if robot a lifts it left arm robot be lifts it right arm).

Below is a screenshot of what the software currently looks like at the moment. The software isn't finished yet and the layout of screen may change slighty from this. It will be alot more tidier that what you see below when I release it to the forum.

 

If all goes well I hope to have the software ready for release by the end of March to April.

The other thing I have found is a possible way to make a fully 3d graphic of the robot rather than the crapy graphic of the robot I am currently using in the software. I will need to play with this first before trying to add it to the software as I have never written software with proper 3d graphics before so this will all be new to me and I will have a hugh learning curve to overcome.

Anyway I will keep you posted with my progress on the software.

idrum289
idrum289's picture

This is awesome mate! Keep it up!

gerber
gerber's picture

Thanks idrum289.

Thing are moving a long really smoothly at the moment and I hope to have update on the progress of the software at the end of the week.

Curtainmaker
Curtainmaker's picture

Hi Greber
This all looks Great, can't wait for the download. I have been playing with the current version at the moment, but I keep coming against the Rs Media falling asleep after a couple of minutes and also the control on the computer to move his head is behind the top tool bar and I cannot access it. Not a biggie but a pain, but i am sure you would be overcoming this in the next version.
I have tried keeping his foot sensor pushed in to keep him awake, but it is not satifactory

Regards Curtainmaker

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi curtain maker

>I keep coming against the Rs Media falling asleep after a couple of minutes

Yes I find this a pain in the butt aswell. I press a stop button on the controller to re-awaken him. I am sure there must be a setting somewhere in the robot to stop the robot from going into sleep mode, but I havent found it. I do remember another member of the forum mentioning something about running a bodycon macro which loops for ever and stops the robot from going into sleep mode, I havent tried this myself but when I have a chance will have a play with it. What I do find is if I run the robot from batteries he goes into sleep mode after a few minutes then a few minutes later powers completely down, where as if I run the robot from Main he goes into sleep mode but never powers down.

>control on the computer to move his head is behind the top tool bar

This has been a bug in the since the 2nd release of the software and I only notice this problem when I installed the software on a laptop with a lower resolution. I have been wanting to solve the problem for a long time. I have now sorted this for the next release of the software and you wont loose any parts of the robot graphics and buttons. This took a few nights to sort out as there was a lot of modification to the source coding but was really important to get sorted before working on the multibot controls in the software.

Vader
Vader's picture

There is a command to stop the robot from sleeping, although I can't remember it of the top of my head...

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi Vader

If you can find it that would great as it's a real pain having to press the stop button on the controller to keep the robot a wake. My fingers are getting warn out from having to press the button all the time.

Cheers
Gerber

Curtainmaker
Curtainmaker's picture

Thanks gerber and thanks Vader
I too hope that you remember as I have to do the same as gerber. I only run on power so this is a pain.
Looking forward to the next version tho

Curtainmaker

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi 

And here is the latest developments on the software. I have now been able to make a sort of graphical robot plaground. Below is a sample screen shot:

I did this for two reasons  firstly to make it as easy as possible to control the robots and secondly what I thought over the last week is how could I make a true representative of robots positions in the real world in respect to where they are, so I came up with the idea of allowing the user to take a photo of there room where the real robot are then in the software add the robot and place them in the same position on the screen.(please note the picture above is not where my robot are in real life Smile)  to continue, what will happen then is when the robots move on the screen this will represent where they are in your room. if you notice on the screen shot as the robot move foreward then the graphic gets bigger and when they move backward they appear smaller.

Well that is were I am at the moment in the software. Things are still moving smoothly and I hope to have a further up date next week

FreddyA
FreddyA's picture

Hi Gerber. Intresting concept for controlling multiple rsms also cool for people who dont have a bot to play with. Will the personality editor using tts and the "stage" area for multiple RSM bots be somehow linked to make creating multimedia animated scenes easy? Also, could you give us some update on your future plans for features such as file trasnfer, live video, I.M., RSM server for networking the robots together to share control or programs and anything else your mixing in that salad like java?

Good to know you have advanced so far and looking forward to the release.
Thanks for the update.

Freddy

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi Freddy

Got lots of other things I am planning for the future of the software such as you mentioned the fire transfer, RSM MSN and lots more. I have listed a few below in the order I would like to work on them.

1)Multibot control - Which I am currently working on will be available in the next release of the software. I also hope to include the terminal console which will communicate with the robots as hyperterminal does, however as I am mainly concentrating all my efforts on multibot control and hope to have this ready for release by the end of march or april the terminal console may not be ready in time for this release but will definitely be available in the following release of the software.

Future releases of the software will hopefully have the following features

2)File transfer - You will be able to upload and download file to the robot.

3)Live video feed - I am looking to do live video feed from the robot.

Freddy said > Will the personality editor using tts and the "stage" area for multiple RSM bots be somehow linked to make creating multimedia animated scenes easy?

 A simple answer to this is yes which is part of my next feature I hope to add to the software which will link the personality generator to the multi bot control I am currenly working on.Below is the idea.
4)Theater bot Time line macro scripting
With this I will have some sort of record button on the software so that when you do action or anything on any of the robot the actions are stored on a time line and can be played back in the same order. This will work similar to the one in the RS Media Editing suite but with few differences being you will be able to record the movements from multiple robots and adding speak and sound effects from the pesonality generator also being able to have dialog between multiple robots in different voices. The reason I am keen to add this feature is because one of my other hobbies is writing comedy theater script and I would love for my robots to be able to perform one of the plays I have written.

5)RSM MSN Live Messenger
ad after speaking with Freddy on MSN. The idea is to use the robots into a sort of live mesenger type systems for all RS medias on the net so other can take control of your robot also getting live video and you can get control of their robot.

I have loads of other ideas for things I intend to add to the software but the ones above are the main ones I am going to try and work on. As I have said from day one I don't know wether or not I will be able to acheive the goals of all my ideas for the RS media I have, but I will have a go, so eventually you will hopefully see most my ideas in the software I have as time goes on.

I have just downloaded the java program suite for the RSM. I haven't had a hugh play with it yet but I did manage to compile a basic JAVA program and it has opened my eyes to how many more  possible project that can be open with in my software. A few things I notice when having a quick read of the manual was that along with tracking red,blue green and humans you can also track black which I didn't know, also another this that I found interesting is that you can get the motor sensor position of the limbs which will be really useful to being able to ddisplay the correct robot positon in my software when the actual robot is manually moved. I have never really used Java before so will need to get to grips with it and do a lot of experiments to before try to make a piece of Java software I can use on the robot.

Jamie
Jamie's picture

You can't stream a live video from RSM at 115.20KB/s. It's simply stupid as you will get 1 frame every 5secs or so. Like trying to watch a movie on dial-up :)

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi Jamie

And thank you for your words of encouragement (Hee hee). It may sound stupid to even try streaming live video at 115.20KB/s and that's why I am not going to actually stream live video in the sense of live stream I have alternate plans to be able to get a sort of live viedo streaming effect. I have to do some experimenting before I can even look at this project and need to write a module in my software for FTP first to see if what I have in mind will actually work.

I have said from day one I don't know whether or not my ideas will actually work, but until I try them out I will never know even if they do sound a bit radiculous sometime.

Vader
Vader's picture

gerber said: I have alternate plans to be able to get a sort of live viedo streaming effect. 

I would be quite interested to know how you plan to do this, as I've had no luck in this department.

gerber said: I have to do some experimenting before I can even look at this project and need to write a module in my software for FTP first to see if what I have in mind will actually work.

Note that both the serial hack and a V2 RSM is required for FTP over PPP

Jamie
Jamie's picture

Vader you are correct, video stream is slow and bad, and FTP transfer is not available to any un-upgraded customers in all other countries except USA I think.

gerber
gerber's picture

Hi Vader

I had a couple of posible solution to the way I was going to try and do video streaming(Please note these are only ideas and may not even work) Anyway below are the possible steps for both of my solution I have come up with:

Steps for Idea 1
================
1) start video recording file 1 on RSM for short time 5 seconds.

2) stop video recording file 1 on RSM

3) download video recording file 1 to PC.
start video recording file 2 on RSM

4) stop video recording file 2 on RSM

5) download video recording file 2 to PC.
start video recording file 3 on RSM
play video recording file 1

6) stop video recording file 2 on RSM

7) download video recording file 2 to PC.
start video recording file 3 on RSM
play video recording file 2 (note this is started up as soon as video 1 is finished)

8) keep on doing the process..........

Summary of Idea 1
=================
Basically I am record a short video on the RSM then buffering it on the pc and playing it when the next video file is received. I know there would be a time delay and this may not even work but I will have to do some experimenting.

Steps for Idea 2
================
1) Take a photo on the RSM
2) send photo to the pc and display
3) Take an photo on the RSM
4) send photo to the pc and display
5) keep doing this process.......

Summary of idea 2
=================
I think this will be too stuttery and also there will be no sound so I would prefer to acheive idea 1 if possible.

It is possible nether ideas will work very well or not work at all but it's worth a shot

All my 4 RSM's have the Serial hack and 1 of my RSM's is on V2 firmware and I am planning on upgrading all the others to V2 shortly.

Vader I was wondering if you can help. Even though I intend to do the ftp transfer over PPP I would like to have a play around with zmodem in vb.net first. I have only been able to find a bit of info on the internet about using zmodem in vb.net . I don't know if you have managed to do file transfer using zmodem in VB.net, if so do you have a sample bit of VB.net code for sending and receiving file using Zmodem. Any help you can give me with this will save me loads of time and save me further hair loss due to pulling most of my hair out trying to find sample code for the use of zmodem.

Cheers
Gerber

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