About Robotis BIOLOID
Robotis Bioloid is an educational robot kit for building various robots such as an autonomous exploration robot, quadruped puppy robot, hexapod spider robot, dinosaur robot, bipedal humanoid robot and more. Boiloid is made up of three basic components: the CM-5 central controller, the AX-S1 sensor modulefor feedback and the special modular robot servo motor. Students can learn the principles of robotics through these exciting activities.
There is no worry about causing damage to the structure, which is made of high-strength plastic. All assemblies are completed using a simple screw driver, and parts will never deteriorate even after repeated assembly/disassembly.
The “brain” of every Bioloid robot is the CM-5 Microcontroller. The CM-5 controls the motors and receives feedback from the AX-S1 sensor module(s). Unlike conventional remote controlled toys, autonomous programmable robots with intelligence can be built with the Bioloid robot construction kit.
The AX-12A and the more recent AX-18A is the standard motor included with Bioloid kits. The motor differs from others in many ways, including multiple mounting points, I2C interface and high torque for its size.
The Bioloid Kit includes a sensor module with various functions including distance sensing, sound detection etc. The frame of the sensor includes the same connection points as the motor module.
The Bioloid CD includes the executable program, the manual, various pre-written programs and examples, and a comprehensive help file complete with video clips. Bioloid software (included with the expert kit) is composed of three sub-programs:
This aspect of the Bioloid software allows you to program the behavior and motion of the robots. “Behavior control programming” is a process that determines the functionality of a robot. There are various aspects to consider such as how a robot reacts to sound, perceives an object, reacts to a button or remote control and other input. Robotis Bioloid simplifies this process of making algorithms that achieve by using a visual interface and grouping functions.
Software that edits the motion of robots in a 3D graphical environment. The Behavior Control Programmer and the Three-Dimensional Motion Editor programs are included with the Bioloid robot construction kit to be used for creating various robot behaviors and motions.
Serial communication software for advanced control, such as setup configuration and others related to Dynamixel products.
The Bioloid Premium package includes instructions as to how to build a variety of different robots. The instructions are presented step by step with images to guide you through the process. A printed manual is supplied with each kit (images are black and white). A sample diagram from the online manual:
Excavator: What can it do?
The design of the Excavator is meant to resemble an actual excavator in look and functionality. The base of the robot uses the continuous rotation aspect of the motors, while the three degree of freedom arm allows it to pick up and manipulate objects. The Probing Robot is another example of a robot that uses both wheeled motion as well as a manipulator.
Spider: What can it do?
The spider robot is actually a hexapod (6 legs), though the effect is still the same. The spider uses all 18 motors included with the expert kit. Students learn not only what is involved in making a robot, but also the control needed to balance when walking. The puppy and Turtle are more examples of projects that use multiple legs for motion.
Humanoid: What can it do?
The humanoid is exactly as it sounds; a robot meant to move just like a human. The most complex of the projects, the human has feet, legs, knees, arms, a head and more. The AX-1 sensor allows the head to both see and hear and react to its surroundings. The Bioloid human is comparable in size to other humanoid robots and stands 14 inches tall
Although there is no specific curriculum material written for the Bioloid series of robots, there are many aspects of Bioloid design that have been included in higher-level studies.
The Bioloid expert kit can be used to explain robotic control at the microcontroller level. Students can understand the circuit diagram of the robot and can grasp the principles behind using I/O ports and A/D conversion.
Programming in C
Instructors have designed courses based around the GCC (Ansi-C: freeware) software used in the Bioloid expert kit. Students study C-programming and implement it on the embedded microcontroller.
The Bioloid expert kit teaches the basic concepts involved in a PAN (Personal Area Network), and can control the robot via their PC or remote control (by radio communication) using the Zig-100 communication modules (included with the expert kit).
Motor control via the PC
The Bioloid expert kit introduces methods that control Dynamixel servo motor directly via the PC. The image below shows the method for controlling multiple Dynamixel servos using RS485.
The Bioloid microcontroller is capable of sending a video signal from a camera (included with the expert kit) real-time to a PC through the USB port (image processing). Furthermore, students analyze the image using Edge detection and image realization.
The Bioloid expert helps students understand the concepts of static and dynamic and apply it to multiple walking robots.
What to Buy
RobotShop has a category specifically for Robotis Bioloid kits and products. The Bioloid Comprehensive Kit includes all features discussed above (less the wireless and camera) and is ideally suited for late high school and college level students. The Bioloid Expert Kit includes many additional parts such as a wireless camera system, wireless communication, additional motors, metal case and more. The Bioloid Beginner Kit is intended to allow users to explore the functionality of the microcontroller, motors and sensor module and purchase additional parts separately based on their designs. The Bioloid Premium kit incorporates a more advanced microcontroller and a variety of additional electronics.