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Remember the way Lynxmotion used to be in the old days..?

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Posted: 2011-04-19 15:46 
When I founded Lynxmotion, Inc. my goal was to offer the absolute best in robot kits with an assortment of microcontrollers to control them. We used Scott Edwards MiniSSC-II with Basic Stamp, Oopic-R, and ServoPod based boards. We quickly outgrew the stamps and moved in the direction of Basic Atoms which are much more powerful. Over the years we focused on the Atoms as they are easy to program and incredibly powerful. We will continue to use the Basic Atom Pro with our Bot Board II as they are still an incredible processor. We will also continue to sell the ARC-32 as an optional processor. So why am I telling you all this?

I have been approached by some people who have developed some boards with our 3" x 2.3" footprint for the Propeller and the Arduino. This is the list of processor boards, the asterisk denotes the new ones.

o Bot Board II Carrier <- Atom Pro-28, Basic Stamp Series
o SSC-32 (Servo Controller)
* SSC-32-USB
o ARC-32 (Servo/Micro Controller)
* Propeller (Microcontroller)
* Botboarduino (Arduino Compatible Microcontroller)
* Mega Botboarduino (Arduino Mega Compatible Microcontroller)

We also intend to reinstate the open source status for the SSC-32's firmware that was originally released as open source.

We are going to invest in more PC based robotics control solutions as well, using the powerful FlowStone visual programming language and USB based electronics.

Feedback is welcome!

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Posted: 2011-04-19 16:48 
I'd be interested in the Botboarduino (Atmel atmega328 uP); UNO with the servo pins and the same footprint as the BBII.

Although the same could be done with the ARC-32, if a full toolchain for C were released/supported (like the Arduino C). It would need some libraries, again like the Arduino.

Lots of Arduino peripheral boards (shields) out there! BBII and BAP should have as many!

Good to hear the SSC-32 source will once again be available!

Alan KM6VV

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Posted: 2011-04-19 17:16 
Wow.. the powerpod board i remember those.

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Posted: 2011-04-20 15:45 
Quote:
We are going to invest in more PC based robotics control solutions as well, using the powerful FlowStone visual programming language and USB based electronics.


Networked robotics is the $$$ place to be.

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Posted: 2011-06-20 20:27 
Robot Dude wrote:
We also intend to reinstate the open source status for the SSC-32's firmware that was originally released as open source.

We are going to invest in more PC based robotics control solutions as well, using the powerful FlowStone visual programming language and USB based electronics.


great to hear about the open source status, i would sure like to take a look at that code.

ive writen a new protocol somewhere in a txt that i would like to try someday, this would greatly decrease the time i would take to talk with the SSC-32.

not sure about the pc based robotic control solutions using "FlowStone" ? visual programing but, i would sure like to see an analog/digital inputs device similar to the SSC-32 but with 32 input instead of 32 output.

or even better... a new SSC called the "SSC-X64" with 32 servo outputs and 32 inputs for the sensors.
all that in the same foot print of the actual SSC-32.

my greatest limit in my project so far is the sensor inputs, the SSC-32 provide 4 inputs which is great, but thats just not enough
i did look on the web for inputs solution and so far its not looking great.


imo robotic developpement should go toward mobile device support.

all these micro controller and other device doesnt make much sense to me, since mobile devices(more precisely Pocket PC platform) are rougly the size of these boards, but offer ALOT more capabilities/posibilities

just to list a few

200-600 + mhz of computing power
onboard battery/power supply and charging cercuitry
battery voltage sensor
battery temperature sensor
huge built-in storage and ram
CF, SD storage support
Serial TTL
wifi
bluetooth
Infra red
toutch screen monitor
3d graphic card
sound card(sound input/ouput)
etc...

and you can find/buy these devices for about the price of a SSC-32!

but the main point is software developpement, these device allow to make high level/complexe application that imo will be needed to build good autonomous machines and good software to interface human/machine communication.

also, win32_CE developpement is usualy very eazy to make crossplatform software with desktop/laptop window OS, which is the nicest feature, mean that the library i wrote to talk with the SSC-32 in my win32 enviroment is also compatible winCE, however, winCE is not fully compatible win32, but in most of the case the same code will run in both environments


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Posted: 2011-06-20 20:55 
KM6VV wrote:
Lots of Arduino peripheral boards (shields) out there! BBII and BAP should have as many!

The BotBoard 2 was never intended to have shields stacked on top of it. You have to deal with those 3 pin male headers.. :) I just happened across an I/O shield for Arduino that has 3 pin headers and an XBee socket - going to get one for my true blue Arduino (not Mega).

KM6VV wrote:
Good to hear the SSC-32 source will once again be available!

Yes indeed!

I really believe Open Source is the way to go in software development. I'm glad to see Lynxmotion opening up a bit again - it's really good to see. I'm really looking forward to developing robot software for the new Arduino and compatible hardware Lynxmotion is coming out with!

8-Dale

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Posted: 2011-06-20 21:26 
Robot Dude wrote:
I have been approached by some people who have developed some boards with our 3" x 2.3" footprint for the Propeller and the Arduino.

* SSC-32-USB
* Propeller (Microcontroller)
* Botboarduino (Arduino Compatible Microcontroller)
* Mega Botboarduino (Arduino Mega Compatible Microcontroller)

I would love to see a Lynxmotion PropellerBotBoard because it would open up another worthwhile option for robotics development. I can see some definite possibilities I would like to explore with such a board. You already know how I feel about Arduinos.. :D

Robot Dude wrote:
We also intend to reinstate the open source status for the SSC-32's firmware that was originally released as open source.

Bravo! :D

Robot Dude wrote:
We are going to invest in more PC based robotics control solutions as well, using the powerful FlowStone visual programming language and USB based electronics.

I've been looking at FlowStone some lately, and it's interesting. DSPRobotics may have actually gotten the object based development connect the block idea right. I don't say that lightly. My only hope is they would someday consider creating a cross platform version - Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. I will have to investigate FlowStone more.

8-Dale

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Posted: 2011-06-20 22:13 
Robot Dude wrote:
I have been approached by some people who have developed some boards with our 3" x 2.3" footprint for the Propeller and the Arduino.

How well do these designs fit with what you would do yourself in specifying design parameters? Is there room for giving your feedback into the designs (hoping the designs are not final)? Could you do the designs better completely in house?

8-Dale

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Posted: 2011-06-20 23:00 
Quote:
my greatest limit in my project so far is the sensor inputs, the SSC-32 provide 4 inputs which is great, but thats just not enough


You can use the below multiplex chips and have a couple hundred inputs to the ssc-32 if desired.

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9056

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Posted: 2011-06-21 01:25 
zoomkat wrote:
You can use the below multiplex chips and have a couple hundred inputs to the ssc-32 if desired.

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9056

wow, that seem to be the solution!

Thanks for the link zoomkat

so.. if i understand well, i would need 4 servo outputs and 1 input to connect this board?

4 servo output to select the channel, and the input to read the value?

looking at the desciption, it seem to be able to do alot of nice stuff.

i will surely order some whenever they have them in stock.

edit:

what up with the quotes!? :/


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Posted: 2011-06-21 09:54 
The quotes were not working because you had checked disable bbcode.

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Posted: 2011-06-22 05:03 
Robot Dude wrote:
The quotes were not working because you had checked disable bbcode.


ah!, thank you

well... with Zoomkat's sugestion, i guess an input device is irrevalant

still hope to see more support for mobile devices in the futur..

specialy about the USB devices, arc-32 support for wince would be awesome

main problem is that the pocket PC device is actualy USB device, thus do not have usb host capability, but ive read that some models came with native usb host support..

the good new is that a guy developped a usb host driver installable on any PPC which apparently enable the PPC to host usb devices..

where it fall short is the fact that no manufacturer as actualy developped driver for wince so only some generic device can work. but it doesnt matter in our case, we just need drivers for CE and we are good to go...


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Posted: 2011-06-22 11:28 
I have just been notified the the Botboarduino Jr. prototype is working! This is a standard Lynxmotion footprint (3" x 2.3") that has the arduino shield connections. It is setup for an Atmega328/Atmega168 type chip. Servo style connections for; 6 Analog pins, 12 Digital pins. There are jumpers for speaker enable, and PS2 pull-up resistor. And of course three switch/LED connections like BB2. There is a four wire terminal for VS/VL with a VS=VL jumper. It uses a heavy duty voltage regulator like the SSC-32/BB2 for 5v. USB on FTDI - using the small connector. There are jumpers to allow powering from USB. Here is an image of the board.

Attachment:
BB-Duino-JR-BRD.jpg
BB-Duino-JR-BRD.jpg [ 126.96 KiB | Viewed 3931 times ]

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Posted: 2011-06-22 12:47 
Excellent news, Jim!! I believe the Botboarduino Jr. will be a great addition to your products and will help bring more people into robotics.

8-Dale

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Posted: 2011-06-22 14:20 
OK, so this is a BBII that takes Arduino UNO shields! Yes, that makes an interesting board!

Quote:
* Botboarduino (Arduino Compatible Microcontroller)


I like the servo-style headers, something that is sorely missing from the Arduino UNO "system" for boards and daughter boards.

I just got a couple of ChipKIT UNO32 boards. Good concept, but the ported libraries aren't all available yet. :>(

Looking forward to trying out this board!

I wouldn't have thought you could get all of that on the board!

So many boards, so little time!

Alan KM6VV

Robot Dude wrote:
I have just been notified the the Botboarduino Jr. prototype is working! This is a standard Lynxmotion footprint (3" x 2.3") that has the arduino shield connections. It is setup for an Atmega328/Atmega168 type chip. Servo style connections for; 6 Analog pins, 12 Digital pins. There are jumpers for speaker enable, and PS2 pull-up resistor. And of course three switch/LED connections like BB2. There is a four wire terminal for VS/VL with a VS=VL jumper. It uses a heavy duty voltage regulator like the SSC-32/BB2 for 5v. USB on FTDI - using the small connector. There are jumpers to allow powering from USB. Here is an image of the board.

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