Roborealm controlling large motors with HB-25 or other motor controller
honor_the_ways from United States  [9 posts]
13 year
What I'm trying to do is get a robot capable of carrying a considerable load to follow a person at about walking pace using Roborealm. Ideally this robot is going to be completely self contained so the laptop running Roborealm is going to be mounted on the robot.

Because the entire robot plus the load will range somewhere from 20-40 lbs (44-88 Kg) we cannot use the typical small servos like you find on the Lynxmotion, EnduranceRC or Parallax sites.

I've been reading up on motor controllers but I'm looking for some feedback about how to control larger motors, more than 12VDC, through Roborealm 2.37.3. I see that Roborealm has control modules already built-in for 3 number of motor controllers but I'm trying to understand how I would go about using these, or the built-in servo controller modules before I make any purchase.

The following 2 sites: http://www.roborealm.com/forum/index.php?thread_id=1581#8 and http://www.instructables.com/id/AutonomousRC-Human-Bot/step3/Electronics/
seem to suggest to me that you can use Roborealm to control a Parallax servo controller like the BS2 or the Propeller and that would then drive an HB-25 motor controller, also from Parallax. As far as I can tell, the laptop would connect to the Propeller or other servocontroller via USB and the various sensors, LEDs, and the HB-25 motor controller would be connected to that servo controller board.

Is this right or would the motor controller have to be plugged in to the computer separately? Either way how would you go about controlling the motors using Roborealm?

Could someone point me in the right direction? Also, I already have a program that does a decent job of following person wearing a shirt thats distinct enough from the environment. How could I integrate ultrasound sensors though?
honor_the_ways from United States  [9 posts] 13 year
If anyone has and alternative motor controller board setup they can suggest, I'd really appreciate hearing about that too.
Anonymous 13 year
The parallax servo controller can drive the HB-25 quite nicely. It can also drive other motor controllers that are much higher amps like the Jaguar http://www.luminarymicro.com/jaguar which are very popular in the FIRST competitions. They also take a PWM input. In addition the servo controller can also drive the Sabertooth line which is very popular in the Robot Wars competitions. Or you could bypass the servo controller and wire the Sabertooth directly into the PC with the right cable. Normally you'd want the servo controller anyhow since you probably will have a couple more servos in use for things like pan&tilt.

Either way, you can use a servo controller (Parallax, Lynxmotion, Pololu, etc) and control it directly from a PC via a USB or Serial cable and using the appropriate module in RoboRealm. This is the normal way of controlling motors that is most popular. The other routes are either a direct USB connection (Sabertooth only that I can recall) or via an MCU (like the Arduino, Pololu, etc.) but you'd need additional programming on the MCU for that.


honor_the_ways from United States  [9 posts] 13 year
Thanks for your response Steve.

The Parallax Propeller Server controller USB and the Sabertooth 2X12 R/C I ordered arrived and I am able to use Roborealm's Parallax Servo Controller module to control the DC motors just as if they were servo motors (the DC motors are plugged into the Sabertooth 2X12 R/C and channels 1 and 2 of the Sabertooth are plugged into the channels on the Propeller that I am controlling from Roborealm). As an added benefit, the Sabertooth has the BEC (Bsttery Elimination Circuit) feature that provides the servo controller with 5VDC, eliminating the need for a second power source.

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