Showing posts with label dagu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dagu. Show all posts


Rover 5 Robot soon ready

So there's been a while since last post.

Huge improvements has been done. The robot is essentially operational. This is what what I have done so far: This robot seems fairly similar to Mr. Explorer, actually.

  1. Rover 5 (4 motor/encoders, the ROV5.3 model) 
  2. DFrobot Robot Base Plate mounted on 50mm standoffs. 9V
  3. Dagu 4 channel motor controller mounted upside-down on 250mm standoffs, right under the pan servo.
  4. Metal framework mostly made of Hoist/Metal Element metal pieces.
  5. Arduino Mega ADK mounted with baseplate and mini breadboard, vertically 9v.
  6. Arduino Ubo R3 mounted with HME parts, including mini breadboard, vertically. 9v.
  7. DFrobot Pan/Tilt Kit  but with extra long U bracket
  8. Maxbotix LV+EZ1 Ultra Sonar (Running on high power 4.5v battery, measured to 4.9 volts)
  9. Dagu/AREXX IR Compound eye. 5v
  10. 8 and 9 mounted on tilt servo with HME parts.
  11. IR detector, using an old PanasonicTV remote to communicate with the detector
  12. Piezo buzzer, photoresitor, 2x LM35 temp sensor, humidity sensor, dewpoint sensor, 2x IR sensors
  13. 4-keys on breadboard for core functions
  14. Sparkfun LCD 09531 128x64 LCD (Running on separate 9V)
  15. Custom 2-tier OS, codenamed 'Defiance', with multitasking and will communicate with you trough LCD and a buzzer. User input is the 4 keys and a TV remote.
  16. Diffused tricolor LED for system status indication.
  17. Mega and Uno communicates vie RX-TX and RX1-TX1. (Still working on that.)
  18. TODO: Hook up my S2 running CM9 and utilize BlueTooth, WiFi and of course its excellent array of sensors, the 1080p camera and the sheer power of a quad core ARM to do the heavy CPU stuff!
Now all code is tested, all components are running separately and the work ahead now is just to tie it together with some neat AI, as well as tidy up the code, gather some more credits (yes i blatantly stole some code here and there).

My primary concern now is to figure out a mechanism that will kill the 4 motor power source in case the 5V controller supply should die. (this situation is not good)

My other problem is that the one of the robot chassis tracks will derail once in a while. I am working on a remedy including weight distribution and tape. I will at the end of this produce a how-to on this whole endeavour.

Here's some pictures of the process and a link to a video that shows the motors working.

The first version of cabling between the motor controller and  a breadboard.
Although it would probably work, I decided to use regular F7F cables instead.

Mounting the LCD. This was not actually a good location, so  it was removed.

First incarnation of the robot.

A later version; with LCD on the back

The other side.

I ended up butting the base plate sideways to recuce overall height

The Uno drives, the motors, the sonar and the IR. It signals the Mega if anything interesting is happening.

The whole thing can be loosened with 4 screws so I can access the motor controller and the battery pack.


Rover 5 test

Finally, I got to test out the controller and motors. I had some problems with the motors stalling at first; it would seem that this revision of the controller is not entirely compatible with the motors. Direction was reversed and also opposite on the same side; leaving me with an if-else block of code to make the desired movement.

Heres a short video:


Last post for a week or so, moving to new location!

So we are moving into a new apartment on Tuesday, so robot building and blogging will be suspended to sometime next week, when all has settled down. Here's some more pictures of the Rover 5 project and some pictures and links.

Update: 01-11-12: Some corrections

Resistor calculator (at
Michaels electronics lessons

I think I am going to attach this breadboard to this
Hoist/Metal Elements frame I came up with.

Setting up a frame for attaching various stuff.

Latest shipment from
2000x resistor package
200x capacitor package
10x diodes (not pictured)
20x F/F cables

So far, the main parts of the robot is:

  • 4-motor Rover 5 with encoders
  • Dagu 4 channel 2.5A controller (credits to Dev Donkey for good pictures of wiring and setup)
  • Arduino Mega ADK with TX to an Arduino Uno R3 (slave)
  • Samsung Galaxy S2 with CM9 (planning to get some pan/tilt kits to mount this as a HD camera as well using it for it's CPU power & WiFi/BT)
  • Dagu AREXX IR compound eye
  • Maxbotix LV EZ1 ultra sound sonar (good tutorial here) on a separate 5v circuit for minimum interference. I made a thread on the Sparkfun forum, lots of input there. Thanks guys!
  • Linear temperature sensor + 2 simple temp sensors
  • 16x2 LCD
  • 128x64 LCD on separate 9v course (draws quite a bit of power, trying to avoid dip)
  • Humidity sensor
  • Dew point sensor
  • 2x QRD1114 phototransistors (for rear proximity) (tutorial, same page as EZ1)
  • 2x IR RX/TX transmitters
  • 2x Dual channel 2A motor controllers
  • Pan/tilt arm
  • 2x mini breadboards, one of them mainly for buttons to control OS
  • DFRobot Protoboard

Most of it has been up and running at some point, I am working on the OS to control everything. Lots of code to organize.

I'm trying to build some form of exoskeleton around
fragile parts, like the LCD. It's not that easy, considering
the pan/tilt arm has quite a bit of turning range and
will easily crash into something if the controlling code
has bugs!

Here you can see the Dagu controller mounted beneath the servo too,
as well as IR compound eyes mounted in front.

Top view. Adding more rails and brackets to further extend


DFRobot Robot basis plates, Rover 5 mounting hacks

Adding stuff to your robot with 'nonstandard' parts.

'Builder Center - Metal Elements'

Updated 11-21-2012: Minor edits.

I've found that the Hoist sets (mentioned in earlier post) and  these ones are really useful for Arduino/DFrobot/Rover 5 units.

Some of the screws from these kits doesn't fit the basis plate, but all you have to do is to mount an angled bracket from the Hoist/BCME kits with standard DFrobot screws, and then build on the metal parts with the included Hoist/BCME screws. Just be sure that you have a bunch of standard DFRobot screw sets.

Just to give you an idea, an angled bracket (4-40) costs about a dollar at my retailer. This set includes 691 parts (not sure if it that includes the immense amount of screws and nuts as well) and costs about 35 bucks.  

But here are a huge load of beams, plates, brackets of different shapes and configurations. I was able to mount sensors, motors etc. with this kit. Go buy it, you wont regret! They have many different sets, this one with 691 parts are the biggest one they had.

I am not sure Meccano parts fit, they look like they do, but they also cost 4-6 times as much.

Click on images to enlarge!

- Professor Falken

That is a LOT of parts!

Trying out some parts on the back of the Rover

Dagu IR compound eye mounted using these kits.


Rover 5 with Dagu 4 motor controller

Controller does not fit rover holes and does not pass trough the
chassis standoffs on the Rover.

Good selection of standoffs, 4x of each type, plus screws and nuts.

Without card mounted

Card mounted under the servo

Encoder wires hooked up. Hope thats the right order!

Dagu Cur/Dir/PWM/GND pins trough an ABIT IDE cable rated 150V and 105 degrees.
Should hold!


Arduino robot project


With the helpful guys at, I've ordered the following parts for my project:
Arrived in the mail today, UNO R3 from Robonor

Dagu 4 motor controller is on it's way from England!

I will eventually get the Rover5 4-engined robot, but as the Dagu controller card is hard to get, I have to put this on hold for a while. At the moment, I will have enough to do by going trough the basics! When the Rover is in place, I will get an Mega ADK board for my Android phone to utilize all the sensors.

I have ordered the Dagu controller from the UK along with an IR compund eye from RoboSavvy. I'll slip right under the 20 pound tax limit! This could take a cool 2 months 4 weeks though. (Seems he could speed it up a bit!?

Meanwhile,I'll get to program the Arduino controller and hooking up the LCD display.
Fun times!
Serial Enabled 16x2 LCD - Black on Green 5V


Got an old laptop from a friend for fixing his new one and installing games and a 'safe' browsing environment. Not too bad either, Dual core AMD Turion with 2 gigs and 256 mb shared gfx memory. Will probably install XP in this to use all the easily available Arduino tools, and run Linux in a VM to run electronics software.

Postal service reports that the package has been received and will probably end up here tomorrow afternoon :)


Picked up package today, everything was included as far as I can tell, except the 3-pin serial LCD, but i actually got a much better LCD with a mounted backpack, so this should be a serious upgrade! Thanks Robonor! Quick delivery too!

Graphic LCD Serial Backpack

Serial Graphic LCD 128x64

First testing footage

From the Circ-02 tutorial with 8 leds

Well, cannot complain, everything worked as expected!


Some connectors was badly soldered from the factory. Fixed that and now it should work. Pixels was all over the screen.

Some error in the manual it seems. It won't work from the 5.5v line, have to use Vin. Here you can see the Sparkfun icon!

Some software I probably need: