Tuesday, March 22, 2011

[KTX-PC] Q & A

1.  What is the difference between regular KTX-PC and KTX-PC Pro?

Basically, the only difference between those two version is the servo motors used.
KTX-PC has 18 regular servo motor with plastic geared (VS-S092j), and  2 high power servo motor with stronger motor and metal gears (VS-S281).  High powered servos are used for knee joints.
KTX-PC Pro has 4 regular servo and 16 high powered servo.  High powered servos are used for joints "except" Neck Pitch, Neck Yaw, and Thigh Yaw R/L joints.

2.  What is VSRC003 used for?
VSRC003 is secondary CPU board used to control motions (servo motors) and to communicate with sensors (gyro, accel, etc…).
KTX-PC comes with 2 axis of gyro and 3 axis of accelerometer and the values are obtained and managed by VSRC003.

Our KTX robots comes with a software called RobovieMaker2.  This software allows us to create motions and load them onto the robot.  Also, it allows us to change preference on the VSRC003, so that the board can communicate with sensor boards and other devices.
VSRC003 has r/w memory space for user defined variables.   By using this memory space, you can created complicated animation structure.

Moreover, we have a SDK for developing software for VSRC003.  The SDK helps users to create windows application to load motion, r/w memory space, and etc…

3.   What kind of camera does it have?
The camera used on KTX-PC is a USB Camera.  So, you can use it as a regular usb camera.
It directly connected to PC board (PICO820) by 4 wired usb cable.
If you want to implement some image processing on your robot, you can use the camera as you work with regular USB camera.

4.  Memory on the PC board expandable?
The memory on the PC board (PICO820) is expandable.  Please read the datasheet about PICO820

5.  What kind of battery is used?
The 7.2V battery is NiMH

6.  What is the Operating system running on?
We will not provide any operating system with the robot.  However, if the customer provides us the licensed copy, we can load it for the customer.
 We recommend to use windows xp, because we knows that it works great and our RobovieMaker2 and SDK currently only supports windows xp and 7.  
If you want to run linux, it is possible.  You can run any operating system can be supported by PICO820.  In this case you have to have windows environment on other machine or virtually on the same machine to run RobovieMaker2.  You can still create your own software to control your robot.  You can send command to VSRC003 through serial communication.

7.  Which version of Robot Project should I use?
If you don't know which version to use, please use the current version, the one has biggest version number.  Also, motions for KTX-PC and KTX-PC Pro has a little different configuration for gyro.  If you are using "Pro", use robot project for "Pro".

8.  How should I fix the robot, bouncing back and forth while he is standing up?
Because of heavy weight on the body, it is a little difficult to set the gyro configuration so that robot stand up steady.

Easiest way to fix this is by changing "Gain" on the gyro meter value.
If you change above Gain values, it will affected any time while playing the motion.
Try values lower than 256... if you put Zeros, gyro sensor is not effective anymore.

Also, if you want to change the gyro gain for each motions (Poses), you can do this by using slider bar for gyro gain.
  Open sample walking motion and click on each poses, you will see the slider moving... You can see how the slider bar is used for those motions.

Please look at VS-IX001 User Manual for more detailed information.

<!> Before you make any change, make sure to take a backup copy of "Robot Project Directory ".
<!> On Regular KTX-PC, you might not get as stable as Pro version.  Since regular version uses plastic servo horn and plastic gears, it's has more allowance.  If you thinking about using a lot of walking motions in your project, I would suggest upgrading leg servos to high power servo.

9.  Why is my robot not standing up from laying down position?
All models should be able to stand up from laying down position if you have the battery fully charged and correct calibration.  First, check your robot joints to see if they has enough range of motion.  If you replace some parts, misplacement of joint components (parts connected in wrong orientation) could cause this problem.  Also, those stand up motions require a lot of power, so ... make sure you have battery fully charged, especially on regular KTX-PC (Pro servos are stronger, so lower power might not be the problem).
<!> Take a video and send it to me!!! I can tell you what's wrong with it.

 10.  How to install OS (Windows XP) on KTX-PC
<!> If you have not installed xp on any machine before, please read installation manual provided by Microsoft.
<!> If you have not read PTX-PC User Manual, please read it.

Before start!
  Get all the items you need and get ready.
   - a power adapter for your PC board!
   - external CD/DVD drive (USB connection)  <= Must be powered by power adapter, Not USB powered.
   - mouse and keyboard
   - Display monitor
  <!> Do not connect battery! Don't need them for this installation...
  <!>Currently my robots are running on xp. Linux also can run on the PC board, but I won't be able to give you any support until I finish working KTX-PC on xp.

  (1) Install xp as you do on normal PC
      1. Make sure that the power switch of PC board is off.
      2. Plug power adapter to your PC board.
      3. Connect Keyboard to USB port
      4. Connect power adopter to your CD Drive
      5. Connect CD Drive to USB port
      6. Turn on the PC board
      7. Go to BIOS setup and change the setting of boot order to boot from CD Drive
      <!> If your keyboard does not work, try switching the port. and restart the PC board.
      8. Follow the step for xp installation...
      <!> Do not set password for your login!
      <!> Change BIOS keyboard setup after the instillation!
          - Standerd CMOS Features → Halt On  => All ,But Keyboard

  (2) Install Driver for your PC board.
      If you don't have installation disk, you can download driver here >>
      <!> After installing Display driver, the screen might go completely dark...
          Please use command (Ctrl+Alt+F1) to go back to the normal display (CRT)
          If the command still not make you go back to the normal display,
          then you might have setup a login password...
          Try entering "your password" + "Enter" + "Ctrl+Alt+F1"

  (3) Go to Device Manager.
      If you have a device listed under "image devices", then you have camera installed correctly
      <!> make sure cable coming out from the camera is connected to your PC board.

Now you are ready to write a small program to play with the camera!!!
Do not forget about setting up programming environment.
Install whatever you need for farther programming,
but remenber, the PC board is not powerful as your gaming PCs.
Only install what you need!

Also, for using RM2 on the PC board inside robot, please set "Activated Timer" to -1.
If you don't have this configured, the CPU board will not be able to play the motion by pressing reset button...
Please look at User Manual section 6.1.2.

<!> You can control your KTX-PC from on PC board in the robot or from your local PC.
However, you have to turn off the PC board in the robot when you controlling (programming) from local PC.

11.  How does real-time motion control work on KTX-PC? 
One of the example of real-time motion control is the video posted on programming page.  The robot follows AR (Augmented Reality) Tag.
Basically, the main software running on pc is capturing the image and finds the position, then overwrites the variable stored in the memory space of the servo controller board (VSRC003), so that the robot follows the tag.
To make the robot move along with the input from your main software, you will use output variable preference.
Output value (angle) of the servo motor is calculated frame by frame (each pose in the motion file contains some frames specified by number of "steps") as following...

Please read section 5-3 in RM2 User Manual.
If you don't know what those variables represents, please look at "Memory Map" PDF file.

The easiest way to get familiar with the use of output variable preference is to work on some motion file using analog control input to operate.  Get your remote controller ready and make your robot head move along with your analog input from the remote.

As you can see in your "output preference"  to use analog input variable, you have to change the analog slider bar value to None Zero!

12.  Screen Goes Blank after Installation of XP
It’s a little concern…
Assuming that you have not installed any driver, it should not be happening…

If you have installed driver for the on board graphic card, you can try following…
<!> After installing Display driver, the screen might go completely dark...
          Please use command (Ctrl+Alt+F1) to go back to the normal display (CRT)
          If the command still not make you go back to the normal display,
          then you might have settup a login password...
          Try entering "your password" + "Enter" + "Ctrl+Alt+F1"

If not, then you should pay attention to the windows screen before it gets “blank”…, and see there are anything reporting error or not.

Also, when it gets blank, is the PC board still running???
If the PC board itself is shutting down, possibly it’s a “power” issue.

If you have anything connected on USB port (except mouse and keyboard), those device needs to be self powered, which means it has its own power supply instead of using USB power.

13.  How to install Driver for PICO820
Installer for all the drivers would be executables… so you should be able to run them by double clicking it…,
which means, you can copy them onto USB storage device and plug on to the USB port and copy the files to your working directory (you can unplug keyboard, you don’t need it for the installation of drivers).

14.  Does not play any motion after loading motion files to the robot
Please check your CPU board preference.
Set "-1" to "Activated Timer".  Please look at KTX-PC User Manual Section 6.1.2.

15 PC reboots by itself...
The problem on PC rebooting is caused by low power on battery (if it's running off of battery).
You must use fully charged battery to operate PC and the servos.
Otherwise, the PC board keeps rebooting…

If the battery is fully charged, it will run about 30 min ~ 60min depends on what you are working on.
I normally use the separate power source to the PC board (not battery) for development.
However, you cannot operate servo and PC by the PC power source.
You can use battery and pc power source at the same time to work on motions and software development.
Also, if you do not want to use battery all the time, you can create your own power supply to the robot (CPU board, VSRC003).
I recommend to use 5V/1~2A power adapter.  You can get the connector fits to the robot from us.
Or ask us availability, I can make one for you.


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