Servo Wheel Kit Tips

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This page has some tips for working with the Robot Geek Servo Wheel Kit.

This guide will refer to the RobotGeek Geekduino, the microcontroller that will ship with most Geekbots. However this kit will also work with the Arduino Uno, or other Arduino variants like the Seeeduino.

Setting up the Arduino Software

Before you can build and use your Geekbot, you will need to be able to load programs onto your Geekduino board. These programs are called 'sketches'. To load these sketches onto your board you will need to use the Arduino Integrated Developer Environment (IDE). To install the Arduino IDE do the following:

If you have any problems with this setup, the official Arduino website has a great "Getting Started with Arduino" guide for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This guide will take you through downloading the Arduino software (The Arduino IDE), drivers for your Arduino, and uploading programs(called 'sketches') to your Arduino.
NOTE: If you are using a Seeeduino V3 or a Geekduino, you will select "Arduino Duemilanove or Nano w/ ATmega 328" when you select your board.

Step 2: Install the FTDI drivers

Now you will need to install FTDI drivers. These drivers will allow you to communicate with your Geekduino via the USB port. Some modern Operating Systems either have these drivers or can automatically find them. If you don't have the drivers or you are unsure, you can find the FTDI drivers here, and a guide to installing them here.
Note: Windows users can download the the drivers and install them through the windows hardware wizard, or click on the 'setup executable' link automate the process.

Setting up the RobotGeek Tools and Libraries

The RobotGeek Tools and Libraries Download offers a variety of sketches and libraries for working with RobotGeek Robot Kits. First Download the Tools and Libraries ZIP file. In this .zip file, there will be two folders

  • libraries-this folder contains libraries that will add functionality to your Arduino. The only version of the Geekbot that requires external libraries is the Geekbot with Nunchuk, which uses the ArduinoNunchuk library.
  • RobotGeek Sketches-this folder contains behavioral code for robots, as well as tools for testing .
To install these files you will move these 3 folders into your 'Arduino' user folder. This is NOT the folder where the Arduino IDE itself is located. The location of this folder will be different based on your operating system.

Windows XP

My Documents\Arduino\

Windows Vista/7

Documents\Arduino\

Mac/Linux

~/Documents/Arduino/

Where '~' represents the path to your user account.


If you're having trouble finding your 'Arduino' folder, open the Arduino IDE and open the 'Preferences' panel (File->Preferences). Here you will find a file path under 'Sketchbook location:'. This is the path to your 'Arduino' folder.

When you are done, your file path should look like this



If you already have a library folder, simply copy the contents of the RobotGeek library folder into the library folder in your 'Arduino' folder.Your folder structure should look like the one shown above, along with your pre-installed files.

Tuning your Servo's Deadband

Before you start using your continous rotation servo, you will may need to adjust the deadband. By adjusting the deadband on the servo, you will be able to reliable stop the servo.

Make sure the Geekduino's switches are set correctly. The VCC Switch should be set to 5v and the Reset Switch should be set to AUTO. See here for an example.

Now you will need to load the Servo Centering sketch onto your Geekduino. This sketch can be found here:

  File -> Sketchbook -> RobotGeek Sketches -> Tools -> centerServo

Once you have opened the centerServo sketch you will need to pick the correct board and serial port. First look at the Board menu item.

  Tools->Board

You will need to pick "Arduino Duemilanove or Nano w/ ATmega 328" if you are using a Seeeduino V3 or a Geekduino.

Next, look at the Serial Port menu item.

  Tools->Serial Port

From this list you will need to pick the serial port of your board. Usually this is the last serial port on the list.

  • If you have multiple serial ports and you are not sure which one is the Geekduino, unplug the FTDI device from the computer, and watch which one disappears.
  • Mac and Linux users may have 2 ports - one marked 'cu.' and one marked 'tty.' Either will work.
  • Many windows computers reserve 'COM 1' for internal purposes, and this is usually NOT the serial port you want to pick. Check your windows device manager if you are having problems with your serial port.

This sketch will consistently send a signal to the Geekduino's PWM ports (Pin 3,5,6,9,10,11). You can plug the servo into any of these ports. Now you will need to turn the small potiometer dial with a small flathead screwdriver. You will want to adjust the potentiomer until the servo stops moving and is making no noise/vibration.

If your wheel is rotating... Turn the Potentiometer dial ....
Clockwise Counter Clockwise
Counter Clockwise Clockwise

See the following video for an example.

Assembly

You can find the assembly guide for the wheel kits here.

Tuning you Servo's speed parameters.

Coming Soon

Programing Your Robot's Behavior

Coming Soon

Getting Started