Our Experiences
with
Phidgets
Lloyd Spencer
Kevin Sikorski
Monthly SRS Meeting
November 18, 2006
Company Confidential
CoroWare, Microsoft & Phidgets
Robot magazine
http://www.botmag.com
What are Phidgets?

Small bits of hardware useful in robots
 Sensors
 Interface
 LCDs,
Boards
Servo control, Encoders, etc.

Varying complexity

Goal is to free the developer from dealing with
low-level hardware issues.

Made by Phidgets, Inc.
First Use

CoroWare needed an accelerometer for a robot.

We budgeted 3 days for integration.

We were done in 2-3 hours.

Most of our robots have an accelerometer in
them.
 Great
for a simple “bump” sensor or inclinometer
 Great
for force feedback joystick control
Interface Kits

We use the 8/8/8 Interface Kit.
 Digital
I/O
 Interface
with analog sensors

CoroWare’s big robot has humidity, light,
gripper pressure, and two voltage and
temperature sensors.

Digital I/O good for driving LEDs or
bump sensors.
Servo Control
 One
of our smaller robots uses a
compact 4-servo controller.
 Controls a 2 DoF Servo arm.
 We’ve also used
them to drive
Pan/Tilt units
for cameras.
A few others…

LCD
 16x2

LCD display with 16 Digital ins and outs.
Do it yourself sensors
 Sharp
 Line
GP2D12 IR sensors
following sensors
 Force
Sensing Resistors

4-port USB Hub

4-relay Interface Board
A Quick Tutorial…
Findings (The Good)

Very easy to integrate
 Lots
of OSes: Windows, Linux, Mac
 Lots
of languages: .NET, C/C++, Visual Basic

Great for prototyping or one-offs

Decent power economy

Easy to find power

Good support
Findings (The Slightly Less Good)

Some Power limitations

Reasonable cost

Need a CPU that supports Phidgets

Their biggest Servo controller
only handles 4 servos

Run out of USB ports quickly
Where to Get Phidgets

www.TrossenRobotics.com

www.PhidgetsUSA.com

www.Phidgets.com
Rapid Robotics Integration
Applications
Non-Destructive
Inspection
Security and
Monitoring
Unmanned
Vehicles
Robotic Functions
Vision
Navigation
Manipulation
Operating System Platform
Plug and
Play
Wireless
Communications
Device
Drivers
Hardware Platform
Sensors
Motors
Mainboards
Rapid Robotics Integration
CoroWare Surveyor 3000



Machine Labs Base
VIA Mainboard
Phidgets Sensors
Accelerometer
 RFID
 Voltage Meter
 Temperature Sensor
 Light
 Pressure




Lynxmotion Servos
Windows XP
Microsoft Robotics Studio
Rapid Robotics Integration
CoroWare Surveyor 3000
Remote Client
/joystick
/UIService
Browser
802.11G wireless link
Robot
/camera
/accel
/rfid
/voltage
/temp
/light
/movement
/panTilt
/arm
/motor
/analogIn
/servos
/relay
Rapid Robotics Integration
CoroWare Surveyor 3000
Microsoft Robotic Studio
Phidgets Accelerometer Integration
Direct reading of status from the browser
Microsoft Robotic Studio
Phidgets Accelerometer Integration
A few lines of code make a much nicer display
Questions?
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