Scorbot User Group Introduction and Project Ideas
- I just wanted to introduce myself to the group and see if anyone has had
some luck with a couple of experiences I have had. My name is Greg Banta and
I work as a business/web programmer but not very mechanically skilled.
I plan to post three messages which are all long but I know that since I
would like to be able to read similar posts maybe someone else in the group
would like the same. This is the first post. Hopefully these posts will
spark some ideas and discussion.
I have assembled and written programs for a Lynxmotion 6 axis robotic arm
and enjoyed it very much. The main problem was that this arm was very weak,
with servos at all the joints, and could not hold much of a payload. Also
it was small and movement was not reliably repeatable. I have used several
types of sensors with the robot but I really needed a larger more robust
I decided that I needed to look for a robotic arm that could hold a couple
of pounds and was belt or chain based as having all the servos at the joints
seemed to introduce many limitations.
After searching on ebay and doing as much web based research as possible I
decided on a Scorbot as it seamed to have the mechanical features I wanted
and seemed to have a completely new way to control the robot including the
use of vectors and points so that you could tell the robot to go to a 3
dimensional point (XYZ coordinates).
I want to control the robot via either Visual Basic 6 or a dot.net language
like C-Sharp or VB.net.
I had 2 projects planned:
Project 1 was to simply control the robot via an xbox-like game controller.
I wanted to be able to pick objects up in one place and place them in a
different place. Seems like a simple project. This project mostly works at
this time. (I realize that the Scorbot teach pendant can do this but that is
not much of a challenge.)
Project 2 was to be able to develop a program that would allow the robot to
play chess. Here is how I plan to make this work.
1) Use an existing USB chess set, that allows you to play chess with your
computer. The chess board can detect when a move is made and them tell you
via the pc which piece it wants to move. I have already purchased the chess
set but have not yet actually used it. I want to hack it to tell me when a
player moves a piece from a specific square to the new square.
2) Write a program that can both control a Scorbot and have it setup the
chess board for initial play and make moves against the human opponent. To
set up the chess set, the robot could be given pieces in a specific order
and it could place them on the correct squares on the board. Optionally the
chess pieces could have an RFID tag attached to the bottom so that when the
robot picks up the next piece off of a conveyor, it could tell what the
piece is via an RFID reader.
3) Use an existing web service that you can actually play chess against
using chess coordinates that I found when searching for web services that
So I think I have each of the pieces figured out but need to assemble them
all via a PC program.
My next post will be about Scorbot hardware I have purchased.