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RoboSpine - Robot interface module

Devantech

Overview

RoboSpine does for your robot what your spinal chord does for you. It connects eyes and ears to the brain and the brain to the muscles. RoboSpine connects sensors to the controller and the controller to the motors.
RoboSpine performs scanning of up to 8 x SRF01's, 2 x IR range sensors, a CMPS10, a TPA81 thermal sensor and the MD25 (part of the RD02 drive system) encoders, battery voltage etc. Your controller sends new motor speeds to the RoboSpine which passes them on to the MD25 and sends you back a 60 byte stream of sensor data. Your controller looks at this to decide what to make the motors do next. RoboSpine can connect directly to a bluetooth module and your PC can be the controller which gives you fanstatic visabiltiy into your robot and what it can see. There is an open source example written in C# to get you started on the manufacturers page.
And you are not limited to the default modules the Robospine can connect to. By building in the same serial to I2C firmware that we use in our USB-I2C and USB-ISS modules, you have access to any I2C device you want to add. An on-board I2C level shifter means both 3.3v and 5v I2C levels are available on various connectors so you have huge flexibitlity.
The flexibility doesn't stop there. We have provided an "I2C hook" feature that will allow you to include read data from your own I2C devices into spare positions in the 60 byte data stream, so you don't need to issue separate commands which would otherwise slow things down.
And there is an on-board boot loader so you will never be stuck with out of date firmware. You will be able to download future versions free from our website.


Introduction

RoboSpine is a module to connect your controller to the various sensors on your robot via a simple serial (UART) interface. It can connect to a local controller such as an Arduino or RPi, or via a Bluetooth module to your PC. It can gather the data from up to 8 SRF01's, 2 Sharp IR rangers, TPA81 thermal sensor, CMPS10 and other various other I2C modules. Motor data is passed back to the MD25 motor controller. It features the same serial to I2C commands that are used in our USB-I2C modules, so you can connect any I2C device to the RoboSpine. It also has a SCAN command. This allows you to send motor data to the robot and responds with a 60 byte data stream containing all your sensor data. RoboSpine also has a set of 8 I2C hooks. These allow you to include data from your own I2C devices in the data stream, keeping everything working at full speed.


Connections


Boot Loader Mode

The RoboSpine has a built in boot loader that may be used for uploading new versions of the firmware. If and when we have an update we will document the procedure for updating the firmware.


LEDs

There are three Leds on the module.

  • Green Led - This indicates power is on and the RoboSpine firmware is running.
  • Yellow Led - Flashes during communications with your Controller or Bluetooth.
  • Red Led - Indicates boot loader mode
  • Flashing Red Led - An error is detected on the I2C lines (checked on power-up only).


Power

The RoboSpine module is powered from 12v and can be connected to the same 12v SLA battery that powers your robot. There is an efficient switching power supply on the module delivering 5v for all the sensors attached to it. The RoboSpine processor is running from 3.3v and there is a small 3.3v regulator on the module dropping the 5v down to 3.3v. This is just for the processor and is not available on any of the connectors. Finally the TPA81 has its own linear 5v regulator to provide a quiet supply. The 12v supply to the module is brought in on the 3-way screw terminal and the connections are clearly marked on the PCB.


Serial Communications

The RoboSpine module communicates with the Controller/Bluetooth module at 38400 baud, 1 stop, no parity. Because the Bluetooth module defaults to 9600 baud, the RoboSpine will automatically send the command to increase it to 38400 baud at power on (AT+BAUD6). If you are using your own controller you can ignore this initial command.


Bluetooth Module

The cable of the Bluetooth Module is not necessary as the Bluetooth Board attaches directly to the RoboSpine board. The cable is only necessary, if you operate the Bluetooth Board without R1 Sensor Module via cable at the MD25.


SRF01's

The RoboSpine module uses 8 separate serial lines for the SRF01's, this means you do not need to change any SRF01 addresses. The should be left at the factory default address of 1. If you use 3-way JST to JST cable you can just connect the SRF01's directly.


TPA81

If you use a TPA81, this will connect directly into the 5-way/3-way sockets on the PCB.


CMPS10, CMPS11 (new)

The CMPS10 and the new CMPS11 communicates over a 3.3v I2C bus and requires 3.6-5v. It should therefore be connected to one of the two I2C-3.3v pin headers. A good cable to use for this is a 4-way Split Cable


MD25/RD02

The MD25 requires 5v level I2C signals and must be connected to one of the two I2C-5v connectors. Do not connect the 5v supply between the two modules. If you do the module with the slightly higher voltage will supply all the current, and if that's the MD25 its linear regulator will get too hot. As both RoboSpine and the MD25 have their own 5v supplies you should leave the 5v unconnected. You should just connect the 0v ground, SCL and SDA lines. A good cable to use for this is a 4-way Split Cable.


Image


YouTube Video


Manufacturer's data

Technical Specification - link to the manufacturer

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Product information for: RoboSpine - Robot interface module

Publishing date (date of last technical specification): 2013-10-20
Weight: 120 g
Shipping weight: 200 g
Manufacturer: Devantech
Brand: ROBOT ELECTRONICS
Article number: DEV-ROBOSPINE
Manufacturer's part number: ROBOSPINE

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Order online now

EUR 33.97 EUR 28.55
Price incl. VAT Price excl. VAT
plus EUR 5.95 shipping costsplus EUR 5.00 shipping costs

Immediate delivery

Available for immediate delivery while stock lasts.

4 in stock
updated: 27.11.2018

Information on currency

EUR 33.97 = GBP 30.26 EUR 28.55 = GBP 25.43 (€1=GBP0.89068)
EUR 33.97 = USD 39.32 EUR 28.55 = USD 33.04 (€1=USD1.1574)
EUR 33.97 = CAD 51.74 EUR 28.55 = CAD 43.48 (€1=CAD1.5231)
EUR 33.97 = AUD 55.41 EUR 28.55 = AUD 46.57 (€1=AUD1.6310)

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