RoboBrothers
 Most Affordable Programmable Robotics
 Robotics for hobbyist, students and researchers
 Open platform to add your hardware, software 

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FAQ

1. Robophilo servoes do not have torque after power on

      Charge the battery before you power up the Robophilo for the first time. When the robot is run under very low DC voltage, sometimes, it may erase the program. Follow the user guide page 73 to 75 to load the program, motion files and default tuning setting to the controller with your PC. (Note: there is a typo error in page 74. Instead of typing 'L' to load philo program, it should be 'I').

       If you have already done your fine tuning and saved to a new file, download your new motion and tuning file instead of the default file.

       If the servo has only weak torque, it may be caused by the bad contact between the servo wire and the 3 pins connector on the controller board. Sometimes, the connector may get loose due to the motion stretch out the wire too much. You can manually wiggle the wire and turn the servo a bit to make sure it has more torque. You should try out the torque for both legs just like the warm up before the competition. You can also try to bend the middle pin of the 3 pin connector a bit to make the connection better. You should also make enough servo wire length loose out for the motions.


2. Cannot connect the RoboPhilo to the PC

      Some computer has multiple COM ports. The one you selected in the config tab may not be the physical one that you use to connect to Robophilo. Move the connection to another port or select a different port to locate the correct one. If you can move the servo with that COM port, it is the one for Motion and Download. For download, you need to select the COM port, then power on the Robophilo and click "connect" button within 5 seconds. If you click too late, it will fail. After download, click "disconnect" and then power off and on the Robophilo to use the newly loaded information. If you hit into problem, try exit the GUI and re-run the GUI again. For computer does not have serial port, add a USB to Serial converter device.

       Some laptop cannot do the connection because the laptop is too slow. It takes longer than 5 seconds to open the com port, which will be done after the robot boot code finish waiting and switch to normal operation instead of download mode after the robot is power on.

    To fix this, you just need to do the following,
 
    1. for Motion creator, click "connect" first, wait for 2 seconds, then power on the robot ( don't power on the robot first)
    2. for loadPhilo untility, enter "D" first, wait for 2 seconds, then power on the robot ( don't power on the robot first)
 
    Some hint to locate the com port,
 
    click start->control panel->administrative tools->computer management->device manager->ports
    ( it will show which port is communication, which port is from USB2serial adapter )
 
    If it does not help, use motion creater and select com port, it shows you all the unused com port it discovered.


3. Battery is getting very hot while charging

      In normal charging, the charger LED will turn green when the battery is fully charged. Do not charge the battery more than 2 hours since it can get hotter and hotter. Follow the proper charging steps below to avoid the over heating.


4. Proper Battery charging steps to avoid over heating the battery

To charge the battery :-

1. Install the battery and plug in the battery socket.  Switch off the RoboPhilo. 
Plug in the charger to the wall socket, and then plug in the charger lead to the RoboPhilo.

2. If you want to charge the battery after programming section of the RoboPhilo, first switch off the RoboPhilo.  Then unplug the charger from the wall socket, and remove the charger lead from the RoboPhilo.  Finally plug in the charger to the wall socket and then plug in the charger lead to the RoboPhilo.

In any case, don't charge the battery over 2 hours, even if the red light doesn't change to green, don't leave the charger connected overnight.

The charger peak detection circuit could be disturbed by the voltage fluctuation during the programming section, and unpluging the charger each time before charging will reset the proper peak detection function.


5. The GUI fails when click "save motion"

      When you click "save motion" in the config tab, it fails. This happens when you save the new file to the CD. Copy all the CD files to your local hard disk directory (c:\robophilo). Run Philo GUI from the local directory. The motion file will be saved to your local directory.

6. The small servo lock up

      Follow the manual page 29 to install the small servo push rod. If they are not installed correctly, it will block the turning for the 2 leg turn small servoes. Before power on the Robophilo for tuning, always turn the leg to check if it can turn from 75 to 98 degree according to the definition on page 38. Also, it is good practice not to put the screw on the horn while tuning. If it turns too far, it will pop the horn off protecting the servo. Put the screw in only if the tuning is good. If dropping the Robophilo too hard to the floor, it may break the gear inside and lock up the small servo.

7. The battery power runs out in less than 25 minutes of motion

      If the fine tuning is not optimal, the servo can waste a lot of power to maintain the position 0 and 180 with the INIT position. You can check by feeling any hot servo or hissing sound from the servo with the INIT position. This can occur when the servo horn is off by one position, and the servo is using more current to reach the end point of position 0 or 180. It can be fixed by adjusting the horn position by one slot and redo the fine tuning for that servo. If the small leg turning servo is locked up due to damage or incorrect tuning, it can become hot and wasted the battery power. It can be fixed by redo the tuning or replace the servo. The walking routine is more sensitive to the power condition. It may not keep walking continuously for more than 15 minutes per charge but it can still perform other motion routines.

8. USB to Serial Adapter

      The GUI philo, CLI loadPhilo and SDK will support COM port number 0 - 7 only. You can follow the steps below to change the port number assignment,

      1. control panel
      2. system
      3. hardware
      4. device manager
      5. ports (COM & LPT) 
      6. double click on your usb adaptor name
      7. port settings
      8. Advanced...
      9. change the com port number to unsed one 0 - 7 (you can see all the used ones under ports (COM & LPT)
      10. click all the ok to set the new port number
      11. unplug the usb adapter and plug it in after few seconds to use the new number
      
      If the robot does not stand up after power on, you need to follow topic 1 in this FAQ to reload the firmware, motion and configuration using this new COM port number.

      We have tested 2 adaptor from Frys ok. part# 4322725 from i.connect   and part# 3893327 from keyspan.

       The one from radioshack does not work with RoboPhilo.

9. Firmware, Motion loaded ok, but robot does not work
 
      If you can download the firmware, motion and configuration correctly and the robot still does not work, plase check if the LED lights up at all during power on. If not, it means the LED is burn out and can affect the normal robot function. It may be caused by a long period of overcharge during coarse tuning setting (jumper at slot 1). Email support@robobrothers.com for further analysis.


 

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