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Ray0665
02-02-2012, 05:48 PM
Very upset:
It is very apparent now that I have purchased a very expensive orphan. I am referring to the Stingray Robot.

It was not that long ago that we heard all the hype about add ons and components that were coming or in the design phase. So where are they?

Then the stingray suffered the indignity of being reduced to a parts kit with no controller board. Speaking of the controller board, what happened to the redesign of the MSR1 (which in my opinion was a good idea but bad implementation, but at least it had motor circuitry on board) we kept hearing about. I have had my MSR1 fail at least once already Which Parallax replaced [thank you], but is now discontinued and its replacement looks like it will be the new Prop BoeBot board at $130 without motor drivers, Oh, you want them, add $50 for the HB-25 (or whatever the number is) drivers.


Apparently nobody else cares either or they have given up, since there has not been a post on the forums about the stingray for months. The last post I saw was a thread on how the original stingray motors were the wrong gear ratio and had the wrong max rpm for the stingray. Now Ive noticed that gear motors of different ratios and max rpm are for sale.

For the record I love my stingray (named Melvin) we have many long and rewarding hours together and we are having fun. His brother the Propeller Protoboard Boebot is a constant companion and fellow experimenter.

But the fact remains Melvin is an orphan and I am not happy.

RobotWorkshop
02-02-2012, 06:03 PM
Hello Ray,

The Stingray is a nice robot base and it looks like that will certainly be around for a while without the chance of becoming an orphan anytime soon. You're right about the MSR1 board in that it didn't seem to catch on. As I recall there are a couple forum members who use them for a classroom environment that may want to purchase the board you have.

I think the best replacement would be to use the Propeller board that Parallax offers for EDDIE. It has the H-Bridge drivers onboard and should work out better on the Stingray than the MSR1 board. That should be their standard board for both the EDDIE and Stingray. The problem is that Parallax doesn't seem to offer it separately and the only way to get one is to buy and EDDIE robot kit. I'm going to use the Stingray motors for a custom robot and would like to get one of the EDDIE boards myself. I wish Parallax would get them for sale soon or there was some way to get one early.

The Prop BoeBot board looks nice but is setup more for small robots with servo based motors (or larger robots with an H-bridge with servo type control signals)

Try calling Parallax and see if there is anyway you can get one of those EDDIE boards for your robot.

Robert

Chris Savage
02-02-2012, 07:31 PM
Ray,

Let me start off by saying that the Stingray has not been forgotten and is not considered an orphan. Our change in plans is a direct result of customer feedback and sales (not all of this information is on the forums). In our attempt to meet the needs of our customers we sought feedback and received quite a bit. Again, not all of it was posted here in the forums. It was quickly apparent that customers did not want to be forced to buy the MSR1 board with the Stingray as there were many who were using an Arduino or some other microcontroller. Of course, these boards do not have a motor driver either, but there were other options being considered before the MSR1 was discontinued. There was a long list of things that many customers wanted and others did not.

Different Motor Mount Plates for different motors
An upper deck
Different speed/gear-ratio motors
Different power supply options
Different wheels
Encoders for the wheels
Multiple changes to the MSR1 board
Various sensor options

The problem was that we were getting conflicting requests where things a handful of customers wanted were different than what others were asking for in the same changes. It was getting difficult to come up with a change that was going to make everyone happy. Design work on the Stingray was delayed for long enough that customers requesting changes were going to wait for these changes to be implemented, but since everyone wanted something different changes weren't made in a timely manner. With everyone in a holding pattern sales dropped to almost nothing.

So you see, the only way to keep the product going while we vye for additional resouces for it was to simplify the kit and components and release it that way. Things like the motors are taking a long time, not because we're slow to respond, but because we've been waiting for several weeks not for samples of the new motors from the supplier to verify they will work. This has slowed down wrapping the encoders for our motors which are still planned. And other sensors and accessories will eventually be available, but we need a solution that can work for multiple platforms and not lock anyone into something they don't want to buy. This summer I hope to see the motor and encoder issues solved so we can continue to work toward additional accessories for the Stingray. I hope you'll be happy with the plans we have and I will also be releasing some AppNotes this coming summer for things such as GPS navigation, etc.

Ramboman
02-09-2012, 02:55 PM
Cross your fingers...

Matt Gilliland
02-09-2012, 05:27 PM
Hey ho everybody -
I'll weigh in on this too...

As you might know, we're in the process of updating the encoder for the Madeusa / Eddie robot platforms. (if you didn't know, you do now:-)

The good news is that the new encoder module for Madeusa/Eddie is also form-factor compliant for the Stingray.

This summer I hope to see the motor and encoder issues solved

We're in prototype stage right now on the encoder, and we should have a prototype working on the Stingray here in just a week or two. I'll post a video just as soon as a few of the prototype boards are assembled.

-Matt

Whit
02-10-2012, 02:00 AM
Glad to hear this Chris and Matt! I love my Stingray and It would be nice to have something new to play with....

william chan
02-10-2012, 02:34 AM
As you might know, we're in the process of updating the encoder for the Madeusa / Eddie robot platforms.

Is there anything wrong with the EDDIE encoder as it is now?

WBA Consulting
02-10-2012, 05:06 AM
I am also glad to hear Chris and this new guy Matt Gilliland (:lol:) say there are future plans for the stingray. My stingray, "manta", only feels orphaned because I abandoned him on my workbench back in December. Soon, I keep saying.......

Jessica Uelmen
02-10-2012, 03:29 PM
William,

Nothing wrong with the encoders as they are, but we're going to update them to have a much higher resolution (roughly 150 positions per rotation). We will also be making this a pure quadrature encoder (no co-processor) to better show off the features of the Propeller.

All in all, it will be a completely new product.

Cheers,
Jessica

ratronic
02-10-2012, 04:15 PM
I have added so much stuff to my Stingray I still have to come up with a program to use it all at the same time. So far I have added

2 QME-01 motor encoders
3 AX12 robot acuators (front arm/gripper)
2 AX12 robot acuators (rear x/y moveable platform)
2 regular servo's (ping sensor's attached)
2 ping distance sensors
1 2.4ghz spycam (on rear platform)
1 laser range finder (on rear platform)
1 38khz ir detector
1 433mhz rf transceiver
1 5000mah 7.4V LiPo battery

RobotWorkshop
02-10-2012, 05:09 PM
William,

Nothing wrong with the encoders as they are, but we're going to update them to have a much higher resolution (roughly 150 positions per rotation). We will also be making this a pure quadrature encoder (no co-processor) to better show off the features of the Propeller.

Cheers,
Jessica

Hello Jessica,

That sounds like it will enable the wheel kit to be used with many more projects. The new encoders are a welcome addition. Since many people are already using the original encoders and co-processors I hope that Parallax will keep both of them available and offer either as an option for the wheel kit. I have projects that would use each style of encoder board.

Best Regards,

Robert

Matt Gilliland
02-14-2012, 10:54 PM
Update: The prototype Encoder boards should be arriving tomorrow. I should have one up and running by the end of this week :-)
-Matt

Ken Gracey
02-14-2012, 10:56 PM
Robert (RobotWorkshop) provided valuable input to define the encoder Matt is designing.

Ken Gracey

Matt Gilliland
02-14-2012, 11:03 PM
So what's the chatter out there people? Is it time to retire the "smart" Quad, or should we keep both from which to choose?

Smart and Dumb?

-Matt

vyper4
02-15-2012, 12:41 AM
Hi Matt,
I am new to this forum and robotics in general. I just purchased a Stingray, with the Basic Stamp 2PX and BOE, as a project to work on with my daughter. I have been eyeing the Position Controller Kit 27906, and trying to figure out if I can make it work. so my vote would be for keep the "smart" Quad...

Anyway to interface it with a QME-01?

David

Edit: Well I did a little math, and if I did it correctly assuming you can interface the QME-01 to the board, without a firmware mode, the bot could only move forward ~42 inches. :-)

Microcontrolled
02-15-2012, 01:32 PM
@Ray0665: If you don't want to wait for the redesign of the control board, I'll sell you the one off of my Stingray. I am in the process of upgrading my stingray and I already own 2 HB-25 motor controllers and I have a Prop BOE coming, so I wouldn't mind parting with my control board. It's in good shape, send me a PM if you are interested.

Matt Gilliland
02-15-2012, 05:38 PM
Hi vyper4 (David) - Welcome to the Forums!

The new encoder will attach directly to the Stingray because it will include a special mounting bracket with it. I should be able to post some pics here in the next couple of days (of it on the Madeusa, as well as the Stingray).

-Matt

rogersyd
02-15-2012, 09:06 PM
Ray,
The new Prop BOE will do wonders for the mobility of my stingray. She currently is up on blocks tethered to an unmounted ppdb. For me, building it has been just as rewarding as building my first BOE-BOT years ago.

The HB-25 is probably worth every penny, but I opted for a capable motor driver from canakit (UK1122) that was much easier on the budget. I am sure there are plenty of others on the market that do the same job more or less. I am a huge fan of parallax stuff, but there are many other colorful options in the marketplace.

vyper4
02-16-2012, 03:43 AM
Hi vyper4 (David) - Welcome to the Forums!

The new encoder will attach directly to the Stingray because it will include a special mounting bracket with it. I should be able to post some pics here in the next couple of days (of it on the Madeusa, as well as the Stingray).

-Matt

Cannot wait to see the pictures. Are they a shaft encoder or some type of wheel watcher? Is most of the new development for the Stingray going to be geared toward the Prop instead of the stamps. I wonder if I should see if I can change my order.

Chris Savage
02-16-2012, 04:32 PM
The encoders are an optical slot quadrature encoder with a tabbed flywheel press-fit onto the motor shaft. I saw Matt's prototype and it looks good.

vyper4
02-23-2012, 07:43 PM
Hi vyper4 (David) - Welcome to the Forums!

The new encoder will attach directly to the Stingray because it will include a special mounting bracket with it. I should be able to post some pics here in the next couple of days (of it on the Madeusa, as well as the Stingray).

-Matt

How are the new encoders working out? Any pictures yet?

Matt Gilliland
02-23-2012, 09:24 PM
Glad you asked!Waiting for final PCB arrays to come in, and then a time-slot on the PNP. (Prop BOE's are priority right now I think for mfring.I'll post a pic with the prototype bracket for the Stingray adaption here shortly...89947
-Matt

Ray0665
06-09-2012, 04:01 PM
Glad to hear encoders are in the works, but what about driving the motors anything going on there? A pair of HB-25's is way overkill and overpriced for my budget. Why not create a small board that duplicates the drive circuitry of the original MSR1 and remains software compatible? This board teamed up with the PropBOE would make a fine replacement for the MSR1. Plus I'm sure there are plenty of projects using similar motors that would benefit from such a board.

ajward
06-24-2012, 06:15 PM
The encoders are an optical slot quadrature encoder with a tabbed flywheel press-fit onto the motor shaft. I saw Matt's prototype and it looks good.

Heya Chris,

I know there was some research going on 12 volt motors with a shaft for encoders (like the 7.2 volt items). Any idea where this is? Been experimenting with the 200 rpm 12 volters now being offered and they seem a little more manageable than the 310 rpm beasts.

(Also looking at the 100 rpm motors ala Pololu)

Thanks,

Amanda

Chris Savage
06-25-2012, 06:17 PM
I will see if I can get Matt G to chime in as he's the one actually working on the new encoder design.

Chris Savage
06-25-2012, 06:20 PM
Okay, I found Matt G cowering in a corner in the back of Parallax. After some interrogation he agreed to track down whoever or whatever is holding things up and get back to us. :innocent:

Matt Gilliland
06-25-2012, 08:19 PM
Hey everybody - design's been done for a while now. Waiting for a slot in the Production Arena. Our Production Crew has been running multiple shifts (not kidding) - they're good, but real tired too. Much of the staff has been caught in the middle of trying to catch up on getting higher #'s of stock of our most popular items so that we're not showing "out-of-stock" as often as we do. Our poor 'ol pick-n-place machine is really getting a work-out...

The Encoder is ready to go, we're just waiting for one part (I think). The sensor itself is quite tiny (coupled with a slot - in which the nozzle needs to fit, so I know that the Production Guru's were experimenting with them to see if it was a reliable process last week.) It appears that they were "successful and happy".

(if production's not happy, ain't nobody happy :-)

I'll post pics as soon as I see them on the line- should be any day now. Holy cow they've been really busy over there...

-MattG

erco
06-25-2012, 08:50 PM
Matt: If the bottom falls out for your team, my plywood Retrobot has wheel encoders and is on standby to bail you out. :)

In a related note, I picked up one nice gearmotor off Ebay China which looks like it may be a good fit for the Stingray. I'll actually build mine once I get another one, as these are geared lower than the original Stingray motors. You know how much I prize torque above speed in all things robotic. http://www.ebay.com/itm/180902862202

jtilghman
02-05-2013, 02:01 PM
So how can I order these encoders ?

Thanks,
JT

Matt Gilliland
02-05-2013, 03:44 PM
Hi Ray0655, vyper4,andjtilghman -
I need you guys to test the product and it's documentation. Please email me directly
mattg@parallax.com
-MattG

Ttailspin
02-09-2013, 01:28 AM
That's the sqweeky wheel gettin greased right thar... :)

Humanoido
02-09-2013, 03:12 AM
Matt: If the bottom falls out for your team, my plywood Retrobot has wheel encoders and is on standby to bail you out.Erc, we're sure the bottom won't fall off, the team is the best - but go ahead anyway and post the PDF to build the kit. Then we can purchase 6-foot sheets of plywood locally to build the 6-foot tall walking Penguin knock out wood version and save the wheels and coders for the autonomous car project.


I need you guys to test the product and it's documentation. Please email me directly

Mat, we need you to come here directly and test the 575-pound wood Penguin.


You know how much I prize torque above speed in all things robotic. It's a good thing. You'll need more than 49 oz inches of torque to lift those heavy motorized webbed Penguin feet weighing in at 85 pounds each (170 pounds total).

And no, sorry, we are not interested in the Woody Wood Pecker version.

erco
02-09-2013, 03:58 AM
I just got outbid on an ebay Toddler, dangit. A 6-foot plywood Toddler would be cool, although I heard that someone tried it and it didn't scale up too well.

Humanoido
02-09-2013, 04:40 AM
I just got outbid on an ebay Toddler, dangit. A 6-foot plywood Toddler would be cool, although I heard that someone tried it and it didn't scale up too well.The sexy 85-pound tilt and stride female robot built by Joe Rush was very successful, even when scaled up over 5-feet tall. She has a nice mix of wood, metal and other parts.

http://www.androidworld.com/joesbabe.jpeg

tomega3
05-14-2013, 11:51 PM
Any progress on the new motors with encoders for the Stingray.

NWCCTV
05-15-2013, 03:07 AM
Not sure about the motors, but I believe this is a link to the encoders: http://www.parallax.com/StoreSearchResults/tabid/768/txtSearch/encoder/List/0/SortField/4/ProductID/869/Default.aspx

jtilghman
05-15-2013, 04:25 AM
Had a bit of a problem with my motor driver and prop board, now that I have new ones.. :( I will be able to get back to trying to test these encoders, not sure they are going to fit with the battery that I have in there. But I will update as soon as I know.

erco
05-15-2013, 04:56 AM
Me thinks those are the Eddie wheel encoders, not Stingray motor encoders.

NWCCTV
05-15-2013, 05:18 AM
They look like the ones from post #22, which is what I was referring to since it does not look like they came released a motor/encoder combo which is what I believe the OP was wanting.