Hack-a-Bot

This is a spinoff of my "Fi-dolla" line follower thread to detail how I'm hacking the D2-6 big brother of the cheap line follower into a cheap autonomous bot. This thread a bit premature since I just started today, but timely since it's on sale for a few more days at http://www.icstation.com/bluetooth-remote-control-smart-suite-tracking-kits-p-10171.html for $11.19.

It's still an everyday value at Banggood for $11.91: https://www.banggood.com/D2-6-DIY-51-MCU-Smart-Car-Kit-Bluetooth-Remote-Control-Gravity-Sensing-Tracing-Obstacle-Avoidance-p-1108390.html

IMO this may be a contender for the cheap merit badge robot we have discussed elsewhere. The stock robot has line following, obstacle detection and Bluetooth/smartphone remote control modes. The kit's 18-pin STC15W201S micro is easily replaced by your favorite processor since header pins are provided on the PCB chassis. There is a bit of SMT soldering on the stock kit. I'm no pro but I did a decent job and it all works. I'm adding a beeper and an IR remote receiver.

Attaching some pics. I'll add detail as the project progresses.

P3.jpg

P2.jpg
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"When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

- Pablo Picasso

Comments

  • 18 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • All lovely, but can you do it for tree fiddy?
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    edited April 26 Vote Up0Vote Down
    All lovely, but can you do it for tree fiddy?

    I do love a good challenge.

    Speaking of which, the most challenging thing about this stock D2-6 Bluetooth kit is figuring it out. There is ZERO information on it. Zip, zilch, nada. No videos, no reviews, no mention, only that it's for sale from Banggood, IC Station, AliExpress, and a dozen Ebay sellers.

    There's no Bluetooth app on Google Play, no obvious links on any seller's page, nothing outwardly helpful. Quite the opposite, in fact. Check out these discouraging words from Banggood's site!

    Note:

    The microcontrollers in the kit are pre-programmed, and you only need to install them to work. If you need to learn microcontroller programming or re-download the program, please use your own downloader, we do not provide tutorials.
    It is assumed that users have soldering skills and troubleshooting skills to assemble this kit. Buyers are advised that due to skills of user is involved in assembly it is not guaranteed every kit will end up being a working device. But we will make as much efforts as we can to approach that goal.
    Instructions: Click to open


    !!!

    Turns out, those easily-overlooked, same color words "Instructions: Click to open" are a link to some zipped files, which includes English instructions the Bluetooth app, which must then be sideloaded onto an Android phone/tablet (I guess there's no iPhone app).

    http://files.banggood.com/2016/11/SKU503908.zip

    There are no operational instructions in English, only one short user comment on Banggood's page mentioned "long button press" to change modes, which works.

    And the app actually works quite well, letting you drive the robot (excuse me, "tracking smart car" in Chinese parlance) using finger sliders OR by tilting your phone. I'll make a video soon.

    The plot thickens: the app has DAGU on the control screen, four buttons D,A,G,U. Screen shot from Chinese-only instructions attached. I contacted your (Gordon's) buddy Russell Cameron (DAGU's head designer until recently) for more info, and he knew nothing about it !

    It just baffles me that such a cute little kit has been around for a long time but no one knows about it. erco's gonna be (nearly) the first guy in the pool. I've got 3 kits now, I'm prepared to rule the world!

    In a related story, Banggood is currently out of stock on this kit. Two of mine came from Banggood. Did I hoard them all? :)

    Get 'em while they're hot! I paid $11.91 for mine, you can out-erco me (buy it for less) from IC station if you hurry.

    790 x 840 - 280K
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • There is an english version of that png that you attached in the pdf. However it's not obvious where the D.A.G.U. nomenclature comes from. They are an exercise left for the student in more ways than one.
    Note: the program supports up and down around the control car, D, A, G, U, key is not developed. Students can develop their own design.
    In addition to support the gravity sensing control car forward, backward, turn left, turn right.
    There are a lot of Gravity sensor datas, interested students can test their own! (we have no instructions for it.)
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    I just had a Chinese friend look at it, the English & Chinese versions are pretty similar in content.

    He says the Death Star-looking button right of DAGU is marked "balance". Possibly a L/R adjustment for straight running (if implemented) but wouldn't it be great if instead, the robot suddenly jumped up on two wheels to balance perfectly? :)
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • I had a native speaker look at it too, and then I downloaded and looked at the English pdf ;-)
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    KeithE wrote: »
    I had a native speaker look at it too, and then I downloaded and looked at the English pdf ;-)

    Sounds like I got one on the line here, hook, line and sinker! :) :) :)

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Oh no - I didn't buy one. I'm learning Mandarin and the DAGU mystery caught my eye.
  • Russell Cameron (OddBot from the old LMR) is no longer with DAGU, but maybe he still knows some of the folks there, who could provide more info (and avoid your installing unknown Chinese apps on your tablet). I don't see his email on his personal Web site, but if you're interested in going down that road, email me and I'll provide his contact info.
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    edited April 27 Vote Up0Vote Down
    @Gordon: Yup, I heard that Russell had left through robotrebels.org. I PM'ed him about it last week through there and he replied that he didn't recognize this car. He said some intern did a Bluetooth project, which may have been where the "Magic Car" app came from.

    @KeithE: I haven't given up on you yet! You can practice your Mandarin by translating the attached schematic & BOM that come with the kit. Not sure why Banggood doesn't just post this instead of their poor excuse for a scan. Another mystery!


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    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • erco - that's a little over my level. There are funny internet abbreviations like 3Q for thank you, and I was curious if it was something like that. (3Q = 三Q which is pronounced "san q" which sounds sort of like thank you.)

    You can try google translate on a smartphone and point the camera at it. I wish that they would let you see the pinyin and English interpretation simultaneously.
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    KeithE wrote: »
    3Q = 三Q which is pronounced "san q" which sounds sort of like thank you.

    The mystery deepens: 'san' is Japanese (not Chinese) for 3, as in 3Q. What's going on here?

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • erco wrote: »
    KeithE wrote: »
    3Q = 三Q which is pronounced "san q" which sounds sort of like thank you.
    The mystery deepens: 'san' is Japanese (not Chinese) for 3, as in 3Q. What's going on here?
    Erco - san is spoken Mandarin Chinese for sure. I don't know where the pronounciation originally came from, but written Japanese borrowed a lot of the written characters.

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/三Q#Chinese
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    First mod was replacing the motor series resistors with diodes for snappier response.

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • TorTor Posts: 1,699
    erco wrote: »
    The mystery deepens: 'san' is Japanese (not Chinese) for 3, as in 3Q. What's going on here?
    Loan words - up to 30% of contemporary Japanese words came from Chinese (even though the languages are totally different).


  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    edited April 29 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Loan words work sometimes. Mattel sent four of us to live in Tokyo (Roppongi) for 9 weeks long ago. I learned some passable tourist Japanese from my Barron's phrase book, or so I thought. Our translator was shocked when I asked for the toilet one day, using the word "benjo", which greatly offended her. Apparently it means "crapper" or worse. I showed her my book, but she insisted that I never use "benjo", and that instead I should use "toy-ray", an English loan word for "toilet". The very same day we attended a street fair, and when I tried asking for a "toy-ray", no one had any idea what I meant. When I finally got desperate and asked for a benjo, everyone immediately knew what I meant and no one was offended. :)

    http://www.livinglanguage.com/community/discussion/240/how-to-say-bathroom-in-japanese
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    edited May 2 Vote Up0Vote Down
    First maneuver had to be a figure 8!

    Edit: I better tone down that blue power LED, it's killing the video. Equally blinding in person, it makes it darned hard to find the nearby tiny power switch.

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    Attaching uC socket pinouts for any other would-be D2-6 hackers out there.
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    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • ercoerco Posts: 17,854
    edited May 18 Vote Up0Vote Down
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
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