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Easy Robotics with Windows 10 and EZ-Robot

Today Sergiy Baydachnyy introduces us to a new cool platform for building robots. After reading his post and looking at the kit, I know what I want for Father's Day now... :)

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EZ-Robot controller and Universal Windows Platform

If you already have EZ-B micro controller from EZ-Robot, there is good news for you: Universal Windows Platform SDK already available to download. I have already tested it and it’s really easy to use the SDK for developing own applications for Windows Phone, Windows 10 and even for Raspberry Pi 2. Thanks to Universal Windows Platform you can create just one application for controlling your robots using all Microsoft devices.

If you still don’t have EZ-B, I think that my post below should be interesting for you.

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Last week I got a chance to test EZ-B controller. This controller was invented by EZ-Robot company located in Calgary and you can visit EZ-Robot site to find many different robots and components there. Besides that you can buy and use EZ-B controller separately and use it like heart and mind for your own robots including rovers, drones etc.

What is EZ-B? It’s a very powerful controller based on 120 MHz 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor and it contains 8 analog pins, 24 digital pins, amplified speaker, camera port, I2C and UART ports and WiFi module. Therefore, from the price perspective, EZ-B is better than Arduino, Netduino and some other existing micro controllers. But what is more important, EZ-B contains Web server and all needed software to control all hardware stuff using external devices like phones, tablets, desktops etc. So, EZ-B is the best choice if you are going to control your robot directly and make all related calculations using your own device.

How to start developing for EZ-B? First of all you need to setup the controller. The box contains the controller itself and docking station for it which allows to use external power supply. Because EZ-B allows power from 4.5V to 16V, you can use it with power supply from Galileo or something like it or you can use battery pack. Once it’s online you can connect your PC to EZ-B WiFi network and start to setup the controller. You need to select WiFi mode. If you are in the place with local WiFi network you can switch your controller to Client Mode but if WiFi is not available, you can continue use EZ-B like access point.

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Once EZ-B is connected to WiFi, it’s time to start developing something. In order to develop your first UWP application for EZ-B you need to download SDK for EZ-B and include it to your UWP solution. Inside EZ-B project you can find lots of classes for different sensors, servos etc. but if you have something own you can use Digital and Analog pins directly. Because EZ-Robot provides full access to source code, you can check existing classes to understand how to create new one.

In any case, the first thing that you need to do is to connect your application to EZ-B. It’s easy to do using the following code:

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EZ-Robot - UniversalBot

UniversalBot is an open source Microsoft Windows Universal Robot SDK for developing Universal Windows Robot Apps (UWP) that run on Windows, Windows Phone and Raspberry Pi with Windows 10 Core. For Windows 10 Robotics with Windows Core! Introduces the Universal Windows Platform for UWP robots, which provides a guaranteed core API layer across devices. You can create a single app robot package that can be installed onto a wide range of devices, including robots on xBox, Raspberry Pi, Windows Phone, Qualcomm DragonBoard 410C, Intel Galileo and more. The Microsoft single store makes it easy to publish robot apps across all device types.

*Disclaimer: UniversalBot and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is a pre-released product which may be substantially modified before it's commercially released. EZ-Robot makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this information.

When your UWP robot app runs on a wide variety of devices with different form factors and input modalities, you want it to feel tailored to each device and be able to unlock the unique capabilities of each one for your robot. Devices add their own unique APIs to the guaranteed API layer. You can write code to access those unique APIs conditionally so that your robot app uses features specific to one type of device while presenting a different experience on other devices. Adaptive UI controls and new layout panels help you tailor your robot UI across a broad range of screen resolutions.

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  • Alan BurnstineAlan Burnstine

    Nice review and introduction to Universal Bot. I have been using EZ-B v4 since it started shipping last year, and the previous version for over 2 years. I think it is really important that your readers know that EZ-B and EZ-builder software can be used with virtually no programming skill at all using the EZ-builder drag and drop user interface. The power that Universal Bot adds is the ability to write your own robot software on small form factor/inexpensive computers, and to interface to other 3rd party devices with an SDK, but if you are not a developer, and still want an amazing robot that can do just about anything you want a robot to do, EZ-Robot will meet your needs too.

  • DavidDavid

    I have used these products for about a year and teach a STEM class using these products. I highly recommend this company and their products. The students have learned a lot about robotics.

    This company has great vision and their products allow you to create advanced robots with very little programming knowledge. These products are for the beginner to the advanced robot builder.

  • Tyler looneyTyler looney

    I have always had a fascination with robotics ever since I was a kid and I had always dreamt of going to school for robotic and computer programming, I even went into robotics my sophomore year in high school but unfortunely by the time I enrolled in the classes, they had already been filled, but life don't always go as planned, it was only but a year ago that I heard about ez-robot through doing research on a robotis darwin when I stumbled apound Ez-robots website and when I seen the things that dj sure was doing with his company, I knew right away that I had to be apart of this awsome new revolution in robotics and now with the ez-b and and the ez-builder software I can learn all the programs and lessons that I would have learned college by just a click of a button, and the ez- robot community has also been a great experience as well, there are so many members have joined and are still joining every day, every one in the community is so helpful with any and every question that you may have on how to get started and there are so many tutorials to help jump start your robotics project that its not even funny, I love Ez-robot and I am glad to have joint the Ez-robot Revolution and I would recommend any one out there who is interested in robotics to give them a try, becuase once you join the revolution, you will never want to stop learning, all you dreams will come try at the click of a button. The future is here and Ez-robot will be the leader in robotics and the future of robotists will never be the same. Join the Ez-robot team today! Go Ez-robot!

  • RichardRichard

    I had been creating robots as a hobby for more than 20 years now... To be honest the micro controller hadn't really changed that much in that same time period. We went from the basic stamp to the arduino, but really there isn't much difference between the two. Enter ez robot and everything changed... From a hobbyist point a view it was a boon... Now with the ezb4 you can create robots that can hear, see, recognize faces, track objects and colours.... all in one bargain package... The robot controller bar has been seriously raised folks...

  • Here is a video of "Wilber" my Lego 'Segway' robot. It was controlled by a hand held IR controller and would move as commanded (while staying balanced) but that was all it would do. Actually, that is quite a bit for a robot with only 2 motors and 1 gyro sensor.

    I added an EZ Robot EZ-B4 controller, an EZRobot head, and an EZ Robot ping sensor. With simple scripting I was able to make "EZ Wilber do all you see in the video.

    https://youtu.be/Hi6lXRkWUb0

  • Having the ability to create you own applications using the Universal Windows Platform SDK adds another great layer to the EZ-Robot platform. I have been using EZ-Robot products and soft/hardware platforms for nearly a year now, I can safely say that this is a great product and company.

    EZ-Robot gives the ability to jump straight in with no prior knowledge of robotics or computer programming, and start small with essentially a plug 'n' play method by using their Revolution robots, or if you have knowledge or experience in the field, you can make your own custom made robots. With the addition of the Universal Windows Platform SDK, this just brings another great option to use with an already fantastic and easy to use robotics platform.

    So whether you are an experienced robot builder, or if you are just starting out with no prior knowledge, and you want to buy or build a robot capable of recognising human speech, objects, colours and faces, as well as reading multiple selections of sensors such as temperature, GPS, compass, gas, ultrasonic, and passive infrared sensor arrays and have the ability to control your robots servos, lights, motors while it speaks to you telling you jokes, news articles, weather reports ect, then look no further. EZ-Robot is exactly what you need, and trust me on this, once you're bitten by the EZ-Robot bug, you'll never look back.

    Check out the video of my first true robotic project and see what someone with no robot building experience can do thanks to EZ-Robot.

    https://youtu.be/-I_INQ1Vndg

  • benben

    Can't wait to try this if it works as easily as the ez builder then it a hit

  • KenKen

    Thank you for the great review. I am brand new to Robotics and have just purchased the EZ-B Controller/Camera and new 4n1 Sensor. I am looking forwards to using this unit. What really impressed me was the fact they make it so pretty much anyone can build and control a robot, including having a camera feed.
    This opens the door to so many other people out there like myself who either does not have the knowledge/skills or like myself just too darn busy to learn a programing language etc.
    I can hardly wait for my package to arrive so I can play.
    Thanks :)
    Ken

  • RonRon

    As a past professor of computer science, I can tell you that if anyone is even the slightest bit interested in the potential use of these robots for personal education or enjoyment, the EZ-Robot product line is your best choice. Since the robots developed by that company are so easily trained, the long-term educational opportunities for children are limited only by their imagination. Furthermore, the EZ-B controller is seamlessly interfaced with easy-to-use Windows based software EZ-Builder that provides quick creation of scripts that control robot behavior. An excellent choice for children and adults alike.

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