Robosapien Serial Communications

I am looking for a PC -> Serial -> Robosapien solution. If anyone has seen this done or has any ideas, please let me know.
james [at] retroblast (dot) com
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Hi James,
I'm working on a PC->parallel->radio-> Robosapien solution. I've put an RF receiver (433MHz) at the PCB point where normally the IR receiver connects, and use a RF transmitter connected to a bit of the parallel port of a PC. This could equally well have been one of the handshake pins on the serial port. I've written some software (under DOS, but planning to port to Linux) that switches the transmitter on and off in the right "rythm" to emulate the pulses that would normally come from the IR remote -> IR receiver. I've bought the RF PCBs from Conrad electronics for about EUR15 for the pair.
However, even when using a handshake pin on the serial port instead of the parallel port, it still wouldn't be true serial communications since the bit pattern will be formed by software rather than the serial port hardware, and not conform to the RS232 protocol. The reason for this is that the Robosapien uses MFM rather than a straight RS232-like bitstream. If you need "real" serial, then you need some extra hardware to convert RS232 into MFM. Not really difficult, but different from what I'm trying to do. Could you perhaps explain a little bit more to what you want to use this for, and how you want to use it?
If you are interested, I can of course send you diagrams, pictures, source code of the DOS software, etc.
My goal is to control the Robosapien from my PC, with video & sound from the Robosapien feeding wirelessly into the PC (RF @ 2.5GHz), and audio feeding wirelessly from the PC to the Robosapien (RF @ 88MHz). This could then, with appropriate software, be used for primitive cleaning & security tasks, as well as remote access (video & control) over the internet.
I don't expect this to be really useful, given the limitations of the Robosapien, but I hope to learn quite a lot during the project.
Best regards,
Peter
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On Tue, 4 Oct 2005 22:51:16 +0200, "Peter Baltus"

Have you ever considered hacking your IR remote and controlling it from the PC like below? Let your PC operate the buttons on the IR remote. Add the RF pyrimid IR remote extenders to operate out of line of sight.
PC -> parallel-> IR remote-> Robosapien
PC -> parallel-> IR remote-> pyrimid TX-> pyrimid RX-> Robosapien
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wrote:

Hello Si,
thanks for the suggestion. Yes, I've been thinking about that, but didn't go this route because I wanted to keep the IR remote for local manual control (I've put a switch on the RS to select radio or IR input). Also, I wanted to be able to control the RS all over the house, also in different rooms. I hadn't considered the IR remote extenders, though. Still, putting one in every room would be less convenient and more expensive than the current RF link.
The obvious advantage would be that I wouldn't need accurate timing in software - and I still have some 4051s that I intended to use for controlling the RF remote of a remote controlled RC car in a similar way as you describe. Hmmmmm.... have to think about this. Thanks!
Peter
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Guys, thanks for the input. My goal is this: 802.11b control of Robosapien.
I found the following items / information that may assist in this effort, please tell me what you think.
EZL-80c: 802.11b to Serial converter http://www.eztcp.com/en/Products/ezlw-spec.html
Handy Cricket Serial to IR Converter http://gleasonresearch.com/prod.php?sku=GR-CXIR (Hoping to skip this step hence the inquiry about serial communication)
http://www.robosapien1.com/resources/official-mod-guide /
"The only way to input commands is by direct serial input to the IR-OUT pin (active low signals, 1200bps, visit http://www.robosapien.tk for a list of command codes), and through the P1.4 (right) and P1.1 (left) touch sensors. In three I/O ports, you have his entire body now under control."
I suppose I should say that rs232 is not really a requirement. I am thinking the best way to proceed is to sort out serial communication directly from the PC to the RS. That would get me a long way towards the goal. There are plenty of 802.11b to serial units out there and I am hoping that will complete the package.
Thanks agin for the input!
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One other note, I am unfamiliar with "MFM." Can you provide some additional information or point me to the same? I assume it is some form of machine level language, but searching on just the initials, I cannot seem to find any information. Thanks again.
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snipped-for-privacy@retroblast.com wrote:

Check out http://www.aibohack.com/robosap/
May be a little more involved but with the added micro will allow you to do much more.
I incorporated this into one of my RS's and it works great.
Scott
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On Wed, 5 Oct 2005 07:32:34 +0200, "Peter Baltus"

Hack the pyrimid RX gizmo to make it smaller and attach it to the RS so it removes around with it. Have an RF/IR combo ready to go. If you can gently open your IR remote, you probably can solder some wires to the IR control chip and rout them out the rear to a connector. I opened up the below remote and traced out the buttons to the chip. This remote has 33 buttons, which are connected to 12 pins on the chip. These form a 5X7 matrix. It would be fairly easy to control a switch matrix like this via the parallel port.
http://www.geocities.com/zoomkat/irmods.htm

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