How to avoid damage to the s-bot

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This page is intended to summarize things to take care about when working with s-bots in order not to destroy them. Feel free to make modifications.

If you are not sure about something, Ciro, Vito and Rodi have already many weeks of experience of working with s-bot, consider to ask them.

Recharging Sbots / Dealing with new recharging circuit

Andre at EPFL has discovered that the new recharging circuit very slowly drains one of the two sbot batteries. When we are using the sbots regularly this is not a problem. Some steps need to be taken for sbots that are not used regularly.

1. Before switching on an sbot that may not have been used for some time check the battery levels with the voltmeter. Consult me / alex / christos if you are not sure how to do this. If either of the battery levels are below 3v then you need to repeatedly attach / detach charger to bring level back up before you can recharge the battery - again consult if you haven't done this before. Then recharge normally.

2. If you are not going to be using an sbot for a long time, disconnect the cable connecting the battery to the charging board (connecter with yellow, brown, blue wires)

3. When recharging an sbot which has had the battery cable disconnected, FIRST connect the battery to the board, THEN connect the charger to the board.


General Treatment:

- never let the s-bots drink negroni, otherwise they start dancing La Macarena

- Battery Level: if there is no strong reason, don't go bellow 6.8V.

- if proximity sensors are touched, they bend. If the bend approx 10 times, they break (e.g. s-bot 11).

- if possible, don't touch the camera cylinder (because of image quality and center).

- No WLAN: if you cannot access a running s-bot, connect with the serial cable (minicon -s / minicom -o under Linux, hyperterminal under Win); be careful when removing the upper part, on the new s-bots the cylinder is mounted very tight; if possible, try not to change camera focus.

- Charging: if connected wrongly, s-bots can be damaged (full disassembly necessary); make sure, charger turns RED

- Traction Sensor: can break, if s-bot is placed on the ground in the RAMBO way.

- SSH: do not copy files bigger than 117 KB (use strip for executables, bzip2, split). Reason: usb is messed up, camera might not work anymore (even after reboot).

- ...


Programming

- check the battery level automatically by all your programs (with exit if low), at the beginning

- always let your s-bot program shut down carefully (but signal handler which captures ctrl-c)

- smoothn the speed values applied to the tracks, a loop of 10, -10, 10, -10 will cause the tracks not to move anymore (s-bot 15)

- check the torque on the tracks, if it is high (>87?) for a long time (5 seconds?), the gears wear off

- ...

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