Getting Started

Quick Start-up Check-list

The following is an adaptation of start-up procedures for the robot that can usually be obtained in the robot lab. The following may not be the most current start-up procedure.

Starting G2

Login to gort, c3po, or tinman, whichever is connected to a TNC or the robot, and open two windows.

In the first window, start up G2. Load your knowledge base.

ƒ In the second window change directory (cd) to the /robots/start directory.

Starting the Robot

Put a LLAMA version 1.1 disk in the robots disk drive if not already present (choose a HERC or MARP disk as appropriate).

Disconnect charger by unplugging charge cable and turn off charger.

ƒ Turn on robot with white switch on side.

Radio Connection

Make sure base station is on and attached to RS-232 cable from UNIX; you may need a null modem depending on the cables used.

Make sure radio/term switch is set to radio. Towards the end of bootup, if the TNC is detected, it will be automatically reprogrammed from OS-9 (depending on the disks startup files radio command options). If this is the case, wait about two minutes before starting your knowledge base.

ƒ Change the robot-interface objects remote initialization string to HERC or MARP or MARP HERC if connecting to both robots.

All TNCs should have their rear switch set to VHF.


Plug RS-232 cable from UNIX into 68000 port on side of robot.

Make sure radio/term switch is set to term.

ƒ Change the robot-interface objects remote initialization string to HERC X or MARP X depending on robot.

Start Knowledge Base and LLAMA

Type control in the second window. You will see some messages in this window.

START your knowledge base.

ƒ When boot-up is complete, send sysmgr to OS-9 to start LLAMA

Shutting down

Return robot to charger and plug charger in and turn it on.

Send bye to LLAMA when done.

ƒ Turn off robot.

Shutdown G2 and kill control in the second window by doing a control-c.

Connecting To Ports

The robot has two RS-232 communication ports located on its side. The 68000 port is the standard port since it is automatically configured into terminal mode on power-up. This port operates at 9600 baud, 8 bit, one stop bit, no parity using only Xon/Xoff flow control. This port is known as /term. The download port operates at 19200 baud and must be configured for terminal operation in the start-up file during boot-up. This port has the TX/RX lines reversed from the 68000 port. This port is known as /t2.

Figure M-2. RS-232 cable connected to download port, 19200 baud. Note "68000" port and "radio/term" switch.

There is no hardware handshaking implemented in either port, only software flow control. Both ports are VT-100 compatible. H‑19 terminals may have some problems with this specification.

Typically, communications is performed through the 68000 port for compatibility reasons while software downloading is performed through the download port for speed.

An RS-232 connection can be made to at least the following three systems: gort, c3po, and tinman. A cable is connected to the read of the hosts CPU and can be plugged into either the robot or the radio base station. This port has the device name of: /dev/robot. Any programs that interface through this port should use Xon/Xoff flow control.

Certain RS-232 cables reverse the signal pins. These cables should be identified and used whenever port changes are performed.

Establishing Radio Contact

The robot can be operated untethered. A packet radio system provides the communication link between robot and host. This system consists of a microcomputer (called the TNC, Terminal Node Controller) and a transceiver, or radio. These work together and comprise a packet radio system. The robot radio link and base station are examples of these systems. Refer to the TNC manual for setting up the base station parameters.

Make sure that the radios and TNCs are powered; only one red LED should be lit steadily on each unit. Also, make sure that the radio/term switch is on radio (located near the RS-232 ports on the robot). If erratic operation is experienced, check the back of the TNCs for the HiFreq/VHF switch. This switch should be set to VHF. Naturally, all TNCs should have this switch set to the same position.

Boot-up robot with a current LLAMA disk (these have boot-up auto-configure and auto-connect software). You will notice that the CON or connect LED will light up when a connection has been established. When communicating with the robot using a terminal package in UNIX, the TNC/radio will attempt to make the connection as transparent as possible, i.e. as if the two systems were connected with a wire-line.

The system is ready for G2 interfacing.

Robot Control Through G2

Before the robot can be controlled through G2, two files should be available:

a. control

b. An appropriate knowledge base with interface objects, such as work.kb.

Start control as a background task. Start G2 and load the knowledge base. When the KB is started, and appropriate selections are made, the robot should receive any appropriate commands and return appropriate data. The robot should say hello when LLAMA is started.

Emergency Stop:ProceduresBefore moving the robot become familiar with emergency stop procedures:

(1) To stop the robot use a STOP action button. There should be an approximately one second delay in results due to the packet radio packetization delay.

(2) Physically, reach over and press the red Emergency Stop buttons on the robot and, usually, press any of the six bumper switches. This should stop the robot. See the next section on recovery procedures, in particular the cles and bpr commands.

Always return the robot to the charger and turn the power off. The batteries should not be allowed to go into a deep-discharge state.



Figure M-3. Side-cover removed showing one of three 12 volt gel-cell batteries and charge plug and cable.

Charging The Robot

Charging should be performed after using the robot. If the robot was used heavily, charge overnight.

Turn on charger and make sure robot is off. Plug charger cable into the charger plug on the side of the robot.

Observe the charge meter after a few seconds. If it indicates less than one amp, do not charge. The charger does not have a trickle-charge feature and extended overcharging will reduce the life of the batteries. Charge voltage: 43.2V @ 10A. Trickle charge: 41.4V @ 0.8A.

If desired, the robot can be operated with the charger plugged-in. Drive distances are very limited.

Note: if charger is plugged in, make sure that the charger is also turned on, otherwise slow battery discharge can occur. Unfortunately, the chargers red indicator light is not a power light, but shows the presence of a voltage on the charge cable. The charger will make a fan noise if it is on.

What To Do When Things Go Wrong

Do not attempt to stop the robot physically because of the high-torque capabilities of the drive motors. The robot has been known to drive over peoples feet (not pleasant) and unwittingly pin people into a corner (unnerving). Remember, software testing should be performed with caution since the robot does have the potential for performing harm to itself and others. Upon boot-up, a governor in the LLAMA software will limit drive speeds to 1 foot per second maximum, but the maximum speed can be changed using the motb command up to 4 feet per second. Always look for the red buttons, they are guaranteed to stop the robot under all conditions.

F Important: Do not push the robot when it is powered-up and in an emergency stop condition. If a motor reset is performed, the motor controller will attempt to return to the original position at full speed of 4 feet per second. This can be a problem when using the joystick for control.

Under the worst of situations, the circuit breaker will trip, which will require rebooting the robot.

If the bumper switches are configured for emergency stop and they triggered the stop condition of the robot, a bpr, or bumper switch reset must be performed before the cles, clear emergency stop, can be applied, otherwise a cles will be sufficient to reset the motor circuits.

Under unusual circumstances, the Emergency Stop:clescles may have to be performed more than once.

If for some reason the LLAMA robot software crashes, hangs or if control is lost, a reboot using the CPU reset switch should be performed.

If the boot-up procedure fails, try a different diskette (use appropriate HERC or MARP diskette) n



Figure M-4. Denning Mobile Robot showing various features.