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Handibot Pendant?

Posted by CL 
Handibot Pendant?
March 19, 2017 10:04PM
Any suggestions on how to set up basically a pendant for the Handibot? I know I can connect with my phone, but I would love to have a way to move the router around (especially when manually zeroing a bit) without having to look at the screen each time. Having a tactile button would help too. I do occasionally click the "use keyboard" button, for my laptop, but that depends on having a safe place to set my computer close enough to the handibot.

One thought I had was something like this: [www.adafruit.com] (HID bluetooth keyboard board) connected to my laptop, which I'd then have to put into "use keyboard" (it sometimes just...stops being in keyboard mode on its own, not sure why). That seems like a lot of effort if there's some other way to connect a physical pendant to Fabmo, wired or wireless. This sort of thing exists: [www.thingiverse.com], but again, I don't know if that'd work. I'd love to be able to just mount a board to the side of the Handibot's handle, so I can press actual buttons while I'm holding a scrap of paper to zero the bit, or be right up close watching the bit's location as I position it for hole cutting, etc.

Any suggestions for what would connect with the smoothest response to input? Maybe something that'd interact with the SB4 app? I'm about to have access to an electronics and 3D printing resource, so I could probably make something.
Re: Handibot Pendant?
March 20, 2017 08:37AM
Hi CL,

Interesting suggestions.

We've been working on some additional modes for interacting with the tool using the device that is running the tool -- where it simulates various types of pendants (i.e. presents a screen something like the gismo in your inventables link). We're thinking this may create some examples for others to develop apps that serve up even more interesting or efficient interactions with the Handibot and specific workflows.

We're also interested in the idea of more inputs and feedback directly from/with the tool -- perhaps as a start just using combinations of the on-board buttons, lights, and motion capabilities to support the interactions. Happy for other thoughts on this. The hardware is fundamentally also supportive of adding interactive inputs at the low level of the G2 system via the various I/O channels as well as through the edison-SBC via its I/O or built-in bluetooth.

We have a software/firmware update coming out in about 2 weeks that will have improved access to that low-level I/O via the Sb4 programming system, macros, or from within files. Access means digging in and wiring up to connections on the boards, but there are a number of possibilities and we will provide some examples of what might be done.

Meanwhile, do you have a specific set of items/capabilities/functions you would like to see on a pendant? And, in what ways does the current functionality -- say you are using a smartphone or small tablet as your pendant -- frustrate you?


Ted Hall, Handibot/ShopBot
Re: Handibot Pendant?
March 20, 2017 04:22PM
Bluetooth HID access would be awesome, because that'd let people use the Adafruit board to create custom keypads (or it'd make for a really easily paired add-on if you made the pendant).

At the bare minimum, I'd love to have: up/down/front/back/right/left. Having red/green button equivalents would be great, and in an ideal world, the "set xyz home", "move to home/park/center", and set Z zero.

Basically having a tactile button for things that are behind menus but might be needed repeatedly during setup and test runs and such. If it's a job with multiple bit changes, it's a lot of "look at the bit, look at screen, why isn't the bit moving right, oh the mouse moved off the button (or my thumb is touching the screen in not quite the right spot), need to move another direction, look back at screen, look back at bit, try to watch the z of the bit while making sure I'm tapping the right spot without tactile feedback", etc. For a lot of people that's perhaps not a big deal, but personally, I get a lot of eye strain when doing that much back and forth in quick succession. Just being able to change and zero a new bit without needing to look away from the machine would be amazing. Having the green button available from a distance would make it easier when authorizing movement, as well as initializing a file when a laptop isn't right next to the Handibot.

Thank you for the info about the software/firmware updates as well!
Re: Handibot Pendant?
March 20, 2017 05:30PM

If you check under the Machine tab in the configurations menu--you'll see a setting for authorize timer. We set it to a default of 30 seconds for safety reasons--but you could extend that timer to a duration that would allow you to perform a tool change without having to re-authorize after you swap your bit.
Re: Handibot Pendant?
April 20, 2017 04:30PM
Any new on the update?

I'd be willing to take a crack at buying a Shopbot pendant, and getting it to work via an Arduino or RPi with the Handibot. I don't think it should be super difficult. As I understand it the shopbot pendant, just appears as a keyboard .
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