Posts Tagged ‘input’

03 Blockly-Pick & Place with Inputs


Often it is necessary for a robotic arm to wait for another machine or process to finish before moving with its program.  This can be done by adding the ability for a robot to read input values.

In this activity you will learn how to add an input to a basic Pick and Place operation in blockly. Through this you will learn how to program the robot to move, turn on it’s suction cup, and how to set up Inputs in Blockly.

Video Coming Soon…

V2.1 Updated 11.14.2019

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Why do I need a resistor with Inputs on robots and micro-controllers?


Why do I need a resistor when I am using inputs or outputs on a Dobot Magician? For that matter, Do I need them for micro-controllers like the VEX, or Arduinos?


Well… Yes; on the Dobot you may, and on some micro-controllers also. The reason for this is actually pretty simple, and can best be explained by watching the video below. This also explains why sometimes “ON” is “OFF” and “OFF is “ON”! A weird but true fact in some instances; just roll with. These resistors are either pull-up or pull-down resistors and make it so that the voltage on an input pin is either high or low… not floating somewhere in between. This is bad because in a digital system there are only two values: “ON” or “OFF”, and if you’re somewhere in between an input may go high or low spontaneously when you least expect it!

If you are having errors or erratic behaviors with an input pin on a micro-controller, or a robot, watch the video below for a good explanation why. This is also why you will see resistors used in the handshake modules we build and use as well as in all of our Dobot Activities.


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The VEX Switch Doesn’t Work Anymore as an Input…. How do I fix it?


I used the Dobots last year to do activity 4 Using Digital Inputs (Here) and it worked great!  The kids are having a blast!  But no matter what I do this year, I cannot get it to work on any of my robots. How do I fix this?


  Well….. My bad…. I’ve been telling y’all (for you Texans out there) to be sure your wiring it correctly, and be sure it’s plugged in the correct port…. but that doesn’t seem to be the problem. The problem is a bug in the latest version of the 1.7.1 software. I am told that the bug will be addressed in the next release of the software, but no one knows when that will be released. So the safest answer right now… I know it is hard for some schools to do, but to revert to version 1.5.1 of the software. I will let you know as soon as I hear that the new version is out! This only seems to be a problem if you are using Teaching and Playback…. It works fine in Blockly… 

To do this, follow the steps below:
1. Go to the Dobot Download Center here:  2. Click on the link circled in red below that says previous versions.

3. In the resulting window choose version _Magician Studio v1.5.1
4. Delete the new version from your computer and reinstall this older version… until the new version with the bug fix comes out. Sorry for the hassle! In my classroom I am lucky enough to have the older version installed so I did not have this issue.

5. I strongly suggest that you do NOT install updates mid year!

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DobotStudio: The Basics


How do I get started with DobotStudio? There really isn’t much info out there yet on how to use my Dobot Magician Robotic Arm.


Well, first off, here’s just the tip of the iceberg…. more to be added as I figure stuff out. This robot can be taught and record points quickly and easily, and is also the most accurate and affordable educational robot on the market. Here is a start to some basic ways to get going with a really incredible software/hardware combo that is DobotStudio/Dobot Magician. See the tutorials below… Most of them not much over one or two minutes… Use Control + F to find what your looking for!

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Jim Hanson

Chris Hurd


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