We are building a large robot for commercial demonstration purposes and needed a way to rapidly get from idea to prototype and as such have been looking for turn-key time savers and stumbled on the Octosonar x2. We have purchased the full kit and after a little start and stop in the "how do we connect it?" department everything is now working great. Very well built and the idea is very straight forward.
Lessons learned.. watch the video on YouTube (several times) and you will figure out that you only need the center rows of pins soldered and connected and not the outer ones. Look closely at the cables in the video and you will note that only two per corner board. We did not see this and wondered why we had been shorted on headers and cables. There is nothing printed and not so much in the way of a manual so be prepared to be a little self sufficient in this regard. It all became clear after a little messing about and now works perfectly.
For any that may be curious, we are using the Octosonar x2 as the front half sensors to compliment the Lidar and standard HC-SR04 for the sides and rear. All of this goes back to one dedicated Arduino.
We are very pleased and will soon be purchasing a second set as spare and plan for using it on our next design as well.
We needed an absolute encoder capable of continuous rotation that was compatible with Arduino for a robotics swerve drive module, this one fit the bill perfectly. It also supports remembering the position even if it gets shut down, so we were able to replace an encoder/limit switch setup with a single sensor. Super easy to get up and running, fast enough to be used in a control application.
Thank you for the review. I originally used these in a similar manner in my Dalek head automation. Be aware that the datasheet says they are good for "50,000 shaft revolutions minimum" so the sensor may wear out after a lot of continuous use in a robotics environment. Having said that, I've never heard of one actually wearing out.
I used this product to add obstacle avoidance to a chassis with skid steering.
Everything worked first try with no troubleshooting needed.
I had to intuit how to put it together from the parts photos but it wasn't hard. Assembly involved a bunch of soldering - if you're slow like me plan about an hour.
Getting the sensors at the right angles was tricky, most of mine are ~5 degrees above or below the horizon line. Did not appear to affect navigation. Mounted easily to actobotics pattern plate.
After setup you will need to manually identify the sensors one by one to know how to address them.
The refresh rate for the setup seems pretty slow, maybe 250ms? This is my first use of ultrasonics so maybe that's expected. Practically speaking it makes it tricky to do something like smoothly slow based on distance, you'll have to use sampling and interpolation to get an effect like that. The readings are quite consistent and stable.
The actual layout of the sensors, with 2 per Cardinal direction and 1 per diagonal, is not ideal for a larger bot - mine is 10" wide and a dead center table leg results in a collision. I plan on reconfiguring mine to rotate the front sensor clusters so that the center sensor in each cluster points forward, and the others point 45 degrees off of center, creating a protective triangle in front of the bot for emergency braking when it sees a table leg etc.
Overall I'm pleased with the kit for it's price and found it well designed. I would recommend it for a chassis that needs emergency braking capability in multiple directions. To use it for navigation/mapping shouldnt be super hard if you have the necescesary feedback about movement and rotation. I would not recommend this kit for bots intended to move faster than 0.5 m/s.