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Frequently asked questions

Generic Queries

What is "Tinkeroid"?


Tinkeroid is a complete product to learn Robotics. It is suitable for learners of all ages from School children to Engineers to do innovative projects and to learn robotics. The product is supported with exhaustive technical details including pictures, videos and example programs.




What can it do?


Since the Tinkeroid is designed using a microcontroller (computer on a single chip), it is a powerful platform to program its operation using simple graphical "drag and drop" method of programming. It can get connected to dozens of sensors and actuators. Therefore, it can control output devices such as motors, LEDs, Buzzer and many other actuators, based your requirements. Tinkeroid can do simple math operations and take logical decisions. It can communicate with the user and take commands and report status, through wired or wireless channels.




How do I make it do what I want?


Connect (interface) what you want and tell it (program) "how and what" you want it to do. Simply program the Tinkeroid using Ardublock interface. You can also use the Arduino IDE interface to write a "Sketch" and get the Tinkeroid do what you want!.




How can I control a home appliance?


Typically home appliances operate on Mains AC supply of 220V.Therefore due care and precautions should be taken to avoid risks of working with high voltage appliances. It is recommended / mandatory to use a DC 5V relay to control the supply of high voltage to the appliance. The relay should have adequate contact current rating to support the appliance load current. The relay can be connected to a digital output port for operaion. It is also suggested to use "Slid State Relay" for this purpose. It is recommended to have an adult member/ parent to be present as a precautionary safety measure.




What other methods are available to program the Tinkeroid?


Ardublock graphical programming UI or Arduino IDE are the two available methods for programming the Tinkeroid.




What other tools do you recommend for use with Tinkeroid?


We highly recommend the use of a digital multimeter for the serious Robotics hobbyists. Simple Nose pliers, wire stripper and soldering iron are very useful to have.




How do I add liabraries for new devices?


You can down load and copy the liabary files to your liabrary folder.
Detailed description is available on http://Arduino.cc website.
You can use the preferences menu from the Arduino IDE UI and search and install the required liabrary.




What are the limitations of Tinkeroid?


For school children learning Robotics, we see no limitations from the hardware and the programming angle.
Tinkerblock may not support some new sensors or output devices directly. However, learning to use the Arduino IDE has great potential to interface any such device readily.
Apart from the I/O devices provided on board along with the various digital, motors and analog ports the expansion connector provides for additional I/O s for expanding the capabilities.
As far as the program memory and speeds are concerned, Tinkeroid has enough capacity to handle any serious projects learners may have.
Only limitation we can mention is that it cannot do a real time audio or video signal processing capacity. It has all the abilities of any globally available educational robotics controller. In fact, it has much more to offer among comparable controllers of its class.




Where do I find reference material for using Tinkeroid?


Please visit our resource website www.tinkeroid.com for browsing or downloading any such information.




How do I quick start using Tinkeroid?


You can use the demo or example programs available on the CD or at our web site and recreate it to have a simple LED blinking project ("Hello World") program in minutes, if your Tinkerblock UI installations are complete and correctly done.




What do I need to know to use Tinkeroid?


Plain simple English !! and understanding how to execute instructions.
Understanding of Basic electronics, logic, programming and mechanical engineering principles will most certainly put you in the
Pilots seat to fly (use) Tinkeroid.





Batteries Related Queries

How many batteries do I need to power it up?


The Li-Ion battery provided in the kit is suitable for most of the projects you may want to do. The battery when fully charged will provide 8.4 volds DC, which is adequate for the Tinkeroid and the motors provided in the kit. However when you want to operate a motor which requires a DC supply more than 8.4Volts, you may connect an external Battery to the Screw type terminals and get the motor operating. Please connect the external battery with the correct polarity indicated at the terminals.




Can I use any other battery?


Yes. You can use any other battery or battery pack, whose voltage is between 7.0 volts and 12 Volts. Do take care to connect it with correct polarity.




How often do I have to charge the battery?


Typically a fully charged battery should run the Tinkeroid with two B.O.Motors for more than 2 hours continuous use. Whenever the motor speeds drop noticeably, you may charge the battery before next use.




How long should I charge the battery?


The battery in the kit will be ready to use out of the box, for about an hour. However, you may recharge it for about 2 to 4 hours for complete recharge. If you happen to charge the battery for longer duration than required, the battery, will be safe and no harm will be done to the battery.





Sensors Related Queries

How many sensors can I connect to it?


Tinkeroid has provision for 3 digital port connectors and 4 Analog port connectors. There is also an expansion connector, which supports additional digital sensors if need be. LDR and Potentiometer are already available on board,along with 3 switches, for ready use.




How many LEDs can I connect to it?


Tinkeroid has on board 3 LEDs, which user can define the usage. Additional LEDs can also be connected to multiple digital lines of the expansion connetor.




How do I connect sensors I have with me?


A) If the sensor you have gives a digital output signal of 0 to 5V logic level, you can connect it to the digital sensor ports, directly. Please ensure that the +5V and ground pins get connected to the sensor with correct polarity. B) If the sensor you want to use is an Analog sensor, you can connect it to any of the 4 analog sensor ports. Take care that the sensor output voltage is between 0V and +5V DC.




What precautions I have to take to connect any sensors or actuators?


Use correct polarity of the +5V and Ground (0V) pins of the port connector, for the sensor. Digtal sensors should be connected to the digital port connector only. Similarly Analog sensors to be connected to the analog sensor ports only.




What wireless communication methods are supported?


Tinkeroid has on-board InfraRed receiver for wireless operation using the TV remote provided in the kit. Additional WiFi, Blue tooth or Low power RF transciever modules can be connected, using UART1 pins provided on board.




Where can i procure sensors and actuators?


Tinkeroid kit includes most commonly used sensors used by robotics learners. Kindly refer to FAQ#12) and 13) for connecting any other sensor to it.




How can I make musical sounds?


Tinkerblock has blocks supporting generation of Tones through the digital pins. The tone frequency and duration can be selected in the program. You can connect a passive buzzer or an external speaker to produce the sounds / tones that you have programmed. The control program can be made to send musical notes (tones) in any sequence you define. Please refer to the example projects for more details.




How can i connect a camera to click pictures?


Typically most commonly available "click to shoot" digital cameras have an input for external triggering signal for clicking. One of the digital ports can be configured to generate the trigger pulse. This port signal along with the ground pin can be connected to the camera trigger input connector with suitable wires/ cable and connector.




How can I use a FPV camera with Tinkeroid?


FPV cameras have seperate power input connector. Use a seperate battery to power the camera. Receiver will have a seperate power supply to be used with it. You will need to tune the receiver to the FPV camer's transmitter frequency initially. You may optionally control the power to the camera through a relay, controlled by the program. Remote commands be included to turn the camera power on and off as may be desired.




How can I make Tinkeroid say something?


Use and interface a MP3 / Audio file player module, readily available in the market. Store your voice messages on the module using the micro SD card. Through the digital I/O pins of the Tinkeroid, control the selection of the audio file to be played, whenever required in the control program. Audio player modules may use Uart interface or I2C interface, or just digital pins to control their operation. Understand the interfacing requirements of the module and suitably connect to the Tinkeroid.





Motors Related Queries

How many motors can I connect?


Tinkeroid supports 4 DC motors for both direction and speed control, independantly. It is also possible to connect 2 stepper motors in place of 4 DC motors. Tinkeroid has support for additional 2 No.s Microservo motors, rated for 5V operation.




Can I use my own DC motors?


Yes, as long as the operating voltage of the motors is less than the battery voltage.




How many stepper motors are supported?


2 No. stepper motors fo 5V DC rating are supported. Suitable headre pins are provided on board, for the same.




How many servo motors are supported?


2 No.s Servo motors are supported, with right angle berg pins, provided on board.





Communication with Tinkeroid related

How can I connect the Tinkeroid to the Internet?


You can Use the Wi-Fi module such as ESP8266 or Node MCU modules to connect the Tinkeroid to a Wi-Fi network router. Internet access has to be configured through the module.




How do I control using my smart phone or tablet?


Typically Blue tooth module is interfaced to the Tinkeroid. This enables Tinkeroid to pair and communicate with a smart phone or a tablet. Suitable application program ("App")has to be cnfigured and running on the phone or the tablet. Wi-Fi module also can be used for such purposes.




How can I give voice commands to Tinkeroid?


Android smart phones can use the readily available Apps from the Play store for such interfacing. AMR-Voice is one such App. You can use the Blue tooth module to receive the commands and pass them to Tinkeroid to execute them.





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