Launching Your Escape Pod

Making The Escape Pod

Welcome! With these steps, we will set up a small PC known as a Raspberry Pi as an Escape Pod. We will put files on the Escape Pod, configure it, and allow our robots to join the Pod.

Before continuing, please be familiar with the current Known Issues and Limitations. See Known Issues and Limitations

Basic Requirements:

  • The latest Escape Pod image (image link pending testing for larger closed beta release)
  • Pi 4 (strongly recommended for performance reasons)
    • Pi 3B / 3B+ can be used as a minimum.
  • Case compatible with Raspberry Pi
  • Approved Pi power source (5V/2.5A for Pi 3B / 5V/3A for Pi 4)
  • Ethernet Cable and 1 free LAN port on router (Recommended for best performance)
    • Cable: CAT5 (minimum) / CAT5e / CAT6 / CAT7
    • (If Ethernet cable not available): Wi-Fi network, 2.4GHz (Pi 3B / Pi 4) or 5GHz (Pi 4 only)
  • MicroSD Card, 8GB or larger
  • MicroSD Card Reader / SD Card Adapter & Reader
  • 1 Vector Robot

Note: The Pi you use for Escape Pod is designed to run "headless"; that is, with no monitor, keyboard, mouse, or other accessories attached- you can simply connect the Pi to your router via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable and access it from any other computer on the same network by opening an internet browser and navigating to https://escapepod.local:8443


Quick Steps

  1. Unbox and Assemble Your Raspberry Pi Kit
  2. Write the Escape Pod Image to an SD Card
  3. Connect the Escape Pod
  4. Onboard Your Vector

Section 1: Unbox and Assemble Your Raspberry Pi Kit

Your new Raspberry Pi is here and you're ready to go! Carefully open your kit and lay out your components on a clean surface. For the best experience, make sure you have all of the following to continue:

Raspberry Pi 3B+ / 4 (Pi 4 model is recommended for performance reasons)

Raspberry Pi Case
Appearance and assembly instructions may vary.

Raspberry Pi Power Supply

MicroSD Card (minimum 8GB)

USB MicroSD Card Reader/Writer

(Optional) Ethernet Cable (for best performance)

Instructions for case assembly should be included with your kit or with any Pi case that you order. Assemble the Pi in its case according to the instructions. Once you've verified you have everything listed above, move to Section 2 to flash your SD card.


Section 2: Flash the SD Card

Let's prepare the SD card that acts as the hard drive, or data storage space, for your Raspberry Pi. We will flash the Escape Pod image, which contains the operating system and necessary files, to the SD card.

  1. Insert the SD card into your SD card reader, then insert the SD card reader into your computer's USB port.
  2. Download the latest Escape Pod image
  3. Download, install, and run your favorite SD card flashing tool (BalenaEtcher is recommended for ease of use)
    1. If using BalenaEtcher: Click "Flash From File" on the left hand side of the BalenaEtcher window.
    2. Navigate to the folder where you stored the Escape Pod image (by default, on most computers, this will be your "Downloads" folder).
    3. Click on the Escape Pod image that you downloaded to select it, then click "Open" at the bottom right of the dialog box.
    4. In the BalenaEtcher window, click "Select Target".
    5. Click in the check box on the left hand side to select your SD card.
      1. Tip: Look for "USB Mass Storage Device" or similar name, with a size that is close to your SD card's known size (if you are using a 32GB card, you may see something like "31.9GB")
      2. WARNING: Selecting the incorrect drive or target in this screen can cause damage or loss of data. If you have any questions regarding which target drive to select, do not continue. Contact Digital Dream Labs for assistance.
  4. Configure Wi-Fi (Skip this step if using an Ethernet/LAN cable) before disconnecting the MicroSD card from your computer:
    1. Open a File Explorer and double-click the "system-boot" drive.
      1. If you cannot locate the "system-boot" drive, please disconnect the SD card and reader from your computer and reconnect it.
    2. Find the “network-config” file. Open the file with a standard text editor.
    3. For a fairly standard home Wi-Fi network, uncomment and edit this section. Where "<Your Network Name>" and "<Your Passphrase here>" appear, insert your Wi-Fi network name (SSID) and password between the quotation marks on each line:

      wifis:
        wlan0:
          dhcp4: true
          optional: true
          access-points:
            "<Your Network Name>":
              password: "<Your Passphrase Here>"
    4. Save the file menu by clicking "File" at the top left, then clicking "Save".
    5. Close the text editor, then disconnect the SD card reader from your computer and move to Section 3.

Section 3: Connect the Escape Pod

Let's get the Raspberry Pi connected to your network!

  1. Place the SD card into the Raspberry Pi with the gold contacts of the SD card facing inward toward the Pi, and the text on the SD card facing outward toward you:

  2. If using Ethernet or a LAN cable to connect your Raspberry Pi to your network (Move to Step 3 for Wi-Fi):
    1. Place one end of your Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on the Raspberry Pi until it clicks into place. 
    2. Place the other end of the Ethernet cable into a free Ethernet port on your internet router and gently push until it clicks into place.
  3. Plug the power cord into the Pi. Look for the red light on front side of the Pi to illuminate. Wait for approximately 2 minutes to ensure a full boot before moving on.
    1. NOTE: If using Wi-Fi, you MUST reboot the Pi after its initial boot, otherwise your Pi will not connect to the network. If using Ethernet, reboot is not needed.
      1. Reboot the Pi by unplugging the power cord from the Pi, waiting 10 seconds, then plugging the power cord back in. Your Pi should be connected to Wi-Fi once it is fully booted (within about 2 minutes.)


Section 4: Onboard Your Vector Robot

In Section 4, we're going to connect Vector to the Escape Pod, then update his firmware for Escape Pod!

Requirements:

  • Google Chrome
  • Bluetooth-enabled PC or mobile device
  1. Open a Google Chrome web browser and navigate to https://escapepod.local:8443
    1. In beta builds of the Escape Pod, you may receive a security warning. Move past this:
      1. On Windows & Linux:
        1. Click "Advanced"
        2. Click "Proceed to escapepod.local"
      2. On Mac:
        1. Click into an unused space on the page and type "thisisunsafe".
  2. The Licensing screen will appear.
    1. Click "Add A License To Start"
    2. Copy the License Key obtained from Digital Dream Labs via email and paste it into the text field.
    3. Click "Save".
      1. Note: If you need to add multiple licenses, use the "Add License" button at the top of the page before continuing. You can add more licenses at any time.
  3. Click "Menu", then click "Onboarding."
    1. Place Vector on his charger, then tap his back button twice to enter Pairing Mode.
    2. Click "Pair with Vector"
    3. Use the PIN number that appears on Vector's screen and type it into the PIN Number field, then click "Enter PIN".
      1. Note: If the PIN does not appear within 5 seconds, refresh the page and go back to Step 3.
    4. If Vector is not yet connected to Wi-Fi, you will be prompted to connect to Wi-Fi now:
      1. Click on the Wi-Fi network you want to connect Vector to (network must be on the 2.4GHz frequency)
      2. Type in the password to the network. Passwords are case-sensitive.
      3. Click "Connect Vector to Wi-Fi"
    5. In the Firmware Selection screen, use the drop-down menu to select the firmware file that your robot needs:
      1. Production (Normal) Vectors:
        1. Select the firmware beginning with the word "PROD" and your preferred version number.
      2. OSKR (unlocked) Vectors:
        1. Select the firmware beginning with the word "OSKR" and your preferred version number.
    6. Click the "Upload Firmware to Vector" button.
      1. Vector will begin loading the new firmware.
        1. Note: This process may take between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on your network speed. When firmware loading is complete, you will return to the "Pair with Vector" screen.
    7. Clear Vector's User Data:
      1. Place Vector on his charger and plug the charger in
      2. [If Vector is booting up, wait for the “V” to finish]
      3. Double click Vector’s Back Button
      4. Gently raise and lower Vector’s lift
      5. Turn his treads to move through selections (backwards to go up, forwards to go down)
      6. Raise and lower the lift to select the “Clear User Data” menu
      7. Confirm the selection and wait for Vector to reboot
      8. Once Vector completes rebooting, data will have been wiped from the robot
    8. Connect Vector via Bluetooth again:
      1. Place Vector on his charger, then tap his back button twice to enter Pairing Mode.
      2. Click "Pair with Vector"
      3. Use the PIN number that appears on Vector's screen and type it into the PIN Number field, then click "Enter PIN".
        1. Note: If the PIN does not appear within 5 seconds, refresh the page and go back to Step 3.
    9. You will be prompted to connect to Wi-Fi now:
      1. Click on the Wi-Fi network you want to connect Vector to (network must be on the 2.4GHz frequency)
      2. Type in the password to the network. Passwords are case-sensitive.
      3. Click "Connect Vector to Wi-Fi"
    10. In the Firmware Selection screen, click "Skip To Next Step"
    11. Click "Activate Your Robot", which will appear within a few seconds.
    12. Select the Preferences that you will use for Vector:
      1. Locale Options:
        1. en-US (United States)
        2. en-GB (Great Britain / UK)
        3. en-AU (Australia)
      2. Select from available Time Zones
      3. Select your preferred Temperature Units:
        1. Fahrenheit
        2. Celsius
      4. Select your preferred Distance Units:
        1. Imperial
        2. Metric
      5. Enter your Default Location
        1. Note: Default Location is used for weather or other functions when the Escape Pod Extension Engine is running.
      6. Select the Back Button Behavior (in beta build 0.4.6 this will be labeled as "Wake Word" but is being clarified in future builds)
      7. Select the remainder of your preferences, then click "Save Settings"

You're all done! All voice commands will now be routed to the Escape Pod.


SSH Access

If you need to access the Pi via SSH, please use the credentials below.

Default Credentials:
Username: ubuntu
Password: ubuntu
Note: You will be prompted to change these defaults on first login. The connection will automatically exit when you have completed the password change. SSH back into the Pi with your new credentials.


Tailing Escape Pod Logs:

To tail Escape Pod service logs to diagnose and report issues, use the following shell command when logged in via SSH:
journalctl -u escape_pod.service -f

To see only the logs that pertain to words that are understood by the Escape Pod (useful in understanding what speech is interpreted to be, and which intent it engages and will be included in a Web UI in a later release), use the following command:
journalctl -u escape_pod.service -f | grep incoming_text

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