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digilent minicon

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maverick monk:
im building my first robot as we speek, and i have the mechanical part down pat i think, but i am new to this kind of circutry,

http://www.digilentinc.com/Products/Detail.cfm?Prod=MINICON&Nav1=Products&Nav2=Embedded
is this a good controler for a <8inch long robot, running modified continual running servo's (3 wire futaba type) and between 2-5 sensors? i read all the information but am still horably confused, the reason i picked this ic is that i am on a REALY tight budget, and most of that was put twards a chassis that i can use in multiple robots and modifie to my needs as I go on. ( seriously considering making it water proof).

:abridged version:

will this work with 2-3 futaba 3wire servo's

will it operate with 2-5 sensors

how hard is it going to be to program, and is the programing a major language ( i know vbasic and want to learn somthing more aplicable to robotics)

what will i need to do to make a 6v 1400mah ni-mh pack work with it

is it going to be adaptable to future needs

thanks,

dunk:

--- Quote ---is this a good controler for a <8inch long robot, running modified continual running servo's (3 wire futaba type) and between 2-5 sensors?
--- End quote ---

yea, it looks pretty good value for money.
it will do everything you are asking with the right programming.
it has an onboard voltage regulator that will allow it to run off any battery between 3.5 and 9V.

without reading the website too much i get the impression you need to buy an additional programming cable as well.

so, in short, it will do what you want.

on the other hand,
if your budget is that tight and is likely to stay that way for the forseeable future you might want to learn how to use microcontroller chips directly.
the Digilent board is just a ATmega168 microcontroller along with a lot of connectors and other bits that it doesn't need to run.
you might consider just buying or building an AVR programmer which will allow you to program the ATmega168 chip along with a huge range of other AVR microcontrollers.
the AVR chips themselves will cost between $2 and $15 depending on the one you choose and the volume you buy them in.

here's some reading to get you started:
http://www.instructables.com/id/E5H5UDWB5UEUKIKV8V/?ALLSTEPS

and our own Admins tutorial that fits your design requirements without too much modification:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/step_by_step_robot.shtml
this tutorial demonstrates my point: you don't need a pre built board to get an AVR to work. Admin is using an ATmega8 rather than an ATmega168 but the principal is the same.


--- Quote ---how hard is it going to be to program, and is the programing a major language ( i know vbasic and want to learn somthing more aplicable to robotics)
--- End quote ---

i don't think anyone on this list will argue too much if i recommend learning C.
there are boards that use versions of basic but C is the most common and flexible. (the AVR microcontrollers use C including the ATmega168 on the Digilent board you were asking about.)
as for how hard it will be to program, well as hard or as easy as you want.
there's a lot of pre written code out there. use some of that if you want an easy life. Admin has written servo controll code for the ATmega8 for his $50 bot tutorials. even with little or no C experience modifying that should be within your grasp.

dunk.

maverick monk:
i have read both and i would do that but... my soldering skills suck, my grasp is about at small wires, and that looks too complicated for me to get without ruining everything so bad i spend more that 50$ on replacement parts. thats what i plan for a second robot, but I want my first to run to prove i can do it,

are their any tuts online for learning C? i have the time and would like to be able to code myself.

Brandon121233:
Also look at the Arduino board, it also uses the Atmega168, but it has a lot of tutorials on how to get started programming in the very easy to learn Arduino language ( a variant of C/C++). It is also the board I am using for Walbot right now, so I could give you help if you needed it. Heres the link: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=666

Admin:

--- Quote ---are their any tuts online for learning C? i have the time and would like to be able to code myself.
--- End quote ---

always search the forum/google before asking questions! :P
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=1014.0

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