Author Topic: Help With Beginner Programmer  (Read 962 times)

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Offline ptbecker2Topic starter

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Help With Beginner Programmer
« on: December 01, 2010, 09:17:56 PM »
Hi,
I've recently taken a strong interest in robotics and want to take it to the next level. I've built successful RC cars and ROVers but I really want to start programming them to perform on their own.
I don't have very much programming knowledge but I learn quickly. The main questions I need answered are, what brand of microcontroller should I buy? and what programming language should I use?
I want a microcontroller that's cheap and can perform simple detection actions like Stampy. Any suggestions?
And for the language, I've had easyC recommended for me, but it seems to only work on a PC, I have a mac. Are there any relatively easy programming languages that run on a mac?
Please write back ASAP, Christmas is coming up and I need to know what to get :)

Offline paulstreats

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Re: Help With Beginner Programmer
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 03:56:30 AM »
Click on the SOR logo at the top of the page then follow the link to the $50 robot.

 I now that it seems menial to build it sometimes, but it does give you the concepts of microcontrollers, show you how to program them. The board for the $50 robot is quite limited but if you understand how to use it then it can be broken out further to allow more features. If you need to understand microcontrollers and how to program them then please start there, it will answer most of your questions.

Offline ptbecker2Topic starter

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Re: Help With Beginner Programmer
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 07:29:31 PM »
Thank you but that didn't really help.
The program download from $50 robot tutorial doesn't work on Macs.
Any other suggestions?

Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: Help With Beginner Programmer
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 09:12:26 PM »
I would recommend trying out the Arduino platform.  Its relatively cheap, the programming software is Mac compatible and easy to program with, and has a massive community.

The $50 robot code can be easily recreated to work with the arduino, if not more easier than the code written for AVR studio.

Offline Joker94

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Re: Help With Beginner Programmer
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 10:31:14 PM »
Well arduino is a form of C and is a lot easier. it sounds as if it can accomplish what you want and there are huge libraries for it and a massive support base.

I have used both platforms and found arduino to be a lot easier to learn but then i did have a basic understanding of C already.

But as for type i would go for AVRs. they are common aorund SOR and have a big support base. arduino microcontrollers use AVRS as well.

You may not have been able to open the file previously as you may not have the appropriate software for the types of files. i know that there is software out there for Macs as they have grown a lot recently, it is just a matter of asking around and or finding someone that already has done it with a Mac.

good luck and hope that helps.

Offline rbtying

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Re: Help With Beginner Programmer
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2010, 09:43:50 PM »
Correction: Arduino is a set of libraries, an IDE, and an MCU together.  It is not "a form of C", it's just a bunch of C++ libraries - it leverages avr-g++ to do the compilation.  Learning C/C++, by the way, will go a long way in this kind of thing. 

Both the Arduino and the $50.00 robot tutorial use AVR microcontrollers (Arduino has ATMega328, $50.00 is ATMega8, ATMega168, or ATMega328).  The advantage of the Arduino is simplicity - you don't need to learn much.  The advantage of the $50.00 robot is complexity - you will learn a lot more. 

Theoretically, you could just combine them - flash the ATMega on the $50.00 robot board with the Arduino bootloader, and add a $.50 16mhz ceramic resonator. 

The program download doesn't work because it's for Windows.  Simplest thing on *nix systems is to use the command line, and calling avrdude directly.  Short of that, use Eclipse and the AVR plugin.  Both of these are more complex - you may want to start on a windows computer.

You can use Arduino's IDE on Mac OS X: this could be an advantage for you.  Once you've worked out these basic problems, come back, and we can help you with the code.

 


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