Author Topic: (Newb Alert) Robotics through computer  (Read 651 times)

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Offline RuneswordsTopic starter

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(Newb Alert) Robotics through computer
« on: March 15, 2011, 10:38:10 AM »
Well, I already ordered an arduino uno board and some books and website to get started. (I ordered before learning about the Axon  :-[     )

However, I was wondering why noone uses laptop computers to do robotics instead of a microcontroller? It seems like Pentium-4 laptops are a dime a dozen nowadays. If I wanted to use such an approach, how would I approach it as far as inputs/outputs, programming language, books, websites, etc?

Last, assuming it can be done, will the experience I get from the arduino (C programming) be useful if I make a transition to computer-based robotics? Or should I go straight to a laptop based robot?

(Sorry for all the questions, but I'd rather learn what I want the first time around since there are so many options it seems)

Thanks to everyone reading this!

Offline Fr0stAngel

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Re: (Newb Alert) Robotics through computer
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 10:56:47 AM »
However, I was wondering why noone uses laptop computers to do robotics instead of a microcontroller? It seems like Pentium-4 laptops are a dime a dozen nowadays.

well, for starters, the first thing that pops up in mind is 'size' and 'weight'. since many competitions have a cap on the maximum size /weight your robot can be, it hinders a compact design.
greater weight also means that you need more powerful actuators and batteries to meet your specifications

secondly, the cost factor....if a p4 laptop is a dozen a dime, then simple micro controllers cost hundred a dime, plus cost saving on actuators and batteries..

thirdly, the computation power of a p4 is more like an overkill for simpler robots.

Quote
Last, assuming it can be done, will the experience I get from the arduino (C programming) be useful if I make a transition to computer-based robotics? Or should I go straight to a laptop based robot?

yes, it can and is being done. and yes the experience you will get from arduino will come in handy. if you dont have any previous experience in robotics , then i would recommend that you kick off with arduino or any other micro controller..because its basically much more easier, the architecture is much simpler ( you would have to learn the computer architecture in order work efficiently with laptops)
if you start with a complex thing straight away , there is a chance that you might not get it , get fed up and give up( not necessary, just saying)..Best of luck in what ever you choose...! :)

P.S: laptops are usually used as a second stage computing station, when robots are controlled by controllers and they send data to laptops for further processing or commands. if you know some basics , then perhaps you should start a project like that.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 11:00:47 AM by Fr0stAngel »
'crazy' is the new hype! =)

Offline RuneswordsTopic starter

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Re: (Newb Alert) Robotics through computer
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 11:13:37 AM »
Thanks for the response, that was very clear and concise. More importantly, it makes me feel much better about learning C.

I do think my end goal is a second stage computer controlled robot, but I do not know the basics yet. So, it helps knowing that the arduino is definitely where I want to start.

Sorry to keep asking questions, but do you happen to have a weblink to a second stage computerized robot as an example?

Offline Fr0stAngel

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Re: (Newb Alert) Robotics through computer
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 08:17:16 AM »
heres a video of one of the fellow members from the videos section.
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=13470.0

The laptop is used to perform the computer vision related tasks, and a controller is used for operating motors and reading basic sensors..

similarly, you might want to check these one out.
http://www.protowrxs.com/nolen/robotics/LTBot/default.asp

http://letsmakerobots.com/node/16613

In short, for complex tasks like image processing, or internet control., this is a good idea. For simpler bots like sumobots, or line followers, using laptops is not efficient.
'crazy' is the new hype! =)

 


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