Author Topic: software for laptop based robots  (Read 1004 times)

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Offline blackbeardTopic starter

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software for laptop based robots
« on: April 29, 2011, 07:32:59 AM »
I have a toshiba portege 7200 with a docking station that i'm looking to turn into a quick and dirty robotic platform. Idealy i would not like to use an external microcontroler since it already has a parallel port and there's really no benefit to sticking a $6 chip for no reason. what i am wondering is if there is any software out there for laptop based robots that i can install in puppy linux (assuming it's not it's own linux destro which would be fine too). i'd rather not reinvent the wheel on this one since my main goal is to use other functions of the laptop.
"sure, you can test your combat robot on kittens... But all your going to do is make kitten juice"

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Offline rbtying

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Re: software for laptop based robots
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 02:38:43 PM »
You'll probably have to write your own hardware driver, but ROS (Robot Operating System) and Player/Stage are both very nice robot development platforms, and they run on Linux (I run ROS on Ubuntu, but I don't know about compatibility with Puppy).  They come with nice drivers for just about everything else, and include packages for SLAM and teleoperation.

Using an external microcontroller is much easier - you can be assured that timing will work out, whereas on a PC the scheduler will switch focus away from your application periodically and possibly cause issues.

Offline blackbeardTopic starter

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Re: software for laptop based robots
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 06:04:27 AM »
You'll probably have to write your own hardware driver, but ROS (Robot Operating System) and Player/Stage are both very nice robot development platforms, and they run on Linux (I run ROS on Ubuntu, but I don't know about compatibility with Puppy).  They come with nice drivers for just about everything else, and include packages for SLAM and teleoperation.

Using an external microcontroller is much easier - you can be assured that timing will work out, whereas on a PC the scheduler will switch focus away from your application periodically and possibly cause issues.

i may have to upgrade to xubuntu because of compatibility with my usb wireless adaptor so i imagine that should work. i'll definitely try ROS and player/stage since they both look like really good software. i think i'm going to use an atmega328 rather then the bulky docking station too.
"sure, you can test your combat robot on kittens... But all your going to do is make kitten juice"

First step: Build androids with AI
Next step: Give them vaginas

Offline rbtying

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Re: software for laptop based robots
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2011, 08:03:21 AM »
With an external microcontroller, you can just use a USB to USART adapter for communications - there's plenty of examples available in both the ROS and Player/Stage repositories (for ROS, take a look at the Arbotix stack and the various Arduino interface stacks). 

Xubuntu will be fine - both frameworks are designed to be run on servers, so they don't really care what GUI you're running on top.

Offline georgeecollins

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Re: software for laptop based robots
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 06:36:39 PM »
I think you are crazy to reject adding a micro controller.  It's going to cost you < $20 and replicating the functionality with a parallel port will be much more expensive in your time.  Plus, you are going to need external circuitry to drive motors and i/o anyway.  What is one more chip? 

 


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