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Author Topic: How everything is powered  (Read 658 times)

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Offline SylvestreTopic starter

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How everything is powered
« on: July 28, 2011, 05:33:19 PM »
Im new to robotics (14 years old) and I was wondering how everything is connected and powered.  I know in computers that there is a motherboard and every component is connected to that.  Then all you have to do is power the motherboard.  Is there something similar to that in circuitry.  Or do you have to wire every component together?  I'd really appreciate it if someone could help me.

Offline corrado33

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Re: How everything is powered
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 06:49:43 PM »
When designing your own board (hard), you have to connect everything together yourself.  You essentially make your own "motherboard". 

However, if you used a pre-made board (easy) like admin's Axon or Axon II, everything is connected for you, you just plug the devices you want to use in (just like a motherboard on a computer).  It's a great tool for beginners. 

Offline z.s.tar.gz

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Re: How everything is powered
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 08:58:56 PM »
If you pop open a computer case you'll find that the motherboard doesn't do much powering outside of ram, cpu, graphics and expansion slots. The power supply is connected directly to most things including hard drives, optical drives, good graphics cards, etc. Thinking like this helps a lot when designing a robot.

The equivalent to the motherboard on a robot would be your microcontroller which is basically your ram, cpu, and long term storage. (Depending on which make and model you get there are extra features but consider them all those other chips on a motherboard). Things such as sensors, motors, and displays are all powered separately. Only the input/output is connected to the microcontroller.

For further information pop open what you're reading this on and look at what connects to where.
Save yourself the typing. Just call me Zach.

Offline SylvestreTopic starter

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Re: How everything is powered
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 08:54:18 AM »
Ok so I just researched microcontrollers and I still don't fully understand them. It appeared as if Arduino microcontrollers are customizable to your preference.  Am I correct or did I misread?  Could you make an arduino board that you can plug a camera, lights, rangefinders, etc. into?

Offline garrettg84

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Re: How everything is powered
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 09:44:47 AM »
Ok so I just researched microcontrollers and I still don't fully understand them. It appeared as if Arduino microcontrollers are customizable to your preference.  Am I correct or did I misread?  Could you make an arduino board that you can plug a camera, lights, rangefinders, etc. into?

You can do just about anything you want with any micro controller. So yes, you did read that right, they are customizable in the same way you throw extra ram or a new card of some kind into a computer.

Take a look at getting a breadboard, some sensors, and an axon or arduino and you should be off and running on your own.
-garrett

Offline corrado33

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Re: How everything is powered
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 02:25:02 PM »
Ok so I just researched microcontrollers and I still don't fully understand them. It appeared as if Arduino microcontrollers are customizable to your preference.  Am I correct or did I misread?  Could you make an arduino board that you can plug a camera, lights, rangefinders, etc. into?

Don't get confused.  An arduino is not JUST a microcontroller.  It's a project board, it's a fully assembled "motherboard" if you will.  Think of it this way.  The arduino is the entire motherboard, while the microcontroller is simply the CPU. 

So, for a beginner, the arduino or axon is a great tool.  It lets you program the robot right away instead of working out how to connect everything. 

Offline SylvestreTopic starter

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Re: How everything is powered
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 06:38:03 PM »
Thank you so much everyone.  This really cleared things up.  I will mark all of you as helpful ;)

 


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