Electronics > Electronics

project boards?


Hello, I successfully built the 50 dollar robot and want to further myself in robotics. I have a couple questions. Do most people building robots make there own project boards? The project board I built for the 50 dollar robot was only for learning purposes, meaning I should buy a project board? What project board/microcontroller do you recommend? I was looking at the arduino and picaxe. The picaxe seems limited, but very simple. How hard is it to use the arduino? Should I build my own more advanced project board?

Thanks, microzee

The Arduino is a fine way to get started. There are tons of tutorials on the web, and lots of pluggable "shields" that make it easier to add things like motor controllers, sensors, communications, etc.
An option to the Arduino might be the Raspberry Pi, which is also aimed at fairly beginning programmers. It has more power, and allows you to plug in many USB devices like webcams, but it doesn't have as many tutorials or add-on hardware devices as the Arduino.
Specifically for robotics, there's also the Axon set of microcontrollers from this site, and the Arbotix board (which is Arduino-like) for driving Dynamixel servos.

Personally, I like stripboard, or soldered breadboards. This allows me to prototype circuits in a fixed substrate, without having to wait for real PCBs to be built. Once I know what I want to do, I design PCBs in a software program and have my own custom circuit boards made, which can be done for $5 per square inch of board at oshpark.com.

Okay I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with arduino. Has anyone used the funduino boards? There Chinese duplicates for half the price. Also is this one legit? Its $17 but I must be missing something..


I think that's a clone that's been mis-labeled Arduino proper. My R3 does not have that green PTC resistor on the left.
That being said, such a PTC is probably a good idea in general :-) If the board works, then it works. If it doesn't, PayPal will give you your money back (but you may have to pay return shipping.)


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