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Author Topic: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?  (Read 9987 times)

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Offline ArislanTopic starter

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Re: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2006, 04:59:50 PM »
By the way, it's not really a Dalek, that was a joke.  ;)
Here is an early 3d sketch of the robot, without arms. I have not yet designed any arms. This is just a general shape, there is no texture map...


Offline JesseWelling

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Re: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2006, 05:12:25 PM »
If you decide on getting a gumstix let me know. I've been working with them for the past 6 months and can help you out picking stuff you might want or need. To me the advantage of a gumstix is that you get a full fledged linux kernal (but no fpu  :'() that has some serious power for the ai side of the robot. 32k of sram is pip-squeak compared to the 64mb on the gumstix. Not to mention 400 mhrz compared to the 25mhrz of most motorola 16 bit mcu.

Offline dunk

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Re: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2006, 04:59:26 PM »
so i keep looking at the gumstix but the lack of a USB host port ruled it out for my current project.
that's why i went with the NSLU2 instead.
i'd imagine it's only a matter of time untill the gumstix adds a proper USB port.
(currently the gumstix only has a USB device port, meaning you can attach the gumstix to a computer's USB port but you cannot attach other USB devices to the gumstix.)

dunk.

Offline JesseWelling

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Re: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2006, 08:02:55 PM »
The new gumstix is coming out this spring and will have usb host capability.
Another well engineered solution if you need to manage i/o and can't solder or design something yourself:
http://www.bdmicro.com/

Basically it's a robostix with more gadgets....and more ram (up to 128k external + 4k internal)
This seems like a good upgrade if you have been programing on small PICs and want to "Level Up" but don't want to go full on
into 16bit or 32bit MCU's

Offline RoboHobby

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Re: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2006, 12:59:06 AM »
Hi,

There is interesting team from Germany.
They use Pocket Pc as a brain for Robosapien.
AND they use Pocket PC camera for vision system.
Their robots play football (soccer).

I downloaded movie from them (file name is 'go05_robosapien.wmv'.
Sorry, don’t know the link to it).

It is really funny, when robots play soccer!
See their web page:
http://www.informatik.uni-freiburg.de/%7Eki/teaching/ws0405/robotik/

As you ask me, we at www.RoboHobby.com, use J2ME phone as a brain for small robots and embedded (standard) camera of cell phone as a vision system.


Offline Brandon121233

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Re: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2007, 04:59:18 PM »
no one has posted anything here for a while, I'm curious as to how every thing is comming along?
Hell, there are no rules here—we're
   trying to accomplish something.

                                                                              —Thomas Edison

Offline dcole07

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Re: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2007, 04:30:57 PM »
So if you have a computer that is the main processor and have a lot of motors and sensors. What do the motors, sensors, and computer connect to?

Since something like a Pocket PC only has 1 out put with something like 20 pins. Also, in programming you use port numbers but it's still going though the same wire. So is there some hardware that splits and combines the data being sent both ways?

Offline Nyx

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Re: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2007, 05:25:59 PM »
approach 1 uses a EPIA mini ITX motherboard and DC-DC converter. http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=2#p1641
with this sort of motherboard on the bot i would be able to get real time stereo vision working. (no more messy IR sensors for me....)
the main problem with using a PC motherboard is power draw.
using a less powerfull PC would obviously use less power but will still be hugely inefficient. PCs just aren't built with low power draw in mind.
using a 10Ah battery pack i was only able to power my MiniATX motherboard for about 4 hours, despite the motherboard only drawing around 1 Amp. (in theory it should have run for around 10 hours.)
i put this down to the battery pack only being able to supply that sort of high load near the top of it's charge cycle.
using a laptop motherboard would probably be a far more power efficient way of getting lots of on board processing power.


You can always check ebay. They have lots of old laptops for under $100. Some of them are also sold "for parts", and have broken LCDs. You may be able to get 800+ MHz for less than $50 from those defective laptops.

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using something other than a microcontroller on you bot will mean you will have to solve the I/O problem. how do you read sensors and switch motors on and off from a standard PC?
i'm using this project to build USB I/O controllers: http://www.obdev.at/products/avrusb/index.html so i'll still need microcontrollers on the bot even with my more advanced processor.
using a serial port or i2c I/O conroller is also an option.


You can always check the Phidget devices (http://www.phidgets.com/). They have USB interface boards, motor/servo controllers, range finders, accelerometers, all sorts of things. Some of these things are on the expensive side, but it avoids the need for a microcontroller. Their devices are also linux compatible, which is a must for me.

Quote
i'm still undecided which processor i'm going to go with. (maybe i'll end up with 2 bots...)
while the PC motherboard is overkill, it lets you do lots of cool stuff with it's somewhat excessive processing power.
the linksys slug on the other hand is a nice compromise between power consumption, while still being able to use PC peripherals and operating system.
the advantage of using USB components and a standard operating system is i can develop the various pieces on my laptop and then plug them into the bot controller once they are working.
even the controller is changeable as they will both run the same linux operating system as my laptop.


I'm definitely going with a PC. My robot will be on the heavy side, but I want to have all the CPU power and all the RAM I can possibly get for visual processing, plus the high speed wireless connection.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 05:27:38 PM by Nyx »

Offline Brandon121233

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Re: Can a PocketPC be used instead of a microcontroller?
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2007, 09:05:17 PM »
So I'm ganna bring this one back to life... I think I want to add some sort of Pocket PC to my new robot- Walbot.What kind of output would a Pocket PC have to have in order to communicate with say my Arduino board which is based on the Atmega168? Can a Pocket PC act as a USB host or would I have to adapt something so it could talk with the TX and RX pins? I was thinking of like the Dell Axim series.
Hell, there are no rules here—we're
   trying to accomplish something.

                                                                              —Thomas Edison

 


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