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Author Topic: A microcontroller similar to the Cerebellum?  (Read 3052 times)

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Offline MUDSKIPTopic starter

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A microcontroller similar to the Cerebellum?
« on: April 29, 2008, 07:50:29 PM »
(If you don't want to hear about my long and boring history, please skip down. (Sorry, I got carried away and typed too much. :P)


Before I start, let me explain my small resume; I'm close to a n00b, but not quite.
As for robots, I've always been particularly facinated by them, but I've never had too many opportunities. The closest I've ever come to it is Vex Robotics...and...well...I have many, many issues with that; The most recent and annoying one being that I've misplaced the CD for the software, and therefore am stuck without a way to program the microcontroller.
I suck at soldering; The breadboard thing sounds like some kind of miracle to me. :P If you go to my website, you'll see when I did a certain mod, I started out with giant blobs connecting the wires to the pins. I got somewhat better, but...meh. I understand, though, it's a necessary skill.
I also lack a proper understanding of circuts; I have the basics, but nothing past that. Only enough to make a simple mod of a 1985 robot...
And since I keep mentioning that, let's move on to it. I (fairly recently) made a mod of a really old robot Nintendo made, called R.O.B. Not many people knew about it until Mario Kart DS and Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out...
What it originally did was look at a CRT TV screen and when it saw a greenish flash, it moved the arms a certain direction. It was very innefficient and slow.
I thought I could fix this; I looked into it and eventually soldered some wires on the H-Bridge Drivers and wired them to the data pins on the serial port. Oh, and also the little LED on his head.
The only way this worked so simply was because of the serial port data pin voltage and R.O.B. circuit voltage were conveniently the same. :P I programmed some code in C, and actually was able to do some Arm-Movement-Tracking stuff with the help of the Wiimote and Glovepie; I was very satisfied with it.

About a week later, I got a serious urge try and do an actual robot....Not just some Robot Kit thing.
I've scanned this site quite a bit, and I've gotten tons of tips and ideas from it.
My main issue, however, is choosing the microcontroller. The only advantage I have in starting off in robotics here is my programming ability. For C and C++, at any rate.
I'd like to find myself a microcontroller that can program in C...Something like the Cerebellum board. It's the perfect chip for me. It's programmable in C, Has a bunch of servo and I/O ports, can be attatched to a computer with a serial port easily, and has 2 LEDs that would help with testing out stuff alot. However, they don't sell this board anymore. I've looked around a bit, and I can't find anything quite like it;
Are there any tips or suggestions somebody can give for a good microcontroller a n00b for robotics but fairly good programmer could use?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 07:52:05 PM by MUDSKIP »

Offline JesseWelling

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Re: A microcontroller similar to the Cerebellum?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 11:28:24 PM »
Robostix is pretty decent, but you will need a programmer if you aren't going to attach it to a Gumstix, which isn't necessary. If you are just starting out, it won't be a hindrance, so don't worry about that part it makes a perfectly good stand alone controller.

The software development tools are all free (avr-gcc on Linux and Win-AVR on Windows), and there is a plethora of code out there to help you get started (libraries and more).

Or better yet wait for the SOR Axiom to come out.
Admin what's the ETA on that one again  ;)


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Re: A microcontroller similar to the Cerebellum?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2008, 12:46:20 PM »
Actually, I modeled my new Axon microcontroller off the Cerebellum. I really really liked the Cerebellum, it was easily to use and had tons of neat features. The makers of the Cerebellum came out with a newer microcontroller but it was a real disapointment for me and the others who have used/seen it.

The ETA is 4 weeks from now, if all goes as planned (knock on wood):
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=2822.msg31412#msg31412

Offline JesseWelling

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Re: A microcontroller similar to the Cerebellum?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2008, 07:36:15 PM »
I have to admit I did like the cerebellum as well, but I'll take an AVR over a PIC any day.

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Re: A microcontroller similar to the Cerebellum?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2008, 07:46:01 PM »
Hmmm it occured to me I have a few Cerebellums around and I'd be willing to sell them for ~$50/each. They originally sold for ~$130.

 


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