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I was wondering if the width of the wheels will make a big impact on the effectiveness of the turning
With such a wide base, I'm wondering if a single castor will be stable enough. The weight should be basically evenly distributed, but it may still be unstable?
how come your last? getting too old for it?
if you want a cheap microcontroller try picaxe
Quotehow come your last? getting too old for it?i plan to be traveling/living in Asia all next year and when i get back, pittsburgh might be far from where i choose to live . . .
Quoteif you want a cheap microcontroller try picaxebut microcontrollers suck at vision . . .
noooooooo!!!!! will you still be on the SoR forums? if not the forum would be incomplete
i have some connections with a robotics club in Bangkok. i visited them 2 years ago, and they had some crazy stuff. ill probably film some of it to post on SoR for everyone. same for Japan.
I think the robot hobbyist community often has a bias for microcontrollers and raw electronic hardware. The reason probably being that most of the people interested in robotics are people with a background in electronics who like to do it all by themselves.
As for most people never making it to the end of the course... I think the problem with most people is that they never test their stuff. Either that, or they test it once in a very simple setting and somehow magically expect it to always work.
would you trust your $1000 laptop on a prototype robot potentially crashing and flipping over occasionally?
laptops weigh a lot more than a microcontroller - this means you need bigger more expensive motors and hardware
laptops drain significantly more power than a microcontroller - bigger batteries mean more weight, again being more expensive and requiring more expensive motors. laptops win when it comes to processing capabilities, but lose when it comes to efficiency and miniaturization. depends on the application . . .
often, even when you do have a laptop for processing, you still need a microcontroller to interface with hardware. RedTeam for the DARPA Grand Challenge used a PIC16F877 to interface with a lot of their hardware. they had a humvee, with insanely fast computers, yet still needed to use a microcontroller.
you make the point of computer vision . . . i agree that a laptop would be best for that application, and a small few other processor intensive apps . . . but you dont need a 1Ghz processor for 2 servos and 2 photoresistors
what JonHylands did on his walking robot would be ideal - a microcontroller on board, but a wireless laptop doing the processor intensive stuff offboard. best of both worlds
and procrastination! - i see many competitors spending ~8 hours on it in the first few months, then 50 hours on it in the last week . . .Nyx, are you from CMU too?
my robot will be designed not to flip or fall (much weight at the bottom)
Except laptops have their own batteries, so you don't necessarily have to power them off of the same power source as your motors.
Well, you don't need a microcontroller if you have this: http://www.phidgets.com/index.php?module=pncommerce&func=itemview&KID=117062130220.127.116.11&IID=57. They also sell USB servo controllers, analog interfaces, various sensors you can hook to these kits (accelerometers, IR range finders, voltage meters, etc...).
Still, I think if someone designed a robot with proper vision for that competition, he could potentially outperform alot of competitors.
Well, you might not like my attitude, but I personally don't see much point in going to a competition like that if you're not making efforts in the direction of winning it
expensive robot accidents do happen for example:http://www.defensetech.org/archives/images/drone_flip.JPGhttp://www.redteamracing.org/index.cfm?method=gallery.viewGallery&page=8
but thats still an extra battery, and extra weight . . .
the guy that currently holds the time record used a 90's handheld iPaq with an old webcamthe second highest record is a guy that used a microcontroller with the CMUcam (he also invented the CMUcam)
Well, I do it for winning and for fun. If I couldnt win, I'd still do it for fun - plus its educational. I think most students start early, but then get bogged down with day-to-day classwork and exams. Priorities change, and dedication/time-management are skills they are still learning . . .
My problem with that is the lag, the bandwidth limitations (important when doing vision processing), and the limited range of wifi (your robot just won't go very far from you and your laptop). Obviously though, my ideal robot for something like that would be something like a modified RC car, and it would be difficult to fit a laptop on that.
Nyx, your argument suggests a PC is better than a laptop
The reason why I perfer to put a microcontroller on a robot instead of a laptop is the same reason you perfer a laptop over a full fledge PC.
In the end, what is optimal all depends on what the robot is required to do . . . no?
Of course. My main gripe is that you seem to be directing all hobbyists towards microcontrollers. It also seems that all robot kits are made for microcontrollers. Almost nobody makes kits that are designed to use laptops and/or PDAs.
Well, I'm a CS major and I intend to use a laptop for a robot for many reasons. One of the main reasons, as said above, is that laptops are generally easier to code in compared to learning to use a microcontroller.
Also, a big factor is that I've been searching around for an easy way to interface a camera/webcam to a robot, and besides putting them on PDAs and such, a laptop is the next easiest. I considered using a PDA, but the cost of the camera, the interface and all that doesn't help. A laptop can easily interface with a camera, and through things like servo controllers, it can interface with servos and other sensors as well!
So, while bulk and weight is definitely a factor,
using a laptop saves development time (getting used to programming a microcontroller), some money getting the parts I need (since I don't own a microcontroller), and provides lots of memory/CPU. The only trouble is that it's dangerous to let my laptop run around on a potentially self-destructive robot, but hehe, I'll keep close watch and stay really close to it in case it crashes, and hope that it'll do.
I've never interfaced an mcu with a camera, so I'm not sure about this one. But it can't be that hard. There are well-documented cameras out there for mcus.