Author Topic: Interfacing PC to Robot Hardware?  (Read 1423 times)

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Offline twintriodeTopic starter

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Interfacing PC to Robot Hardware?
« on: September 22, 2008, 01:12:22 PM »
For some time now I have been playing with robot building.

I have been using servo controllers to interface with a pc but have lately been finding this method limited.

Coming from a programming background I would like to use the PC as the main controller itself. So that I am only limited by programming and physical connections, not by interface limitations.

The question then is, what is the best way to connect sensors, motors, actuators and other equipment directly to the pc?

The problems I had with basic servo controllers were timing issues, inability of controller to receive a large amount of commands / data at once, occasional loss of data. Basically unreliable performance.

Are there basic digital in chips that talk to serial or usb that can be used in series?

for example -> Sensor input -> turns 5V high -> Digital input received -> Sends sensor activation signal to PC

Also working the other way, so digital signals can also be sent out from the PC.

Any suggestions to point me in the right direction would be appreciated.

I am trying to make an autonomous robot with an onboard pc.

Thanks

Offline Admin

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Re: Interfacing PC to Robot Hardware?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 05:56:11 AM »
Quote
The question then is, what is the best way to connect sensors, motors, actuators and other equipment directly to the pc?

You'll need to use a microcontroller as the intermediary.


Have you considered my Axon?

You can use USB to communicate however you like between the PC and the mcu. At some point I'll finish the code that makes it an optional servo controller . . .

Here is an example controlling LEDs from the Axon using a MAC:
http://erobots.blogspot.com/2008/08/bluetooth-controlled-lights.html

Offline SciTech02

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Re: Interfacing PC to Robot Hardware?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 11:10:02 AM »
If you want to use your PC for the processing, I would suggest phidgets, electronics that have analog and digital I/O connections that plug into your PC with a USB cable.  Here's a link: http://www.phidgets.com/index.php

It seems that these should do everything you want to do.  Hope this helps.  :)
Check out the Evolution Robotics, ER1 robot, and ERSP Resource Page: http://www.societyofrobots.com/member_tutorials/node/336

 


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