Author Topic: Your thoughts on the Arduino  (Read 2194 times)

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Offline lanamorTopic starter

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Your thoughts on the Arduino
« on: December 19, 2008, 08:36:22 AM »
Hello everyone. I've been trolling this, and many more, forums for a few months because I've been teaching myself electronics and the world of robot building. I've learned a lot and I'm beginning to start my first build, but I haven't decided exactly what hardware I want yet.

With the above paragraph as context; what are your feelings for the Arduino board? I could build my own proto board with pretty much the same specs but it seems to me that there isn't much of a price savings with this board vs building my own. The advantages of the Arduino board seem to be that it's on a PCB, has a boot loader, USB interface, and an open source development language.

So would the only downside be that I don't get the satisfaction of a 100% hand built project?   

Thanks in advance for your responces.

Offline airman00

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Re: Your thoughts on the Arduino
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 08:47:03 AM »
I wasn't satisfied with the Arduino because its not plug and play. You need to make an extra board and do extra wiring just to connect sensors and servos.

I ended up creating my own microcontroller board. It is pin compatible with the Arduino, shield compatible, has USB uart,bootloader,, and even can use the Arduino language. The Roboduino has power busses by each pin , some status LEDs, and special power columns of 3.3V,5V, Vin, and Gnd ( look at the bottom left)
Its on sale and can be bought online : http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino



Also some info on how the Arduino is not plug and play and how the Roboduino is : http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=6157.msg46642#msg46642
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline lanamorTopic starter

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Re: Your thoughts on the Arduino
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 10:51:29 AM »
So what about the Arduino language itself? This seems like a higher level language than programming the AVR with C. Do you think I'm missing learning steps by using the Arduino language? Should I ensure I know how to program the AVR manually first? I know all the concepts but I've not actually programmed a processor yet.

Offline airman00

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Re: Your thoughts on the Arduino
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 11:39:47 AM »
The Roboduino can be programmed in AVR manually  OR with the Arduino software. Its your choice.

The Arduino language is fine for beginners, and then later on you can make the switch easily.
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline darkloaf

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Re: Your thoughts on the Arduino
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2008, 10:53:38 AM »
Arduino just uses C, it's really straight forward.

One of the big pros of arduino for me is the massive community support, just check out the website:
www.arduino.cc

There is sooo much good info there. It is plug'n'play to an extent, it depends what you want to do with it. It doesn't have a built in motor driver, but does have serial support, 5v power,  and the new one can dynamicly switch between battery and mains power.

My only peave is it the pin headers arn't spaced evenly, bit of a pain when I tried to make my own shield out of a strip board.

That said, there are loads of good dev boards out there, just use what's best for your purposes.

Nicko


Offline Thomas Countz

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Re: Your thoughts on the Arduino
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2008, 11:30:55 AM »
I like the arduino, however, it makes me feel like a cheater...I guess just spending about and hour and a half to write a 500 line arduino code program to control a robot makes you feel icky :o I mean, it feels to easy for me, like I'm not actually programming it, I'm just writing in pretty much plain english, correct me if I'm wrong airman, but with the roboduino, you can use an ISP programmer and program in C if you want. I'm going to get one eventually, money is just tight right now seeing how I lack a job... :-\

I personally don't mind the way the arduino's headers are set up, as long as I can fit some 22 gauge in there, I'm fine. Plus the HUGE community and the opensoureness of it makes you feel better.

Offline bryan922

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Re: Your thoughts on the Arduino
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2008, 03:04:00 PM »
I like the arduino, however, it makes me feel like a cheater...
I don't think you should call yourself a cheater for using an Arduino. Consider:

  • Unless your final product is up to NASA standards or meets all kinds of product regulations and rules, then you should likely classify your product as a prototype. Being a prototype means, that as an intelligent prototyper, you take shortcuts where you can.
  • Why reinvent the wheel? The chipset circuitry on the Arduino is a solved problem. Big deal if you make your own PCB. That isn't impressive. What is impressive is perhaps something like custom machined parts, or custom cast aluminum parts where nothing else would do, or augmenting the Arduino code with code on the host computer.
  • Most importantly, while programming the Arduino may be easy, you must realize that making it easy for you is not only so that you can cobble together something quickly, but so you can commit your resources elsewhere. For example, consider interfacing an embedded PC to the Arduino and writing 10,000 lines of neural network code, learning algorithms, auto-classifying algorithms, etc which run on the embedded PC and communicate to the Arduino.

Bottom line: I think you should take advantage of the Arduino, use it as a prototyping foundation, and commit your skills and resources to other aspects of a project. All prototyping and coding is not done in a vacuum, but builds upon resources already available to you so that you can move forward with more complex designs and functionality.

Offline Thomas Countz

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Re: Your thoughts on the Arduino
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2008, 02:05:10 PM »
Bottom line: I think you should take advantage of the Arduino, use it as a prototyping foundation, and commit your skills and resources to other aspects of a project. All prototyping and coding is not done in a vacuum, but builds upon resources already available to you so that you can move forward with more complex designs and functionality.

This makes me feel better!  ;D


Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: Your thoughts on the Arduino
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2008, 05:50:37 PM »
Arduino and Roboduino can program in straight c without an ISP programmer, just follow the directions on the Axon startup pages.

Offline Admin

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Re: Your thoughts on the Arduino
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 05:06:27 AM »
Quote
So would the only downside be that I don't get the satisfaction of a 100% hand built project?

At some point you are buying components. Unless of course you can walk into a forest and somehow make your own capacitors and resistors with twigs and dirt . . . :P

If you wanted to make a microcontroller, you'd buy the capacitors and resistors.

If you wanted to make a robot, you'd buy the microcontrollers and motors and batteries.

Thats my personal belief at least, that off the shelf professional components are almost always better and cheaper than anything you can make. Build your robot, and don't bother with the trivial stuff.

That being said, I didn't like any mcu on the market so I made the Axon. If there was an mcu I liked, I would have bought it and never made the Axon ;D

 


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