Hi, I am new to this board and want to thank everyone in advance for reading this question and for any input you can give. I want to make an industrial robot, that is a robot that will help me assemble a product. I am a computer programmer but have no experience yet with robotics. This robot will always be wired to a laptop or PC (unless bluetooth makes more sense and if it does, please enlighten me). From what I have read so far on the internet, I will need to control/receive data back from the robot via the parallel port of the laptop or PC. My question is, can I use a USB port instead (my current laptop does not have a parallel port and I don't know if I need to order online a parallel port to USB adapter or not first)? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Which is easier to program or setup?
There is one thing you should know as well. I am planning on having maybe like 50 different motors/servos in this robot. Would I have to use multiple parallel/usb ports to accomplish this?
There is one more thing that you should know, datawise. Aside from the physical movements I want my robot to perform, I would ideally like to incorporate a sensor that could detect a range of say, 50 different colors. Would this be possible using a parallel port or would it be too much data that would have to flow in this process for a parallel port to be practical, thus forcing me to use a usb port? Sorry if I am not using the correct terms to describe this or if I am missing some big piece or step here. Like I said, I am completely new to this and still learning what I need to gather to get this project started. I used to build radio control cars about 20 years ago with Tamiya kits and radio control units that used servos (brands like Accoms, Futaba, etc.). I don't know if servos can be used at all anymore with modern robots or there is some kind of new technology that has surpassed servos, nor do I even know if companies like Futaba are around anymore. I only mention this because I am on a limited budget and where possible, I would like to use/re-use things I already have (e.g. use the innards of 2 HP printers for an X and a Y axis linear actuator (if that is the correct term)). Thanks again.