I came across a VERY CLEVER and very interesting YouTube video the other day. Here it is
The creator of this clever video is Ratronics and he told me that he is achieving this project with the help of RobotBASIC and a Propeller Chip.
He uses RobotBASIC to interact with the Joystick and read its position. He then sends that information (scaled) to a Propeller chip which receives the data via the serial port and then uses the information to accordingly update the positions of the servos on the Robotic Arm.
The propeller is very handy in this project due to its parallel processing abilities. It is able to keep pulsing the 4 servos continuously and in accordance with a shared variables area that are continuously updated and in parallel in accordance with the data received from the PC via RobotBASIC. The receiving of the data is also done continuously and in parallel to the control of the 4 servos.
Thus with the ability of RobotBASIC to interact with the joystick, and send serial data, Ratronics was able to achieve a project that would be quite a complex one in any other language. Also thanks to the propeller’s ability to do parallel processing you can see how responsive the Arm is.
Now, think how complex the RobotBASIC program could be…100 lines??? 50??? Well, here is the program:SetCommPort 4,br19200
Yes…..that is all….5 lines of code to do the PC side of the work.
The Propeller side is a little more complicated, but thanks to SPIN, the propellers’s native high level language (with some PASM the assembly language) the programs are also not complex.
Ratronics says he is not a very experienced programmer. If as an inexperienced programmer he can achieve such impressive results, I am very much looking forward to see what he will do in the future when he is more experienced.
This project is a testament to the power and ease of RobotBASIC. With just a little effort and minimal coding Ratronics was able to achieve an interfacing project between Electronics Hardware and the PC that would be quite a challenge with any other language.
Thanks to Ratronics for all the information and the video as well as for his support for RobotBASIC.