Author Topic: Simple microprocessors?  (Read 1653 times)

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Offline Silverace42Topic starter

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Simple microprocessors?
« on: June 13, 2014, 02:51:03 PM »
Hello, i am very new to the subject of robotics and know little of the topic.  I am working on a simple system that will sense for pressure applied to a specific point via a flex-sensor, and will then initiate a servo motor if the force detected exceeds a certain amount. I pretty much know which sensor and motor i will use, but i am unsure of what to use to program the system. From what i gather a microprocessor is suitable, if so what brands or types do you recommend? It should be as small and as light as possible.

Offline jkerns

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Re: Simple microprocessors?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2014, 11:10:53 AM »
"As small and light as possible" would suggest nothing more than a single surface mound micro-controller chip such as an AVR chip (perhaps some power regulation). But that would be the least easy to work with. I have my students use a dual in line package AVR micro-controller so it can be used with standard perforated circuit board. You need to get into the details of the hardware to make things like controlling a servo motor to work.

You can get small arduinos that are easy to work with and have everything pre-built (example:http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardMicro )and do quite well with simple tasks that you suggest (the advantage is the extensive software library for things like running RC servos)

PIC micro-controller boards are popular as well.

The AXON work well but is larger.

I get paid to play with robots - can't beat that with a stick.


Offline ootbrobo

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Re: Simple microprocessors?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2014, 11:38:56 PM »
If you are asking the question of which micro is simplest I take it you have not messed with microprocessors before?  If that is the case I would recommend buying an off the shelf solution like an arduino.  That will allow you to focus on your application from the getgo, and less on the howtos of processors.

As for your project description, I see a red flag.  Those membrane based flex sensors are not super repeatable, at least they weren't when I was working with them in the past.  You more or less have to calibrate them often to get a consistent result. If I recall correctly this calibration involved depressing the sensors once or a couple of times to essentially warm them up.  I could be crazy though, check the spec for your specific senor.   My two cents, what you may actually want is a load cell, or a linear potentiometer rigged with a compression spring.  In each case your sensor has a pretty consistent sensitivity to load.


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