Society of Robots - Robot Forum

Electronics => Electronics => Topic started by: Suloke on May 04, 2012, 12:45:49 PM

Title: Programming the micro controller-noob!
Post by: Suloke on May 04, 2012, 12:45:49 PM
Hello All.

I have decided to make a robot recently and still need to find out what basic things I need to get started. My aim is to control two motors according to the feed back from a position sensor. My main doubt now is how I program the microcontroller. I have decided to go for PIC. I have been microchip website but it is not really helping! Full of jargon!

In summary, can som one please help me in following

1. Where do I do the programming from the computer? What is the software called?
2. How would I burn the program into the chip?

Thanks in advance
Title: Re: Programming the micro controller-noob!
Post by: joe61 on May 04, 2012, 02:32:28 PM
In summary, can som one please help me in following
There's a tutorial on this web site that should explain quite a bit: http://www.societyofrobots.com/robot_tutorial.shtml. (http://www.societyofrobots.com/robot_tutorial.shtml.) There are more at www.avrfreaks.com (http://www.avrfreaks.com)

1. Where do I do the programming from the computer? What is the software called?
This depends on the chip you're programming and what operating system your computer is running. For Windows and Atmel chips you can use AVR Studio (http://www.atmel.com/tools/ATMELAVRSTUDIO.aspx)

For Windows, Linux or Mac and PIC microprocessors you can use MPLABX (http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en-us/family/mplabx/).

If you're programming Atmel chips in linux or Mac, you'll use a normal editor and makefiles, but it sounds like you want one of the first two choices.

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2. How would I burn the program into the chip?
Atmel chips:
http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/ (http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/)
http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1300 (http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1300)
or others (search google for AVR Programmer)

PIC:
http://www.microchipdirect.com/productsearch.aspx?Keywords=PG164130 (http://www.microchipdirect.com/productsearch.aspx?Keywords=PG164130)
There may be other possibilities too, I'm not up on PIC stuff

Joe
Title: Re: Programming the micro controller-noob!
Post by: Suloke on May 05, 2012, 08:27:19 AM
Thanks mate.

Now after reading more, I am changing to Atmel, mainly  because the programmer is free. I have read about arduino and thinks its a good idea to start with. But few things I want to know about them

1. Does that Arduino need extra motor drivers for dc motors?
2. Can I use the AVR studio to program Arduino?
3. If I break the Atmega8 chip, can I easily replace with new one?

Thanks
Suloke
Title: Re: Programming the micro controller-noob!
Post by: joe61 on May 05, 2012, 03:30:07 PM
1. Does that Arduino need extra motor drivers for dc motors?
Pretty much any microprocessor will need additional circuitry to deal with motors. You can buy fairly cheap motor drivers from many places. Check http://www.pololu.com (http://www.pololu.com) for example.

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2. Can I use the AVR studio to program Arduino?
It comes with its own programming environment, see http://www.arduino.cc (http://www.arduino.cc)

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3. If I break the Atmega8 chip, can I easily replace with new one?
The microprocessor is socketed, so yes you can pull it out, put a new one in, burn the bootloader again (see arduino site) and you're good.

Joe
Title: Re: Programming the micro controller-noob!
Post by: Suloke on May 06, 2012, 06:44:51 PM
Ok, that's good.
Thanks mate.