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Author Topic: First bot. Want to make it more expandable than the $50 bot.  (Read 1954 times)

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Offline jchahnTopic starter

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First bot. Want to make it more expandable than the $50 bot.
« on: October 21, 2007, 03:16:59 AM »
I'm a senior CS major, and I have decent programming skills.  Obviously I want to start simple for my first bot, but I also want to get a microcontroller powerful enough that I can keep using it as I do more and more complex stuff.

Am I correct in saying that the micrcontroller used in the $50 robot tutorial really isn't good for anything beyond basic line following and object avoiding types of things?  If I ultimately would like to create a robot that has fairly sophisticated AI features, I'm going to need a more powerful chip correct?

I guess overall my concern is that the $50 robot is meant for people who have very little mechanics (me), electronics (me), and programming (not me) experience.  I'm worried that I'll build it, get it programmed, and then be bored 5 minutes later because all I can program that chip to do is follow lines or avoid objects.  Of course I'm going to start out doing something like that, everyone has to start simple, but I want to be able to do more complex things w/out having to buy a new chip.

Does my concern make sense or is it completely unfounded?  Can I do more with that little 8-bit chip than I realize?

In any case, I would like to build my own augmented microcontroller (just for the experience of learning how to do it).  Is a augmented microcontroller utilizing a more powerful chip (such as the ARM7 or ARM9) going to be alot harder to build than the augmented microcontroller that is built in the $50 robot tutorial or would it be about the same difficulty level?  I'm guessing it would be about the same, it would just be a matter of using a different wiring diagram for the pins on the microcontroller.



« Last Edit: October 21, 2007, 02:51:31 PM by jchahn »

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Re: First bot. Want to make it more expandable than the $50 bot.
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007, 07:15:36 PM »
Every robot I have built has used this ATmega8 microcontroller, or a much weaker PIC16F877.

(there are a few exceptions to this, but I can't disclose those military robots yet ;D)

It really depends on what you want to do. As a programmer you can control the ATmega8 directly from your laptop, so that way you can do advanced algorithms while the microcontroller controls the hardware.

You can do quite a lot with it (says the guy who is a weak programmer :P). For example, my Taurus 2 robot uses the PIC16F877, and this chip has much less capabilities than the ATmega8.

Offline jchahnTopic starter

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Re: First bot. Want to make it more expandable than the $50 bot.
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2007, 08:58:13 PM »
It really depends on what you want to do. As a programmer you can control the ATmega8 directly from your laptop, so that way you can do advanced algorithms while the microcontroller controls the hardware.

So how does that work.  Is there some way to actually run the programs from the laptop and transmit the commands to the microcontroller wirelessly?  This way the laptop (or desktop for that matter) would actually be the "brains" of the robot and the microcontroller would serve as a middleman between the I/O devices and the "brain".  Is that what you meant?


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Re: First bot. Want to make it more expandable than the $50 bot.
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2007, 08:22:57 AM »
Yeap that is what I meant.

The microcontroller has what is called a UART, which allows transfer of serial data (by wireless, usb, rs232, etc). Ive been meaning to write a tutorial on it for the longest . . . Search around the forum for it . . .

 


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