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Robotic Programming Help

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Sandfish

New Member
I have never used c or basic programming before. I decided to look at what microcontrollers I could buy that would be able to to direct an autonomous robot that uses an ultrasonic transceiver to detect the objects. I thought the microcontroller would be able to interpret the signals from the transceiver and turn on the right motor, the left motor, or both motors depending on which way the robot would have to go to evade the object. I looked at the basic stamp and I also looked at the PIC. I know the the PIC is cheaper but how much harder is the PIC and are the PIC programmers compatible with most of the PIC's or or just some of them? Any other advice?
 

kchriste

New Member
Forum Supporter
If you get the 18F series PIC, Microchip supplies a free C compiler. There are also free BASIC compilers like SwordFish which will work with an ordinary PIC. Since you know neither language, the choice is yours. Personally, I'd go with the 18F series and the C compiler. The basic stamp would be too limiting for a project like this.
For programmers look at the PicKit2 or a clone like Blueroom's junebug.
 

c36041254

Member
well I would say buy a pickit2 with demo board it comes with 16f690, just go through all the example codes given in the user guide of the board, of course the codes will be in assembly language but it will be very easy for you to program C after working on that, just if you want to go that way.... I found that easy.

Cheers !
 

Sandfish

New Member
So the PIC and C programming would be the to go? Would the PIC kit provide me with all the tools to program and run the PIC?
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
The PIC programmer is a tool, just like a screwdriver. It's what you need to get your program on the PIC, the tough part is writing the program.

Even for an experienced programmer it's no cakewalk to write autonomous robot software. You're going to have to walk before you can run.
Start with flashing an LED.
 
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be80be

Well-Known Member
For what you want to do you should not pick a pic. Unless you go for a kit like this

You can read about it here blueroomelectronics Mongoose kit
Or a Parallax boebot
Read here Boe-Bot Robot Information
Stamp being the easiest to set up. You'll learn a lot with it
Or you could go with bills kit bigger learning curve but a lot more you can
do as skills are learned
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
I based the Mongoose on the BoeBot dragwheel design (I wish I sold 90,000 units like the BoeBot did!)

The BoeBot has an excellent manual (available free online from Parallax) and a worthwhile read for any robot enthusiast. It

BoeBot:

  • continuous rotation servos
  • wheel encoders optional
  • BS2
  • small breadboard
  • excellent user manual
Mongoose:

  • high torque dual gearbox with DC motors
  • quad half bridge with hardware PWM control
  • 18F2525 microcontroller (BASIC, C, Asm, JAL, etc...)
  • dual optical wheel encoders standard
  • medium size breadboard
  • only brief documentation
 

be80be

Well-Known Member
I based the Mongoose on the BoeBot dragwheel design (I wish I sold 90,000 units like the BoeBot did!)
I wish you did too you need to make a kit with legs like this. This is where it's at now
 
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shimniok

Member
Have you ever programmed in any language? If not, maybe you should start with a Lego Mindstorm kit and the visual "programming". Or, start with BASIC as I think it is a simpler language to learn because the syntax is simpler and much less fussy than C.

You learn the fundamental concepts of procedural programming without getting bogged down in minutiae. I think it would be easier to focus on programming the robot if the language doesn't get in the way.

Mind you I love the C programming language, and prefer it for robotics programming, but it is a fairly steep learning curve for someone totally new to programming and programming languages. And in my limited experience so far, programming robots to do anything remotely complex is not easy at all.
 
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