Let's Make Robots!

Ubotino vs Picaxe 28x1 vs Propeller

I want to know the most vital pro's and cons of each of them please, ssso that I can choose one of them to make my robot. :D

Thank you for your reply! :)


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i can't answer that! i'm on analogue's side, but good luck!

Thanks for the comment anyways! :)

µBotino is an Arduino board made specifically to build robots. I made it as small as I could without going to SMD components, but all the functionality is there. With the µBotino you can control 2 DC motors (up to 1A each, all Solarbotics plastic motors work perfectly and also some of the Pololu micro motors - see the low power motors), you can control up to 5 servos and read 6 analog sensors (or digital). You also have available the hardware serial port, the 2 external interrupt pins and one more digital pin, just in case you want to use a piezzo speaker to make sounds. The integrated low voltage drop regulator allow you to power the robot from 4 AA batteries (6V) which is perfect for the servos and the mentioned motors. µBotino does not have a built in USB interface, so you need to order the USB-serial cable (or a FTDI cable, or make your own). You also need to solder the kit, which is a nice soldering practice. The microcontroller has the Arduino bootloader loaded and also the Blink code, so when you power up the board the D13 LED will blink once a second.

Regarding programming. Arduino uses C for programming, but there is a nice free graphic add-on called ArduBlock, where you connect colored blocks to write the code, then you can see the generated C code in Arduino, so it will be easy to learn C. Also, in the Assembly manual you will find a sample code I used on a robot. All you need to do is connect the servo and sensor to the same pins as I did, load the code and watch the robot move.

wow, that is a lot you wrote there... i only needed to know  the vital parts but its wonderful!

You are wanting to compare 2 chips that have 40 pins to a chip that only has 28.

They should all be able to handle 8 servos. The Prop is more flexible and therefore can probably almost manage 30+ servos. The uBotduino should be able to control more servos than the 5 that the board is laid out to support. The PICAXE should be able to manage 8 servos and maybe even 16, depending on how the chip and software is laid out. And, by software, I mean the actual interpreter.

so what do you think is best for starters?

I was using Parallax's BasicStamp and didn't find it too hard to switch from basic to the Arduino language so don't let that scare you away from it. I personally like Ro-bot-x's Robot Builder's R-duino better unless size is an issue for you. It does everything the uBotino does but is also compatible with arduino shields as well. I have never used Picaxe but have seen a lot cool projects built with them here and on other sites so I'm sure it's a fine option if you want to stick with basic programming.

so will it be easier for me to start with a r-duino, also i want something flexible but thats some great information you gave me, so thank you. :)

Just so you know, a new R-duino board is fabricated at the moment and will arrive in my hands in about 3 weeks. It has manly the same features as the original, plus a few improvements. I'll talk about it when it's here.

On the other hand, if servos are what you need most in your robot, an Arduino or compatible board can contro max 12 servos. Arduino Mega or compatible (that can be compared with the larger Picaxe and Propeller - actually you can't even compare Prop with anything) can control 4 times more servos, as it has 4 16 bit timers. Look at OddBot's Red Back Spider controller. I made a µServotino controller, but the new version is not finished yet, I still have a non functioning electrical power switch for the servos. I should simplify and replace it with a second mechanical switch and be done with it.

with the rduino board, can it control motors??

because the picaxe can