Let's Make Robots!

Questions with circuits

I am making a new robot, and I am having trouble finding what I need to make the circuits work.

Basically I have about 3 input sensors, 2 motors, 1 servo, and a datalogger.  What would be the easiest way to put these together, should I use a breadboard or circuit board.  And do you think I would need any other ciruit components.  I am new to this so any help would be appreciated.  Thanks.

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I would put this whole question on hold a bit and start at the beginning. You need only a picaxe or arduino or the like, a small breadboard, LED and resistor. That is it. Get that blinking and go from there.

There is no way around leg work here. For instance, you said "input sensors" --from this statement alone, it appears you have not done any searching of any kind yet. There is no such thing as a "input sensor" --or-- a different mind-set is that anything could be a "input sensor". A input sensor could be a button, touch-wisker, mercury switch, distance sensor (analog, digital, IR, laser, ultrasonic), thermsistor, IR sensor, photoresistor, encoder, humidity sensor, gas sensor, radiation sensor, PIR motion sensor, RFID, potentiometer, etc. etc. etc. etc.

This is like asking, "I want to buy a piece of consumer electronics, which one is best?"

My suggestion is to download the picaxe manuals --even if you don't plan to use picaxe-- They are the clearest and simplest manuals with clear examples of how to interface circuits.

Make a LED blink. Then make it blink faster. Then hook up a pot to a ADC and make it change the speed of the blink. When you get that done, we can talk dataloggers.

that you are extremely new to this hobby and would be better off learning some of the disciplines required. Either that or start with the Start Here Robot and work your way towards what you want.

The reason I am telling you this is because what you are currently asking me to do is all of the homework/legwork to connect your intended I/O to construct a robot. This site/Frits has already put together a functional platform that is extensible and will let you work up to what you want rather than me suggest to you how things should be connected. I don't even have a robot built yet myself.

Would the voltage regulator be the only extra thing I need or do you think I would need any other circuit components, assuming these are the only things I use.

Also what component were you refferning to that would need to use the regulator?

Lastly, I'm new to reading the schematics, could you give me an example of assorted discreet components that I would need.

Thanks for the help.

Check out the LMR Primer, and review the posts and video under 'Basic Electronics 'n Stuff'.

That you help you with understanding some of the basics you are asking about.

a motor driver. The L293D seems very common around here. Looking at the information on the HM55B and the microSD adapter they should be able to share two or three pins as they both use what seems to be SPI for data transmission. You will also require various and assorted discreet components as schematics recommend. Some form of voltage regulation to 5 volts and supplying 1 to 1.5 amps may be required. Depending on how you wire everything together. You will most definitely need to be able to supply in the neighborhood of 1.5 to 2 amps to be able to keep your motors and servo happy.

You should be able to build all of this on a breadboard. The Mr. General robot uses such a setup.

For sensors I want to use two sharp IR sensors, a wheel watcher rotation encoder for gm 2/3/8/9, and a HM55B compass module.  

The two motors were either gm2/3 motors and a HXT900 servo.  

The data logger was a Gravitech microSD card adapter that I was going to use to just store information gathered by the sensors.

I was thinking of using a PICAXE microcontroller, but am unsure which one I would need.  

My original question still stands as what would be the easiest way to assemble these.

you get more specific. Just counting your connections, I could see that you would require at least 7 pins. Without knowing what kind of sensors you wish to connect or how the datalogger will be utilized/connected to nothing more can really be said.

If the sensors were all just switches, you could get away with as little as 5 pins. It would be very useful if you were very specific about what you want.

For example, I want to connect a Sharp GP2D120 to my PICAXE. What do I need to do?

You would likely be pointed to the very useful manuals that Rev-Ed has for their PICAXE line of chips. After which if you still had questions someone should be able to help or offer some insight.

As I stated in the first place, please be specific about your request for information.