Let's Make Robots!

Choosing the components

I'm new to 'the robot world' and I'm an mecanic who fix cars and scooters.
I was talking with a friend of mine and we got an idea, let's make a turbo-charger setup for a scooter which is controlles by a computer which regulates the speed of a fan (small motor) from the input of some sensors.

The components i need is a motor with a propella, 1 Lambda sensor (the one from a car that measures the air-fuel mixture) and 2 air-preasure sensors. 1 for the atm. air and 1 for the air preasure the fan makes.

Does any of you know a good (and CHEAP) board that i can use for this?
The board is the biggest problem, the sensors am i going to take from a car.



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Oh noes! Not the electric turbocharger :cough:ebayfraud:cough cough: haha j/k :)  F/I scooters FTW

For something that is in charge of A/F ratios I think you'll want something fast. Alas, fast and cheap rarely are paired together. I would take a look at the FEZ Panda II. It runs at 72MHz and has a lot of nice features that you might find handy for your project. It runs ~$40 which is a pretty damn good deal with all the bells and whistles it includes.

Well. It's for a scooter, so it's limited how much air i want to force into that tiny engine (:
That board could be the one I'm looking for. Ther's only 1 thing i have to ask you about, is the C# easy to program?

If you have some experience in some form of C programming you'll be fine. I'm the last person to ask about the "ease" of C but if you're interested you should check out the TinyCLR FAQ page. I haven't used one of their uC's yet so I really have nothing useful to add. Geir Andersen is familiar with FEZ products. Maybe he will chime in.

Also definitely give the Propellor line a look. GadgetGangster's board is quite nice. Since you don't seem predisposed to any brand, if you will, you might like what Parallax has to offer. They're programmed in both their own particular language (Spin) as well as assembly language.

However neither of these products can offer the support that the Arduino community can provide. Arduino's are ubiquitous Atmel microprocessors that are ready to be programmed in a variant of C. Although very versatile they run at a fraction of the speed (16MHz typically) of either the Prop or the FEZ boards. I don't know how fast you want to sample data and all that. Maybe 16MHz is sufficient, I don't know. You should poke around their camp and see what you find as well. It wouldn't surprise me if someone is already forcefeeding some mutant Vespa with a Duemilanove serving as a boost controller.

I would go with a propeller chip --I am a personal fan of Gadget Gangster's usb board myself. The propeller runs at 80mhz so it is pretty fast, it does TRUE parallel processing (up to 8 things at once) and includes video out, right from the chip (3 resistors needed). You could read your sensors, and also output data to a small LCD as a control panel.

Then again, you sorta asked if a Ford is better than a Chevy here so everyone will carry on with recommending whatever chip they happen to use.


Iøm just a little unsure what I'll need to build the 'controller'. Could you make a list of thins I'm going to need?

I'm thinking, is a brainboard all I need?

As you can see, I don't have a single clue for what I'll need for this (:

Hope you can help, thanks!

You'll need some way of controlling your fan. Most of the time boards are not set up to power high current componets directly. Using pulsewidth modulation on a PWM pin from your microcontroller will give you speed control of the fan. Hooking it up to a correctly sized FET might be all you need. You'll also need to provide power to your sensors. I don't know what they need, but if they don't run off the scooter's battery voltage, voltage regulator(s) will be needed.