Let's Make Robots!

Good Robot Controller?

Ok I am planning on building a "small" humanoid robot that can has computer vision and can do many tasks. I am planning on using a small onboard computer to do all the processing so that it can be autonomous and reduce the need to have another computer on for it to work. Anyway I am looking for a small, not expensive, and easy to use, some what powerfull small computer or single board computer that has usb ports,can run off a small battery and can run lunix. I am thankful for all suggestions. I know this might too many demands but as long as it follows most of them.                       Thanks, B-Botics

 

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rogue's picture

You may want to check out either the beaglebone ($90 USD) or the pandaboard (about twice the cost of the beaglebone, but much faster and very different board design).

These are "inexpensive" but that term is also relative to your budget.  The raspberry pi might also be "decent" performance wise but runs an older ARM core (based off ARM 11 architecture) than the two listed above so it likely a little slower- that being said it is designed to be cheap ($35 USD) and great if you can get your hands on one.  One thing about the rasperry pi that I don't care for is the hardware documentation is not freely available as it is with the others mentioned above.

I have found some decent tutorials for the beaglebone on youtube and think it looks like an excellent starting point for running embedded Ubuntu Linux and interfacing with a robot.  Lots of possiblities with this board as it is small, light, and for the performance I would say it's low power.

That looks like it is going to produce a great robot!

As another possible suggestion, rather than using an entire PC motherboard you might want to look at a .net based FEZ or Netduino controller. While they do need to be programmed in C# you can do the most of the things the PC motherboard can do. (Also it will be easier to get robot specific I/O than from a motherboard.)

Several of us here are now trying .net based robots (at least 3 FEZ users) and we are expecting good results.

Your'e going to get a lot of suggestions of controllers to use, all (like the .net controllers) have their own weak and strong points. 

(If I wanted to build a robot like that I would use at two or three controllers and simple-network them.)

I wish you luck and hope you build a GREAT robot!

what would be a good small battery (with a good charger) for the same mini intel motherboard that MAAHR has:

http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/embedded/designcenter/tools/development-board

birdmun's picture
You might get more run time if you would offload your image recognition to a desktop running elsewhere. Batteries are heavy and processing takes power.