Let's Make Robots!

Interfacing yor robot to your PC using Gobetwino (can work with any MCU)

I am currently working on a project where I need to teach my robot to "see" using an ultrasound sensor. In particular it must find and collect drink cans on a playfield and return them to a specific location.

To make the programming easier I wanted to take the sensor output from the robot and display it on the computer as a chart. As I am a terrible programmer I did a quick google search and came up with Gobetwino.

Although as the name suggest, it was written with Arduino in mind, non-arduino users should note that this program only monitors a serial port on your computer/laptop and will work with any MCU (picaxe, propeller, FEZ) programmed to spit out the right sequence of serial commands.

The software provides a simple method for your robot to interface with the PC and perform functions such as running programs, writing emails, data logging to a spread sheet etc.

At this point it is still only a beta version and has only really been tested on windows XP but it does have a reasonably detailed manual and some sample code (Arduino based).

After a quick glance through the manual and cutting/pasting a few lines of sample code into my robots code I was able to get my sensor data onto an Excel spreadsheet where I could use the chart functions to make the data easier for me to interperate.

Although only a simple program at this point I think this program has great potential. I have attached the arduino code I used to scan with the ultrasound and send it to the Excel spreadsheet. Note: for this to work you must configure a few commands in "Gobetwino" and create a blank spreadsheet with the correct name. In my case it was simply scandata.xls with A1-A30 ploted as a line chart.


If you know of other programs that can perform a similar function then please tell me about them.

Data_to_Excel_via_Gobetwenio.zip1.07 KB

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Hi OddBott.

I would like to be as terrible a programmer as you are!

How will you detect the drinking cans with only an ultrasound sensor? Or will there only be drinking cans on the playfield?

It will be a simple playfield for the competition. For an earlier competition we used foam rubber cylinders. I might go back to them yet as they do not reflect the ultrasound as well. The poor reflection reduces the range that they can be detected at but gives a narrower spike in the readings that make it easier to align the gripper.

I am now experimenting with using bluetooth to transmit the data to the laptop so I can see in realtime what the robot sees. For some reason the Arduino software does not recognise the bluetooth serial port but fortunately the Gobetwino software does.