What platform / language should I learn?
June 20, 2012
A little background on me... I'm 30 years old, and have recently decided to return to school in order to study mechanical engineering and robotics. I've always been a tinkerer, and figure its about time to do something with that.
I've played around with a few robot languages and platforms (Arduino / Processing, Basic Stamp, NXT), but there are so many out there, that I'm almost at a loss to start.
Here's the project I would like to start. I have a spare netbook currently running linux (but I can throw windows on it if necessary), and I would like to basically attach a few motors to it, as well as a camera and ultrasonic range finder and have it roam around and explore.
I have experience with using the arduino board for all my inputs/outputs, but I'd love to find a way to let the netbook itself be the controller for inputs / outputs. I've heard of LabView, Robot Operating System, and others, but I'm at an impasse on how to proceed.
So, I'm asking advice as to what would be the best thing for me to learn academically, as well as what would work best for interfacing with the computer and hardware / sensors. Also, something that isn't too expensive hopefully. If you need anymore information from me, please let me know, and many thanks!