Let's Make Robots!

Getting started with my Dagu Adventure Bot?

So I just picked up the Dagu Adventure Bot, with the intent of giving it to my kids for Christmas.  This allows me a good couple of months to make sure I know the ins and outs of what we can make it do.  I'm a programmer by trade so the idea of doing some C coding to make it do some not-out-of-the-box stuff doesn't bother me at all.  But being a software guy, what worries me is the potential for bricking the thing.  So before I proceed I wanted to ask some reallly basic questions:

* I've got a Mac powerbook to work with.  I've setup the Arduino IDE software and have the Adventure Robot software.  So far so good.

* I've got the robot out of its box, batteries in, and have verified that it properly runs the demonstration software (following an object, etc...)

Question#1 - I plug in the USB cable, but if I power on the robot it just tries to jump into its demo software and walk away (which is funny in its own way, like it doesn't care that it's tethered...)  How do I put it into a "ready to receive new code" mode?  Is that what the little button on the right side (opposite the usb port) is for?  How exactly does that work?  Will hitting that in any way wipe out the code that's there?

Question#2 - Assuming I get an answer to question 1, is putting new code onto this thing as easy as telling the Arduino software the right board (Nano/ATMega168)?  What other options do I have to set up properly?

For my first code I'd be doing simple things like commenting out the noisemaker and so on, simple non destructive stuff, just to demonstrate that I'm properly loading and executing the new code.  It's more the process of getting that code onto the bot without killing it irrevocably that I am worried about.

The robot actually comes with a pretty large assortment of Arduino related code, drivers and documentation ... but I have no way of knowing where to start.  There are no OSX compatible executables (even though the readme.txt says to install some drivers) so I'm not really sure what to do going down that path.





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where/how the code is stored. Most current microcontrollers have EEPROM for storage. The program will, for the most part (think years), stay in memory until you over-write it.

The program is stored in Flash memory. There is some EEPROM storage space, but, only 1 or 2k in many cases. 

I have just purchased a advetnure bot but having problems uploading sketch to it, getting the following error:

Avrdude: stk500_read_sig_bytes() :  (a) protocol error, expect=0x10, resp=0x14

Avrdude: error reading signature data for part "ATMEGA168", rc=-3

avedude: error reading signature data, rc=-1

avrdude: stk500_disable() : protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x10

How i am using Adrunio 0018 which as on the disk and have tried all the board types with Amega168 and get the same result.


Cheers Trevor