Let's Make Robots!

Looking for general advice


Im new to the forums, but have came to the web site many times over the past month. I have never made my own robot before but have always been interested in making one. At the moment i have put together a list of things i might be using.

1.) servos -- http://www.robotshop.us/hitec-hs475hb-servo-motor.html

2.) Picaxe 28 Pin Project Board -- http://www.robotshop.us/picaxe-28-pin-project-board.html

3.) Picaxe-28x1 USB starter Pack -- http://www.robotshop.us/picaxe-28x1-starter-pack-usb.html

4.) Devanteck Ultrasonic Range Finder -- http://www.robotshop.us/devantech-ultrasonic-range-finder-srf04-1.html

i also have a large sheet of 1/8 thick aluminum, a soldering gun, welder, and a plasma cutter at my disposal

im looking to build a hexapod style robot with the ability to program it (i don't want a fancy RC car, im trying to build a autonomous robot) and a way for it to avoid obstacles on its own. the board i chose also seemed good bc i want to add more to it later after i get more of an understanding (like voice recognition and audio playback) lol. but that's a future project i just want to get this thing moving then i can move on to harder projects.

that's my plan so far. i made this post just to see if i could get some advice, like is picaxe the way to go for what i plan on doing, how should i power this robot? (18+ servos seems demanding).

i will gladly take any advice, i have a great idea i just need some help getting it done. Thanks for your time.


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my intentions with this is to learn as much as i can V.S. the $$ spent, not to get a robot fast. what would be the best software to use for that?

 thanks for the comments, anything helps 

of inciting a jihad.

I think you are free to decide what kind of uC you want to use, based on whatever principals you hold dearest.  They might be simplicity of programming, indeed, complexity of programming!, the ability to interface it with peripherals, the size and access to a development community, etc. etc. etc.

Many people seem enjoy programming a picaxe for many of the reasons that other people dislike it. There are reasons you might choose something else, and indeed, starting on one kind of chip does not mean that you will stay with it forever - but you DO have to start somewhere. 

My advice can be summarised as follows;

1. start anywhere

2. move in a random direction, if you dont like the new place you are at or you want to explore then goto 2.



There are a number of servo drivers available but to be honest, if this is your first robot you might want to start a little smaller. If you still want to procede, start getting familliar with I2C and serial comunications as this is how almost all of the servo drivers will work. Over and above that, start with just getting a LED to blink and go from there.

One thing: don't get both number 2 and number 3 cause number 3 includes the 28 pin project board. 

Since you're getting the PICAXE you might find this useful: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/75  

If you plan on using 18 servos though, that board is not the one you will be using, but i think it is a great way to start learning how the picaxe works, so you should consider buying it (not to mention that you also get a picaxe chip and usb cable,).

As for managing 18 servos i don't think the picaxe can handle it, maybe you'll need a servo controller, but i don't know much about those...i'll let someone else answer.