Let's Make Robots!

What is your favorite Arduino compatible board?

I do like a lot of controllers (and I am sure there are more to come!)

On the subject of the Arduino:

What is your favorite Arduino (program / form factor) compatible board???

Mine is: The Uno32 because it is a fast Arduino and can be so much more (has a PIC 32 bit chip)! I still wish it was a 5V I/O board, but 3.3V is here to stay...


Try this....

Take a look at this:


It LOOKS like an Arduino (but its not). Same basic Arduino feature set. (add a power switch and a little more neat stuff)

It runs ,,,,,, tada ,,,,,, BASIC!  (Don't run, shake or shiver!)

(It looks one HECK of a lot like P-BASIC (STAMP 2) but has more commands and floating point.)

The editor can be downloaded and looks nice, but nothing special.

The manual looks nice and well organized and is BIG, but again is nothing special.


This morning I was going to try my "RADAR" project on my beautiful new Panda II. The last time I had carefully put away the board (on an anti-static mat). The board was working fine.

Lets Make Robots or Lets Make Radars?

A while back I notice the simularity between the Ultrasound/IR sensors we use on robots for object avoidance to the concept of basic RADAR. (This is more like UDAR or IRDAR). Direction and range information are what the controller uses to detect objects (RADARs basically use the same information.)

So instead of building robots for a while I decided to see how good I could make my own IRDAR. Wow! One can adjust trigger point, gain and a bunch of other factors and have a way-cool little system!

I REALLY like RobotC for the Arduino!

I have just had a chance to try the beta of RobotC (download it from their website: http://www.robotc.net/). You will get a 120 day trial (Nice!) It is still in Beta, but it looks really good.

So far, it downloads a chunk of code to the Arduino (I am usimg a Uno) that lets you debug (single step, etc) right on the Arduino!

There is supposed to be a simulator too, but I haven't tried it yet.

I would definitely call it "featue rich". The editor looks very nice too.

3.3 Volts to 5 Volts the easy way.

It doesn't get more simple than this...

The above circuit worked to let a 5 Volt servo work on a 3.3 Volt signal. This DOES NOT convert power so connect the servo power connections to 5 Volts and ground. This only converts the low power signals (before this my servo wouldn't move!)

Now, the resistor is 1000 ohms or 1 K (brown, black, red). Wattage isn't citical. The diodes are 1N914 or 1N4148 any good silicon (Switching) diode should work.

Helping a special friend with his first robot,

I am helping with my friends first robot! He primaily wanted tractor treads and an Arduino "because he heard they were good" ( I didn't disagree with him. :-)

We decided on an inexpensive kit was a good starting point and then it can be expanded later.

Our choice was the BrutusBot and electronics package (looks like I get to solder 2 boards, lucky me...). It was fairly cheap.

He seems good in the programming and mechanical areas, he isn't so good with the electronics part (he does fine with some guidance).

Yes, it really is worth doing.

Please first read my post: An alternative Language/OS for your Max-32

Then see: http://blogs.freescale.com/2012/03/01/robotics-programming-its-back-to-basic-with-stickos/  (Very nice, detailed article.) The link here looks just fine but doesn't work!!!!

Now you have another vote for converting your Uno-32 or Max-32 over to StickOS.

It took me about an hour to put together a simple wall avoiding control program (details of exactly how you would control your motors would still need to be done, depending on what motor configuration you use).

The Arduino has an awesome new editor.

I have always liked "Code Blocks" as a powerful code editor (and compiler, if set up properly). It is "feature rich" Nice,

There is now a version of this editor for the Arduino!!! (I use and appreciate the original Arduino sketch editor, but it leaves a lot to ask for and I am getting a bit tired of it....

So far, as a demo Code Blocks recreated the good old "blink" program and then compiled it and could run on it on an Arduino. Wow!

This is a fairly early version of the Arduino version and I expect more than its share of problems, but this is a GREAT start!!!

An alternative Language/OS for your Max-32

Did you buy a Digilent Max-32 for the 32 bit processor and the Arduino compatability (these boards are VERY Arduino compat.)

Do you know you have an entire OS including the Basic language available to you for FREE???

See the following website for details on: http://www.cpustick.com/ (StickOS).

(By the way, those with a Uno-32 boards are not left out, you can do the same thing!)