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 I want to start robotics programming
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deathbow2134




PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:28 am   Post subject: I want to start robotics programming

Hello All!
I am 15 and want to get into robotics programming. I can already program decently. I have next to no experince with electronics/building robots. What robot should I get to start with? I will be programming it in Visual Studio Robotics Express Edition.

The main robots which I am considering are the Lego Mindstorm, and the iRobot Create. Or maybe even Parallax's Boe-Bot. Right now I am leaning towards the iRobot Create.

Which robot would you recomend to someone who has never done this before like myself? Thanks! Very Happy
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Tony




PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:20 pm   Post subject: RE:I want to start robotics programming

The advantage of the Mindstorm is that it's easier to build and, perhaps more importantly, to rebuild -- giving you lots of room to experiment and to try things out. It also comes with a set of components that you just plug in and have them work. I think it would make a better choice for starting out.
Latest from compsci.ca/blog: Tony's programming blog. DWITE - a programming contest.
deathbow2134




PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:36 pm   Post subject: Re: I want to start robotics programming

Can it be reprogrammed with the Microsoft Robotics Studio?
Shah-Cuber




PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:38 pm   Post subject: Re: I want to start robotics programming

The Mindstorms NXT kit is a good start to robotics. However, it doesn't show the fundamentals of how electronics actually work in a robot, or the physics involved. I would recommend studying some robotic concepts before actually building/experimenting with your robot. Programming a robot is much different than actual programming. When you get to more advance levels, some tough mathematics is required. The logic involved may seem much more different, but you have to make sense out of it somehow. I would recommend RobotC for Mindstorm NXT, even though it is really horrible and I truly despise it. Some other programming languages you might want to consider are MPLab, EasyC, notExactlyC, etc ... (to which most are C based programming languages). I am guessing that you don't just want it to be an autonomous robot when you program it. If you want to actually control your robot, with some joystick, you need a Bluetooth device to actually transmit and receive the signals. Quick note: Using Bluetooth in actual competition is not a good idea, as you could get interference with other robots (i.e: You could control other robots, and vice versa). Robotics is fun once you understand the fundamentals. Good luck!
deathbow2134




PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:29 pm   Post subject: Re: I want to start robotics programming

Shah-Cuber @ Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:38 pm wrote:
The Mindstorms NXT kit is a good start to robotics. However, it doesn't show the fundamentals of how electronics actually work in a robot, or the physics involved. I would recommend studying some robotic concepts before actually building/experimenting with your robot. Programming a robot is much different than actual programming. When you get to more advance levels, some tough mathematics is required. The logic involved may seem much more different, but you have to make sense out of it somehow. I would recommend RobotC for Mindstorm NXT, even though it is really horrible and I truly despise it. Some other programming languages you might want to consider are MPLab, EasyC, notExactlyC, etc ... (to which most are C based programming languages). I am guessing that you don't just want it to be an autonomous robot when you program it. If you want to actually control your robot, with some joystick, you need a Bluetooth device to actually transmit and receive the signals. Quick note: Using Bluetooth in actual competition is not a good idea, as you could get interference with other robots (i.e: You could control other robots, and vice versa). Robotics is fun once you understand the fundamentals. Good luck!

Would I be able to program the lego Mindstorm in the Microsoft Robotics Studio, as well?
Tony




PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:40 pm   Post subject: RE:I want to start robotics programming

http://blogs.msdn.com/coding4fun/archive/2007/07/16/3902344.aspx
Latest from compsci.ca/blog: Tony's programming blog. DWITE - a programming contest.
Superskull85




PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:48 pm   Post subject: RE:I want to start robotics programming

I play with the Mindstorm in high school for a bit. It was fun, and really easy to understand. However, the way I programmed the Mindstorm was via a provided GUI. I could simulate loops, conditionals and actions, but I did not actually program the Mindstorm using code that I wrote out in a text editor.

I never really went beyond graphical programming of the Mindstorm, as there was a lack of resources available to me at the time. I don't know if you would be able to use the Microsoft Robotics Studio with the Mindstorm, but if not there is an easy-to-use way of programming the Mindstorm if you cannot use the Microsoft Robotics Studio.

Robotics is interesting, and I regret not learning about the subject earlier in my education. Hopefully my interest in Androids will let me explore robotics more in depth.

I wish you luck on your quest through robotics. Smile
Vermette




PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:44 am   Post subject: RE:I want to start robotics programming

Last year I used an iRobot Create in a grad-level robotics course, but we were focused on probabilistic algorithms like Kalman filters.

I'd recommend sticking with a Mindstorm for now. I believe they are comparable in price, but the mindstorm is more versatile without building your own hardware. You also get some better sensors out of the box. Maybe it was just the fleet we had but the motors and odometry encoders had terrible error rates.

That said, the hobby community for both is large with lots of support out there, both work with robotics studio, and both are fun and rewarding!
deathbow2134




PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:12 pm   Post subject: Re: I want to start robotics programming

Thanks people! Your help is greatly appreciated. The Mindstorm it is.

Thank you! Very Happy
mirhagk




PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:55 pm   Post subject: RE:I want to start robotics programming

just out of curiousity could parrallelput be used to create a robot with turing?? lol itd be dumb but is it possible??? and how would i build the robot
DemonWasp




PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:29 pm   Post subject: RE:I want to start robotics programming

Yes, that'd easily be possible. In fact, that was the summative in my Grade 12 Computer Engineering class. It's a pretty fun project. You use Parallel-Put and Parallel-Get to get information from the robot and send commands to it. These are likely on the order of "adjust stepper motor".

Building the robot turned out to be mostly mechanical, with minimal circuitry required.
ecookman




PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:44 pm   Post subject: RE:I want to start robotics programming

in my computer/robotic engineering and interfacing class that I am in (G11), we are building circuits and basic robots and interfacing them through the DB25 (old printer port) on the computer.

Personally I do not have any prior robotics experience, minus the Sumo Bot I built and loaded simple programs onto it such as move forward for X then turn X degrees and if your ir censor picks up a wall you decide. but it was practaly all "canned" programing software. The way that the Mindstorm stuff sounds like is similar.

If you are adept, or just starting with circuitry and programming, I'd recommend trying it all from scratch. Trust me, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing that you completely made work the exact way you designed to, even if it is just 3 LED's and a motor turning on and of with movements from a joystick.

if oyu know jack about building circuits Binboards/protoboards/breadboards... are a good place to start, you can easily build electronic robots (simple ones) with bread boards, they are layed out nicely so you can easily see how things are working and where your problems are.

if you are interested I can share some of the things I have made, such as my variable speed fan, press the 8 key to increase fan speed and 5 to decrease. Although it is simple, it is the building block onto bigger and better things, EG
the class is doing a project where we are taking one of those electric car tracks and literally modding the hell out of it so we control the cars with a joystick. through the computer (is this starting to sound like RC to you lol).



BUT

if you are just looking to dabble, the Lego Mindstorm seems pretty cool as well.


**note: I have not used the software mentioned in the above I have been using Qbasic so far (mainly because the main focous is building the robots and no prior programming skills were needed, so noobs could easily jump in and type in out 888, 1 and turn on a motor or a LED), after the course I was going to strive to build a driving drone that will navigate its way through obstacles with IR sensors and program it with VB. SO a long road awaits the both of us ^_^

(in case you have not noticed, I thoroughly enjoy this stuff lol)
boilerwelder




PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:41 am   Post subject: Re: I want to start robotics programming

Is there anyone interested in building robots here?


This is a pretty old thread, so although it isn't too groovy to go reviving old threads without new tech input (yes, I read the rules), I thought it may be worth checking to see if there are any new members who are also interested in building robots ?? (By "new members", I meant ones joined up after the thread went dormant in 2009)
Nathan4102




PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:01 pm   Post subject: RE:I want to start robotics programming

If you're looking to start programming and building robots, I'd look into an arduino kit.
boilerwelder




PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:48 pm   Post subject: Re: I want to start robotics programming

Thanks Nathan.


Can Arduinos run off higher level languages like Node.js, or only harder-to-learn machine codes like C, or C++ ??
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