View Full Version : Interested in Boe Bot

01-02-2012, 02:46 PM
As I listed in my profile I'm an old (really old) retired EE engineer and I miss working pushing the envelope in engineering. How ever it's been a long long time ago. I want to get involved in robots and The Boe Bot interests me but I don't want to start at the bottom but I want to get my brain working so I'm looking for some middle range challenge to start. In addition to the basic (USB) boe Bot capabilities I want to take it a few steps further and I would appreciate some suggestions. Should I consider the propeller Controller? What other sensors or accessories should I consider? What should I avoid? Some of the things I have been considering is the Gripper Kit, Say It Module, Sensor Kit, Compass GPS, Video Camera accessories, Wireless USB hub. I also might have a youngster still in school with me and I would want any suggested additional books that might help the learning process for him (and maybe me). Any suggestions, recommendations or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Life gets boring when your older so I want to get involved in something I'd be interested and spend some worthwhile time.

01-02-2012, 03:24 PM
I'd go with the propeller if you are new to this, that way you don't have to relearn the coding when you find the stamp won't do everything your mind can imagine. The Parallax site has PDFs of all their manuals and educational materials. Just download and learn. It's also bad form to post the same message in more than one forum. If you get to your other post before someone responds you can delete it.

Mike Green
01-02-2012, 04:13 PM
You have a couple of options depending on how impatient you are ...

You could get a BoeBot with the PING and its servo bracket to get started. There's a new Propeller Board of Education due out in a few weeks and you could substitute that for the Board of Education on the BoeBot when you're ready to push the envelope back a bit more. Alternatively, you could get a Propeller QuickStart kit to start getting familiar with the Propeller and then get the BoeBot chassis, PING, and Propeller Board of Education once that's available.

Other options include getting a Scribbler 2 and using its "hacker" interface to attach other devices to it.

Look at the Propeller Education Kit labs. There's a "sticky" thread at the top of the Propeller Forum thread list that contains these.

I've taken a BoeBot and substituted a SpinStamp (with its PropClip for programming) for the BS2 on the Board of Education. You'd need to adjust the resistor values for the IR LEDs for the 3.3V logic levels of the SpinStamp and add some 2.2K resistors in series with the I/O pins going to the PING, servos, and IR detectors, again to protect the SpinStamp from the 5V logic levels of the other components, but that's all easy to do. BoeBotBasic (http://obex.parallax.com/objects/27/) is a simple Basic interpreter in the Propeller Object Exchange that was developed for this platform originally, then changed when I substituted a Propeller Protoboard for the Board of Education.

01-02-2012, 04:31 PM
I thought I deleted it but when I checked it was still there. I guess I'll have to learn how to navigate to get what I want.

01-02-2012, 04:42 PM
I guess I'm confused with what is or isn't available so I really don't know where to start and I'm not familiar yet with the terminology such as Spin Clamp and Prop Clip etc. It's is a learning process for me but that's what I want and need, The reason for my posting to this forum is to understand. This is a new world for me. I was retired when I got my first Vic-20 computer and worked with only Dos and no hard drive. I might as well be on Mars right now. Thanks for your input.

01-02-2012, 04:45 PM
Yes I am impatient but I want something that will push me. The holidays have made my impatience even worse. I want to get started.

01-02-2012, 04:54 PM
I posted my delete response in the wrong place. I thought I deleted the post but apparently not. I'll have to figure out how to do it.

Mike Green
01-02-2012, 05:26 PM
First of all, Parallax's webstore is more than a place to order things. Every product page (pretty much) has links to documentation, sample programs, etc. The main Parallax webpage has buttons and tabs for all sorts of documentation. There's a Downloads page with buttons leading to almost all of the documentation and software for the various Parallax microcontrollers. There's a Resources page with links to articles from Nuts and Volts Magazine about Stamps, the Propeller, and other Parallax stuff.

You can find out from the webstore page, but the PropClip and PropPlug are USB programming interfaces for the Propeller. Many of Parallax's boards have this interface built in, but some do not. The PropPlug is designed to plug into a 4-pin 0.1" header (pins) while the PropClip is the same board, just with a clip-like attachment designed to clip onto 0.1" holes or pads on the edge of a printed circuit board, particularly the Spin Stamp module.

The SpinStamp is a Propeller module designed to plug into a socket (24-pin) normally used for a Stamp. It has all the parts on the module needed to make the Propeller chip work including a crystal (10MHz), EEPROM, voltage regulators, and a few miscellaneous parts. Because the Propeller uses 3.3V signals and the Stamps use 5V signals, the SpinStamp isn't a "drop-in" replacement for the Stamps, but it doesn't take much to make it work. Typically you'd use 2.2K series resistors between the I/O pins and external devices that provide inputs for the I/O pins. Most devices that take outputs from Stamp I/O pins will work with the 3.3V logic levels without any special interfaces.

The QuickStart module is a Propeller board intended to demonstrate many of its features and be used to make a variety of projects, primarily for potential commercial users. It's cheap and easy to use. Look at the descriptions on the webstore for the Propeller Education Kit, Propeller Demo Board, Propeller Protoboard, and Propeller Professional Development Board. There are also some excellent 3rd party Propeller boards that Parallax carries.

01-02-2012, 05:29 PM
The BOEBot with a Ping))) and bracket is a fun combination. I would also consider getting the wheel encoders as they greatly increase the BOEBot's utility. That should keep you busy for a while and you can upgrade to a Propeller chip either through the SpinStamp or the PropBOE at a later date. Line following modules, grippers, tank tracks can all be added on.

The nice thing about the BS2 is all the code you can download to interface it. It is also a 5 Volt device, so you don't have to deal with 3.3 to 5 volt interface issues when you are just getting started.

01-03-2012, 01:16 AM
+1 to Mike & Martin_H's posts. Can't go wrong with a BoeBot. An original blue Scribbler robot is also a good place to start. They can be found on Ebay & Amazon for $40-60. That's the price of a BS2!

Ken Gracey
01-03-2012, 02:34 AM
@paulvive: the Boe-Bot. There's a reason we have several hundred thousand of these kits in the hands of our customers.

When the Propeller BOE is released you can put that board right in place of the BASIC Stamp BOE.

Total satisfaction or your money back, too. Nobody has taken us up on that offer yet for the Boe-Bot. The Propeller BOE will come with a lifetime warranty, too.

Welcome to the forums, too!

Ken Gracey

01-03-2012, 05:44 AM
...I miss working pushing the envelope in engineering. How ever it's been a long long time ago. I want to get involved in robots...


There are several robotics teams in the Orlando area that could benefit from your time and experience.

01-03-2012, 08:00 PM

There are several robotics teams in the Orlando area that could benefit from your time and experience.
These teams are looking for people like you to be an Mentor or a Coach everyday to help the teams.
Me and two other members of the Baltimore Streetcar Museum (trolley museum) machine shop even helped machine parts for a First team robot.