Large Android Household Robot

Danny22Danny22 Posts: 29
edited June 2007 in Robotics Vote Up0Vote Down
This is for Sid,·Mike Green,Andy,Chris or any Parallax Forum Moderator:

I'm retired and for the last 6 or 7 years have been working on a large android type household servant robot.· I am only using Parallax micrcontrollers because I love the product and support.· As it stands now for the robot to do what I want it to do it's necessary for me to use one BS2P40, a BS2p piggybacked with a PWMPAL that is·piggybacked to another BS2(thanks Sid)·and a BS1 that runs "bells & whistles" stuff.
Some of these are necessary because they run in the backround, i.e. wheel encoders,IR and Sonar sensors·that report when requested; and the BS1 that runs stupid cutesy servo and light displays when commanded.· The others are necessary because I've set up all of my motor drivers, and of course servos, to run with RC Pulse commands that require WORD variables and I always run out of variable space.· In addition the 12 stepper motors in the two arms need a separate BS2 because I need WORD variables to keep track of each of their positions and to run an industrial "coordinated motion" algorithm.

My question:· Do I junk the design and get a Propeller or just hook up an on board laptop or what?
I'm a pretty good PBastic programmer, although I'm constantly learning·but I 'm not sure·if I want (or have time(acturary tables being what they are) to learn a new language for the Propeller. Right now I'm in the process of designing the power supply(I understand that the Propeller takes 3.3V) and the main CPU board so I've got to make some decision one way or another soon.

Thanx for your input & HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!


  • 5 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Mike GreenMike Green Posts: 22,342
    edited June 2007 Vote Up0Vote Down
    It sure sounds like you need something more powerful than a Stamp for the coordination of all that "stuff". You have a couple of choices:

    1) Keep most of what you have to do the low level management of servos and sensors and add something fancier for high level control. There are all kinds of Linux or DOS based embedded controllers. Look at any issue of Nuts and Volts or Circuit Cellar for examples. You could have a simple serial bus with all the "slave" Stamps acting as receivers and the "master" being the Linux or DOS system. There are some public domain C or Basic interpreters that you can run on the "master". There are also other languages that you could add that might, in the end, simplify complex robotic stuff (like Scheme which is LISP-like or one of the Smalltalk versions available for free).

    2) Keep much of what you have and add / replace some with one or more Propellers using Protoboards which are pretty cheap ($100 for five).

    3) Replace all the controllers with several Propeller Protoboards and switch to using Spin. There are already library routines for much of what you're doing at a low level (like servo control, sonar and IR sensors ... and I think wheel encoders as well). There's also the BS2 compatibility library which has a lot of the special functions of PBasic supplied as function / subroutine calls.
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,405
    edited June 2007 Vote Up0Vote Down

    You will most certainly get varying opinions on what to use on your robot. The fact is a BASIC Stamp could probably do most of what you want. And if not one, certainly a small network of them dedicated to particular tasks. The bottom line is you have to use what you’re comfortable working with. If not the BASIC Stamp then maybe a Propeller. But if you outline the tasks and decide what is required for each one you will get a better overall picture of what you need (so will everyone else if you post that). I hope this helps. Take care.

    Chris Savage
    Parallax Tech Support
    Chris Savage | Engineering Tech | Main Office: (916) 624-8333 | Direct to Tech Support: (888) 997-8267 | Website | Twitter | Google+
  • Danny22Danny22 Posts: 29
    edited June 2007 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Mike and Chris,

    Thanks for your timely responses.· I'm looking into the Propeller and also considering using a laptop for the "Master".· Let me ask:· assuming that I keep some or all of my Stamps in a network, am I correct that I should use an "open Baud" mode of serial communication?


  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited June 2007 Vote Up0Vote Down

    Take a look at N&V on-line volumes 55 & 56. Also check out the following on-line book: "Basic Stamp 2p, Commands, Features and Projects".


    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!
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