Answer by pseducode · Jan 14, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Why not get a lego mindstorms kit? I'd say start there especially if you're new to programming and robotics in general. The software (windows) and instructions it comes with should be enough to get you started.
Answer by Brandon HQI · Jan 16, 2012 at 12:11 AM
http://thenewboston.org/list.php?cat=41 go to that link and it will give u a list of video tutorials on Robotics & Electronics The name of the website is The New Boston and the owner named Bucky is the best teacher ever !!!!!! feel free to donate to him to improve the website also if u want.
Answer by trueb · Jan 16, 2012 at 01:18 AM
you cannot control any kind of robot directly form a pc, but what are you interested in doing? you will need to design a control program, then you will need to design control hardware and software which will be embedded onto programmable logic or a MCU.
PC Interface(Software) -> Embedded Controller (Software/Hardware)-> Driver/Controller (Hardware) -> Physical Output/Sensor Input.
You can use the computer as an interface device, but you need to decide what kind of robot you want. One thing I do a lot when i do projects is make a system diagram.
A system diagram will show what components hook up to what, and what interface they use to communicate. The one above is for a RC car I am currently working on for school. This becomes really necessary in more complex systems where each block will have a sub block and even sub blocks could have sub blocks.
But here are the questions I have for you, what do you want it to do? a robotic arm? a car? Also how are you going to implement the interface to control it? basically I need more information to give you and specific advice.
Answer by trueb · Jan 16, 2012 at 09:54 PM
The question you should be asking is what language do you want to program in? The platform on which you program on depends on the language. C will work on either, C# and Visual Basic is best left for windows unless you want to virtualise windows on linux with wine or something. Python can work on either but Linux would probably be the best platform for this.
However, if you plan to just use the OS to develop embedded software you need to figure out what you want to program on (ARM, PIC, AVR, C8051, M68K, MSP430, Arduino) you need to look at available tools and how easy they are to use. you can write the program in C and can use such IDEs as Eclipse or CodeBlocks and if you can dig and find the right GCC compiler and linker to create your binaries then you need to find a way to transfer it to your hardware. Depending on what architecture you want on the embeded end that will change what tools you can use and what tools may change your OS.
For Example if you choose ARM the best IDE I have found is Keil uVision, and although it is normally a paid program you can get a free copy for personal use that is limited but still more than functioning. It is also available for both operating systems.
On the other hand if you choose PIC or AVR (I am not sure on this) I believe the official tools made by the manufacture of the chip is only available for windows.
So what to take home from this
Depending on language and the availability of tools it could change what OS you use. Bottom line you need to do a lot more research before you can pick an OS. but on the bright side you can almost find a tool for any OS, But the ease of use of that tool could change.
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