16 Jun 2002 pantera   » (Observer)

First lessons in building a Robot.

Note: Knowledge of Digital Electronics and Computer Organization desired when building and programming a robot.

First we start with an introduction to the Handy Board. It is a hand-held microcontroller board very well suited for personal and educational robotics projects.

It contains:

  • Motorola 68HC11 microprocessor (with system clock at 2 MHz)
  • 32K RAM (battery-backed static RAM)
  • Outputs for four DC motors
  • Analog and Digital inputs
  • 16x2 character LCD screen

Lab 1:

The first lab consists of getting familiar with the handy board. There are two ways to interact with the handy board: first we install Interactive-C and write sample programs, or secondly we directly download the *.S19 binary files to the board (done by using the dl command) to get familiar with its inner workings.
Then we familiarized ourselves with the schematics and the lay out of the board and all of the inputs and outputs.

Lab 2:

We write test programs in Assembly to control two DC motors. They consist of writing modules for making the device move forward, backward and turn. We would like to be able to move the device few feet forward, having it turn around twice, and then go backward to its starting position. This is a sort of brute force method where we are in full control of what's going on. Later on we will go on further and try to automate the mobile device (Robot) as we start mounting sensors to it. Embedding AI into it is out of the picture for now.

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