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Can I use a regular board as PC on-board the robot? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Please, I hope I would recieve a reply with this..

    Well, I'm pertaining to a motherboards that we use on desktop pc? Can we use it?
    Favor, can somebody help me in some pointers or guide me if this is possible?
    Tuesday, September 18, 2007 11:26 AM

Answers

  • What you are describing are the problems everyone in the entire world comes across when they build a robot from scratch. If you are going to build a computer controlled robot from absolutely nothing you have to be aware that it is not simply an excersize in programming. To build a robot up from nothing you have to have a grasp of mechanics, electronics and software all at the same time and if you dont have these, you just have to teach yourself.

    In answer to your question can you use emergency light batteries, probably yes if they have an appropriate Ah rating.
    Starting with the actual robot you have to decide what type of robot its going to be. Its size and weight will directly affect the power supply. If you want a fast computer to control it onboard, this will affect the power consumption. If  you are using a computer, power draw will be at least a few amps continously and you will need to take into account the loading from your motors too. Bear in mind the more powerful your batteries, the heavier they will be therefore moving your robot will take more power again. The power to weight ratio affects every robot type and has a nasty habit of cropping up when you least expect it.

    Once you have sorted this out you have to decide how you are going to power your motors, are you going to design the elctronics or buy something already made? You have to decide how that motor controller is going to interface to your computer and then write the driver/control software for it.

    As for the onboard computer talking to another computer for remote control, there are many ways to do this. You could use ethernet or RS232 serial or IRDa or bluetooth. You'll probably need to write the software for this yourself though.
    Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:52 PM

All replies

  • The answer to your question completely depends on the sort of robot you are using.

    If for example you are using a robot arm, the chances are that it is going to be used in a fixed location. In this case it would be okay to use a normal desktop PC to interface to the robot. There might be some sort of interface already in the arm and so your only job would be to let the computer communicate to it somehow.

    If you are instead going to use a mobile robot and intend to actually put a PC inside it then you will need to consider the size, weight and most importantly, power consumption of the motherboard. The last thing you want is a mains power cord coming out of the back of a mobile robot. So if you are using a computer on board the robot you can use a small mini ITX or via board, like we use on the whitebox 914s or something of that nature - you can easily power these computers from batteries.

    If you want to use a normal computer motherboard on your robot just be aware it is going to take a lot of power so you will need to handle its power requirements properly.

    If you dont intend to put a computer on your robot then all you need is some sort of data link to from your desktop PC to whatever controller exists on on the robot. This can be anything from serial,usb parallel TCP/IP etc..
    Wednesday, September 19, 2007 10:50 AM
  • I see, that was something.. I didnt know that there is something like the mini-itx. thanks for the update.. I'm way not up to date. heheh

    anyways, Can anyone suggest a good Mini-ITX? I'll be using it for my robot. and I would like to controll my robot wirelessly via another PC. My robot have 2DC motors for movements and a robot arm..

    I'm pretty blank with this in my mind..and probably this would be my scenario after I bought a Mini-ITX..
    If I already have a mini-itx...
    How will I be able to let them communicate in terms of hardware. What do I need for MyPC to be able to communicate going to PC(mini-itx/onboard pc)...and from this be able to controll my dcmotor(to move) and to my robot arm(to function)?

    Just a quick question can I use a 12Volts rechargable batteries, that one that is used in emergency lights to power up the Mini-ITX? and do I still need a Mini-Voltage Regulator?
    Thursday, September 20, 2007 3:16 PM
  • What you are describing are the problems everyone in the entire world comes across when they build a robot from scratch. If you are going to build a computer controlled robot from absolutely nothing you have to be aware that it is not simply an excersize in programming. To build a robot up from nothing you have to have a grasp of mechanics, electronics and software all at the same time and if you dont have these, you just have to teach yourself.

    In answer to your question can you use emergency light batteries, probably yes if they have an appropriate Ah rating.
    Starting with the actual robot you have to decide what type of robot its going to be. Its size and weight will directly affect the power supply. If you want a fast computer to control it onboard, this will affect the power consumption. If  you are using a computer, power draw will be at least a few amps continously and you will need to take into account the loading from your motors too. Bear in mind the more powerful your batteries, the heavier they will be therefore moving your robot will take more power again. The power to weight ratio affects every robot type and has a nasty habit of cropping up when you least expect it.

    Once you have sorted this out you have to decide how you are going to power your motors, are you going to design the elctronics or buy something already made? You have to decide how that motor controller is going to interface to your computer and then write the driver/control software for it.

    As for the onboard computer talking to another computer for remote control, there are many ways to do this. You could use ethernet or RS232 serial or IRDa or bluetooth. You'll probably need to write the software for this yourself though.
    Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:52 PM