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Question about robot control paradigm RRS feed

  • Question

  • If I use VEX with MRDS, MRDS would be using VEX microcontrollers as "the middle man" to control the motors, sensors, etc.
    Is it considered a "better" control paradigm to use only an imbedded PC or laptop on the robot to control motors, sensors, etc.?
    If so, can I use VEX robotics to support the imbedded PC paradigm?

    I'm trying to decide which way to jump before committing to a specific control architecture.
    Sunday, March 8, 2009 4:49 AM

Answers

  • I don't think it is a question of which is a "better" approach. I have used both and I prefer to have a PC on the robot. However, there is a substantial difference in cost and of course the robot has to be capable of carrying the PC, even if it is a mini laptop.

    You can of course create a robot that has an on-board PC and then talks to a VEX controller. Then you would be running MRDS directly on the robot, but talking to a microcontroller to actually control it. For example, we have done this using a USB-to-serial device attached to a Dell mini mounted on an iRobot Create. The Create has enough "smarts" to control its motors and read from the IR sensors. We just use the serial port to talk to the Create.

    Trevor
    Monday, March 9, 2009 6:14 AM