Archive for June 25th, 2012
A few months ago Parallax, makers of the popular STAMP microprocessor, released a new Board of Education (BoE) Shield for the Arduino. With ROBOTC for Arduino in the beta stage and a full-fledged release on the near horizon (expected third quarter 2012), the friendly folks at Parallax were kind enough to send us one of their Robotics Shield Kits (for Arduino) to prototype and test with.
The kit includes a full Boe-Bot kit, an BoE Shield for Arduino, a Boeboost module, and a bag of basic electronic components (resistors, capacitors, microswitches, etc). In order to get the kit completely up and running, users will also need a compatible Arduino, a USB A to USB B cable, a compatible coding program (ROBOTC for Arduino), and either four (five with the BoeBoost) AA batteries or a compatible AC adapter.
Once assembled, the Arduino can be programmed in ROBOTC for Arduino. Besides the pin layout and a few minor tweaks (on/off switch for servo power, for example), the Board of Education Shield is functionally the same as the Arduino platform so programs coded for the Arduino are directly compatible with this kit.
Even in its early stages, the ROBOTC for Arduino beta supports many of the features needed to code fully autonomous robots (with the applicable sensors installed). It is also continually upgraded and updated so that by the time the full version launches (expected third quarter 2012), users will be able to unlock the full potential of their robotic kits.
All in all, this is a solid introductory kit into the world of robotics. Combined with the ROBOTC programming language, it makes for one powerful, flexible, user-friendly platform.
The first few sections of the Arduino Tutorials have been placed up on the ROBOTC wiki. The vast potential of the Arduino means that it is possible to use it to control just about any platform. As such, we have made several sections for the basic tutorials to help get you started.
We currently have a section for the Parallax BoeBot, a section for using the LEGO hardware platform with the Arduino, and a section for using the VEX hardware platform with the Arduino. We also have plans to develop tutorials for the TETRIX hardware platform in the near future.
As it stands, we currently have tutorials to show you how to use the Arduino to control LEDs, control continuous rotation servos, regular servos, and how to use switches, and we have several more topics in the works.
You can find the full list of Tutorials at http://www.robotc.net/wiki/Arduino_Projects or go directly to the individual platform section using the links below. Keep in mind that ROBOTC for Arduino is still in development, so the content of the wiki tutorials may change frequently – so stop by often!