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New ( offline )
Posts: 2
Posted: 2010-08-13 08:30 
Hello. I am completely new to robotic kits. My passion has always been robot spiders.
could you guide me please. What level of extent of programming languages do I have to know in order to build these cool robotic kits.
I am especially interested in Hexapods. and secondly bipeds. Thankyou.

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Guru ( offline )
Posts: 4938
Posted: 2010-08-13 10:00 
Hi and welcome,

What language you use very much depends on how you wish to control your robot. For example take one of the Lynmotion hex robots such as the CHR-3 and phoenix. My guess is that the majority of the kits Lynxmotion sells for these includes the electronics which typically includes a Basic Micro "Basic Atom Pro 28" also known as the BAP28. This micro controller comes with it's own flavor of the language Basic, which is very similar to the basics on the Basic Stamp micro controllers. The good news is that there are several programs up here to control these robots using the BAP28. FYI - These controllers can also be programmed in C/C++ and I have a version of the software in C that I can run on my CHR-3 hex.

How much programming do you need to know to start? Very little as long as you are pretty good at following instructions. Lynxmotion has some great tutorials that help you first build the robots and then download some programs to your hex that allows it walk, turn, play some pre-built routines that you can download... Once you are comfortable with what it is doing, you can slowly dig into this software to try to understand it and try to make whatever changes you wish. The good news is there are people up here on the forum that are always willing to help.

Please note there are several other ways to control these hexapods as well, including:
a) Only electronics on board is an SSC-32 servo controller. You connect the robot up to your computer by a serial connection (Wire or Blue-tooth or Xbee) and you develop software that runs on the PC in any language you wish that simply downloads textual commands to the controller that tells each servo what to do.
b) Like a) except you have a BAP28 on the robot, you use the program Powerpod that Lynxmotion gives away to generate a program for serial communications. Your program on the PC then simply downloads requests that look similar to what information we would normally extract from a PS2 controller...

Sorry if this is too much or too little information and Good Luck

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Guru ( offline )
Posts: 9256
Posted: 2010-08-13 11:15 
To summarize, you don't NEED to know anything about programming to build and enjoy a hexapod robot. However, if you want to learn there are many here who are willing to help. 8)

Jim Frye, the Robot Guy
I've always tried to do my best...

New ( offline )
Posts: 2
Posted: 2010-08-14 03:37 
Thankyou for the reply. I am delighted and excited to know I can get my own CHR 3 even if i did not have any programming background. But my past C++ and Basic should make me comfortable with the assembly of the machine. I also used to build R/C trucks and buggies, planes, boats, choppers. I think that experience will make the physical assembly part easy. Just the electronics part may be new because in Radio Control models the servos are hooked to the Radio Reciever. I believe here in robots, the servos will have to be connected to the microprocessor Controller unit.


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