Let's Make Robots! | RobotShop

Various questions.. ;)

Hey all!

Ill introduce myself first. Im a 26 year old male, living in norway. I work with telecommunications equipment , fixing errors from manufacturing. This is everything from bad solders on components (BGAs and other smd components) to finding faulty components (again anything from wrong value on a resistor to BGAs that doesnt work as they should).

My electronics skills are pretty mediocre tho, i know enough to do my job but i want to learn more, as in how to actually make something. Thats why im here! I like the idea of fiddling around with robots, making simple creations and from this i have a good incentive to actually learn more electronics aswell.


So well, here i am! :)

Ive bought a DIY programming set called the xgamestation which has a Ubicom SX52 on it, and i figured i can use this in a robot some day.

Anyways, i guess what im gonna do is to follow the beginner guide here on the site and get the stuff i need, and then as i grow more competent with programming and figuring out solutions ill build more robots from there and maybe someday i can use this SX52 to actually make something?

I havent really done any research at all, but im under the impression that the various SX microprocessors are programmed via Assembly. Is this the case with the pic's you use aswell? And you just use various programs to "convert" your program to assembly? Reason i ask is that i started reading assembly programming for the SX but i found it to be fairly complex, and i lost the motivation..

Well, enough rambling from me, looking forward to a reply:)

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Hi "nem", welcome!

I´d whish I had your background in electronics. When I made my first robot, I still did not know what was ground and the other thing! Seriously! But the pre-made boards and the whole Picaxe-setup is so easy to use. (no I am not getting commision) Actually there is so much "blur" in the picaxe-documentation; images that does not match text, undocumented parts and pure rubbish at times.. Strange ways of having documentation sorted, and funny ways of naming things (like the SRF05 that is called SRF005 in Picaxe-world). These thing are the real trouble, but you will have a community here, I did not :) (and burnt lots of stuff)


Regarding the "actually making something" - part:

  1. Get / make a base: Wheels, and old RC-toy, something that can move
  2. Get to learn how your controller works; Somehow find out how your processor can control the motors on your base
  3. Get at least one sensor hooked up to your processor
  4. Program your processor to take inputs from the sensor, and react to this with the motors
  5. Do not skip any steps, and do not invent new steps ;)

Usually what I see is that people dream of making "fantastic stuff", and end up doing nothing.

What you should realize is that you should go for making "nothing really", follow the above steps, and THEN you will make fantastic things!

I think many of you out there should print this out and read it every night or something ;)

Regarding the "xgamestation".. Well - look at step 5 :) of course you are free to have fun your way, but my experience tells me that if you want to make robots, then do that. AND ONLY THAT. I have heard SO many "smart ideas of what one could do.." by people who never does it. They write themselves: "Imagine understanding how video game systems are designed and developed at an engineer's level." - Well - Imagine having to just make a robot drive around, then why on earth bother with video-games at an engeneers level?

First you should have the need, then get the means. if you start with the means (xgamestation), you will never target your needs!

That´s just one guy´s opinion ;)

I can recomend "the beginners guide here on the site", as I made it just for that purpose :)

But.. be aware that just because I recomend that, there are trillions of other ways of getting started, and everyone out there does have their own opinion! (but it really is the best beginners-project, trust me ;)


Regarding the code; NO, it does NOT have to be assambly!!!

Your dog can code a Picaxe chip - have a look at the code-examples in https://www.robotshop.com/letsmakerobots/node/17


/ Frits

"Usually what I see is that people dream of making "fantastic stuff", and end up doing nothing."

LOL that is what you usually say to me... and I still haven't made anything! But that's mostly because I'm lazy as hell :-D

- Jimmy

You are not lazy, boy, you have made so many things, startet robots.. but yes, you are one of these persons :D

Why can't you just settle for the simplest robot, doing it the simplest of ways, and then getting it finished? I tell you, that way is the way to get the fantastic robots.. Doing it simple, but actually doing it.



NO, stop, not just a little smart something, keep focus, make SIMPLE ROBOT!! 

/ Frits 

Well to make you happy then I can tell you that I'm almost done with a robot for your chair challenge! I just have some strange trouble with the infrared sensors I'm using and that needs to be sorted out somehow.

- Jimmy

Good boy!!


/ Frits 


 Thanks for the swift reply mate, i will go ahead with the beginners set you suggested, and have some fun with that and then see how it goes and how my interest grows, see if i can learn something, maybe get ideas for something cool i can construct and build myself. ;)

I think your beginners set is nice for us newbies, it gives us an easy way into robots, and will probably help us understand how to work with microcontrollers and stuff.

Thanks again mate, i will most likely be on here more in the future, asking for help or contributing with help / ideas.. ;)




Thank You, and looking forward, hurray :D

/ Frits