View Full Version : New To Robotics And Programming

El Espada
12-29-2007, 07:07 PM
I am completely new to all of the robotics scene. I have been searching the web for the past year trying to find a good starting point for my ugv project. Heres a little background info on what i know. I have purchase a BSC2 Education Kit from parallax thinking that would be my start, but after going halfway through the program I quickly realize that its lacking in a lot of ways. So i have built basic circuitry and some programming. I have some experience in html and currently working on some php stuff. With that out of the way i want to learn a language that will help me with robotics as well as other apps down the road. I don't plan to have this conquered over night but this is going to be a long term project for me.

Goal: Learn a language that will carry over and be very flexible for development
Learn how to build more complex circuitry
To build a ugv using either a window or Linux x86 platform
To be able to track this through the WWW
To be able to issue new commands or way points via WWW
To be able to steam video and audio as well as overlay info on video
To be able to primarily us WiFi as primary form of communication and maybe packet ham as a backup.

I know this is an ambitious project but something that might be able to help me get started say a good book to buy, post pertaining to the goal mentioned, or a inexpensive kit. I'm not afraid to learn. I build my own comp and servers. I have web hosted before and not afraid to get a little dirty any help will be deeply appreciated.

12-29-2007, 09:15 PM

I bought a Robonova-1 a while ago and I think that it is an excellent way to get into Robotics.

1) The basic kit can expand out as far as you are willing to take it.

2) You can expand it out in little steps and each step is as entertaining as the last.

3) It is not expensive to get started with and to expand. Although I would say that if you started out with buying everthing you ever wanted for it all at once you could spend a lot of money on it.


El Espada
12-30-2007, 01:13 AM
That sounds very promising. What language does that kit take as far as programming and is it based on an x86 platform?

El Espada
12-30-2007, 01:16 AM
Just look up Robonova-1 and that kits is a $1000. Thats a bit out my current price range. I was thinking more on the lines of a wheeled bot to start out with that fits my current wants. Thanks though for the suggestion.

El Espada
12-30-2007, 12:22 PM
Okay after some research I decided to go with C++ for my programming language. Also just wondering through the forums and this site I got a lot of my questions answered concerning interfacing motor control to the pc. With that said I believe now I have a solid understanding on what I must achieve on a personal level so that this project is success full. Any feedback or input is still greatly appreciated.

01-02-2008, 06:45 AM
Hey Espanda, I think you would be better off learning C# 2005 it's much easier to learn and you will find more hardware is going to this language.

Good Luck


01-02-2008, 12:58 PM
I'd agree with Tymtravler that C# 2005 is the way to go. When I started college for programming back in '03, they started me off with learning C++ and I'll tell ya, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Don't get me wrong, C++ is an awesome language and very powerful, but incredibly difficult for a beginner to learn, especially if you're teaching yourself. Either way, .NET provides a whole slew of free languages (VC++, C#, VB, J#) complete with their own Integrated Development Environment and compiler. Read more about it here:


Don't look into Express 2008 just yet, because there hasn't been much transition over to it yet in Robotics.

That aside, if you're looking for a basic wheeled robot that can use a common language like .NET, check out the Stinger:


It's an excellent platform for robotics and comes with the Serializer Robot Controller (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5196-Robotics-Connection-Serializer-WL.aspx) which is a great development board for robotics complete with a free and really easy to use Application Programming Interface (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_Programming_Interface)

El Espada
01-07-2008, 01:06 AM
Cool so i guess i need to take back my C++ book i bought lol. So what do u recommend for learning c#. Like i said earlier im currently working on some php stuff for the web based gps tracking. I know php is a scripting language and C# is more in the line of object based. So i guess what will be the differnces?

Thanks for the info :o

01-07-2008, 03:00 PM
A book that I really loved is "Pro C# 2005 and the .NET 2.0 Platform" by Andrew Troelsen. It taught me a lot about programming in C# 2005. Also, check out this thread from the MSDN forums:


I found a lot of nice book recommendations there.

There really are not too many books (if any) that focus directly on using C# with robotics. But fish123456 introduced me to a book that uses .NET 2.0 (C# 2005) with a lot of cool projects:


I haven't checked it out personally, but I looked through the pages on Amazon and I liked the way that the author presents the topics.

Any sort of programming related questions as your learning, I'm always happy to help with. The only thing that I ask is that you post in the Software and Programming (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21) forums so that others can learn from your experiences:D

As far as the difference between php and C#, well... actually I have many friends and known others to define PHP as an "object oriented" scripting language. You'll find that C# has many of the same things that PHP has, only is presented in a different manner using different syntax. There are a lot of similarities between the two that you'll realize while you're learning.

El Espada
01-07-2008, 05:43 PM
Cool I will post the programming questions else where

El Espada
01-08-2008, 11:28 PM
Just out of the blue can u have a robot who's brain( aka pc) away from the bot. Say like the bot communicates through wifi for its instructions. Is this hard to implement or is it even worth while

01-08-2008, 11:33 PM
That's exactly how BrainBot (http://www.bioloid.info/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=BrainEngineering+BrainBot) works...

- Jon