View Full Version : [Interesting] RobotBasic V3

08-19-2008, 04:23 AM
Found this on the Parallax site by Samuel.May be interesting to a few of you.

Hi All, We are excited to announce the posting of Version 3.2.0 of RobotBASIC.
The new ZIP file has new demo programs along with the new exe and help file.
You can download all files from www.RobotBASIC.com (http://www.robotbasic.com/).

In addition to correcting some errors in Version 3.1.0 we have added
new functions and commands and improved others. BUT…..the major
addition is a suite of functions to enable the ACQUIRING of images from
TWAIN compliant devices (Scanners, WebCams and the like).

With RB you can now capture images from devices connected to your PC and
with the extensive Image Processing and Drawing commands and functions you
can achieve projects like Robotic Vision. In the new downloadable zip file there is
a program that demonstrates most of the Image Processing operations you can do
with RB.

Additionally we have prepared an article (may be published in Servo Magazine), and
a corresponding video:

The video demonstrates a very interesting Robotic Vision project using a PC with
a RobotBASIC program that acquires images from a webcam and in response animates
a humanoid robot (puppet) actuated with servos synchronized via a multiple-servo-controller
board from Parallax Inc.(www.Parallax.com (http://www.parallax.com/)) The RB program is downloadable from:
www.RobotBASIC.com (http://www.robotbasic.com/)

We have also prepared another article and a corresponding video:

The video shows a very interesting project that illustrates how you can use a
RobotBASIC programmed PC to create sophisticated control projects that would
be impossible to do using most microcontrollers.

The project shows how you can integrate Graphical User Interfacing along with Simulations
and Hardware I/O control combined with complex mathematical algorithms to accomplish
PID real time control over a physical model (and simulation) of a Satellite Attitude Controller.

The project utilizes Distributed Processing techniques that integrate the PC and microcontrollers
to realize Multitasking and Parallel Processing to create an overall controller that emulates setups
you may only expect from high-level research projects.

The RobotBASIC program on the PC communicates with various Basic Stamps (BS2)
to acquire Quadrature Encoded position information and to actuate PWM motor control.

The project is detailed in a PDF file that you can download (along with all the necessary RB
and BS2 programs) from www.RobotBASIC.com (http://www.robotbasic.com/).

In Summary……
RobotBASIC allows you…. To Achieve… A Lot…Quickly… Easily….

08-19-2008, 05:52 AM
I wonder how good this would be with my J5??

08-19-2008, 10:11 AM
I have read the book and have wondered if anyone has used this for any projects here.
It would be interesting to see some working examples.

08-19-2008, 12:57 PM
ooops: I agree, and would also like to hear of anyone using it. I may try it on J5 when he is up and running, But won't be for a while yet.

08-20-2008, 12:52 AM
Has anyone used this type of software??

08-20-2008, 02:03 PM
Can any more ppl throw any more light on this software????? or is it a dead duck.

08-20-2008, 02:17 PM
Can any more ppl throw any more light on this software????? or is it a dead duck.
I asked Adrenalynn about it and she wasn't familiar with it. I down loaded the v3 and plan on checking it out sooner or later on a bot. It certainly seems easier than learning all the "real" languages.
But with my project load it may not be quick.
The simulator is way cool:)

08-20-2008, 09:55 PM
Can any more ppl throw any more light on this software????? or is it a dead duck.Just me, probably, but I would never use anything based on BASIC. I tried it for some microcontrollers because that's what they had, but it's just not possible to write good code in BASIC. Global variables and "goto"s can only get you so far.

Of course if you think in BASIC then a higher level language won't help you -- you'll still use globals and gotos. But for me, I don't care what services they provide, it's just thinking too much teh stupid.

08-21-2008, 02:17 AM
Ok, Thanks for the responses.

08-21-2008, 08:34 AM
Just to add my two cents, I don't think you should let the fact that it's BASIC deter you. I don't buy into that whole argument that "real programmers don't use BASIC" mentality. BASIC is a great language, and happens to have been the first language to make it into the mainstream on personal computers (it's how Microsoft got started).

When a BASIC program is well written its very easy to read and follow. I agree that a bunch of GOTO statements leads to unmaintainable, unreadable, and generally incomprehensible spaghetti code and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. But come on, it's a compiled language and whether you're writing in C or BASIC, it all leads to byte code in the end anyway. If you want to be a "real" programmer, get back to roots and start flipping switches or punching code cards! : )

Another benefit to BASIC (especially on microcontrollers) is that because its a little simplier and easier to follow, it has the potential to reach a larger audience (especially kids just getting started). And that only benefits the whole community (especially because we desperately need more kids getting involved in science and technology these days).

Okay, I'll step off my podium now (but I reserve the right to jump back on at anytime!).

08-21-2008, 07:32 PM
I tend to agree, I have a good freind that uses basic and he does magic with the code for my projects.

08-21-2008, 08:01 PM
I'm staying as far away from this religious debate as humanly possible. :tongue:

Droid Works
08-21-2008, 08:17 PM
I used it and I like it allot.

08-22-2008, 01:22 AM
In hindsight I was probably out of line bashing instructional languages based on 4mem8's reasonable request for opinions of a specific software platform. I'll try to avoid straying off topic again.

08-22-2008, 03:52 AM
Thank you for your honest opinions in this area, I know there are a number of languages for robotics and C or C+ are good choices, but I was curious as to the usefulness of this robobasic v3 language for general robotics. On another note while we are on robotic languages, I have to learn 1 or 2 languages so I can get ahead with my robots, Would you learn P-basic first then C or just C?? Your input here would be greatfully appreciated.

08-22-2008, 10:31 AM
On another note while we are on robotic languages, I have to learn 1 or 2 languages so I can get ahead with my robots, Would you learn P-basic first then C or just C?? Your input here would be greatfully appreciated.

If you're just starting out with microcontroller languages, I'd say one of the BASIC based ones or the Arduino would be a good place to start. Arduino's use a simplified C-like language that is just about as easy as many of the BASICs out there. What I like about the Arduino's is that they use Atmel's Atmega chips. So you can always go straight to C later if you need to and still use the same hardware.

Since my robot is PC based, I largely use microcontrollers as "smart ports." Meaning that I have a host program running on the microcontroller (I used Atmega's from Atmel) that I can communicate with over USB/serial to do queries and updates. There isn't much decision making going on in the microcontroller itself, other than "send notification if value change is greater than 'X' from the last check" and what not. Where 'X' can be set by the PC that's connected to it. So as you can probably tell, most of my robot programming is PC based.

08-22-2008, 11:08 AM
Woot, Hephaistos!

Yes, exactly. Microcontrollers are excellent for bringing the real-world signal in, doing some pre-processing, then getting it over to the PC where it belongs. PC's stink at acquiring realworld data, but they have infinite processing power. Microcontrollers rock at acquiring signals but even the fastest can't come close to touching the kind of work a quadcore can do vis-a-vis signal processing.

It's chocolate and peanut butter. I just don't understand why some are so dedicated to fighting mixing the two...

08-22-2008, 07:40 PM
Hey thanks for your input here, It all makes sense. I have a large amount of Parallax gear so I might as well learn Basic and use the gear I have, Otherwise I will have to buy new hardware.