View Full Version : [Question(s)] PDA Controller robot design questions

03-27-2010, 10:29 AM
Hi to all, I think this is going here, sorry if it's not.

I'm going to do a project in the university about exploring algorithms, etc., so I want to make a robot, I was thinking in the following:
1/10 scale 4x4 R/C car as the base and chassis
PDA Dell Axim X3 (I have it at home) as the "CPU", connected by serial port to controller that would connect the motors, etc.
But right now I'm a bit lost. How could I connect by the same serial port several sensors like IR proximity, compass, etc.?

I don't have no idea about the robotics, I study maths so I'd like to make the most part of my work about algorithms and programming, not about making the robot (that's why I want a PDA as the CPU: it has bluetooth, wifi, and tft screen for debugging), am I on the right way?
Any sugggestions?

Thank you very much to all, and sorry for my English faults.

03-27-2010, 01:21 PM
Best bang for my buck is an Arduino or one of it's clones. There's tons of support, dead simple to get serial data in/out, and tutorials/source code for most sensors on the market.

03-30-2010, 01:08 AM

There is no way that your PDA can control everything over a serial port. You answered your own question. Your PDA needs to talk to a controller that runs the motors and sensors. I have programmed PICs to be a controller. Go to my site at:


and look under:
Build The Ultimate Robot Controller System

for more info


05-04-2010, 04:49 AM
Very soon my EZ-B will be available and will suit your needs perfectly. One of the projects I have been working to demonstrate EZ-B is a 2-d mapping app using simple exploring logic... Ironically, it's exactly what you're going to be doing.

My little exploring robot uses a sharp IR distance sensor and drives around... It's controlled entirely by the PC/PDA/Phone/Mac/Etc over bluetooth. Using the EZ-B SDK, I can read the ADC Sharp IR Distance Sensor results and "graphically map" what the room looks like...

As this robot drives around and avoids objects, the PC software is keeping track where everything is in the room. It's real neat because if you let it drive around for a few hours, you eventually get a very detailed floor map of the room. Including coffee table legs and shoes left in the middle of the floor.

This is just one of the projects i'm building to demonstrate EZ-B :)

Here's a link to my robot stuff: http://atomic.speculation.org/robots

Here's a video of my first EZ-B demo:


05-05-2010, 03:05 PM
If your PDA has a usb host port on it, you can use one of the USB->I2C by FTDI. That is what I used to test I2C devices on via my pc (including a nice I2C compas :-) ). That unit comes up as a virtual serial port under linux, I guess it should do the same on a PDA but couldnt be certian.

This is the one I have:
http://www.technobots.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000002.pl?REFPAGE=http%3a%2f%2fwww%2etechnobots% 2eco%2euk%2facatalog%2fShop_Front_Robotics_164%2eh tml&WD=usb%20i2c&PN=Shop_Front_Interfaces_65%2ehtml%23a3810_2d005#a 3810_2d005